I'm a Yelper. I find Yelp to be very helpful. So, tonight I looked on Yelp, saw something about the 'greatest burrito' (which I thought my date would like), and off we went to Niles. So, we parked and started walking to our proposed destination. Well, the Mexican restaurant I thought we were going to turned out to be a taco-truck. I guess I need to read those Yelps a little more closely.
Anyway, I didn't quite feel up to risking a taco-truck stomachache. As we walked past The Vine, I noticed they had a sign out for a surf n' turf special, which I figured my date would like. (I'm so considerate like that.) So, in we went. Cute little place with a cute little patio out back. Menu looked pretty good. Prices looked reasonable.
First off, we ordered the cheese hush puppies with spicy pepper jam. It was a bit of a wait for them to arrive, and at first I was a little disappointed because I was expecting jelly-jam and it was more like pickled peppers, but nonetheless, delicious! And they did serve marinated olives during the wait.
I had the pork loin chop which came with crisp blue lake green beans. It was accompanied by an apricot chutney, which was less like a chutney and more like a paste, but, again, quite tasty. The topper, though, was the deep-fried mashed potato it was served upon. Yeowza!
My date had the surf n' turf: flat iron steak with pesto sauce (repeatedly remarked about how good it was), grilled shrimp, green beans and (non-fried) mashed potatoes. The tender meat was cooked perfectly.
And the pièce de résistance? The dessert special!! Maple-bacon bread pudding, very prettily presented on a syrup-drizzled plate, topped with bacon, and flanked by a halved strawberry and a squirt of whipped cream. Super-yeowza!
All this for fifty bucks. Yes, I did not misspeak!! Geez, we spent forty at frickin' TGIFriday's last week and we didn't get an appetizer or a dessert! This was a great deal. I've paid nearly twice as much for similar meals.
The Vine was sure a lucky find! Quite an upgrade from the taco-truck.