Wednesday, July 25, 2012

FOOD POST: Whoa! What a Pleasant Surprise!

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.


  1. Hey Julie --

    Love these pleasant surprises. It's very cute restaurant & the owners are very friendly. They serve local wines/beers and their drinks are delicious!I'm very supportive of local businesses like this!


  2. Hey Phuong! I'm with you. Gotta support these small businesses. It cracked me up when I went on Yelp and your review was the first thing I saw :)