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Friday, April 6, 2012

Huge Disappointment

Three Birds Tavern
St Petersburg, FL
March 2012

Finally made it to Three Birds Tavern for my first time. It was on a Thursday. It has been one of those places "on my list" that I've wanted to go to for a while.. I have to say it was a MAJOR disappointment. Sorry to say that, since I'd heard such great things about Chef Donnie. I bought the $12 for $25 worth of food deal from Creative Loafing, , thinking okay, good. I mean, it's a tavern, right? not Armani's. Shouldn't cost too much. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

We wouldn't sit outside on this beautiful day since there were about 5 tables of people chain-smoking.
We walked inside and were shocked to find that the place smelled like urine. After a few minutes, we adjusted to the smell, we weren't going to leave because we had driven about an hour and a half to get there, and we had the CL Deal.

2 of us went. I ordered Chimay (my fave ale). Okay so they get points for having Chimay, but instantly lost points since both the waitress AND the bartender did not know which Chimay (I actually prefer red cap) they had, and even after locating a bottle, had to show it to me since they didn't know the difference. was served in a tall beer glass. Chimay should be served in a wide-mouthed goblet (sigh). My dinner partner had Spaten and was happy with that. We both ordered one starter and one sandwich.
I ordered the short rib egg rolls with gorgonzola sauce, since I had been hearing about them since they opened. Eh. Gorgonzola sauce? First, it was hot, and it was peach colored and I didn't taste any gorgonzola. I kept tasting the sauce and tasting the sauce by itself, and could not determine what flavors were in it. I think with the hot short rib egg roll, a cold (or cool) sauce that tasted like gorgonzola would have been nice. This was....I don't know, like McDonald's special sauce from the Big Macs? I didn't really get a taste of anything from the short ribs, it was just some kind of unseasoned shredded meat. My dinner partner had the vegetable risotto, which was asparagus. He liked it. I tasted, it was good, but overly spiced. Too many flavors going on.

Then our sandwiches came. He had the meat loaf sandwich with frites. He loved the frites, I wasn't particular impressed. I was disappointed in the mushy meat loaf. Damn, no one makes meat loaf like my mama!! I had the bratwurst, it was good....but the bun immediately fell apart. I ended up having to eat it with a fork and knife. I have to say my side dish was positively delicious, it was baby spinach very lightly sauted in lemon and garlic. The star of the meal, absolutely.

We decided on one dessert, had the chunky monkey bread pudding. I have to say this was not bread pudding , to me. It was banana bread. No "pudding" at all, it was completely dry,  with chocolate chips and chocolate sauce. Parts of it were warm, parts were ice cold. Didn't finish it. It was positively awful.

Then the surprise! Bill for lunch for the 2 of us...over $70...with tip would have been $85. For two starters, two sandwiches, and one dessert...yeah, and four beers. But still. All in all, I loved the spinach, he really liked the risotto. Thank goodness I had the $25 off, so the lunch actually cost us about $75 including tip.

We were assured that  Chef Donnie (Domenica) was in house, and was preparing our food for us. Since I told the waitress to tell Donnie that we were friends of friends of hers, and that it was my birthday, and that I had been dying to come to Three Birds for so long, I kind of expected her to make an appearance at our table, if just to say hello. Jeannie Pierola does that for me at the super-crowded KitchenBars. But nope, they just said that Donnie would like us to fill out the comment card. Well, okay then.

There were only maybe 8 or 10 tables occupied, so for sure it wasn't that she was super busy.

The $75 would have been better spent at a myriad of other places. I finally ate at Three Birds, and I won't go back. :(

Three Birds Tavern on Urbanspoon

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