Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Rate-A-Restaurant, #117 in a series

Restaurant: Oinkster

Location: 2005 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock

Type of restaurant: "Fast-Casual," a.k.a. sandwiches, chicken, fries, beer

They stipulated: Order at the counter, find a seat, they'll bring the food to you.

What we ordered: Oinkster Pastrami ($8.50); BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich ($6.50); large Belgian Fries ($3.50)

High point: The Belgian Fries were a delight, from when they were first presented to our table while hot, 'til the end of our meal. They remained crunchy to the last bite but not overcooked. Paired with the homemade dipping sauces (Ancho-Lime Mayonnaise, Curry Dressing, Roasted Garlic Aioli), I was in heaven. It took a while, but once my co-worker Erin pointed out that we should pour the Carolina BBQ sauce on the pulled pork sandwich, things started looking up.

Low point: Initially, we were dissapointed with the sandwiches. The pork was bland, the red cabbage slaw so-so and the bread a bit soggy on the Pulled Pork Sandwich. Same with the Pastrami -- it was bland and dry, although the bread held up to the sandwich.

Here's where the homemade sauces figure in. I'm not sure if these sandwiches were made this way, so it's up to you, the consumer, to control how much sauce to put in. That sauce is a big factor with the taste. I'm not much of a sauce person but trust me, dump that Carolina BBQ sauce on your sandwich and it will taste a thousand times better. Ditto with the mustard on the pastrami.

Overall impression: The restaurant set-up is nice, the decor casual but stylish with its DWR-like flooring. The menu is simple and not overly ambitious but hints at above-average ingredients.

Chance we will go back: I'd like to give it another go and will for sure order the fries. In fact, I'd be happy just ordering the fries and maybe a milkshake (served with Fosselman's ice cream).

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