December 8, 2006
Cuisine: American (New), Vegetarian
3420 Sansom St, Philadelphia 19104
Btwn 34th & 36th St
Entree I: Pork Loin – Bosc pears and apples with a Chanterelle mushroom gravy ($23.00)
Entree II: Low Country Spiced Crispy Pekin Duck Breast – Cajun spoonbread, smothered greens, with crawfish etouffee sauce ($23.00)
Entree III: Herb Roasted Free Range Lancaster County Chicken Half with Natural Jus – sage roasted heirloom cheese pumpkin panzanella with local green beans and shallot confit ($19.00)
Entree VI: Rosemary Grilled Buck Run Farm Strip Steak with Flying Fish Beer Batter Fried Onion Rings – sour cream and chive mashed potatoes, garlic braised greens and burgundy Dijon glaze ($28.00)
From opentable.com: “White Dog Cafe is nationally known for it’s contemporary American menus, fashioned from the highest quality farm-fresh ingredients and humanely raised meats and poultry. Their menus change seasonally to capture the best locally grown, organic and sustainable foods. ”
Colton, Duncan, the Astronomer and I dined at White Dog Cafe the other evening to see if their food was as impressive as their business philosophy. Our conclusion? A lukewarm yes. Colton ordered the pork loin, Duncan had the steak, the Astronomer ordered the chicken, and I had the duck. We passed on appetizers because they were mostly salads, how boring.
My dish was very delicious and unique. I rarely order duck, but the Cajun preparations really enticed me. The meat was moist (prepared medium rare) and naturally flavorful. I definitely need to order duck at restaurants more often! The crawfish etouffee sauce was spicy and an interesting accompanimentent to the duck. I especially liked the little pieces of shrimp in the sauce. The smothered greens were an acquired taste. I did not like the greens at first due to its strong vinegar taste, but throughout the meal they sort of grew on me. My favorite side was the spoonbread, which is a sweet egg and cornmeal concoction. It was just the right amount of sweetness to balance out the acidic greens.
Colton thought his pork loin was perfect – just like the duck it was moist and flavorful. His chief complaint were the skimpy sides. He would have liked more apples and pears with his entree.
Duncan echoed Colton’s complaint about the portion of the sides, his entree only had a small helping of mashed potatoes and two onion rings. He did not enjoy the greens and left them untouched. Sides aside, Duncan thought his steak was amazing. Prepared rare, the delicate piece of meat spewed delicious “life blood.” Perfect for a vegetarian like Duncan.
The Astronomer said his chicken tasted like chicken. The flavors did not permeate into the meat as he had hoped. He had no complaints about his sides.
White Dog Cafe can be summed up as a restaurant with phenomenal meats, skimpy sides, and horrendous decor.