Disclosure: Our meal was complimentary, but I was not compensated for this review. As always, all opinions are my own.
Hillcrest used to be the neighborhood we’d head for when we wanted something new and exciting to eat. Then we moved to North Park, then South Park, and recently have been poking around Hillcrest again. Full circle, I suppose. One place we haven’t visited in a long time that I miss is Tapas Picasso, but that’s now what this post is about.
Whenever we try and new up-and-coming spot, I feel like I’m always weighing cost vs. value, multiplied by the local+seasonal factor, divided by whether or not I have to go outside to find dessert. There’s a lot of math involved with my meal enjoyment, I guess. You’re lucky I haven’t drafted up a spreadsheet… or maybe you’d like that.
Anyway, I was invited into Urban Eats a little over a month after they had opened and I took Travis with me. Some people are good about sharing their media meal experience with other people, I just take my husband because I like eating with him, he lets me eat off his plate (and sometimes just lets me order for him), and I always know what his schedule is for dinner. Plus, he eats just about everything (except oysters) and will even try things I’m not even sure I’ll like. All this is irrelevant, though, because I’m pretty sure everything Urban Eats offers is delicious.
When we went, they didn’t have their liquor license, but they did have a tasty apple soda and Mexican Coke. By now, they’re probably serving beer, wine, and fruit-infused soju. Our server made some recommendations and was very friendly, in addition to being excited about the food they offer (which always makes me happy – people should be excited about their food!)
First, we started with the complimentary cheese-toasted bread (from Bread & Cie) with honey-drizzled butter. I wasn’t planning on eating all the bread, but the honey/butter/cheese combination was too good to ignore. Had I known we were going to start with toasty bread slices, I probably wouldn’t have ordered the Green Toast (apples, brie, honey on toast), or I would have foregone the free bread. I ordered the Green Toast because I’m a sucker for tasty-things-on-bread descriptions on menus. I blame Starlite for that, and I also blame them for taking it off their menu. In addition to the Green Toast, we sampled the Salmon Poki Chips, which we also declared a winner. The salmon had a nice, firm texture and was drizzled with a delicious sauce. And it was served on a fried wonton chip, which just can’t be wrong.
Travis ordered a rueben sandwich and I was drawn to the Low + Slow Pork, mainly due to the creamy polenta. The rueben was huge, but it was also so good. Just a perfect balance of pastrami, sauerkraut, and rye bread. The pork did not disappoint, either. The brussels sprouts were a tad bit crunchy, but swiped through the polenta (so creamy and cheesy!) with a nugget of bacon they were delicious. The pork itself was moist and fork-tender and perfectly seasoned. It, too, did well with a smattering of polenta on each bite but was equally delicious all by itself. In the end, we took home half the sandwich and a nugget or pork. The polenta was cleaned off the plate, though. If we’d been home, I would have licked the plate.
Sadly, we were at Urban Eats just as they were revamping their dessert menu. However, at the end of your meal, you get a freshly baked cookie and a dish of whipped cream! Free cookie at the end of your meal? You have no idea how happy this made me. I have to admit it wasn’t my favorite cookie (I think there was too much vanilla, or maybe not enough brown sugar?) but it was warm and soft and had melty chocolate chips in it. I would eat it again, no problem.
I feel like sandwich and entrée portions are more than adequate at Urban Eats. I’m pretty sure if we had skipped the appetizers, or maybe just had one, we would have finished our meals and still been full. And with my pork at $10 being the most expensive dish we ordered, eating here is totally budget-friendly. Between the cheesy toasts and the cookie, plus the food being outstanding, and the nice prices, we’ll definitely be stopping by when we’re in Hillcrest again.