You guessed it. Laura is out of town, so I’m trying a new restaurant. My visit to The Bohemian was partly out of interest, and partly motivated by charity. Several of the local restaurants were donating tonight’s proceeds to Katrina Relief, so I can have a good meal and feel good about doing it. The irony of this type of charity is not lost on me – I pig out so people don’t starve. The Bohemian and 33 Liberty are participating.
First it was a service station – not just one of those self-serve gas places, but a place where you could get your brakes adjusted, as well as all manner of other things. That eventually closed, and sat empty for a long time.
The location at the corner of Stone Avenue and North Main was ideal, and with The Handlebar moving closeby, Gene of Horizon Records decided to refurbish the old station and turn it into his new store, with an attached cafe. First came the Blue-Z Cafe, an eclectic place with reasonably good food. That was closed, then reopend in its present incarnation a couple of years ago, with an eye toward finer dining. No vestige of the old service station remains.
The decor is eclectic, with musical themes befitting a place that opens onto a record shop. I recognized several people as I entered and said hello to a couple of friends. The hostess and my waitress looked very familiar, as did the couple next to me, who were carrying on a conversation about Geocaching. Familiarity lends a comfort level to any place, regardless of the type and price of the food.
There are a variety of appetizers, and an interesting approach to the entre’s. One selects a type of meat – Angus tenderloin, chicken, salmon, pork, etc – then has it prepared in one of several different styles. These include Caribbean Jerk, Moroccan, Mediterranean, and Bohemian. Prices range from $10 to $20.
The meal started with bread, hummus, and olives – always a good beginning. I ordered the Angus tips, Moroccan style, ,accompanied by a glass of Yellow Bird Merlot. The entre’ arrived with diced vegetables, couscous, and two sauces. The cool side was yoghurt, but on the other side of the plate was hirsissus, made primarily of crushed red peppers. It was firey, and good. While the flavors were excellent, the Angus tips were not of the best quality. These were tough and grisley. Also, my choice of wines was not the best. While the merlot would have been very good by itself, for some reason it did not blend well with either the hummus and olives or the Moroccan spices.
The portions were huge, and I wasn’t sure if I would make it through the meal. The desserts sounded interesting, but unfortunately I couldn’t manage another bit.
Service was smooth and efficient. What more could one ask.
The variety of cooking styles makes this a place to try many times until I find my favorite. After wrestling with the Angus tips, I think I’ll try one of the other meats.