Chow, Baby: Wednesday, March 6, 2003
Got It

Chow, Baby has misplaced its pet-peeves list but is pretty sure this one falls in the top 200: servers not writing down the orders. This generally happens in your fancier spots, and perhaps it’s supposed to show how much they really care — “Yes, I’m so intensely involved with your dining experience that your every wish is burned into my brain” — but it just makes Chow, Baby exceedingly nervous. What if the waiter forgets about Chow, Baby’s crème brûlée, and Table 13 gets the last portion? Huh? What then?

Well, in all these years of dining out for a living, Chow, Baby has always gotten what it ordered — until last week at Palazzo’s P3, a little Italian joint with great lunch specials, next to the Tom Thumb at Beach and Basswood. Pizza, pasta, and pub make up the three P’s, you see. The pasta is homemade, so Chow, Baby told the kind server that it definitely wanted spaghetti and sausage ($5.50). No, spaghetti and mushrooms. No, meatballs. Mushrooms. No, make it spaghetti and sausage. No ... yes, that’s it. Sausage.

Chow, Baby very much enjoyed its al dente spaghetti and loads of sautéed mushrooms ($5.50) in a chunky, not-too-sweet tomato sauce. The shrimp parmigiana ($9.75) that Chow, Baby took home for dinner was also a delight, with half a dozen jumbos, breadcrumb-battered and topped with mozzarella and oregano, making pretty little islands in a marinara sea. A shame to drown such beautiful sea creatures; Chow, Baby wished it had gotten the scampi, but still mangia’d its plate clean.

Swanky Modes

Blue-Blooded Chow, Baby got a press release from the manager at Kalamatas announcing its new — seriously, this is its name — Upscale Breakfast Brunch. Aristocratic Chow, Baby checked the fine print, and it did not say “No Riff-Raff.” So Upmarket Chow, Baby set aside its big trough of baked beans garnished with dead dogs and went to hang out with the toffee-nosed. (Sophisticated PBS viewers will recognize the homage to Thoroughbred Chow, Baby’s favorite Fawlty Towers episode, “Gourmet Night.”)

After a debate with the cute valets at the Worthington over who exactly was going to pay whom for the privilege of parking the Exalted Chowbabymobile, High-Class Chow, Baby and a posh pal got to stand in line for bacon and eggs and single-serving boxes of Raisin Bran. For $17. Well, it was nice thick bacon, and the house-made chicken apple sausage was great, and an omelet guy made special orders, and the bagels came with lox, and the Poinsettia (champagne and cranberry juice) was a taste sensation, and the service was certainly high-ranking. But for $17, Patrician Chow, Baby wants a tower o’ shrimp, and eggs Benedict, and weird Australian fruit that grows in funny shapes. This culinary soiree wasn’t looking too — ooooh, dessert bar! Unlimited portions of glorious key lime pie, decadent double-chocolate cake, best-in-the-world chocolate-covered strawberries, dreamy cherry cheesecake, and duck surprise — no, it was terrific trifle. And so Kalamatas lost money on Upper-Crust Chow, Baby after all. Dahlink.

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