Chow, Baby: Wednesday, May 09, 2002
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Prepare for Take-Out

There’s a new kid on the block of Berry near University. The Moon, next door to The Aardvark and Fuzzy’s Taco’s, is a swanky bar — swanky with a capital S, what with the subdued blue lighting, colorful fishies in large tanks, and pleathered banquettes. For a bar, The Moon’s bill of fare is fairly hefty. Appetizers include boneless wings, egg rolls, and popcorn shrimp. For dinner, there’s a nice selection of hoagies, plus steak fingers or chicken tenders with fries and cream gravy.

The scary part of the menu dances along the bottom: corporate logos from Brew City (which makes frozen beer-battered fries and onion rings) and Moore’s Bakeables (known for their frozen breaded appetizers like stuffed jalapeños and mozzarella sticks). Would this be one of those deals in which the bartender sticks pre-fab in the microwave and calls it a banquet? Chow, Baby would die of alcohol poisoning before it could get drunk enough to eat that stuff.

With trepidation did Chow, Baby order a burger ($3.55), cheese fries ($3.50), and a Philly cheese steak ($5.95). With many lip-smacking noises did Chow, Baby enjoy its dinner. Turns out there really is a guy in the back with a grill and a deep-fryer, and he does a fine job. The meats were thick and juicy. The peppers and onions were fresh-grilled. The fries were hot and crisp, and while the topping wouldn’t have satisfied a cheese-fries purist — should be melted grated cheddar! — the homemade queso on top was a knockout. Just like Chow, Baby when the lighting is dim.

There’s a Fly in Your Attitude

Too Good has many good qualities: friendly staff, a convenient location at Loop 820 and Lancaster, and grits for breakfast. The menu is simple, with one daily special, eight “everyday specials,” and rotating veggies. The pricing is simple, too: $5.99 for lunch, with two sides, and $7.99 for dinner, with three sides. Burgers and hot wings are also available.

Here’s Chow, Baby’s big but: Service is intermittent at best, even when only one other table is occupied. When a server does appear, it’s to slam food on the table and run. Or slam the check down halfway through the meal without even offering dessert.

Understaffing is forgivable. Mediocre cooking is not. Grilled chicken breast was undercooked. Pot roast was tender but bland. Pork chops were tough. Chicken-fried steak was fine, but watery mashed potatoes had no hint of butter or milk. At one lunch Chow, Baby enjoyed al dente broccoli with a nice cheese sauce and fluffy white rice; at dinner that same day the vegetable was a casserole of flaccid broccoli, dried-up rice, and watery cheese sauce. Please. Chow, Baby can eat leftovers at home — with much better service.


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