While on the elliptical Wednesday evening, “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” – my favorite Food Network show ever – came on. If you haven’t seen this show, you should definitely DVR it (or “tape it” as I still do). As the title suggests, each show picks a theme (crunchy, spicy, “in a bowl,” and so on) and asks several Food Network stars to highlight his or her choice. For a girl that loves superlatives, this show is right up my alley. Long story short, Brian Boitano chose the corn fritters at E&O Trading Company in SF as his favorite crunchy food of all time.
Flash forward two days and I’m sitting at said Union Square restaurant with my folks to give these fritters a go. I have to admit, I was feeling pretty “in the know” that I happened to see the show and was already there. My smugness started to fade when I noticed the five surrounding tables ALL HAD THE CORN FRITTERS ON THEIR TABLE. The main attraction came out first and I was impressed how generous the portion it is – three large corn fritters – hardly a small plate as the menu suggests. They were quite unusual, but I am sorry Brian, can’t say they are the best crunchy thing I’ve ever eaten. If you’ve ever had a sticky popcorn ball – it tastes like that, minus the sweet part. A fried batter holds them together but there’s no distinct taste that kept me going back for more. Overall, I thought it was sort of bland. The sweet pepper soy sauce dipping went a long way.
Unfortunately, bland seemed to be the theme of the lunch for me. I ordered the Portobello flatbread, described on the menu as “grilled Portobello mushroom, watercress, red onion, and pickled mango.” I guess the description is accurate, but it was basically a small salad served on top of a big piece of bread (only covering about 75% of the bread I might add). So, I ate the salad off the top and the plain flatbread by itself as there was nothing holding the two together. To add insult to injury, the bread wasn’t exactly to-die for either.