Friday, April 18, 2014

Restaurant Review: Woodside Bakery

Woodside Bakery - dinner on April 5, 2014
After my 10K race last weekend, I arranged to have dinner with Lisa, one of my oldest friends from childhood. Lisa and I have known each other for decades. I once made the mistake of thinking we met in high school but she reminded me we'd actually gone to junior high together and were friends way back then. To this day I don't think I've lived down that I *cough* don't remember her from junior high and I could've sworn we only met during our freshman year in high school. Oops, my bad.
Anyway, the most important thing is we're still friends today after all these years. Our daily lives don't intersect that often but we try to get together regularly, often over food or shopping or both. This time around it was centered around food. My coworker, Queen of Cheap Eats, told me about Woodside Bakery; I'd never been there but it was somewhat halfway between me and Lisa so that's where I suggested we meet. Lisa took an evening off from her husband and kids :) and I felt like a good splurge after running my 10K earlier that morning so it met both of our needs to enjoy good food and good conversation.
The inside of Woodside Bakery is divided into a bakery area and an indoor dining area. The indoor seating was a trifle small but fortunately, they had a much larger outdoor seating area. Even more fortunately, it was a nice night when we dined so we were able to enjoy alfresco dining in comfort. They had heat lamps in case anyone got too cold but I thought the temperature was perfect. The only drawback to eating outside was the presence of a few birds who felt quite at home hopping around the tables. Easy enough to shoo them away but not normally something I'm used to doing when eating out. They did gradually disappear as more diners were seated at the outdoor tables and the birds decided being shooed away by pesky humans wasn't worth trying to pick a few crumbs off the floor.
Dinner started off with a small loaf of still-warm bread. All calorie conscious wisdom warns people away from the bread basket. I pay no mind to that foolishness. Hey, I'd just run 6.1 miles and did I mention the bread was served warm?? I liked their bread because it wasn't too crusty and the inside had a perfect dense chewiness that all good bread should have.
Linguine Frutti de Mare
Lisa got the Linguine Frutti di Mare which, according to the menu, came with prawns, calamari, PEI mussels, Little Neck clams, fish, in a light fresh tomato-wine broth for $20. It looked good and was a decent-sized portion.
I was in the mood for a burger and Woodside Bakery sources their meat locally so I went with their Grilled Niman Ranch Burger with cambozola (cheese), smoked bacon, pepper onion a├»oli (I had them leave that out since I like my burgers plain) and choice of fries or organic greens for $12.75. It goes without saying I went with the fries instead of the organic greens. I was going to capitalize on my 10K run as much as I could. The burger was pretty good although hefty enough that I was more full than I needed to be since I ate almost all of it and made a respectable dent in the fries.
Of course that didn't stop me from getting dessert: apple pie a la mode. The apple pie lived up to its name in that it was mostly apples. The apples slices were a tad too firm and not that sweet. I forgot my friend Annie the Baker's recommendation to only get apple desserts in the fall when apples are in season. Still, the pie was good overall and the crust was flaky, always the hallmark of a good pie crust. Lisa got the creme brulee and for once I didn't sneak a bite since I was hitting the "stop!" mark with eating after the bread, the burger, the fries and the apple pie.
We stopped off at the bakery on our way out to peruse the selections but at that point, I was so full even looking at the displays made my stomach ache. Normally I would've gotten a slice of something to go and just eaten it later but even that seemed too much, considering I felt I probably shouldn't eat for at least a day or three.
Still, overall, it was a good experience and I definitely want to come back again and try breakfast or lunch. And leave room for one of the cake....slices.

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