Friday, September 5, 2008

Saba Blue Water Cafe

It was the balmy night of August 22nd. Cory, Sian and I were going to go see Bun B at the Parish, but the show didn't start for a few hours. Being that it was a first come style event, we wanted to be in the Sixth Street area. A few other peeps met up with us, and we began deliberations on were to eat down there. 

My stomach kinda hurt. I was a little more quiet than usual. We discussed the immediate options around us. The Parish is upstairs from Roux, but our friend Erica manages that jernt and wasn't backing the food, so it was out. parkside was right across the street. I've wanting to go to parkside since, like, May. We went and checked out the menu. Having been studying their menu for months, this was my choice. It got the nay-no from Nicole, mainly for being too expensive. 

So. We went back across the street to look at the Iron Cactus menu. Uh uh. I wasn't having it. Lame Tex-Mex on Sixth. Chipotle everything -- fuck that. Things started getting more and more difficult. We moved away from Sixth and headed over to Fourth. There were choices aplenty, and I was done voicing my oft too forward opinion, and said I'd eat "whatever". 

Saba it was. I wanted to like Saba, I really did. Too bad, too bad. 

When we got inside, it was dark, not dim, dark. To add to the, um, ambiance, they were blaring, yes, blaring techno. I even like some techno, but not when I'm eating. Our waitress didn't make our experience much better, and as the night progressed, she proved to be incompetent. 

We were a party of six, and were hungry. I ordered shrimp, mahi, and scallop ceviche to start, and having made a great ceviche earlier in the week was looking forward to somewhat of an encore. Wrong. What I got was a goopy mess. The ceviche definitely wasn't very fresh, and the choice of 'tropical fruit' wasn't going to be able to stand up to the acid for that long (mango and papaya). It was like shrimp with preserves. Bleh. I ate it, don't get me wrong, but I didn't care much for it. 

Cory and Sian ordered like four things to share, and only two showed up. The rest of us were served our dinners, and they were just sitting there. The waitress came back by, and they told her about the mix up, and she said she'd take care of it. Time passed. She had not taken care of it. Some dude in a button up and tie came by to ask if everything was alright, they told him what was up, and he scurried off to remedy the situation. Apparently he was the owner, he was also busing tables -- on  a Friday night?! 

I ordered the Saba Paella. It was not paella. Sure, it had assorted shellfish and seafood in it, and tasted like saffron, but it was not a paella. There was no crusty action, and there was good amount of soupy rice mixture on the bottom. Soupy paella? For $17, I expect paella -- had they not called it that, it would have been okay, but really, I'm not going to pour you a Pabst and tell you it's a Old Rasputin Stout. Serve what you say you're serving! 

The owner came back with Cory and Sian's remaining food, and apologized. The waitress came by again, and asked if everything was going okay. Cory told her that the guy in the tie had brought out their food that she had failed twice to bring. She actually got peeved because that guy was the owner. Good. You fucked up. Deal with it. 

I'm not one to be hard on waiters. I was a server for years, but good servers admit when they fuck up, and usually comp something. Not for us though. Shame on you Saba, shame! Anyway. The entirety of the experience was lame, and I will not be going back. Maybe they were having an off night, maybe the waitress was just an asshat, but that's no excuse for the poor food. Sadly, the best thing served to us was shrimp enchiladas. Really? NO ONE CAN FUCK UP ENCHILADAS! 

Sorry for yelling, but if your going for some type of Pacific - Caribbean - Latin Coastal fare, maybe, you should just stick to one of those regions, and do it well. Cut the pretentiousness and just serve good food. 

Saba. We're in a fight. 


Flapjacks said...

This is more of a rant than a review isn't it? Hmmnn. Noted.

Iris said...

A rant? Yes, but nevertheless an actual critical and detailed (without sounding pretentious) restaurant review, as opposed to many shallow (local) attempts I read.

So thanks.

Flapjacks said...

Goopy is as goopy does. I tend to think that it's a bad sign when the owner is busing on a Friday night. That can't be good.

Laurie said...

You didn't miss much at Iron Cactus. Get a Casino burger.

Flapjacks said...

that's what i'm sayin.

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