Monday, January 9, 2012

Off the Map: If It Weren't for the Trash Can, We'd Have a Lot of Leg Room

House-Cured Corned Beef Brisket and Caramelized Cabbage -- The Franklin Cafe, Boston, MA
The Franklin Cafe

In The Franklin Cafe's defense, we were not in the proper mindset when entering its doors.  Having just come from four quiet, appealingly lit restaurants, we were not prepared for the onslaught of darkness, noise, and lack of seating that washed over us the minute we entered the premises.
Who Ever Heard of Risking One's Hearing in Pursuit of Cabbage?
And as we have mentioned many times before, we hate nothing more than loud, dark restaurants.  We don't want to shout and we don't want to reach out blindly in search of our food.  And even without Ginger present, Vodka can almost hear her grumbling about the situation the entire time she makes her way into The Franklin Cafe with her equally high volume-averse friend.
Franklin Cafe Seems to Be into Supersize Wreaths This Year
Finding no seats at the bar nor at the nine surrounding tables, we ask a waiter where we should go in order to be assured the next open booth.

"Just stand anywhere in the restaurant," he answers, which is just about the least helpful response we have received in Boston thus far.

We decide to saddle up to the trash can at the end of the bar, prime position for hopping on the next available stools.  Vodka, once again, is trying to order her latest obsession, flavored vodka and club soda, and she is appeased to learn that the Franklin Cafe is not only allowed to serve hard alcohol (ahem, Oleana), but they have a wide variety of flavors available.  We tuck into our blueberry vodka soda and beer and preemptively order our corned beef and cabbage, hoping that seats will open up before our third dinner of the night arrives.
Or Else We're Going to Blind You All with Vodka's Camera Flash Until You Leave
As if sent a message from the Best Thing I Ever Ate COMBOS gods of Adam Gertler, the gentlemen at the two closest stools get up to leave just as our scalding cast iron pan of Irish delicacies arrive, and we leap onto their vacated seats with the speed, if not nimbleness, of two cats.
No Comment on How Closely Our Desired Dish Resembles Cat Food
Unfortunately, we have not managed to completely escape our old pal, the trash can, as Vodka's friend comments, "If it weren't for this trash can, we'd have a lot of leg room," but we simply tuck our ankles under our stools and sink our forks into the platter before us.
And Throw This Dimly-Lit, Mediocre Bread into Said Can
At first glance, at least from what we can see of it, the corned beef appears extremely fatty, verging on Fatty Crab levels.  Unlike Fatty Crab, actual meat is present with this fat, so the whole thing is not a complete debacle.  It takes little more than a stab of the fork to recognize that our knives will not be needed, as the beef itself is so tender that it practically melts into the spokes of the fork.
New Campaign Image for "This Is Why You're Fat"
The first bite of the combined beef and cabbage is relatively pleasing, if a bit on the greasy side.  As the meal goes on, however, we find ourselves needing more and more of the sides of sea salt and Dijon mustard in order to make our way through it.
And If a Sprinkling of Salt Is the Highlight of a Dish, Well...
While the taste of it is not bad, it is also not something we would seek out again, especially with the cave-like atmosphere of the bar itself.
May or May Not Be Plastic Silverware
And plus, considering we get subsequently lost in the wilds of Dorcester on our way to the Red Line, we don't think we'll be making our way to South Boston again any time soon.  Especially if it's only in the pursuit of fire and cabbage.

The Franklin Cafe's House-Cured Corned Beef Brisket and Caramelized Cabbage: 3 stars

1 comment:

  1. I found this on TvFoodMaps.. thanks for the review!! I think I'll stick to homemade and pass on this! :)