Sunday, December 16, 2007

Oh no, it's Palermo

After yesterday's bit about Latin restaurants, I should also note that a recent visit to Palermo Viejo in Louisville was a disaster.

It took nearly fifteen minutes for anyone to even notice that we were there (seated in the very front window, no less!) while several employees stood around doing nothing but chatting and giggling. There was a party of five at another table, but aside from them and us, the entire place was empty.

I asked the waitress for a Caipirinha and she looked puzzled and said "I don't think we know how to make one of those, but I'm sure we can come up with something" and turned to leave. I had to stop her and say "uh, no, thanks anyway". So a mojito was ordered (and it wasn't very good).

I ordered the New York Strip and instructed it to be very well done. One of my biggest pet peeves in the universe is when people who are in the business of selling steak don't know what "very well done" means. As a public service, I provide it here for your edification:

Very Rare Steak – copiously bloody in the center, lightly warmed.

Rare Steak – very bloody, red in the center, warm throughout

Medium-Rare Steak – some blood, pinkish-red in the center, fairly hot

Medium Steak – moist, pink in the center, grayish-brown surrounding, hot throughout

Medium-Well Steak – less moist, grayish-brown center, barely a trace of pink

Well-Done Steak – dry, gray center

Believe it or not, my "very well done" steak was brought to me rare and swimming in a huge pool of blood. If I wanted to drink fresh blood, I'd go back to the days when I used to meet self-deluded vampire-wannabe goth chicks online. The steak had to be sent back three more times, I kid you not. The steak still wasn't fully well done when I gave up on it, and was only as done as it was because I'd made so many cuts on it to test its doneness each time!

The punchline is this: after royally fucking up our dinner by being unable or unwilling to follow even the simplest of culinary directions, the manager made this token gesture to make up for it: they knocked $4.00 off the bill. Wow. What a sport.

To be fair, I've eaten at Palermo Viejo twice before and it was better, but that was almost three years ago. With all the superior choices now available to Louisvillians, this place needs to shape up or give up.

- - JSH

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