Friday, March 27, 2015

King Street Blues Food Review

Elwood Smoker with Cole Slaw and Housemade Potato Chips

I've always had a soft spot in my heart for King Street Blues, which provided countless good times way back when I used to work in Old Town Alexandria. They also have an underground location in Crystal City, which I visited for this review. The difference between the two (at least in terms of atmosphere) is night and day; but with the exception of a greasy, inevitably inedible Onion Tangle, the food remains as good as ever.

Make no mistake: Crystal City doesn't hold a candle to Old Town in terms of character and ambiance. This starts with a grumpy host (name withheld) who left his station unattended for almost three minutes, before begrudgingly escorting me to a table less than five feet away. Thankfully my server went above and beyond to make up for my lackluster seating. He began by apologizing for not noticing me straight away (even though it was less than a minute.) I told him I was in a bit of a rush; so he took my entire order... Hush Puppies ($5.99) a half-order of KSB Onion Tangle and an Elwood Smoker ($8.49 with Housemade Potato Chips.) Free water, and I was all set to go.

Hush Puppies

Service was fast; and within minutes, I was feasting on a hot plate of hush puppies. These bad boys were perfectly fried, scrumptious and not the least bit greasy. In fact, they were so good, I never once had to dip them in their accompanying remoulade sauce. That's Good with a capital G: Even good enough to justify costing an extra dollar above their $4.99 listed price on KSB's website... one of my pet peeves.

Sadly, the same couldn't be said for the Onion Tangle. Yes, it was sliced thin (as advertised) breaded and piled high; but it was so greasy (both in appearance and taste) I couldn't stomach more than two strands. Yuck (with a capital Y.) Thankfully, my server agreed and had them taken off the bill (no questions asked.) Great service!

KSB Onion Tangle

I didn't have long to wait for my Smoker sandwich; but long enough to notice a vibrant Happy Hour crowd in full "Friday mode" on a Wednesday afternoon. The walls were flashy and fun (great colors) but the floors were sticky (I'm guessing the host didn't notice that either.)

My sandwich was simple, yet well-executed. It was served on a soft kaiser roll (I prefer toasted) with a sufficient amount of tangy, house-smoked pulled pork barbecue. The cole slaw (served in a tiny condiment cup) was to die for, but I longed for more. Chips were plentiful (fries are available too, for an additional $.99) and somehow chewy & crispy at the same time. Nice.

Cool decor

All in all, a good meal. The host was terrible, as was the Onion Tangle but my server (Tim?) couldn't have been nicer, and the rest of the food was close to top notch. I think I'll stick to Olde Towne next time... After all, half the fun is in the atmosphere. I'll be sure to order some more Hush Puppies (with a capital H!)