Thursday, March 5, 2015

Prelude Café Food Review II

Strathmore Cheeseburger

With the exception of the Kennedy Center, I can't think of another theater that offers exceptional food service at its facility. The Music Center at Strathmore does, and better yet... it couldn't be easier to get to, affordable (for the most part) and based on my second dining experience in the past eight months, pretty delicious. Welcome to the Prelude Café.

With a pending snow storm on the horizon, Strathmore was packed last night for Paddy Moloney and the Chieftains. What I love about Strathmore (and what's not the case at the Kennedy Center) is that food is "on the way" to your seat... Seamless integration, if you will. There's plenty of dining room; but 30 minutes before curtain, almost every seat was occupied. That said, I didn't have to wait long at all (less than a minute) to order a Strathmore Cheeseburger (sans cheese) with French fries for a paltry $13. I say paltry, because some entrees start in the 20's... rarified air, even for a foodie like myself.

Why spend more however, when you can get a heaping stack of crisp, tasty fries and a generous burger on an even larger bun? It comes with candied bacon, Muenster cheese & house-made pickles atop an enormous, soft kaiser roll (seriously, the roll is to die for.) Service is super, super-friendly (always is) although I ordered my burger without cheese, and it came with. No worries, as they quickly fixed their mistake. Unfortunately, the second burger arrived WELL-DONE (where as my original order was for MEDIUM.) Normally, this would raise my ire, but the aforementioned exceptional service has a way of soothing out any supposed "rough spots."

Temperature notwithstanding, Strathmore's burgers are juicy and well-flavored. I wasn't keen on the stick of candied bacon, which was difficult to extract (just slip it in with all the other toppings) but everything else on the plate was close to perfect. That includes two house-made pickles that were incredibly juicy... so juicy in fact, they never made it on to my burger, devoured the old-fashioned way... before my first bite.

Love the price, love the food and (best of all) love the atmosphere at Strathmore. They serve terrific lunches during the day at dirt-cheap prices; but they know how to dress-up for company too. Is it any wonder it's my favorite theater in town?

Atmosphere: B+ (Only drawback = It gets very crowded before showtime.)
Burger: B- (Great taste, but WELL-DONE, when I asked for MEDIUM.)
Fries: B+ (Really crispy and flavorful. Not oily at all.)
Service: A- (They treat you like family. Enough said.)
Value: B ($13 is a normally a bit steep for a burger and fries; but try getting something half this good on a pre-theatre menu anywhere else.)
Overall: B (One more reason to visit Strathmore... again and again.)