I went to Serpas for drinks the second day it opened, but ate no food then since it was already post dinner time and still too early in the restaurant's life to get a fair assessment of the food. The one thing I noticed was that the chairs were just like the metal ones that Floataway used to have. The kind that chill me to the bone. Post renovation, Floataway's chairs have cushions or at least you can request them, but I never forgot that cold down under feeling. I made a note to self to come back to Serpas with a jacket in tow for use as my own seat cushion. But just like my many other notes, they fail. I came back and had nothing of the sort...
Chilled butt aside, somethings are simply too cute to resist, like pig n' blanket. Perfectly portioned for snacking, they come out dangerously hot on an adorable miniature skillet. I say dangerous because we couldn't resist popping them into our eager mouths right away. Burn may be unavoidable, but the taste is superb. In particular, the chunks of chorizo are very nicely spiced and not too salty, which is often my problem with eating them alone. The puff blanket further tamed the salty spicy combo of the chorizo with a dose of starchy sweetness. I loved the slight chew of the dough. A very good bar snack.
Girlfriend J picked out the duck rolls. I didn't know what to expect. It could have turned out to be one of those tired Asian fusion dishes or it could be something totally interesting. Well, it actually turned out to be something in between the two. Like a well-made Chinese spring roll, the skin was thin, very crispy, and not too greasy. I heard some online complaints about the small amount of duck inside, but I like the abundance of veggies as that is how a Chinese spring roll is constructed, it is supposed to taste fresh and, well, springy. The duck was seasoned well and tender. It did have distinctive sweetness, but not unpleasantly so. I enjoyed my pieces and didn't feel too oiled up. Again, another great bar snack.
As we were only snacking, we refrained from mains, but moved on to dessert. We asked for some suggestions and were told that a critic was there the night before and claimed that the lemon poppy seed cake the best thing on the menu... What is a girl to do after hearing such endorsement? She orders it. I can definitely tell you that this is not the best thing on the menu. I am not saying that it's bad, it tastes the way it looks, simple and straight forwardly lemony. But when the expectation is built so high, one can't help but feel just a little let down... The ice cream was pistachio, one of my favorite flavors in the world of ice cream. This one was fine, but not among the best I've had. For one thing, the raw pistachios had gone soft from immersion in the cream, maybe they could have benefited from a bit of toasting and salting. All in all, this is an adequate dessert, just not the "best" thing.
After seeing that we didn't finish the dessert, the barman took it off our bill without being asked. We were grateful, but felt guilty thinking that we had shown dislike without meaning to. I explained to him that we really thought it was fine, but he was insistent that we not pay for it. So you see, at Serpas, they do really care about the food. Maybe that's what true food in the name means.
I plan to go back for that good looking burger I saw passing me by.
Serpas True Food
659 Auburn Ave. #501