Friday, November 18, 2011

Pomegranate Bistro

(Visited November 9th and November 11th)

Pomegranate Bistro

One day last week, I was tasked with staying late at work to support some evening activities.  My wife asked me to stop on my way home and pick up something for dinner.

"What would you like?"

"I don't know; why don't you stop for some burgers?"

"Burgers?!"  (She knows how I feel about burgers!)

"Sure, burgers."

"Where would you like me to stop?"

"Oh, I don’t know...McDonalds?"

"McDonalds?  Don't make me stop at McDonalds!"  (She knows how I feel about McDonalds!)

"Well, do you have any other ideas there, Mastermind?"  (I love it when she calls me "Mastermind".)

"I'll think of something."

I started thinking about a conversation I had earlier in the week with Amanda, yet another co-worker, and she had been talking up this Bistro in Redmond called "Pomegranate".  She said they have terrific food, and serve up the best grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup she's ever had.  So, do you know what I was thinking?  Yep, "Gee, I wonder if they offer up any burgers."

Well, as luck would have it, they do.  One.  They offer one burger.  And do you know what?  One is all they need.  It's called the "Painted Hills Beef Burger" and it's served up on a "house onion bun" (one of the very best buns I've had the pleasure to sink my teeth into) "with bacon, mayo and white cheddar".  Lettuce and tomato come separately (some assembly required) and house catsup, russet fries & slaw come on the side. 

I called them up and asked, "Can I get your burger to go?"

"Of course you can, sir."


I was going to call ahead and have my order waiting for me, but I thought, "Hey, I can order a beer to keep me company while I wait for my order!"  And that's just what I did.

When I got there I placed my order (to go), along with a Blue Moon Belgian Ale (to keep me company).  The Belgian Ale came garnished with an orange slice, just the way the nice people at Blue Moon Brewing Co. suggest.  And do you know what?  That's just the way to serve that particular brew!

My order arrived a little after I finished my beer.  I would've preferred it if it would have arrived just as I quaffed my last, but what can I say...I was thirsty.

I had asked that my order be "double bagged" to help keep it warm on the way home, and they were very accommodating.  I hot-footed it home, less than 15 minutes away, and my wife and I sat down to two extremely well crafted burgers.  We were very, very pleased!

So pleased, in fact, that we decided to stop in a couple days later for the sit-down version.  Sadly, our experience didn't get as far as the ordering of the food, let alone the serving and eating of the same.  Let me explain.

We were seated at a "two-top", right between two other "two-tops" with barely room for elbows to extend without touching the extended elbows at the next table.  We could clearly hear what was being said at the next table, so surely they could clearly hear us.  Add to that the fact that my wife's chair had a terrible wobble, and the bench I was sitting on felt like it was at least two inches too high for comfort and we had a situation where no matter what we were served, we were looking at a less than enjoyable dining experience.

We left.

It's unfortunate, really.  The dining experience is more than the food, and more than the service; it's also where you’re sitting and what you're sitting on.  Your comfort, or lack there of, contributes just as much to, or subtracts just as much from your dining experience every bit as much as your taste buds do.

If their burger is any indication of the quality of their food, they offer some very fine victuals indeed.  I really wanted to like this place, but if we don't feel comfortable, we don't feel welcome.  It’s as simple as that.  Perhaps one day, somewhere down the road, we'll give Pomegranate another shot.  When that day comes, the key to our experience might be to ask for a larger table right from the start.

Now, to the ranking...

This is a burger blog, and as such, I don't rank on anything other than the burger.  The only thing I had to rank were the burgers we had "to go", and those burgers were definitely "worth the trip" on my three tier scale of "worth the trip", "worth a stop" or "drive on by".

My suggestion to you is to do your own due diligence; your "sit-down" experience may be totally different from ours.  It should be noted that their parking lot was full both times I was there.

Pomegranate is located at 18005 NE 68th St in Redmond, Washington.  Their phone number is (425) 556-5972 and their website is:

Pomegranate Bistro on Urbanspoon

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