Thursday, November 19, 2009

The 411 on 501

On Wednesday I ate lunch at 501 Bar and Grill, located at 500 S. Saginaw in downtown Flint. 

I was surprised by how it busy it was when I first walked in. The restaurant was about half full, filled with what looked like a lot of business people. I found a table for myself and the waitress asked for my drink order. 

I ordered a pint of Miller Lite for $3 (certainly not as cheap as Churchill's!). I would have liked to order a mixed drink because of the martini-bar-atmosphere, but I didn't want to pay $7.50 for a drink. 

The waitress also brought out a plate of bread with my drink. The bread was quite tasty. The crust was hard, but had a sweet, buttery flavor to it, and the inside bread was really soft. Each table also had a bottle of olive oil for dipping. I liked that the olive oil was already on the table, because I usually have to ask for it every restaurant I go to. 

I ordered the Chicken Alfredo (pictured left) for $8. I had a choice between whole wheat penne pasta, tri-colored bow tie pasta or gluten free Fusilli. I went with the bow tie pasta. The dish also came with tomatoes, mushrooms, and spinach mixed in. 

I really enjoyed the presentation of this dish. It came in a tall, square bowl and had parmesan cheese sprinkled all over the top. 

I didn't enjoy eating it so much, though. The chicken wasn't cut into bite size pieces, so I had to cut it myself. Normally this would have been fine, but in this case I found it very hard to cut the chicken deep inside of a bowl. The chicken also wasn't very good. Every bite that I took had some kind of chewy or stringy fat. After about five bites I stopped eating it and just worked on the pasta. 

 I wan't very happy with what I ordered. I would have taken Churchill's chicken Alfredo over this. 

However, this isn't stopping me from going back. I really enjoyed the upscale atmosphere. Next time I will just order something different, maybe something without chicken. 

What I probably should have ordered was some tapas, which are small, Spanish appetizers.

Ron Krueger talks about tapas at The Flint Journal's site. He talks about how tapas are becoming a phenomenon in North America and  how Flint residents only need to visit 501 Bar and Grill for the experience. 

Krueger is also advertising the opportunity to try some of his favorite tapas Nov 21 during the annual Art Fair and Boutique at the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Flint. The admission charge is $2. 

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