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Friday, September 14, 2012

Pierogies for Dessert at Maruso

I think I am going to stop trying new places when I invite friends out to dinner. Especially a place like Maruso, that had so much promise from their website. 

I loved the concept, street food brought inside, and a mish-mash of cultures all on one menu. So, I suggested it for a pre-show outing we were planning with another couple. We previewed the menu online and saw plenty of things that all of us would enjoy. I thought it was a perfect night out.

When we arrived, there were very few people in the restaurant. It was early, so no panic ensued. My husband arrived, and we were waiting for another couple, so we ordered cocktails and a couple appetizers off the happy hour menu. Ray had been anxious to try the XXX Bubble Tea they have on the specialty cocktail menu. When he ordered, our server said, "OK, but it's going to take awhile, those are hard to make." That should have been our first sign of things to come. I ordered a raspberry mojito, which apparently took the same amount of time.

The other couple joined us before our drinks came. Strangely, the "Angry Eggs" appetizer we ordered came before our cocktails (apparently he wasn't exaggerating the amount of time required for the preparation of the bubble tea). We did enjoy the Angry Eggs, which are wasabi infused deviled eggs with a piece of bacon on top (although we all agreed they could have been more aggressive with the wasabi). We had also ordered  some "bar nuts" which were supposed to be some crispy seasoned chick peas, they had yet to arrive.

Our drinks finally came, and our guests ordered theirs, and we ordered some dinner (which included pierogies, ordered by our friends, this will come into play later). Now, let's talk about bubble tea. The "bubbles", in my experience, are normally like large tapioca, and do have some flavor. These were like small balls of rubber, and had no flavor whatsoever. If you had too much to drink, you could easily choke on one! My husband wasn't even interested in drinking the liquid portion of this cocktail, which, at $8.00 a pop, says something about the quality of it. And we were still waiting on the bar nuts, which I requested a second time.

We were enjoying our conversation, and the other cocktails. One of my friends asked for a second glass of wine, and the server brought the bottle to the table and refilled her glass. I thought this was strange, I have never seen this practice before. But, assuming this to be a more "edgy" place, I just went with it. Dinner arrives, before the pierogi appetizer...strange. We figure it is lost in the same place as our bar nuts.

Dinner was, meh. Both of my friends ordered the Grinder, which is basically a Philly Cheese Steak. It was nothing special, and underseasoned. And, we had no condiments of any kind on our table. My husband had a grilled steak salad, that came "deconstructed". I normally like this kind of thing, but he had an entire head of Romaine lettuce on the side of his plate, barely grilled just sitting there. The steak was nicely grilled, and the rest of the salad was interesting, but this large, uncut piece of lettuce on the plate made it quite difficult to eat.

I ordered the noodle bowl, which was pho, actually (not sure why they didn't just call it that). The server informed me it was best to put the side condiments in with the soup, it was much better that way. Of course it should be ! I think I had the best dish of the table, the broth was tasty, the noodles were cooked perfectly, and they have a house made soy sauce that is excellent. As we were finishing up our meals, the pierogies arrived. Maybe they are considered to be a dessert in some other cultures ? They were quite heavy and greasy, and we were already done eating, so I am not sure what the reasoning was behind bringing them at this point. They were wasted, no one wanted them.

We were headed to a show after dinner, and still had plenty of time.We would have probably stayed for a couple of cocktails, but we never saw the server again. That, and we had no interest in staying, with the slow and inattentive service, and really poor cocktails and food we received. We literally had to grab him as he ran by to get our check.

So this is my lesson: never take your friends with you to a new place, you should always "preview" it first, and you too, can avoid pierogies for dessert. 


  1. We never did see the "Bar Nuts." I hope you were not charged for them.

  2. You know, we were in such a hurry to just get out, I don't think we checked !