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thrice all american: Mini-Reviews: Maxwell's and Masa
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Mini-Reviews: Maxwell's and Masa

· Posted Thursday June 26, 2008 by jamie

Over the last week, we dined at Maxwell’s Speakeasy + Lounge on St. Helens and Masa on Sixth, so I thought I’d share some thoughts.

Maxwell’s wowed us big-time. Fun and swanky 1920s-with-a-twist-of-hipness atmosphere and impressively food, which we were excited to hear was locally-sourced. Our foursome chose to order a series of appetizers and small plates, which worked really well. Highlights included the grilled broccoli, which was more the long brassica sort of broccoli than florets, and was sprinkled with delicious crispy sourdough bread crumbs. We were also impressed by the amount of food in the halibut cheeks small plate–excellent deal here! And be sure not to miss the amaretto brownie soufflé on the dessert menu, it is quite excellent. We’ll definitely be returning…I’m excited to check out the weekday “free food” happy hour sometime, which apparently happens from 4-6pm Monday-Thursday.

Masa is only 2 blocks from our house, and they’ve been open for more than two years now, but for some reason it’s the only one of the Sixth Ave “usual suspects” that we’ve never bothered to visit. (Well, ok, I’ve never eaten at Chopstix, but that’s because I don’t have to go there to know that it sucks.) I guess mixed reviews have kept us away, but we were looking to eat outside and decided to forgo our usual walkable-and-outdoor choice of E9 and finally give Masa a try. To start with, the upstairs porch is great on a sunny day, but I am somewhat fascinated by the dynamics of eating there. Apparently they don’t serve their draft beers on the porch (!?), so I opted for a bottled Negra Modelo rather than the preferred draft Dos Equis. And the shot of tequila I ordered came in a clear plastic cup…WTF? But we can get beyond those things… The food itself? Not bad, but also nothing to write home about. My veggie enchiladas were maybe a bit bland, but I will say that I enjoyed the accompanying black beans with cotija cheese, and the jicama slaw was a nice touch as well. I would be interested to see how the experience might be different in the dining room downstairs, but the food quality won’t exactly have me banging down their door for another visit. Maybe during a happy hour sometime…


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  1. Maybe during a happy hour sometime…

    Yep, that’s the ticket. Masa happy hour is one of our favs, even though they recently raised their prices. It’s decent food for a decent price. The best part is that it’s happy hour all freakin’ day on Sundays and Mondays!

    NSHDscott    Jun 26, 05:36 PM    #