On Saturday, a friend & I braved the rain (read: drizzles) and had a girls night out to catch up over one of my favorite activities: eating! Our first stop was Lala’s Argentine Grill on Melrose. The rain wasn’t really an issue to me, but it was still cold either way you look at it. That’s why I was shocked when the hostess asked us if we’d like to sit outside. That was a unanimous no! Sure the patio was screened in & heated but a cool breeze could still be felt in the restaurant. So much so we requested to sit as far away from the patio doors as possible so as not to catch a cold. We were there to eat and it would be highly more enjoyable if we still had feeling in our limbs!
Our server was very pleasant as she was taking our drink and food order. She even asked us if we’d like the chicken skinless which was a good move considering how health conscious everyone is getting these days.
While we waited for our food, the obligatory bread basket was dropped off at our table. They clearly didn’t skimp on bread, as we both had 4 pieces each. The bread was accompanied with a dipping sauce of olive oil, garlic, and cilantro which I thoroughly enjoyed.
After waiting for close to 20 minutes, one of the bussers dropped off my Pechuga de Pollo which is a chicken breast marinated in an orange and lemon sauce. Alongside that was a very large salad with a citrus dressing. It was a rather large portion of a salad. I’m not used to seeing a restaurant serve a portion so big.
This chicken dish looked highly appetizing and of course very healthy at first glance. Sadly, the taste was nothing like it looked. The chicken breast was very dry and bland. Not a trace of orange or citrus could be sensed at all which was a huge disappointment. Thankfully we still had left over dipping sauce from the bread. Slathering the chicken with the dipping sauce completely saved the dish. The salad on the other hand was very tasty, there were no complaints on that end. This dish was literally hit or miss to say the least. The server barley checked on us during the meal. She did offer us dessert but the menu didn’t seem too appetizing to me.
Average menu price: $10
My rating ** out of 5 stars
After a less than scintillating dinner, we decided to head somewhere else to dessert. We ended up at Susina’s.
Susina’s reminded me of Porto’s but on a much smaller scale. I liked the warm colors of the dining area and the bright lamp fixtures. Even during the evening hours, the pastry case was chock full with numerous cakes, tarts, pies, and cookies. The selection was very appealing so it was hard to make a decision! I ultimately decided on the Americano cake and a vanilla latte.
The Americano cake was made of espresso liqueur, chocolate mousse, and chocolate sponge cake. The chocolate taste was rich but the airy sponge cake balanced that very well.
The vanilla latte was a little bit strong for me. It was only a single shot but I felt like it was a double. It could have used a little bit more sugar but it was also refreshing to get a non Starbucks coffee. The latte and the chocolate cake paired very well. After a less than stellar dinner, it was nice to end the evening on such a good note. The bakery stayed pretty busy as the night went on, a good sign.
Average menu price $8.00
My rating **** out of 5 stars