Thursday, May 10, 2007

My favorite South End Gem - Delux

Many years ago I lived down the street from the most outwardly non-descript bar/restaurant called Delux. For months I thought it was a laundramat. Then I went in and discovered really really good food and cheap drinks. And an eclectic mix of patrons, from the old couple who lived next door to me, to bike messengers, and crazy punk rock gay hairdressers.

Years later, I find excuses to go back to the old neighborhood and take people with me, to experience the food and drink. And the decor. You can't be adverse to an Elvis shrine, bathroom walls covered in graffiti, and posters of Eloise. It's kitschy and somewhat divey without a whole lot of seating, but in the sea of change the neighborhood has gone through with high priced restaurants on every corner, this is really a gem.

Perfect example of the prices: The most expensive menu item is $12.95. Dinner for 4 and a shared dessert this evening? $45. We had bean and cheese quesadilla, it's written in small font at the bottom of the menu, not sure why, cause they are goooooooooood. 2 people got the grilled cheese special, 4 cheeses, beefsteak tomato, on thick cut bread with a side of tomato basil soup (one asked for a substitute and got a green salad and coleslaw that wasn't thick and mayo filled and smelled amazing!). I opted for the cajun crusted tilapia (perfectly cooked and not overly loaded with the cajun flavor) with coconut risotto (slightly sweet) and a papaya salsa which lent a nice balance to the cajun and coconut. Dessert was a strawberry banana tiramisu with butterscoth drizzle. We all agreed the butterscoth was a bit much, and it would've been better without it. But the fruit was fresh and the cake light.
The menu changes every 6 weeks, and there are daily appetizer, dessert, and 2 entree specials.
Drinks are also inexpensive, I usually opt for mixed drinks and think they run around $5.

2/10/08 - Updated since the chef changed. The new chef is Chris Cronin, I believe of Davio's fame.
The food has definitely lost some of its goodness. I don't remember the old chef's name, but I wish I did. Because I need to go whereever he has gone.
Last night dinner for 2 with one drink and one quesadilla ran us $43. A far cry from the first entry.
I've been twice since the chef change, once in November and once last night. The menu seems to have remained mostly the same.
Portions are slowly shrinking, my pumpkin ravioli last night was 7 teaspoon sized ravioli. Tasty, but not filling and with the $14 price tag entirely too reminiscent of the typical South End restaurants. The lamb pappardelle also very small portions and not hearty like you would expect. Steak tacos came with a regular salsa, no cheese and would have been bland had we not saved the apple salsa from the quesadilla.
The inventiveness that the menu had is gone, as are the low prices, all that now remains is cheap beer, the kitschy surroundings and one distracted waitress - not knocking last night's waitress in particular, the one I had in November left us waiting 20 min for a Guinness. And we were the only people in the bar!
I'm sad by the changes in the kitchen here, hopefully Chris will get his bearings and go back to what many used to love about this place.

So if you find yourself in the South End, head on over for a drink or two, and give the food a try. They are open M- Sa from 5:30 - 1 am. But they are cash only, so don't go without that.
Delux is on the corner of Chandler and Clarendon (100 Chandler Street)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was the grilled cheese girl...all i gotta say is mmmm mmm mmm. and Cheap! -- BVE