It was one of those days when I felt that I needed a respite from home cooking so we planned on eating out for dinner. The heavy downpour just before sunset should have been fair warning — stay home! fate seemed to say. But since I like defying fate, we went out nonetheless. After driving around town for a good 20 minutes (traffic was quite heavy), we decided to try a place we’d never been to. The signage said Tiolo: BBQ Steaks Pasta.
We parked, went in, got a table. I took stock of the place. Clean (one point for Tiolo). Well lighted (another point for Tiolo). Food attendant courteous and helpful (three points!)…
And another point for the cute water bottle.
We ordered. Speedy chose tenderloin tips. I’m not a steak gal so I ordered cordon bleu. Plus asparagus soup that we thought we’d share.
I’ll cut through all the crap and say it straight. Overall, the food was bad. Plain bad. The soup was so sweet it might have been dessert.
That’s Speedy’s tenderloin tips above. At least the beef wasn’t tough and chewy.
That’s my cordon bleu.
The breading of the cordon bleu was as thick as the chicken.
Okay, Tiolo is not an expensive fine dining place. And the average diner’s reaction would be “What else can you expect with such cheap prices?” Well, not huge portions, definitely. Not five star quality, for sure.
But I expected food, not reheated mass produced whatever-you-want-to-call-it. Because that was the thing. The soup and the gravy tasted the same because they were made with the same reheated base.
The cordon bleu was also reheated instead of freshly fried. The obvious result — the chicken was so dry and tasteless. And it was seasoned with what — curry powder to give it an attractive yellow hue? Goodness gracious.
Speedy’s mashed potato and my potato salad both had that peculiar texture of having been frozen then thawed. Any decent cook will tell you it isn’t a good idea to freeze cooked potatoes because the water content will ooze out when thawed.
And none of the food had any distinctive flavor — just a mass of forgettable and regrettable blandness.
Which all brings me to the obvious question — is there really a resident cook in Tiolo or do they just have food attendants trained in the art of plating reheated mass produced factory-manufactured food?
Seriously, I wish we had just stayed home and had sandwiches. Although, on second thought, getting out of the house yielded one good thing. We went to a nearby Korean store that we had been spying for a few months and discovered some really wonderful things — cooking ingredients, alcohol and ice cream. At prices lower than supermarket rates. All that, I’ll write about in Feast Asia later.