15 April 2007

local 188

dining date: 04.15.07
eatery: local 188 in longfellow square
web: local 188
pricing category: not cheap but not expensive either.
guest critic: annanna pants
overall grade: B

the lowdown:
- good location, which doesn't really matter anymore because they're in the process of moving
- funky, eclectic atmosphere
- note that this restaurant has a "spanish flare"…keep that in mind when you're deciding whether or not to give this place a shot
- local 188 also serves dinner

the food

the benny girl

- huevos rancheros, homies, and tea
- grade: B
"when we first arrived at this funky little restaurant, there were signs everywhere saying that the restaurant was closing for business that day. we were very grateful that we chose that day to go – imagine if we'd missed our chance to review it! but then we kept reading the sign, and it said that the restaurant was only closing for a month because it was moving locations. suddenly the day didn't feel quite as special anymore. so there's nothing on the 188 menu that resembles a benedict. in fact, the menu is pretty limited. so i decided to be adventurous and order the huevos rancheros. beans, cheese, fried eggs, and salsa on top of corn tortillas, with a side of homies. they were pretty good, although i remembered after the first bite that i don't love corn tortillas…so that tainted my meal a bit. not that it's 188's fault that i don't like corn tortillas, but i definitely enjoyed my meal less because of it. anyway…so the meal was really good – a little too spicy for my liking, but good. i'm sort of a "delicate little flower" when it comes to my tummy, and the spiciness was a little much for my first meal of the day. the homies were well-cooked, but again a little too spicy. if they toned the spice down a bit, the meal would have been great. but i'm sure those of you less wussy people with iron stomachs will really enjoy it. so the food was really good, but the service was not. i mean, it wasn't awful by any means – she was just really unattentive. the other server working there that day did more for us than our server did. and the one cool thing about local 188 is that they bring you a little plate of fruit and muffin pieces before your meal…our server forgot to do this, and actually, this was my second time going to 188 in a week, and the service was pretty bad both times. (take note: if you ever decide to order one pancake to accompany your meal, make sure you specify that you want it with your other food. otherwise, you might get it as an appetizer while you wait 25 minutes for the rest of your meal. don't ask.) here are a couple of other things to note about 188: great atmosphere, cool art, and an open kitchen you can sit in front of. a plus. no bacon or sides of any kind on the menu. a minus. great location on longfellow square. neither plus nor minus because they're moving. thus, a moot point. the food was all really salty. another minus. they make creative "pancakes of the day" the size of your head. another plus. so if you like food with "kick," you don't care about good service, and you enjoy eclectic d├ęcor, then check out local 188 when it reopens. otherwise, stick to longfellow square and just go to uffa! – guaranteed to be great! oh, and the tea experience was mediocre."
the usual- two eggs over-hard, homies, english muffin, and coffee
- grade: B

"a parade of ecstatic reviews flew through my head as i trudged through the rain to this well-beloved eatery: "ooh, 188 is the best…it's so delicious…blah blah, etc…." so i was excited, despite the weather. after grabbing a nice large table, we noticed the signs proclaiming their last day in this location. they're moving from their cozy spot, nestled between uffa! and cunningham books – interesting. anyway…i wasn't in the mood for anything wild and crazy this morning, so the usual it was – with english muffin instead of toast. our food arrived fairly quickly, but in the meantime we were left hanging as we stared into the deep abyss of our empty coffee cups. our server hung back in a corner as I glowered into the caffeine-free existence of my mug. long minutes passed before our cups were refilled – not by our waitress, mind you – but by another who happened to notice our predicament. also, i'd like to note that the coffee itself wasn't even really worth the wait. at one time, it may have been a decent cup – but by the time it hit my tongue, it was pretty sub-par for an establishment like this. so the food arrived and looked tasty. i bit into my english muffin with high hopes – only to be brought back to earth as the lovely flavor of bready nooks and crannies was over-powered by salt. closer examination confirmed my fears – large crystals of salt topped both halves. who does that? if someone really wants an extremely salty english muffin for breakfast, i think they would ask for one. intense. i turned my attention to my eggs, only to find the same situation repeating itself. after bite #2, it was difficult to continue as my mouth was filled with salt, salt, salt. had something gone tragically wrong in the kitchen? did the top fall off the shaker? did the cook have a strange immunity to extreme salting? i guess we will never know. i'd like to think it was a fluke, as i'd never heard of this problem before. i attempted to alter the salty powers by adding pepper, only to find my efforts thwarted by a clogged shaker. huff. oh well. the homefries were the shining stars of the meal, as they were not exceedingly salted. They were well-seasoned and thoroughly cooked without being mushy. so good job on that one 188. overall, i wouldn't be adverse to trying this place again in their new set-up. Perhaps there was just something in the air on this particular day. maybe salt."

wild toast
- 2 eggs over easy, homies, toast and coffee
- grade: B-

"i ran naked through the rain in hopes of rehydrating my parched bodice. let me explain. i went into this meal with high expectations. was i satisfied? was i enthralled? these are just two of the myriad of questions my lovely fans must be asking themselves. would local 188 with its charm and chivalry live up to its neighbor uffa! or would it crumble by the wayside, or should i mumble err...bintliff's. seated at a retro, chrysler of a table, i squeezed my knees into the awkward-legged giant table. with coffee that was maybe a little burned we ordered our meals. my eggs and friends arrived while my neglected mug of coffee sat empty and sad. oh what a mournful state for a mug, its aspirations so high, then to fall to such lows as the depth of emptiness. burn. infrequent refills. not cool. my homemade english muffin was probably the best part of the meal. with sprinkled salt of the sea glimmering back at me, this bready circle was toast-tasty. moving on to the eggs, i could have sworn i entered the morton's salt factory storeroom feeling as though i had willingly opened my mouth to the depths of the saltlake. i was a slug in salt, a plant shrivelled by an overdose of sodium. white sodium mountains raged my mind. a cold sweat broke out and death was at my door. holy crap guys, seriously contain your salt-spewing hankerings. tramatized, the 70% water of my body soon became parched and a cracked earth took over my soul. did i mention my eggs were salty? my homies were a little better, but i think i blacked out from my sodium overdose or something. the service wasn't very good either. overall i was really not impressed. what are you gonna do?

ananna pants
- scrambled eggs with mushrooms, spinach and goat cheese
- grade: A-
"after a failed attempt at another restaurant on a rainy sunday morning, it was wonderful to walk into local 188 and sit down right away. i was surprised to find that it was the last breakfast that they were serving in that location (the restaurant will be reopening at a congress street location in the summer). i am so glad that i had a chance to go one more time before they close. i love the atmosphere, or perhaps decor, of the place. it doesn't feel really breakfast-y but i really like the brick walls and the somewhat intense artwork. they have mis-matched chairs and tables and various dishes that seem like they came from a flea market. i guess none of this matters because the restaurant is no longer there, but if it were i would highly recommend it. i must admit that, although i can be picky about certain things, i am not usually a harsh food critic. i don't go out to breakfast very frequently so it is a delightful treat when i do. and this one definitely was. i admit that coincidentally i had been to local 188 the week before and had one of those meals that was unexpectedly perfect. because it was so good last time, i ordered the same thing --scrambled eggs with spinach mushrooms and goat cheese. this came with home fries and toast. it was just as good the second time. so delicious. the toast seemed to have been salted, which was a bit strange, but like i said in this case i'm not too critical and i can over look the saltiness ( i usually don't like really salty things) because over all the meal was just about perfect, again. aside from the ever troublesome dividing of the bill the only other thing that was disappointing was that when i went the week before the server brought a small dish of fruit and pieces of muffin and i really loved having a breakfast appetizer. for some reason they didn't do that this week. alas. and alas, what could have been my new favorite breakfast place (as long as they had my scramble and the mystery of finding out what the pancake of the day was) will never be, at least until they open again."


The Breakfast Club said...

Hey everyone! Just wanted to make sure it's clear that this review is about the original Local 188 (the one that was in Longfellow Square), NOT the current location on Congress. Hopefully we'll have a chance to review the new Local 188 at some point though!

Anonymous said...

I loved going to local 188 for Sunday brunch, but the menu changed in the past few months and somehow is not as good and less than delicious. The bloody mary's still rule as a Sunday wake up call.