The Western Co. redux

IMG_20170121_134754_HDR.jpgThe first time I actually noticed or heard about this shop was due to the social firestorm recently. So in a way being infamous also drew its crowd! Anyway, a couple months ago, I saw on FB that new owners had taken over, so I decided have a visit and see what’s all those cheeses is about. I had make two visit, mainly because I can only eat so many things at one time!

Luckily for me, the Saturday early lunch crowd was not too bad. I really think that most hipster food are really not worth it to queue up for lunch or dinner. Not because the food is not worth it, its the queue and squealing girls in the queue.

 

The place is open sitting and blasted by huge fans, but it doesn’t stop your shirts from getting all those oily smells, but this happens everywhere. 

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Being the newbie, I ordered the beef burger with raclette cheese. Now if you read all those fancy food blog rushing to throw you into the next fad and hipster cafe, you will think that raclette cheese is a heavenly cheese worth waiting and paying for…. except most of the blogs totally forgot to tell about the smell. I read up about the cheese and some have described it as smelly socks! Indeed, raclette cheese smelled really strong and stinky. Now this is not a bad thing for cheese, just like how I love stinky tofu. For me, it smelled 2 times more than stinky tofu and the smell is sharper! For cheese lovers, this may be heavenly, but this is just to set your expectation that the smell may not be for everyone. For me, it was just “meh”, as in, okay I had raclette cheese. Its a unique cheese for sure, but not sometime I would clamor for.

Back to the beef burger, unlike most beef patties, theirs was much more springy and has a nice bite and I loved their shoestring fries. Honestly speaking, I don’t feel that the cheese complimented the burger, the smell and taste of the cheese just overwhelms the burger. In fact, I ate the cheese and the burger separately instead. Overall, this is not too bad, the beef burger by itself is pretty good with the cheese.

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I went back a second time because I wanted to try the other cheese they had to offer, the cheese wheel pasta. That is, the hot pasta is tossed into a cheese wheel. I have to say that i preferred this one to the raclette. It pasta with the cheese was creamy, nutty and full flavored and it stood up well in the pasta. I had a saffron-infused pasta dish, but honestly felt that this did not do justice to the saffron. It didn’t matter if the saffron was there or not, the cheese just took over. So it really not worth that extra money for a non-existent taste.

The second gripe was the use of turkey bacon, to me, it just a scam. I understand why they may have used it;  to attract non-pork eating folks.. But are they getting those crowds too? And there are other non-pork dishes available. Bacon should just be bacon, turkey bacon is just a salty piece of cardboard that lack aroma, texture and taste that bacon has and it doesn’t help to uplift the pasta dish. They just sit there, by themselves, minding their own business until you chew on them.

The pasta dish was sized just right for one person; for me I struggle a bit at the end as there just way too much creamy cheese I could take a one sitting. lolz

Overall, I find the prices reasonable and food is not bad and worth eating as long as I don’t need to queue up. Service was great both times I was there. However, there are hits and misses while trying to please different crowds and trying to hipster at the same time, just like those truffle everything cafe food.

Now the biggest problem I have at the moment is the wait time. It took me 30 mins for the beef burger and I think 40 mins for my pasta. When I was there a second time, there was only 4 tables and it looked like they had already made their orders. I made my orders, sat down and waited. The other 4 tables only started to get their food about 30 mins later! What are the chefs doing back in the kitchen? How long do you need to make pasta, or deep fry a fish or a beef burger? The new owners really need to whip the kitchen staff into shape; food should be continuously served, not in a banquet style every 30 mins or so!

 

https://www.facebook.com/thewesternco/

 

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