Sunday, November 24, 2013

We Took Our Seats…

at the Maple Street Grille in Florence, OR and Chuck looked around and asked “Do you know what this reminds me of?”
And I knew. This small café had the same feel as the C Street Bistro in Jacksonville, OR. The same sense of warmth and friendly hospitality. And the same warm greeting as you entered; in this case, shouted out by owner Kurt Hargens.

“…The moment you step through the open door, Kurt’s ebullient personality greets you…. Kurt has a 20-year history of working for the international hotel chains, Hilton and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, first in administration and later in food and beverage. He has lived and worked in Hawaii, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Orange County, California.

“Talking with Kurt, it is easy to see that his love of the social aspects of dining, the enjoyment of great food, and the comfort and fun offered in Maple Street’s setting and cuisine are paramount to his success. But opening the Maple Street Grille did not come easily. After he had worked for 15 years as vice president of sales at a company that sold luxury refrigeration and range products, the opportunity Kurt had been waiting for was to emerge from several independent sources. Both Kurt’s mother, Diane, and his good friend, Andy, had separately been looking for potential restaurant locations for Kurt while he was working in Honolulu. Unbeknownst to each other, Diane and Andy selected the same spot—a cozy restaurant in Florence’s Old Towne with an outdoor porch and patio, set back off the street. It was for sale. The timing was perfect—it became the Maple Street Grille!... (Gillian Marks at examiner.com).
The café is small with only twenty table seats indoors plus another six seats at the bar. And the afternoon of our visit, one of those six was occupied by Kurt’s mother. But there are almost an equal number of seats on the front porch and adjoining patio and these would be delightful on a warm Oregon evening while one is nibbling on one of the items on the Happy Hour menu while imbibing in an adult beverage of my choice.
“You will also find a well-stocked bar at the Grille as Kurt shops for both boutique and major brand wines to pair with the menu. He frequently brings in bottles which he asks customers to try because nothing stays on the menu unless customers like it. Should you fancy something stronger, Kurt draws upon his many years in Hawaii and mixes a variety of excellent specially infused martinis” (Gillian Marks at examiner.com).

And given the time Kurt spent in Hawaii, it should not be surprising that on one wall are hung prints depicting tropical scenes.
Nor should it be surprising that the pineapple makes an appearance in the form of small lamps positioned on each table and
the large clear glass jar in the shape of a pineapple that sits on the front porch.
And, while I don’t know if this was Kurt’s intent, the pineapple also is the traditional symbol of hospitality. “In colonial America, hostesses would set a pineapple in the middle of their tables when guests were to come over. The concept of hospitality was a central element in colonial life. The pineapple, then, symbolized the warmest welcome a hostess could extend to her guests, and then it was often served as the dessert” (sweetsouthernprep.com).

And the menu contains hints of our 50th state in the form of the Maui Wowie chopped salad, the skewers and lettuce wraps that are part of the pu-pu platter, and the house made BBQ sauce that has pineapple juice as one of its ingredients.
The short but creative lunch menu contains a number of salads and sandwiches plus the Chef's Daily creations of lettuce wraps, skewers, and flat bread. And there are other daily specials and it was one of these that Chuck ordered for his lunch – the BBQ Beef Brisket Sandwich with apple slaw on a ciabatta roll.
This is brisket the way it is meant to be served – sliced thin and lightly coated with a slightly sweet (from the pineapple) and slightly spicy (from hot sauce) house-made sauce. And if you are wondering if the brisket was smoked on the premises, I can assure you that it was. From my seat in the dining room I had a clear view of the smoker that was set on a small side porch.

But when you top this beautiful and very tender brisket with a crisp and crunchy slaw, it is a texture party. And add to this a nice and crusty roll. We have almost reached sandwich perfection.

Now before I tell you about my selection, I have an admission to make. I don’t like pot roast. Never have. Never will. Or so I thought. So what prompted me to order Kurt’s Killer—the café’s version of a French dip sandwich made with shredded pot roast, brie, and caramelized onions? The truth is the Maple Street Grille is known for its pot roast as is described at activerain.com as “…the best Pot Roast I have ever had in my 55 years. I asked the owner what the best seller was? ‘Pot Roast’ was the answer.”
The combination of the tender beef, (and as I describe it) the slightly musty flavor of the brie, and the sweet caramelized onions was delicious. And, instead of the expected cup of jus, the sandwich came with a cup of delicious gravy in which one could see small shreds of beef. This was not “your mother’s pot roast.” This was pot roast elevated.

Both of us ordered the house made potato salad as our side (Our other choice was the Maui onion chips.) and it was a generous portion that contained some small bits of pickle and a hint of mustard.

We both really enjoyed our lunch at Maple Street Grille and wish we had more days in Florence for a return visit. But that is not to be, so we will have to content ourselves with memories of our 4.5 Addie lunch.

To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.

3 comments:

eyad ammar said...


اهم شركات كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام كذلك معرض اهم شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام والخبر والجبيل والخبر والاحساء والقطيف كذكل شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة وتنظيف بجدة ومكافحة الحشرات بالخبر وكشف تسربات المياه بالجبيل والقطيف والخبر والدمام
شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام

eyad ammar said...


اهم شركات نقل العفش والاثاث بالدمام والخبر والجبيل اولقطيف والاحساء والرياض وجدة ومكة المدينة المنورة والخرج والطائف وخميس مشيط وبجدة افضل شركة نقل عفش بجدة نعرضها مجموعة الفا لنقل العفش بمكة والخرج والقصيم والطائف وتبوك وخميس مشيط ونجران وجيزان وبريدة والمدينة المنورة وينبع افضل شركات نقل الاثاث بالجبيل والطائف وخميس مشيط وبريدة وعنيزو وابها ونجران المدينة وينبع تبوك والقصيم الخرج حفر الباطن والظهران
شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
شركة نقل عفش بالطائف
شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
شركة نقل عفش بجدة
شركة نقل عفش بمكة
شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
شركة نقل عفش بينبع
شركة نقل عفش بالخرج
شركة نقل عفش بالقصيم

eyad ammar said...


شركة نقل عفش بخميس مشيط
شركة نقل عفش بتبوك
شركة نقل عفش بابها
شركة نقل عفش ببريدة
شركة نقل عفش بنجران
شركة نقل عفش بحائل
شركة نقل عفش بالظهران
شركة نقل عفش واثاث
شركة نقل عفش