Oh my dear, dear giddy aunt. “Let’s Kill Hitler” is a mad, impossible, brilliant, heartbreaking, hilarious spoiler of an episode. As usual with Moffat, it’s flawed, but show-stopping. Spoilers under the cut – because, after all, “You’ve got a time machine. I’ve got a gun. What the hell! Let’s kill Hitler.”
Don’t worry, countrymen, nothing bad is going to happen to any of the protagonists in this episode, or any episode following it, because, well… maybe something bad is going to happen to them, but we won’t see it, because from now on, this show is about THE ADVENTURES OF THE MOST AWESOME SONTARAN-TURNED NURSE EVER! Joining the cast will be the Silurian detective who eats people, along with her girlfriend,
and the old, fat, blue guy.
Hilarity ensues! Only problem is, we’re not sure what to call it. (We’re thinking about War Nurse.) But rest assured, fellahs, you will never have to see any more of the bothersome woes of the fellow they call the Doctor or his tiresome friends. Ever. Trust me on this.
Marché is a rather fancy and sophisticated restaurant in Eugene, at the 5th Street area/one of the Areas Of Deliciousness. The polar opposite of the bus-your-own-table, get-your-own-tepid-water establishments, it’s one of those restaurants that you dress up for. That you must make reservations for. That, in essence, the preparation is never fun at. However, the food is often quite delicious. Unfortunately, it’s often made fun of for the rather pompous, dim lighting, high prices, “THIS FOOD IS OUT OF YOUR LEAGUE, COMMONER” attitude of the restaurant. Yesterday, I decided to give it a try,
Yesterday, as you may know, was the Chef’s Night Out event. I love this event. This event is brilliant. But, because online prices for tickets were higher than at-the-door prices, we decided to bargain coming and buying the tickets at the door, and if we couldn’t get them, Fate didn’t want us to. Well, Fate didn’t want us to. The tickets were sold out. So instead, we decided to go to Marché. And it was a good decision.
We didn’t have to make a reservation, because everyone was at the Chef’s Night Out, which was rather handy. We were seated right away, and ordered the crab cakes, the foie gras duo, a blood orange soda, a beet salad, bouillabaisse, and chicken. The wait was pretty long, for a not-so-packed house, but that was okay, because Dad and I talked about the new season of Doctor Who. (In summation: SQUEE!!!11!!.)
The crab cakes and foie gras duo came, but we ate them too fast to take pictures. (sorry!) The crab cakes were delicious, a good blend of breadcrumbs, spices, and crab, but a little bit heavy. They came with a mustard which went well with the cakes, and a little salad which helped cut the heaviness. Of course, the foie gras was heavier. A lot heavier. Dad at least admitted that he only ordered it for the controversy and that sort of ‘try it before it’s banned’ idea. I didn’t like the non-cooked one, which tasted like butter, except creamier and more filling. Why not just eat a stick of butter? (It’s probably healthier, too!) The cooked one tasted meatier, and was good, but any pan-fried meat would be the same.
The beet salad with toasted hazelnut goat cheese arrived, and it was quite, quite delicious. Note to self, always put hazelnuts in goat cheese. Again, it was very rich, but worth it. The beets were quite good too. The lettuce was a bit extraneous, and the vinaigrette was very light, so it wasn’t very noticeable. It would probably taste just as good without the lettuce.
Even later (after more collective squeeing) the bouillabaisse and chicken came. I ate my chicken too fast to take a picture, but it was very, very scrumptious, et cetera, as usual. Buttery (but not too buttery) and just old-fashioned yum, it came with another rich sauce and some herb dumplings. It was basically really, really good chicken and dumplings. For fancy people.
I didn’t have much of the bouillabaisse, but Dad liked it. He didn’t, however, like the portion size. Rather unfair for the price ($28-ish).
Afterward, naturally, we had dessert. The best thing about Marché, in my opinion, is the desserts. We had apple-rhubarb crisp and chocolate cake with mint ice cream.
We had to take the picture, but I wanted to eat:
And it was for good reason, because the desserts were as fantastic as they looked. (Which is better than what it looks like here, darn phone camera quality) The chocolate was nothing interesting, but a very solidly delicious chocolate cake. Same went for the rhubarb-apple crisp. Just tasted great, and there didn’t have to be any kumquat-balsamic-bacon syrup on top (not that I don’t like that approach sometimes, but other times it’s nice to have delicious and simple).
In conclusion, Marché is a delicious, et cetera restaurant, though sometimes a bit too rich for our palates (and budgets). Just like when I was younger, the desserts are my favorite part for their simple, solid deliciousness.
Firstly: SEASON SIX OF DOCTOR WHO IS COMING, PEOPLE! And I have a countdown clock, because I love it so:
Oh, and, in case my intrepid viewers have not seen it, the trailer:
Right then, on to literary things. A Tale Of Two Cities, right? I have just finished reading the literary sensation that swept the globe, er, a while ago…and probably other planets, too. Anyway, if the inhabitants of Gallifrey were to have traveled around, picked up the book, and traveled back home before that big war thing, they would have noticed in one of the characters an uncanny resemblance to their own
friend enemy frenemy, Il Doctore. (I get tired of writing that name, all right? It’s either that, the Doc (which we know he objects to), or “our medical student”, which is: a. inaccurate (907, I think he’s not a student anymore) and b. kind of creepy, because it’s a term the Master uses)
Mio Sushi, another restaurant in the Oakway Center, isn’t particularly new. I just haven’t bothered to go there yet. Well, now I have, and it’s not particularly interesting. The ambiance seems like it’s trying too hard to be clean and modern. It just comes off boring and half-finished. The chairs are swively, most everything is white, but the bar table is wooden and the ceiling has lots of visible pipes. But– the food, right?
To our surprise, there was a rotating sushi bar. I love those, so we decided to sit there. We grabbed several California rolls, California rolls with some spicy stuff, and shrimp rolls. They were good, better than Sushi Domo’s California rolls to me. Not exciting, but good. I liked the spicy goop, but it was quite spicy, and sometimes there was too much. We also ordered the Tempura platter. We’d heard people rave about how great the tempura was, but it was really heavy. It was really just too much. Maybe I just don’t like tempura, but it certainly wasn’t light or airy, or anything close to the perfection of a good fry. Hmph.
The ‘Wich House is a small, quirky sandwich and soup shop. We went there for lunch, and were pleasantly surprised. I liked the ambiance, quirky, but not bus-your-own-table, pour-your-own-water-’cause-we’re-lazy hipster quirky. Everything was just right for a low-key lunch spot. The sandwiched boast home-baked bread and home-cured meat. I got the poached pear sandwich (poached pear, brie, lettuce), and Dad got the ahi tuna sandwich with Oktoberfest soup, which seemed to consist of sausage, beer (lots!), and cabbage. The poached pear sandwich was very good, with the sweet pear matching nicely with the brie. However, the home-baked bread simply wasn’t that great. It was sweet, soft, and boring. Really, it added nothing. It was kinda sad, with all the great bread there is in this area. The Oktoberfest soup was good, but just not my kinda thing. I’d go to the ‘Wich House again for a light lunch.
However, the menu stated that they had desserts, but no, not anymore. When Voodoo Doughnut (silly spelling, I like my “doughnuts” with no ugh) opened, they stopped making their desserts. So we headed off to the new(ish) Voodoo Doughnut just a few steps away. The storefront was flashy and trendy all the way (as was the inside) but small.
We got the Oreo and peanut butter donut, the Froot Loop donut, and the chocolate cake donut. Worst things first, the Froot Loops on the donut were stale and completely forgettable. Stale cereal and vanilla icing do not a good donut make. The oreo and peanut butter was better, but nothing really special. The chocolate cake donut wasn’t special either, but it was quite good. It was a great basic donut. Still, if you’re here for a good donut, get a basic one. If you’re here for a wacky donut, you’ll like it, but it really won’t be that good. Another sadly resounding ‘meh’ here.
Osteria Sfizio, at the Oakway Center, the second largest Awesome Attractor (bookstore + ice cream + Trader Joe’s) in Eugene, is a new expensive-looking Italian restaurant. The garage makes it look a bit less fancy, and it looks kinda tiny from the outside, but when you get in…well, it’s posher on the inside. The bar (that is not a bar) employs a brilliant idea and lets you watch the chefs cook, as both incentive for the chefs to do a better job and for entertainment. When we got in, we were originally planning on just coming for small plates, but after having to wait an hour we decided to have dinner. We sat at the bar (that is not a bar) and were offered sparkling or still water. After choosing sparkling, the bar (that is not a bar) tender gave us an iced pitcher, a hallmark of fancy italian restaurants just like the lukewarm, pour-your-own water of hipster/cheap/bad restaurants. (The difference? This water is colder. Also, you have to walk over to the hipster water.) After ordering the chef’s choice antipasti, the matsutake mushroom pasta, the steak, chickpeas and carrots, we, er, waited. And waited. Thor was annoying. And waited. The chefs were interesting. And waited. Dad and I had a discussion about how the bar can be not a bar. And…okay, the antipasto was here.
It had super-fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and basil, amazing roasted peppers, almost caramelized but not burnt, some good but basic calamari, and simply okay melon and prosciutto bits. It was delicious but $8 per person — why? Even I, The Great Price-Glancer, the Honorable Bill-Averter, balked a little at that.
Then we waited and Thor wanted to play outside, so he did. We waited, things happened, waitresses apologized. Then there was pasta. The mushrooms were good, but it was a bit peppery (maybe due to the black pepper pasta, silly girl?). Still, yummy.
Then we waited and Thor wanted to play outside again. So he did. When the meat got there, the waitress copiously apologized. The meat was what I would call “a manly meal”, heavy and savory and delicious, the meatiest meat. Unfortunately, Thor got too annoying, and we had to leave early. The waitress was very nice and apologized again, gave us some donuts to bribe us. It worked well.
So I went back, this time with no Thor. We were seated in a regular table, just before the reserved room. The only other special thing about this area was the…giant moose head hanging on the wall right above us. It was quite a standout in this modern, fancy, glossy place.
And not a good standout either. We ordered the watermelon and tomato salad, the olive platter, the mussels, the breadcrumb-sausage pasta. Aaaand then we waited. Not as long of a time this time, though. Soon enough, the watermelon-tomato salad and the olive platter arrived.
The watermelon and tomato salad really…wasn’t very good. The tomatoes and the watermelon were good quality, I usually love this mix of flavors, but…something just wasn’t quite right. I don’t know if it was the shallots or the vinaigrette, but it just was not good. The olives were yummy, all of them, but there were too many.
Then we waited some more. The mussels arrived. Oh, they were fantastic. Flavorful and juicy with a great sauce to dip bread in. Quite possibly the best mussels I have ever had.
The pasta was good, but not outstanding. It had no sauce, which was a bit strange, but let the pasta shine. The sausage was quite good, the breadcrumbs were odd, but added some texture. The tomatoes were just meh in the whole mix. Still, I liked it.
Overall, the second visit was both good and bad in bits. It doesn’t change my rating, though. I’ll just remember not to order that watermelon-tomato salad.