Sunday, May 7, 2017

Prime Rib Dip at Issaquah Cafe, Issaquah, WA Awarded 2 of 5 DeliciScore™ (Not great) 6th of May, 2017 - Small size and lackluster cheese spoil a good opportunity

Setting the Stage

It was Saturday and I had been out hiking near North Bend.  I did the Twin Falls trail and it was pretty good.  The morning started foggy and rainy but by lunchtime it was sunny.  I tried going to Dough Zone, a new dumpling place, in Issaquah but the wait was over 15 minutes and I was impatient.  I was going to a meeting and didn't have the time to wait.  I knew I could go next door to Issaquah Cafe and sit at the bar, which I did.  It was the second day in a row I had had a French dip.  The one from the day prior at Lockstep was only okay but passable.  I was hopeful and expecting that Issaquah Cafe would do a good job.  Foursquare even had a review of someone who called their French dip "yum yum" so my hopes were high.  I have been accustomed to thinking of Issaquah Cafe and the related restaurants as good.  I think I even had this French dip in their Bothell location.

Tasting Notes

  • I ordered a side salad with Bleu Cheese (as is the norm with me) and it came out right away.  It was a much fresher salad (chilled lettuce and place) than Lockstop the previous day.  It had a little cherry tomato, fresh and cold carrot stick and was otherwise good and enjoyable.  Good job on the salad, Issaquah Cafe.
  • The salad dressing was served in cold aluminum cup, which I thought was also a night, even cute, touch.
  • I give the salad a 4 of 5 for its fresh taste, coldness, speed of delivery and good croutons.
  • I sat by a friendly mother of college-aged kids and we struck up a conversation about dining room tables. Ha.
  • When I ordered the prime rib dip, it came by default with cheddar cheese which should perhaps give us immediate pause.  Who would put cheddar cheese on prime rib?  Also, there was no option for selecting the 'doneness' of the prime rib, which is also usually a sign of "meat" but not freshly sliced meat.  
  • When the meal was served, it was clearly a small size, so that alone was not impressive or fun.   
  • The meat was unimpressive.  One of the pictures above makes it look like there was a lot of meat in this sandwich but there really wasn't.
  • I give this sandwich a 2 overall.  It was not tasty as a standalone sandwich and also didn't really blow your mind when dipped.
  • There were visible bits of stuff in jus, which I think makes it seem nice and fancy and the jus as a standalone feature gets a 3 or 4.
  • The sandwich was served with pickle chips, which I like. 
  • They had a nice little feature was that one half of the sandwich had a green-frilled skewer and the other half had a blue-frilled skewer.  Go Seahawks!  But this didn't make the sandwich taste or seem any better.
  • The cheddar cheese was melted and "embedded" with the rest of the meat and I did not find it to be additive or complementary. 
  • Their burger dip comes with grilled onions.  Maybe this needed those again.  I wasn't a fan.


  • Meat 2 - Not that great of prime rib, also not much of it, also no choice of done-ness.
  • Bread 3 - Small size, toasted and buttered but just not impressed.
  • Non-meat toppings 2 - Cheddar cheese that was not additive.
  • Jus 4 - Visible bits but it alone could not save the lackluster sandwich.
  • Overall 2 - Sorry to score this so low but I was not happy or impressed.  The cheddar cheese didn't make it much better and the jus, although good, was not good enough to bring the mediocre sandwich to the promise land.

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