Wednesday, May 16, 2012

When an Old Favorite Disappoints

Veal Parmigiana

A local institution here in Lower Bucks, Georgine's has been a family favorite for many years. They even catered my sister's wedding. The food was consistently good and the portions outrageously huge. I can't count the number of times my family and friends have shared good food and good times there. They are particularly famous for their French onion soup and their milk-fed veal parmigiana, which always fills (and often over-flows) the plate. 

It has been several years since we've eaten there, so when my sister and the BIL came up from FL today and wanted to go out for dinner, Sis suggested Georgine's, which our mother and I both agreed was an excellent choice. I had a very tiny lunch today, in anticipation of the soup and veal. By the time we were seated, I was practically salivating. 

We ordered. Mom and I ordered cups of the French onion, while BIL ordered a bowl of it, along with a cup of the seafood bisque. Mom got an appetizer for her entree: a crab and spinach stuffed portobello cap. BIL ordered the seafood platter while Sis got a chicken dish and I ordered the veal. When the soup arrived, we dug in only to be surprised and disappointed to find it extremely salty and lacking in actual onions. This wasn't the delectable treat we remembered. Then came our entrees. Sis reported that her chicken (with tomatoes, mushrooms and a cream sauce) was good, though BIL said his clams casino tasted weird. Mom enjoyed the crab, but thought the mushroom was "vinegary" and my veal parm, while huge, was so salty, I could barely taste the meat. 

We left full but unsatisfied and, after a short discussion, decided that our memories of the food we'd had there before weren't faulty. Now, restaurants change chefs. It happens. But Georgine's prides itself on using the same recipes they've been using since they opened (those belonging to the long-deceased Georgine, herself).  time-honored recipe shouldn't be tinkered with or changed (unless it results in an improvement). I have no idea what actually happened tonight but I do know the food we were served was not the food we had come to love. 

So, my question is: Should we give Georgine's another chance or just give up and find a new favorite? Have you had a similar experience at one of your favorite restaurants? What did you do? Inquiring minds want to know. Leave me your answers in the comments.

More, anon.

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