Fine Dining with a Community Feel.

Places to eat Eagle RockPlaces to eat Eagle Rock
Places to eat Eagle Rock
I’ve driven by Eagle Rock Public House many times and I’ve got to admit that it’s never looked enticing enough for me to walk in.  At first I thought it was some kind of school.  Then I heard they served beer and food and thought, okay cool, I’ll check it out sometime.  And I never did (until now – duh).  But I think the reason it took me so long was because I didn’t understand it.  As Americans, we need to know immediately what we are getting into; I need to know if I’m walking into a pizza parlor, a brewery, a French restaurant, etc.  We need things spelled out for us, which is a little shameful because then the excitement is lost.  That being said, I did not want to go to Eagle Rock Public House.  At all.  But I still put my grumpy pants on and dragged my feet all the way to their door and walked in.
Places to eat Eagle Rock
Walking into the place, I still didn’t know what to think.  It looked like a giant garage turned community bar; then I heard it used to be an auto shop so this makes sense now.  They even had community tables, which was a cute touch.  For the antisocial food eaters they provide private tables along with bar seating.  I decided to go for the unique experience and took a seat at the communal table.  I ordered a flight of beers and asked the waiter to bring me whatever he thought would be best for my beer to wash down.  Thus began my journey.
Places to eat Eagle Rock
For my appetizer, he brought me their Steamed Buns which is stuffed with duck confit, pickled radish, cilantro, and peanuts.  This is a play on Chai Siu Bao which is a Cantonese bbq pork filled bun; a totally incredible treat if you’ve never had one.  Eagle Rock Public House’s Steamed Buns were ON POINT.  Biting into a bun straight up felt like I was biting into a baby’s bum.  You know when you see a baby and you think “you’re the cutest thing I’ve ever seen, why do I feel like biting you?”  We have all had this thought and dammit if these buns don’t help you fulfill that secret – yet disturbing – desire.  I straight up murdered those buns.  With every bite I took of these little pillows of heaven I felt myself reverting back to my primal instincts.  Anyone sitting across for me would say that I was a crazed woman with pupils dilated, teeth razor sharp, and fingers clenched down into my prey to make sure it didn’t escape me.  Safe to say I went nuts for these buns.
Places to eat Eagle Rock
Up next: tha motha-fuckin entree.  Under normal circumstances I would say excuse my language but that’s just the kind of introduction this last plate needs.   Instead I’ll just say: SORRY I’M NOT SORRY.  And then I picture myself dropping a mic and walking off stage.  But you need to hear this so let me run back on stage and pick up the mic.  For dinner, my extremely friendly waiter recommended the Pork Tenderloin.  Included in this dish are some fancy words but all you really need to know is there is pork with some wine reduction.  I mean look at this plate.  I know what you’re thinking because I thought it too: how am I going to get full on this?
Places to eat Eagle Rock
I was a little sad because I’m much happier with a plate full of food.  But my sadness was short-lived because this dish was a surprise.  I knew the pork tenderloin was going to be great and it was beyond great.  It broke my mouth.  I didn’t want to stop chewing it, the same way you savor that last bite of Fruit-by-the-Foot: holding it in your mouth until there’s nothing left.  The plate itself looked like a playground of food.  All the flavors stood out individually but came together like a harmonious Church choir.  The heavens were singing and my soul was resurrecting.  My fork wiped the sauces down with my last bite of meat and like a bolt of lightening I knew; I knew exactly what Eagle Rock Public House was trying to do.
Fine Dining is a treat not everyone can afford.  And if you could afford it, people are often put off because of the vibe at fine dining places.  Take me for example, if I wanted to I could save enough money and take my boo-thang out to a fine dining restaurant.  But the reason we don’t go is because the vibe can be either intimidating or pretentious.  Eagle Rock Public House offers fine dining quality without the pompous crowd.  It’s a place where you can eat food that looks like it belongs on MasterChef while washing it down with your favorite draft beer.  You can play it cool at the bar with a friend or sit at a table for two.  ERPH is a place where you can walk away having only spent 15 bucks or 50.  It lets you decide what kind of evening you want to have.  Which is why I think I found it so confusing.
Places to eat Eagle Rock
Leaving Eagle Rock Public House I found myself thinking, I don’t think I’ll ever come back here again, even though I loved my meal.  Which is still baffling to me and a little shameful.  Usually restaurants try and “fancy up” their cheap food they serve so people can pay less but feel like they should be paying more.  Eagle Rock Public House is reversing that formula and “casual-ing down” their ambience while still offering up a high-end menu.  Shouldn’t this make me want to come back?  Am I just another typical America who wants their comfort blanket before they eat?  PROBABLY – and that KILLS ME.
So before you go to your usual spot or get all dolled up for that four-dollar sign restaurant, do this instead.  Throw on your comfy jeans, put on your sneakers, and eat at a place where the food dresses down for you, not the other way around.  Eagle Rock Public House, thank you for taking the ‘F’ in fancy and putting a lower case on it.  I’ll be back.

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