Friday, December 9, 2011

Lunch at Cal's

This is my first attempt at a restaurant review, so bear with me. I'll preface this by saying that we don't eat out that much, so when we do, it is often a special occasion. Today, the family went down to Kent Station and tried Cal's Classic American. We decided this was to celebrate Charlie's half birthday, and my 33rd 1/2 birthday! We had heard Cal's opened near our house, so thought we would give it a try. Here is a look at their everyday menu, and happy hour offerings (hours I believe are 3-6 & 9-close, Sunday-Thursday).

A view of Cal's bar
 Ever since I met Kim, I've had a new appreciation for food and what goes into it. I used to eat complete crap, and I wasn't very healthy. I learned that food is more about quality than quantity. And there is nothing better than a meal with fresh ingredients. We usually cook at home using a lot fresh ingredients in our meals, and like to support local. Our produce usually comes from nearby Carpinito Brothers in Kent and we get our milk and eggs from Smith Brothers Farms.

When we got to Cal's, we realized this restaurant installed a lot of those same qualities in their food. Produce from nearby farms (including Carpinito Bros), bread from Grand Central Bakery and a decent selection of local micro brews. We were pretty impressed from the beginning.
The Fresh Board at Cal's
I'll start with saying that most won't be impressed with the pricing, but it is very comparable to local restaurants The Ram, Duke's and other establishments in Kent Station, and the quality was totally worth it. We split a burger (with onions and bacon), accompanied by some awesome fries. We added a side salad (perfect size for sharing) and it was very fresh with red leaf lettuce and a light vinaigrette dressing. We also split a 24oz mug of Ninkasi Total Domination IPA (from Eugene, OR).

Booth's featuring your own beer taps!
 The service was good, the water came in what resembled an old glass milk jug (which is a fun feature) and the setting was very chill and laid back. Another neat feature that really excited this beer geek was five booths in the bar that featured your own taps. The five tables each had two beer selections (each had a domestic and a craft) and you can pre-pay for up to 32 ounces of beer, then pour at will. The bartender told me the pricing was comparable the normal pricing of beer in the bar (24oz mug was a reasonable $6.50 for a craft selection like Manny's Pale Ale, Mac & Jack's, Lazy Boy Hefeweizen or Maritime Nightwatch Dark Amber Ale), but you can pay as you go. I immediately thought of all those times where I would want a beer and a half, rather than two beers, and the fact you can pour it yourself is pretty awesome. Needless to say, I can't wait to try this feature out with some buddies.

Bottom line is, this is a place we'll visit again (the pizza looked really good), and more than willing to spend an extra dollar for local and fresh ingredients. My only suggestions, and possibly I should post these first so they get read, is to offer some type of specials to lower the prices just a tad (2-for-1 burgers one night a week) and I would love to see them add Kent's Brewery, Airways Brewing Company, to the tap selection. You can also follow Cal's via Twitter and on facebook.

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