Tonight we wanted something new. Not the same burrito run to El Nutri, or a quick bowl at the B&B. Melanie rolled the random dice on Yelp and we pointed the car at Harlow on SE Hawthorne.
Walking in, I was surprised with the bright, slightly sterile atmosphere. The heavy influence of wood and twang of vintage in the space’s design plays well with the open, bright layout. They have a nice section of vegan odds and ends, and some branded clothing on one side of the restaurant.
Melanie ordered from the specials – two tacos with tempeh, yams, avo, pico de gallo, and jalapeño cashew creme. It arrived with a side of rice and a side of black beans. She also ordered a tea.
I ordered from the menu, and went with the BBQ Tempeh Plate – figuring in a new spot, you really can’t mess up Tempeh.
Melanie’s food arrived and the presentation was awesome. The whole plate was a combination of tacos, beans, rice and fixins. Sadly, my plate left a lot to be desired.
I had six slices of tempeh, some pickled cukes, a pile o’ polenta, some weird fried together slab of onions, and a pile o’greens. The tempeh was pretty good, but not too far from something I could pan fry at home. There was also not much “BBQ-ness” to the plate.
The tempeh was the best part of my dinner. The polenta was deece, but everything else was borderline not good. The onion things (those “used-to-be-primal-strips” looking things on my plate) and pickled cukes stayed behind for the compost (full disclosure: I hate pickles).
Once we finished our dinner, we headed out for the long drive home.
While we may give Harlow another chance, I will not get the BBQ plate again.