Friday, February 23, 2007

Figaro Cafe

My grandfather was a butcher. He loved meat. He loved it so much that he used to smear fat across his toast instead of butter. I guess it comes as no surprise that he died of a heart attack.

I love meat too. It's in my genes. So, it was inevitable that I was one day going to consume the quintessential meat dish: Steak Tartare.

It was just my luck when the chef at Figaro Cafe (1802 N Vermont Ave.) prepared steak tartare as a special for their menu. I was going to give it a go. I also enjoyed the fact that I was dining with a table of vegetarians. The look on their faces when my entree arrived was fucking hilarious. They were horrified and repulsed.

There's no elegant way to plate Steak Tartare. It's a heap of blood red ground beef topped with a raw egg, seasoned with dressing and chopped onion. I kept taking small bites slowly waiting to be grossed out, but I wasn't. It's quite eating sashimi. My only thought was that Steak Tartare is a little too much to eat as an entree. It would probably work better as an appetizer. I prefer just a pinch of raw, bovine flesh before dinner. Eating it as an entree, made me feel too much like a elegant caveman though, as this is French restaurant.

Figaro Cafe is a beautiful restaurant. It looks like they imported the interior from an original 1920's French cafe, walls and everything. It's also quite a popular brunch spot. Many of my associates, however, feel that the dinner menu is overpriced for the quality of their food. I like it. But, when it comes to French food, I much prefer Cafe Stella.


At 2:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I so totally agree about that that dish (steak tartare) should be an appetizer and not a main entree. I ordered it one time and although delish, was over the top, portion-wise. I wish they'd have more french waiters though like Cafe Beaujolais. Ooo la la!!

At 1:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


couldn't find an email address on your profile, but i've enjoyed your restaurant postings. i appreciate a suitable booze pairing for most of my meals as well. i have some info on some restaurant haps in the neighborhood and would like to talk to you about it. my email is mr_ballinger at hotmail. let me know if you can take a break from the economist to shoot the shit.


At 4:04 PM, Anonymous R. Ewan said...

Hey great reviews we need more of these types of reviews from someone such as yourself that knows the town and the area which they are talking about. Keep up the good work.
In Highland Park on the corner of York and Aldama ( York Ave the gold mind ,I remember a review you wrote several months ago about this street). Well a caffee shop has been opened for the pass month and to my surprise it is pritty good but don't take my word for it stop by on one of your trips and check it out. Let me/us know what you think.
Highland Perk Coffee House

At 11:23 AM, Anonymous NOSH ON SEVENTH said...

Come check out Portland's favorite deli. Nosh on Seventh, the cafe with every sandwich your heart could want.


It's good.

(503) 239-NOSH
2030 SE 7th Ave
Portland, OR 97241


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