Onward State Goes to Cafe Laura
Disclaimer: We are not food critics, nor do we have a special palate that justifies us to be food critics. We are just college kids who like to eat.
The first thing to come out of our waiter’s mouth at our Cafe Laura experience: “Welcome to the Seven Deadly Sins… thing. I’m bad at this. What can I say?” And that quote pretty much sums up our evening at Cafe Laura.
For those of you who do not know, each HRIM student is required to work a semester at Cafe Laura. Each student learns how to cook, serve, take reservations, and plan a whole dinner with a selected group. Onward State decided to check out the Se7en: Food to Die For dinner that took place on March 14th. Below is our collaborative review of the evening.
Onward State Reviews Cafe Laura
First, where did the wine go?! Our waiter shows up with zero confidence in his serving abilities and asks for our orders. Each of us ordered a different entree, but we decide to get two orders of lettuce wraps to start off the meal.
Oh, here comes the wine! We literally just witnessed our waiter open his first bottle of wine. After dropping the corkscrew twice, he FINALLY got the cork off. Barely. It was a bit nerve-wracking; we felt like we were part of a memorable moment, and all breathed a sigh of relief once we heard the cork pop! (To give him credit: the second bottle went MUCH smoother.)
The lettuce wraps arrived before our bread and butter, which we found to be strange. They were okay. The heart of it tasted a little grainy and could have had a better sauce (the spicy vinaigrette it had goin’ on burned the throat a little bit…but that’s what the wine is for, right?).
YES. THE SALAD AND BREAD HAVE ARRIVED. At first glance, the salad looked really appetizing. However, the dressing severely pissed us off. I would HIGHLY suggest putting the dressing on the side and having fresh apples to compliment the greens. Ally and I ate the feta after expressing our displeasure for the rest of the salad, and quickly greeted the fresh bread on the table.
Wait, what is this? Two different types of butter: a jalapeno butter and a honey butter. We. Are. So. In. The butter was absolutely the best part of the meal. The jalapeno butter had just the right amount of spice, and the honey butter…oh my God the honey butter. Whatever we didn’t like, the honey butter changed that: “You want some pork with your butter?”
Speaking of the pork, that was my main entree. The slow roasted pork loin, which represented Sloth, was pretty dry (but apparently I just got a bad plate, because everyone else I talked to said the moistness was sufficient). And, yes, I did try to enhance the dryness with some honey butter. Seriously, judge me. I thought anything would help at that point.
Ally lucked out and ordered Gluttony, which was the stuffed chicken breast (the entree we all wanted, but didn’t get because we thought that as “food critics” we should taste more than one entree). The chicken was boss. We, as well as my dining companions from Cafe Laura, agreed that this meal was worth the price.
Shawn ordered Envy, which was a steak and rib combo. But, steak: why you have lemon on? Shawn noted, “I’ve always said when it comes to steak, if you have a true appreciation for it, you don’t put anything on it!” Apparently the entree was not supposed to have any lemon sauce on it, but all three of us agreed that it was, indeed, lemon on that slab of meat. Let’s not talk about entrees anymore.
At least dessert was good, right? Wrong. So wrong. The Zabaglione with fresh berries…you know, it just wasn’t our thing. Maybe we just don’t like Zabaglione, but we asked Ally’s dear friend and established front-house manager Steve, “What flavor is this?” His reply: “It has alcohol in it.” Our reply: “Shouldn’t that make it taste better?” What can ya do, right?
You know the wine is working when you can eat an uncooked cake though. The Molten Chocolate Cake was…not cooked! It was literally just “lava” and no cake! Let me emphasize this a little bit more: we ate cake batter for dessert.
Welp, time to finish the rest of our glasses.
Now, can we have a tub of honey butter to go?
*Cafe Laura has several meals left during the semester. You can make all reservations here. If you are eager to experience the chicken and honey butter we had, you can make a reservation for Se7en: Food to Die For on April 11th.
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About the Author
For more than a decade, the Penn State Bakery has provided the Nittany Lion Inn with a massive, display-only gingerbread house during the holidays. This year’s design features about 50 pounds of dough and 100 pounds of icing.
The menorah, which is valued at about $1,800, was returned, but was damaged, according to the complaints.
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