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Salt


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I headed down to Salt with a suburban Dad friend of mine. His wife and kids were out of town - so this was his big chance to rediscover his "cool".

We walked into the Irish Heather first to check our directions with one of the servers. Turns out she is Sean Heather's sister and she says to me: "You're Canucklehead aren't you?" I was floored and embarassed that she had identified me from my ramblings on eGullet.

Suitably directed - we headed down the alleyway to Salt. So, does it live up to the hype? In a word - yes.

The room itself is georgeous - a beautful mix of glass, concrete, zinc, and brick. A long communal table, a number of smaller tables, some seating at the bar. The room is spacious and effortlessy smart.

The concept is straightforward mix of cured meats and cheeses and condiments. $15 for three items with matching condiments. It works beautifully.

We had, belfast ham, cured tongue, salumi salami, comte, cheddar, ash camenbert and a basket of various sliced breads. The condiments balanced and accentuated the meats and cheeses (the similikeen honeycomb was a real treat). A really intelligently edited collection of food that worked well together. Sean introduced himself to me (again identifying me as Canucklehead - yikes!) and let us sample a little wild boar sausage and york ham (which was like a a beautiful proscuitto). It was all tremendous.

Chris Stearns and the rest of the FOH team were really great. Orders flowed smoothly, waiting diners organized, and everyone was made to feel warmly welcomed. The servers are informed, friendly, and speedy. Later I was chatting a little with Chris and he asked me for my name and I said "Oh I post as Canucklehead" to which Chris responded - "Uh - your real name dude". Doh! :laugh:

So what is it about Salt that makes it so great? It feels comfortable in its own skin and in what it's trying to do. The meat and cheese selections have been carefully made and the focus is on good old fashioned quality - no weird ingredients or concepts. My friend said it's the kind of food that his parents would really enjoy and recongnize the good craftmanship in the products.

Real substance - which is better than "cool".

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I headed down to Salt with a suburban Dad friend of mine.  His wife and kids were out of town - so this was his big chance to rediscover his "cool".

...

friendly, and speedy.  Later I was chatting a little with Chris and he asked me for my name and I said "Oh I post as Canucklehead"  to which Chris responded - "Uh - your real name dude".  Doh!  :laugh:

Holy shit! Who's going to help you rediscover *your* cool? Looks like you lost it sometime in the early 90's on a BBS. :laugh:

-- Matt.

ETA: Sorry, could not resist. Bit of a Dennis Miller Moment. :wink:

Edited by Matt R. (log)
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I went there on canucklehead's advice. I also enjoyed it. Pics and comments coming soon.

It's interesting that the entrance is from an alley. Trounce Alley on my map but Blood Alley according to Salt's business cards. It was a little scary walking down it as we were expecting to get a thorough trouncing. Maybe they renamed it Blood Alley because there had been so many trouncings in the past.

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Holy shit! Who's going to help you rediscover *your* cool?  Looks like you lost it sometime in the early 90's on a BBS.  :laugh:

-- Matt.

ETA: Sorry, could not resist.  Bit of a Dennis Miller Moment.  :wink:

I don't think I can lose what I never had. Ha!

I know am gushing like a school girl about Salt - but it is alway so nice to find a place that you really like. Irony be damned!

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See my blog for more gushing like a school girl. Also, for a bit of explanation behind Blood Alley. The alley has been nicknamed that for a long time. Don't know where the name Trounce Alley originated from. I like little city history stories, so I'm glad they went with Blood Alley on the business card. Hope this place doesn't get overexposed from our gushings. I think it has serious staying power though, so I'm not worried.

http://nancyland.blogspot.com/2006/07/salt...up-to-hype.html

Nancy

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Alright, enough of the mindless Salt jerk off. I was there this weekend, and though there were five people working and the restaurant was less than half full, a girl could not get a second glass of wine to save her life. I watched as another hapless customer desperately tried to make eye contact with anyone to get his order taken. 15 minutes later and we were both still empty handed. This would be bad enough, but I just told a friend about this experience and she laughed because she had the exact same experience last week, but luckily she was with a server from Vij's who took matters into her own hands and served her own table.

I like Salami as much as the next girl, but not if I have beg the waiter for it.

Smarten up Salt!

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Just because some people go and have a positive experience and report on what they experienced, and you and your friend go and have negative experiences doesn't mean you need to dismiss the positive reports as "mindless" and as a "jerk off." So you didn't like it. I get it. Everyone's got their own taste, and that's fine. When they took a while to get our dessert wines, they were fully aware they goofed up and apologized profusely - I hope they did the same for you. Maybe give them a tiny bit of slack considering they're not even finished their third week of operation yet? Or not. But from my point of view, there's a lot to like about the place, and it's pretty mindful stuff :)

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Just because some people go and have a positive experience and report on what they experienced, and you and your friend go and have  negative experiences doesn't mean you need to dismiss the positive reports as "mindless" and as a "jerk off."  So you didn't like it.  I get it.  Everyone's got their own taste, and that's fine.  When they took a while to get our dessert wines, they were fully aware they goofed up and apologized profusely - I hope they did the same for you.  Maybe give them a tiny bit of slack considering they're not even finished their third week of operation yet?  Or not.  But from my point of view, there's a lot to like about the place, and it's pretty mindful stuff :)

oh, but my young friend, I did like it, the cheese! the cornichons! the goddamn salami! But this is not enough to keep me coming back. No business improves by praise alone. This problem is completely fixable, but not if we keep our mouths shut.

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Just got back from Salt. Service was not an issue as we arrived at open (4:30pm). Overall, everything was great. My wife and I were starving when we arrived....unfortunately, we left a little hungry and I've got some chicken wings on the go as I type this. I would not suggest Salt for dinner but I will return for a glass of wine and some killer meat & cheese.

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oh, but my young friend, I did like it, the cheese! the cornichons! the goddamn salami! But this is not enough to keep me coming  back. No business improves by praise alone. This problem is completely fixable, but not if we keep our mouths shut.

I've been a couple of times - and have never had any service problems - even when it was packed. Good that you brought up service issues that you experienced - so that they can be fixed.

But by the same token - my praise is not mindless. If there were issues, I would have said so. I've really enjoyed everything about Salt so far - here's hoping that they can be consistent for everyone.

Edited by canucklehead (log)
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Alright, enough of the mindless Salt jerk off.

I though we Trounced all the trolls from this place.

I like Salami as much as the next girl, but not if I have beg the waiter for it.

:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes: Does she get a reward for using "jerk-off" and "salami" in the same post? Please, don't make us beg. :laugh:

A.

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Alright, enough of the mindless Salt jerk off. I was there this weekend, and though there were five people working and the restaurant was less than half full, a girl could not get a second glass of wine to save her life. I watched as another hapless customer desperately tried to make eye contact with anyone to get his order taken. 15 minutes later and we were both still empty handed. This would be bad enough, but I just told a friend about this experience and she laughed because  she had the exact same experience last week, but luckily she was with a server from Vij's who took matters into her own hands and served her own table.

I like Salami as much as the next girl, but not if I have beg the waiter for it.

Smarten up Salt!

Did you ask to speak to management?

If you did not....and did not make your feelings known at the establishment...then you did keep your mouth shut.

These problems should be addressed at the restaurant, not in a forum. Save your ire for the people who actually wronged you, not the innocent people on this forum who actually did have a good time there.

:rolleyes:

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Hey folks -

For now, I'm letting all posts stand.

Of course we are not limited to positive reviews here - at the same time, I hope that we can give criticism positively. Please keep things civil.

Thanks,

Pam

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Alright, enough of the mindless Salt jerk off. I was there this weekend, and though there were five people working and the restaurant was less than half full, a girl could not get a second glass of wine to save her life. I watched as another hapless customer desperately tried to make eye contact with anyone to get his order taken. 15 minutes later and we were both still empty handed. This would be bad enough, but I just told a friend about this experience and she laughed because  she had the exact same experience last week, but luckily she was with a server from Vij's who took matters into her own hands and served her own table.

I like Salami as much as the next girl, but not if I have beg the waiter for it.

Smarten up Salt!

Did you ask to speak to management?

If you did not....and did not make your feelings known at the establishment...then you did keep your mouth shut.

These problems should be addressed at the restaurant, not in a forum. Save your ire for the people who actually wronged you, not the innocent people on this forum who actually did have a good time there.

:rolleyes:

I did address it at the restaurant , with my waiter. He was not overly concerned.

I am usually of the mind that things should be brought up with the person you are having problems with in the first place before ratting them out to the manager. Also, I feel like our waiter should not be the only one who gets his knuckles rapped for this one. Management was on board, it was a bit of team neglect. I'm quite suprised frankly by how upset y'all are about this. Are salami jokes frowned upon?

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When we were there on the 2nd day they were open, I thought everything went very well. Both Chris and Jay spent time at our table saying hi and giving us an overview of things. Our waiter was very knowledgeable and had thorough answers to all our questions. We decided on the tasting menu's with the wines pre-selected. For me and my bride we both really liked the food and the combinations. I'm not sure I would label what we had as dinner but we did order an extra meat plate along with a 2nd basket of bread.

To me Sean and Scott really nailed it on the head creating a place that is comfortable to hang out, eat interesting things paired with delicious and unexpected wines. An after work wind down, a light dinner, whatever .... IMO the place works and is a welcome addition to the food scene.

I just wish it were a bit closer to where we live in Yaletown for an easy walk.

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I did address it at the restaurant , with my waiter. He was not overly concerned.

I am usually of the mind that things should be brought up with the person you are having problems with in the first place before ratting them out to the manager. Also, I feel like our waiter should not be the only one who gets his knuckles rapped for this one. Management was on board, it was a bit of team neglect.  I'm quite suprised frankly by how upset y'all are about this. Are salami jokes frowned upon?

I think the people in question are more upset that you accused them of mindlessly jerking off in re Salt, ie the calling down of their opinion, as opposed to the calling down of the restaurant. Just a guess, not speaking for anyone.

Edited by annanstee (log)

The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

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Not to interrupt, but does Salt have a website?

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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Meat, Cheese, Wine. So Simple it is brilliant.

Part of the excitement here is the simplicity.

Before this turns into a " culinary love in" or " mass jerk off", and then into an egullet lynching, Naro has a point. Service did not live up to her expectation.

Fair enough.

Comments were made and replied to.

Sean and the boys will address it. They always do.

Just because someone has an oposing view does not make them wrong. That is how their night went and how they saw it.

I had to wait a little while for my second glass of wine. I managed to fill the time by talking to my wife and eating more cheese. I survived, although I do not know how many time I can do that.

I see that kitchen / bar / service area as a bit of a bottle neck and might create a bit of a problem when busy.

Sean and the boys will address it. They always do.

It has been a long time since this town has seen something so simple that there is lots of hype and excitement. Does that create unreal expectations : quite possibly. It will settle down soon enough and everybody will get their legs under them.

Although this restaurant is not a launching of the space shuttle, I would imagine it has some challenges.

There is no kitchen or bar per se. No Chef or kitchen brigade. I saw my server assist with every aspect of my choices. This is somethime new. They have hired waiters and run it like a Deli with wine. It takes a bit of getting used to.

Relax and enjoy.

I think a return visit is in order.

See you there.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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Not to interrupt, but does Salt have a website?

Yup.

http://www.salttastingroom.com/

A.

Thanks Daddy-A!

Meat, Cheese, Wine. So Simple it is brilliant.

I completely agree... it's one of my favorite meals, especially when it's 105F here!

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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Nwyles nailed it! It is a deli with wine service. Nice room without service pretension. SALT is a tasting bar not a restaurant. It is loud and a neat hang out for a light meal.

Just wish it had a patio instead of an alleyway across from low income housing.

Ralph

No culture exists without food and drink

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Just wish it had a patio instead of an alleyway across from low income housing.

Well - its not the low income aspect of things - but I agree that the location for me is an interesting issue. It shows vision and courage on the part of Sean, but for some customers - it will be more that a little off putting.

The friend that I went with last - said her parents would love Salt - but they would probably have to cab it directly to their front door. And this is no exageration - the night we were there -all aspects of the Downtown Eastside were out in force. These are observations from people who have lived and worked in very big cities - so urban grittiness is not a surprise. No judgement call here - just an observation.

In SF - when the creperie Ti Couz first opened up - it was the lone place for blocks around in the Mission disctrict that people would go and eat. You would not park more that a block or two away and preferbly cabbed in and out. Today - Ti Couz is in the center of a vibrant, livable, and socio-ecomonically diverse neigbourhood. Though I am sure that Sean does not have some sort of grandiose vision for Salt - it shows that this kind of thing can be part of a larger positive change. Look at what HSG had done for those poor people down in Yaletown.

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