Unconventional wisdom

Going Gourmet created itself in the image of its customers

Sweets were homey: nutmeg-scented bread pudding cooked in a mini loaf pan, sliced and drizzled with caramel on a fudge-flecked plate; cappuccino pecan pie, with more dark chocolate than coffee flavor; tiramisu (unlike all others, of course; it's a law of nature that no two tiramisu should be alike), discernible layers of squishy cake sandwiched with mascarpone.

Lunch was not as good as dinner. "Charleston crab cakes" seemed to be made of inferior crab meat mixed with so many crumbs that the result was more like a briny hush puppy than a real crab cake. The chicken po' boy held the same thin fried breast we'd enjoyed at dinner, but this one had been fried at too low a temperature; so much grease had been absorbed by the crust that it squeezed into the baguette with every bite. The lyonnaise potatoes also looked a little familiar, today mixed with bits of that red onion the kitchen cuts for the salads.

Good food or go food, face it: With a professional at the helm, would any restaurateur have stuck with the name "Going Gourmet"? Besides being irrelevant now that it doesn't refer to a takeout shop, it's a ridiculously unsophisticated, small-town-sounding name, and any self-respecting restaurant analyst, hypertheme or hypotheme, would have advised the owners to chuck it. And the location, next to Albertson's? Please. Oddly, though, Going Gourmet is going strong. It does a steady business with regular customers and more people are finding it all the time. Don't tell the pundits.

Going Gourmet, 4345 W. Northwest Highway, 351-6773. Open for lunch Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; for dinner, 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Open Saturday, 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m.

Going Gourmet:
Breaded Ravioli $5.95
Warm Goat Cheese $4.95
Risotto Mushroom $9.50
Chicken Milanesa $9.


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