We grabbed a late lunch today in historic Riverside at Tres Leche’s. I love the location. It’s about 5 doors down from 13 gypsies and upholds the same sort of vibe while still looking completely unique and carrying it’s own personality. The name obviously implies this will be a dessert heavy experience. Sadly I filled up on lunch and didn’t try any of their various displayed desserts. Next time…
After being seated our waiter asked if we’d been there before. I’m always afraid to answer that question for fear of having my tie cut off and stapled to a wall or accosted with a set of rules and regulations for dining that starts with “We do things a little different here…”. In this case our waiter gave us a quick rundown of his favorites complete with mock-prepared plates. That’s a nice touch given the influence of the Venezuelan ownership and my remedial Spanish skills. He probably showed us 4-5 plates and really pointed out each dishes unique qualities. They have Empenadas that appear larger than a football.
Food: We ordered the Eggplant Lasagna and Bocadillo Manolo. The Eggplant Lasagna ($8.5) comes with a choice of salad or soup. My dining partner went with the summer salad. It has a really fresh berry vinaigrette along with fresh strawberries. Nice way to start a meal. The Eggplant Lasagna was seasoned a bit unconventionally. I enjoyed it, but I have no idea what it was. The menu overall is very vegetarian friendly. The garlic bread was the star. Tres Leches Garlic Bread is made with their Spinach Artisan Bread. They have a sandwich on the menu that is made with the same Spinach Artisan Bread. I like how the Spinach isn’t lost in the bread. It’s upfront and unapologetic.
The Bocadillo Manolo ($10.00) is a Serrano Ham, Manchego Cheese, and Marinated Tomato sandwich. All the ingredients blended together very nicely and nothing stood out too much. The marinated tomatoes were very bright without being overtly acidic. On my plate along with the sandwich was a small salad and a few grapes, the sandwich clearly and rightly the star. My only complaint is the bread might be a bit too hard. It certainly is a hearty sandwich but the bread made it a bit tough to eat at times. Also, 4 grapes? Don’t bother or make it a 1/2 dozen. Grapes are small.
Service: As I mentioned above the waiter gave us a quick rundown of the menu and showed us actual mock-up plates. He was very knowledgeable and set our expectations. He even warned us about the items on the menu that might take a bit longer at lunch-time if we were in a rush. Even knowing that, the service can be a little slow if your’e counting minutes during a lunch break. Tres Leches looks to seat about 24 people and it was about 1/2 full when we were there.
In addition to lunch and dinner they offer a Sunday brunch with a fixed menu. I’ll be looking to make a trip out there for Brunch in the future.
The other thing that really struck me was how clean Tres Leches feels. They use a lot of white furniture, tables, trim. I don’t know how long it’s been open and even if that’s how it was originally setup, but it gives the feeling of attention to detail and I see no reason not to believe that’s true.
When you’re looking for something a bit out of the mainstream in a relaxed setting, check out Tres Leches. That’s assuming you aren’t avoiding carbs. Keep it in the back of your mind for those nights when 13 gypsies is too busy. Tres Leches is far enough from the wildness of King Street if you’re looking for a quieter night.
- Unique Feel that Holds True to the Surrounding Area
- Knowledgable Server
- Sample Plates of Nearly Everything
- Can be a little slow
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