On the first while I was hanging out with M. and A. et al, Mr. Ass gave me a ring and inquired as to whether I might like to grab a dinner-type meal in Philly later on. I thought that was a good idea and then we spent far longer than necessary deciding where we might go. In the end we met up at Farmer's Cabinet. The drunken dredges of the Mummers' Parade were still hanging about that area of the city; Mr. Ass mentioned that while he was waiting for me a man, standing outside just like him, asked Mr. Ass whether it was raining. It was. In any case, Farmer's Cabinet's interior really is pleasing to the eye with high ceilings, the walls of which are punctuated by what seems to be real lit candles. The bar starts with what seems to be the cheese station before morphing into quite an impressive number of drafts. We were seated at the long communal table in the back of what appeared to be the main space.
On Sundays they continue their brunch menu into the evening, which was quite a temptation, but in the end I made choices independently of the breakfast offers. I am a sucker for pickled things, so I jumped at the chance to order their Kirby Cucumber Quarters. Good, but maybe a tad too sweet for me. I like my pickles to have a bite.
Then I ordered the tasting menu of their house cured meats, which included duck prosciutto, salami gentil, pate de campagne, toscana and finocchiona. As is often the case, I should have written down my thoughts to really give any true direction as to what stood out the most. I believe the pate was a clear winner, as was the salami. The whole grain mustard was good as well. Mr. Ass ordered the Lancaster Roasted Chicken with Yukon gold puree, caramelized pearl onions and turnips, black kale, and blood orange bitter jus. He was kind enough to let me have a bit, and it was quite good. Mr. Ass made the observation that sometimes the chicken on a restaurant's menu is the secret start, but we're all too bothered chasing down foie gras or rabbit to realize it. I added the foie and rabbit references. I often try, when going to a restaurant, to think of what I cannot or do not make for myself, and order accordingly. And while I can make a decent chicken, I may have to give it a better shot when I'm out...in order to further inspire my own chicken making abilities.
There was a little weirdness with the bill. On the menu I had looked at, the tasting plate was $17, but the bill made it $19, and Mr. Ass had ordered the smaller sized beer but was charged for the larger one. When we pointed out these inconsistencies to our server, she was quick to bring a different menu over to show me that I was wrong...but I pointed out that that wasn't the menu I looked at so... And then she basically told Mr. Ass that he had ordered a large one, and that's why he was charged the large price...though I had clearly heard him ask for the smaller size. I know that being a server can suck, and that people complaining about things is annoying. But I guess I still felt like her response, which was to sort of blame us and then reluctantly go talk to her manager without ever once apologizing for the confusion, could have been more diplomatic or something. It's not a cheap place, but I'd probably go back for drinks and snacks.