So now that I’ve taken the plunge and begun posting ugly pictures, you may have noticed I can’t seem to stop myself! In truth, I have quite the collection of ugly photos of good food, and this decision has been ultimately, so freeing in that I can now tell you about all those delicious meals that didn’t photograph quite so well. The meal we ate at Plum is a perfect example.
First off, I just have to say, Plum is one of the ugliest restaurants I’ve ever been to. Peter made the comment that he thought they were trying to make it look like the inside of a plum. Which makes sense, and actually even kind of sounds like a good idea. The problem, of course, is that it doesn’t translate so well. Plums are dark, and the space they’re in is pretty industrial. Dark plus industrial does not create the most inviting of atmospheres to enjoy a meal in. Think hard wood benches, cold concrete walls and surly looking black-clad waiters. Not my cup of tea, and certainly not the best of conditions for attempting to take photos discreetly with an outdated point-and-shoot.
Still, I would gladly spend any amount of time there. In fact, if Plum was located in an abandoned insane asylum in the middle of nowhere, I’d probably still go. Yes, the food was that good.
We started with a bowl of fried onions, because you know, who can resist fried onions? These were puffy and golden, like the fake fried onion chips you can buy at the supermarket, only they tasted like real onions. Caramelized and deeply savoury onions. Seriously, I could have eaten five bowls of these things.
But the star of the meal was undoubtedly, the burger. I initially read about the burger at Plum a couple of months ago, when Peter and I were on a mission to find the best burger in Oakland. “There’s this new place called Plum, “ I told him excitedly, “And they have a burger that’s made of out of beef cheeks and oxtail!!” He got really quiet and didn’t say much, which is what he does when he doesn’t like an idea of mine but doesn’t want to say so. So, I dropped it. By the time I suggested we eat there a few months later, he failed to make the connection. Since the burger is only actually listed on their late-night menu, I was able to order it off-menu, without him being any the wiser as to what it actually contained. By the time I told him later that night, it was irrelevant. We were both already in firm agreement that it was the best burger we had ever had, and nothing was gonna change our minds.
Words cannot even begin to describe how rich and juicy this burger is, it practically melts into the bun. Adorned with minimal toppings, it arrives looking like any other burger you’ve ever had. It looked so commonplace in fact, that when Peter asked if I wanted to take a picture of it I said no, because who needs another picture of a burger? But this is not just any burger, and I ended up regretting my decision later that night.
Although, the burger was decidedly our favorite part of the meal, the dessert was certainly no letdown. Listed on the menu as a cherry-chocolate cake, it arrived looking like this:
A couple of blond crumbs and some sauce smeared across the plate. But oddly enough, it tasted intensely like chocolate and cherries, rich and deep and pretty much exactly how I wish every chocolate cake tasted.
By the time we finished dessert, I was no longer preoccupied with the hideous decor. My mind was on other things - like how glad I am that Plum is just a short walk from my house and how sometimes the best things in life come in the most unlikely packages.