By Saranya Vijaykumar ’18 and Audrey Thorne ’19
Everyone is on the hunt for good food during the strike, and we finally found the perfect spot. We personally hadn’t had good meal in two weeks, so when Beat Brasserie offered to share their state of the art lunch with us, we could not resist.
Saranya had never been to Beat before, so she was pleasantly surprised by the open layout. Especially compared to the crammed restaurants in most restaurants in the square, Beat feels very spacious. Since it was lunch, it was not too packed, which meant we could hear each other over the other conversations and the jazz music that played softly in the background without extra effort. They closed off their extra seating area with a decorative light purple curtain that added to the upscale but alternative aesthetic and made the space feel full.
The service was incredibly friendly and helpful, checking in to see when we wanted to order what and how we liked our food. Our waitress also gave great food and drink recommendations. She said that they like to keep the minimalist decorations and the creative menu seasonal.
First we ordered tuna tartare and, upon the waitress’s suggestion, the buffalo cauliflower for appetizers.
The buffalo cauliflower was spicy, probably had the strongest flavor of any dish we had. Audrey liked how the sweetness of the cauliflower balanced out the buffalo sauce. The yogurt dipping sauce also neutralized the spicy exterior well.
The tuna tartare had a delectable texture and was served in a surprisingly large portion. The mayonnaise balanced well with the tuna and the gherkins, leaving the flavor light yet full. The textures of the fresh tuna and the crispy bread played well off of each other.
Beat definitely proved a great spot for 21st birthdays and nice meals with parents. The cocktails are designed by the same man who creates the cocktails at the Beehive, both creative and delicious. The waitress recommended the Kombucha Collins, a mix of Letherbee gin, rhubarb, lemon, and turmeric-ginger kombucha, and the American Breed, which is made of bourbon, St. Elder Elderflower liqueur, and apple cider and tastes a bit stronger than the Kombucha. The later was more for those who enjoy the taste of alcohol, while she said the earlier had a more mild, ginger flavor. The cocktails are definitely some of the most creative in the Square. In terms of wine, she suggested the Flying Cloud, a sauvignon blanc with fruity accents.
The nonalcoholic drinks were great too. Audrey enjoyed the lightness of the lemonade, which washed her palate clean well between dishes and neutralized the spice of the buffalo cauliflower, and Saranya thought the iced tea was very well-brewed. Both tasted fresh and not too sweet, a difficult feat for both lemonade and iced tea, and both were served with a slice of lemon.
Lastly, it was time for the entrees. Saranya got the rabbit pasta, cooked in vegetable broth with kale, and Audrey added chicken to the Aztec bowl.
The rabbit pasta was amazing. Even with its slightly smaller portion it was filling. The rabbit was cooked perfectly and Saranya also liked that it was cooked in vegetable broth, so that it wasn’t overwhelmingly meaty. The balance between rabbit, kale, and pasta was also great. There was more rabbit than pasta, which added to the rich flavor and texture of the dish.
The Aztec bowl had well cooked quinoa, which had a nice texture between soft and crunchy. On top of the quinoa was a slice of avocado and a generous quantity of squash. In the salad, in another third of the bowl, were multicolored cherry tomatoes, green beans, spinach, beet slivers, and corn. The spinach was flavorful with a neutral sauce. The beet slivers were sweet, with a naturally strong flavour and a slight crunch. The multicolored tomatoes served as another burst of flavour. The corn, cut right off the cob, was sweet and tied the vegetables together well. In the last third of the bowl was the chicken add on in a delicious green sauce. All parts of the dish meshed well together and tasted wonderful separately. With such a generous portion, she was able to get the protein and veggies she missed during the strike, and have almost half leftover for later.
In terms of a student lunch, nothing compared to the bowls. The Beat Hotel offers a variety of healthy and delicious bowls that are incredibly filling and reasonably priced. These bowls are a healthy alternative to burrito bowls and salads, for around $14 with fresh vegetables and a variety of add ons, from falafel to skirt steak to tuna, for $2-9.
The two women sitting next to us remarked that when the Beat first opened up, nobody wanted to try to the bowls because it seemed so informal, but that day most everyone in the restaurant had ordered one. It really is the best deal on the menu