By Robert Bradley
Matthew Blau’s EAT has relocated to Calle Honorato Vasquez and the fixin’s are better than ever. Formerly located in the old Castle complex on Paseo tres de Noviembre, EAT is now cheek-to-jowl with other fine restaurants on what some gringos refer to as “Eat Street,” just the kind of restaurant ghetto tourists enjoy, allowing them to check out the options and dine in one easy stroll.
What distinguishes EAT from its near-by neighbors is the focus on the North American playbook of food. Macaroni and cheese, meatloaf, and burgers are featured prominently.
However, each has a twist that makes it distinctly different from the rest of the field — and with delicious results. For example, the signature burger on EAT’s menu is a lamb burger with a side of your choice, one of which is a generous portion of delicately seasoned fresh sauteed vegetables — an option for any item on the menu.
Blau describes his menu as food-centric. All of his selections are designed to provide the healthiest meal possible while staying true to tradition. There are no big surprises, just tasty down-home food prepared with a style that holds off of on the chilis and corn common to southwest cuisine. Instead, the emphasis is on Midwest best, full of creamy goodness, cheddar cheese, and hearty farm-raised fare. Yummy says it all.
To keep fans coming back, Blau has committed to changing the menu to reflect his patrons’ desires. When a guest suggested ribs, EAT added a boneless rib sandwich. It is absolutely delicious and reflects Blau’s effort to massage his menu according to match local expectations. Of course, the already established crowd-pleasers are macaroni and cheese and meatloaf, both holding their own against the more adventurous offerings.
Healthy living begins at an early age. That is why Blau’s wife, an OBGYN nurse, established a non-profit corporation before moving to Ecuador to support her work in the countryside around Cuenca. “Helping Babies Breathe” is a multi-disciplined approach to getting the youngest on the road to a healthy and happy future.
I enjoyed every bite and every moment visiting EAT. The food is delicious, the service attentive, and the ambiance comfortable.
This tried and true restaurant, Blau’s ninth in a 36-year career, is not his largest but may be his best. He certainly has his chops down and his heart in the right place. He also is in the land of his dreams and his joy in the kitchen is evident by his always broad smile and eagerness to please.
EAT is not quite a trip back to Ohio, but if you close your eyes it comes close.
EAT, Honorato Vasquez 6-45 y Pres. Borrero; Hours: 11:30 a.m through 9 p.m. Monday – Saturday, 11:30 a.m. through 6 p.m. on Sunday; Phone; 099-262-4044; Delivery available
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