Billy Mac’s is opening June 10. I’ve already posted about my fears that this will be the same old, same old: a Eugene restaurant that serves the same stuff that every other place in town serves. It looks like I was right. But tapas, you argue, they’re serving tapas. And I say TAPAS?! Why in the ethnic-food-diverse world? Has Eugene finally caught on to the Bay Area hot trend of…1999?
I’m sorry I’m preemptively bitter. But when I see that the McCallums are redecorating with family pictures to recreate a bit of Eugene gone by, I get really grumpy, rite quick. And last week’s Register-Guard headline, “El Vaquero back to its own ways,” didn’t help much. (Maybe that’s where they got the tapas idea.) The owners of El Vaquero decided not to sell and instead dump the expensive yuppie menu (good idea) and go back to the old menu (bad idea). Eugene, Eugene, Eugene, Eugene, Eugene. There are more than two ways to skin a cat.
And since I’m bitter today, I’ll just make a brief comment about a restaurant owned by another group of locals who is trying to do the same old, same old with pizzas and pastas…or rather trying to make meals you can make at home and charge restaurant prices for them. We finally made it to Pasta Ravello. Good god. I haven’t had a meal that dreadful in a long time. The space is nice, but it ends there. Indifferent service, slow kitchen (on a night where we were one of two couples in the restaurant), a wine “special” that was a scant glass of the dregs of a bottle of their priciest wine, a pizza with sauce so sweet it was like candied tomatoes, a spaghetti and meatballs special that was large, boiled (??) grey, under-seasoned meatballs with no more than a third of a cup of sauce over a huge mound of pasta, and Caesar salad that was nothing short of revolting. Thank god they served a lemon with it; we squeezed it on top and pretended it was wilted greens. Unsalted. Peh.
New blood, Eugene Restaurant Powers-That-Be, new blood!