Food Grade: On the menu: Chef’s Special Eggplant Parmesan


Chef’s special: Eggplant Parmesan- $7.29

The Skyline Café has had a little bit of a winning streak going with this column after a rough start. That streak has come to a decisive end.

The Chef’s Special is a rotating menu, typically consisting of an entrée, a vegetable, and a couple of sides. This particular special was pasta, eggplant parmesan, garlic bread, and assorted vegetables.

It’s hard to say how the vegetables were cooked, but if I had to guess, I would say they were partially aged, and partially dehydrated. The vegetables looked like they just crawled back into civilization after being lost in the desert for days without water. Even the coyotes couldn’t finish them off. For me, the veggie dish can be the saving grace of an entrée misfire, but such is not the case this time around. Not even an excellent veggie dish could save this bad egg.

For the uninitiated, eggplant parmesan is breaded and fried eggplant cutlets covered in cheese and marinara sauce. If you don’t know what that tastes like done right, you might not be surprised to discover the texture of the Skyline eggplant parmesan to be akin to soggy paper towels and the flavor bland and homogenous.
The pasta is the standard spaghetti noodles that are served with any chef’s special that involves noodles. Even the Asian dishes use spaghetti noodles, only they use soy sauce rather than marinara.

How to explain the garlic bread? It’s drier than British humor. It’s drier than the vegetables. It’s so old, one of the slices on my plate jumped to its own merciful death before I got a chance to eat it. When the bread hit the ground it exploded into dry shrapnel like a relic from an Indiana Jones movie. It was an ominous sign. I had chosen poorly.

So the Skyline Café missed big time on this one. That’s fine. So far the café is breaking even on good and bad menu items. This dish is an unfortunate F, but perhaps the beverage can save it.

What to eat with dry Italian food but dry Chianti of course. Who among us can afford a fine bottle of wine, however? Luckily, the infamous vintners at boxed-wine pioneer Franzia have just what the student budget needs. A 5-liter box of Franzia “World Classics” Chianti can be purchased for about $17. If math is not your strong suit, that works out to about $2.50 a bottle if you are buying ordinary fancy folk wine.

For sheer value and portability alone, Franzia Chianti gets an overwhelming A+.

The bonus here is that five liters of cheap wine will make anything taste good. Dinner and drinks B+

Disclaimer, the writer of this column want to keep themselves anonymous for the sake of keeping the reviews unbiased and fair.