Kirk and Cathy are really busy right now. Ed (from Yuma) not so much, so you get to read about a meal he and Tina recently consumed. Hope you enjoy.
One of the numerous benefits of marriage is that you have wedding anniversaries – it's like adding an extra holiday to each calendar year. Another cause for celebration.
But Tina and I couldn't figure out where to go for dinner. In addition to dining at the Patio at Desert Hills, we had been to River City for my birthday and Crouse’s Flat Top Grill for Tina's, and currently Yuma doesn't have a lot of special occasion dining choices. So . . . I finally suggested that we try Julieanna's. After all, our last bad experience there was at least seven or eight years ago; maybe that was too long to hold a grudge.
Julieanna's (website) is a large restaurant with patio located on 25th St. among doctors’ offices and other healthcare facilities. On this cool and breezy evening, the entrance was welcoming: We arrived around 5:30 on a Tuesday evening, so there were very few patrons in the two large interior rooms: On this evening nobody sat outside, so the resident peacock stared wistfully into the room, aware that he was not going to get any table scraps:
They were pleasant and were accompanied by two little metal ramekins of soft butter, one garlic herb and one maple cinnamon.
It took us a while to figure out what we wanted, but we finally decided on a salad, an appetizer and two entrées. Our very friendly and helpful server suggested that we start with the salad, which she could bring right away, and then follow with the appetizer. That made sense, so soon she brought over two plates of pear and candied walnut salad:
It was excellent. The tangy balsamic dressing complemented the sweetness of the pear and nuts. We were also impressed by the very fresh and sturdy baby lettuces in the salad.
The squid was superb. The breading was hard and crunchy and most of it stayed attached. The calamari itself was clean tasting and tender chewy. Really perfectly done. The netting on the lemon wedges keeps lemon seeds out of the food, and there was a choice of dipping sauces – a spicy marinara or honey sesame.
The riesling, which went well with the calamari, was crisp and moderately sweet, the wine bucket was fine, but the stemware was pretty ordinary.
Here you can see one of the cakes and the whole crab more clearly:
Tina was pretty happy. The lightly dressed greens and perfectly cooked yellow squash went well with the crustaceans. She also enjoyed the contrast between the two styles of crab. On the other hand, I thought the crab cakes were a little fishy tasting and the deep-fried softshell too greasy. Maybe the riesling wasn't the right wine for this entrée; a drier white like a sauvignon blanc might have been a better match.
Here's another view:
I loved everything on the plate. The mashed potatoes were buttery and mixed with strips of caramelized onion. Rich, creamy, and nicely textured and flavored. The three large asparagus spears were perfectly cooked, tender but not limp. The dark paste smeared on one end of the pork was a medjool date sauce whose sweetness matched perfectly with the umami of the pork.
And this entrée went very well with the riesling.
The only odd thing on the bill was the “service charge,” an automatic 6% added to the food and beverages. I don't recall ever seeing such a thing in another restaurant.
Nonetheless, we had a great time, and maybe Tina and I should make celebrating our anniversary at Julieanna’s an annual affair.
Julieanna’s Patio Café, 1951 W. 25th St., Yuma, AZ 85364, (928) 317-1961.