You have to be a pretty serious hometown hero to even understand what I'm talking about.
Bill's birthday was last week, and Rosie, in typical Rosie fashion, waited until the evening of to send out a text, asking some of us friends if we had dinner plans. She was able to get a reservation at Dusty's in Okemos, and we met there to celebrate Billy Goat's birthday.
We started with the Seafood Sampler and fought over the best thing on the platter (and maybe on the entire menu), the coconut shrimp. We ripped up the rolls and used them to soak up the avocado/cilantro sauce coating the bottom of the plate. Our waiter, who was very knowledgeable but who remained nameless, offered a ribeye special that tickled my fancy.
But I started with a chopped salad, sans olives.
This is a great salad. It's a BIG salad, everything is fresh and tastes how it looks (that is to say that you don't bite into a cherry tomato and taste nothing. You actually taste tomato.) I love a crumbled hard-boiled egg, I do.
The ribeye came out next, with sauteed vegetables and one of those ridiculous edible orchids.
There were also cheddar mashed potatoes under the steak. I'm not the world's biggest mashed potato lover, and after I took one bite of these I ignored the rest of them.
I ate half the steak and took the rest home in a box, which I ate the next day over arugula with a very mustardy vinaigrette. Another girlfriend and I chose a dessert to split, and after the waiter guided us away from the chocolate lava cake, which I appreciated, he recommended the lemon cheesecake.
That is a layer of orange Jello atop the cheesecake. I'm not kidding. Orange. Jello.
Here is precisely where Dusty's lost me. This cheesecake looked good. It looked like it should taste good. It's amazing to me how often I'm able to look at something that's beautiful and punk myself into thinking that it is delicious. This time I didn't fall for myself- this tasted like nothing. There was no flavor whatsoever. We each ate a couple of bites of it and then turned our attention to the Key Lime pie, which actually tasted like limes.
The quality of the food at Dusty's is evident. The place wouldn't remain so popular and packed to the gills on most nights if the food wasn't pretty good. But that's what it is- pretty good. It's not great. It's not the best meal I had all week, it wasn't even the best steak I had all week. But it was pretty good, and the company was excellent.