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Restaurant Rebrand: 42nd Street Gastropub

This was was hard to write. For months we had been hearing the rumors of a new gastropub coming to the mall, and when it finally opened, I was excited to try it. It took over the Dink’s space, which granted, is a great space and location with plenty of foot traffic. Plus, it is always nice to have a mom and pop in a restaurant row surrounded by big name chains. Except when it isn’t that good. Then it becomes difficult to write about. And for that reason, I had been reluctant to write this, but with people asking me about this place constantly…I suppose this post was past due.

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Yes, it is true, this restaurant is simply a rebranding of Dink’s New York Deli, complete with the same owners. The place looks the same, but has a new menu and a new name. 42nd Street Gastropub has craft beer and wines, and “dishes designed around simple, comforting pub food, kicked-up a notch, with fresh ingredients such as heirloom tomatoes and Burrata cheese, eighteen hour braised leg of lamb and stout-glazed two bone pork chops” per their website. Sounds nice…

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Unfortunately, reality was much different. The fries with sea salt, truffle oil, and shaved parmesan were very basic, and honestly? Not that great. Not the best start to our meal, but at this point, I was still in it and believing things had changed.

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The fish and chips portion was generous (although for $16 it should be) but these were awful. They had this really bitter flavor, and I get that they are beer battered, but I’ve had plenty of amazing beer battered fish and chips, and never have they tasted like this. Absolutely awful and not edible. Was it a bad batch? I don’t know, but I sure will not be bothering to find out.

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Perhaps because I love Thanksgiving, I ordered myself a big plate of it. Per the menu, this was turkey breast, in-house stuffing, asparagus, and roasted garlic mashers, cranberry sauce, and turkey gravy.

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A couple of years ago, in early November, a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, I was craving some turkey, gravy, and stuffing, and it was around the time when Ralphs had some roasted turkey breast available. Since I’m a terrible cook, I grabbed a rotisserie turkey breast and got some boxed stuffing and a jar of gravy. As I ate my pre-Thanksgiving feast for one at home that night, I pondered why I had done what I did. It was awful, the stuffing was so bad and so was the gravy. So why do I mention that story? Well, when I took a bite of this dish…it took me back to that night. Make of that what you will because that’s all I have to say about that.

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At this point, we were still hungry and I figured it would be good to try something else, so we ordered a burger to share. Part of the revamped menu is a whole section devoted to these gourmet burgers. And I’ll be honest, out of everything we ate, this burger was the best part. They have some more interesting burger options, but I just got the Pub Burger. It wasn’t amazing or the best ever, but after three lackluster dishes preceding it, it was good. If you find yourself here with friends, get the burger.

 

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Because we left most of the food (except the burger) untouched, we got two desserts. We wanted to get the taste of the bitter fish and chips out of our mouths, but we were also hungry. The donuts were nothing special, they reminded me of the Pillsbury Grands donuts. We ate them all though, they weren’t bad, just nothing special.

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We ended our meal with refrigerated chocolate cake topped with some Reddi-wip type stuff. I think that people will go to the mall, pass by this place, and think that it is completely new restaurant. In many ways it is, I mean it has a new menu and a new website, and some new dishes. However, the service was slow (so slow that I had to get up and look for our waitress), our water wasn’t refilled, and some of the dishes were awful. I’ve had bad experiences at Dink’s, as have many in the SCV, and I had hoped that with this rebrand, they would be able to turn a new leaf. For now, it seems that leaf is still turning.

42nd Street Gastropub is located at the Westfield Patios in Valencia.