McCormick & Schmick’s Date Lunch *Review*

logoLast month I was buried under applications and paperwork galore and when I found out I had won Cherise’s contest over at Mama’s Money Savers for a $25 gift certificate to McCormick & Schmicks I vowed that as soon as applications were done Buzz and I would have a celebratory lunch date. Even without kids, eight and a half years in to a relationship dates don’t come often particularly in this economy so earlier this week I made a lunch date for Buzz and I at McCormick & Schmick’s.

Buzz and I both have been to McCormick & Schmicks twice before, as I recall it was for our birthdays – we don’t often “splurge” on more than Subway or a quick bite for lunch so it’s a real treat when we get to go to somewhere like McCormick & Schmicks. I already knew as soon as I found out that I had won what I was going to order, the same thing I had ordered the last two times – a tilapia salad with grilled seasoned plantains and a rum dressing (I replace the tilapia with chicken). The salad is absolutely amazing but to my dismay once we got there today I found out that they no longer had it on the menu!

Let me go back to when we arrived for a second because each and EVERY time we have gone to McCormick & Schmicks to eat we have been greeted by the same woman at the front desk, a glowing woman with the friendliest smile you have ever seen and she never fails to ask how you are and I LOVE HER! After she seated us right away in the cozy dining room (in the same booth we had last time which was awesome) it was only a matter of two minutes before our server came to take our drink orders. Our server was just as sweet as the hostess who seated us and was most certainly the most well mannered woman I have met in my life replying to every ‘thank you’ with a “you are most welcome”, this too made me smile.

After perusing the menu…okay so I scanned it frantically looking for my salad…and not seeing said salad on the daily menu (menu’s are altered daily with certain staple dishes remaining) I asked our server about it. Our server told us that she wasn’t sure which dish I was talking about but she would ask ‘Chef’ and she did! Unfortunately for me Chef said that my salad was a special dish and he wasn’t able to make it today but it did give me a chance to try something new.

Deciding on something new took some doing. I am the type of person who knows what she likes and when I find something I love I will get that dish each and everytime unless I am feeling particularly adventurous. Today I was not feeling adventurous, in fact I was feeling a little fragile after finding out that my beloved salad which I had lusted after for weeks was not available but not being one to let disappointment rule my day I took a gamble on something new.  Buzz was ready to order in a matter of minutes as soon as he saw the chef’s special – a tilapia and pumpkin puree dish and the price tag was just under $10 ! After taking considerably longer than usual I decided on a waldorf chicken salad ‘sandwich’ which came on a croissant with a side of fruit salad.


Forgive the quality of the picture, they come to you courtesy of my blackberry in poor lighting (that warm cozy dining room that I love so much.) I am a fan of chicken salad but in comparison to my usual salad with plantains I was very disappointed when this dish showed up. The presentation alone left a lot to be desired and certainly made me feel like I had picked from the ‘budget menu’ – their section of the menu with ten lunch entrees under $10. Not one to go by appearances alone I tucked in to my sandwich with knife and fork – there was no way I was attempting to eat that monster croissant with my hands! The croissant was rich and buttery and toasted well to give my sandwich a crispy texture but it did seem a little too rich in comparison to the lighter version of chicken salad that filled it. McCormick & Schmicks chicken salad is not a dense chicken salad, it doesn’t overpower with a creamy mayonnaise base and the chicken is certainly fresh rather than that awful rubbery chicken you find in many premade chicken salads. I think that this chicken salad paired with a whole grain bread or even a rye bread would have been a better choice, all in all the chicken salad was fabulously seasoned but it was let down by a flaky buttery croissant that overpowered the work that went in to balancing the texture and flavor of the chicken salad.


Buzz is the seafood fiend of the family, growing up in Taiwan he lived off a diet of fish and seafood and being that I cannot stand the smell let alone the taste of seafood or fish he jumps on any chance he gets to feast on these healthy staples. The dish sounded amazing on the menu and the presentation of this ‘chef’s special’ was certainly a little more impressive than mine but only just so. According to Buzz the flavor was good, in fact the fish was cooked very much to his liking but his complaint? For $10 the dish was not nearly large enough. Granted, for a nice restaurant $10 isn’t much but in my opinion it is certainly more than a section of a fish fillet.

I wouldn’t say that today ruined my taste for McCormick & Schmicks, I still live in anticipation of them bringing back the salad that I love so dearly (hint, hint.) The atmosphere of the restaurant is warm and the staff welcoming and the quality really is there when it comes to ingredients. Another aspect of McCormick & Schmicks that I really do love is that they are willing to customize your dish if you are not a fish lover, nearly everything on the menu can be interchanged to create a fish/seafood hater friendly meal. Will I go back to McCormick & Schmicks? You bet, but this time I will give something a little more exciting a try. I’m not one to write off a restaurant for one mediocre meal but I am one to suggest that if you happen by McCormick & Schmicks give the chicken waldorf salad croissant a miss and if you are exceptionally hungry don’t expect a filling portion as far as the pumpkin tilapia chef special goes. Now, if you are looking for an amazing salad or a fresh seafood entree then give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.

I would like to give a huge thank you to Cherise over at Mama’s Money Savers for running such a great contest and to McCormick & Schmicks for providing a $25 gift certificate as a prize!

I am obligated to tell you that the opinions expressed above are my own, I was in no way compensated for them, and that your experiences may differ.
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2 Responses to “McCormick & Schmick’s Date Lunch *Review*”

  1. 1
    cher says:

    I am glad you have such a positive attitude! And thanks for the mention! I honestly haven’t even been able to review it yet because of babysitter issues, but I am glad I was able to at least offer the giveaway!
    .-= cher´s last blog ..Book Review & Giveaway: "The Lovely Bones" – 3 Winners! US/Canada (Ends 11/19) =-.

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