Eatery - Chapter One (CA) Revisited

Chapter One: The Modern Local on Urbanspoon

227 N Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Pricing - $$/$$$ | Dining - Casual | Cuisine - American, Gastropub

[You can read my first review here.] So the last time I came to Chapter One, it was because of OC Beer Week. Then I came twice in eight days, once for lunch and once for dessert. To be honest, my ratings are based off of an average of the two experiences into this one "revisit" because the entrees/appetizers themselves for my lunch were not mind-blowing but the desserts were fabulous. It evens out right? So here we go with the pictures and review!

The soup of the day was their pork belly soup which was heavy on the pork belly and maple syrup. Think about liquified bacon that has had syrup poured all over it. Well okay, there were also chunks of pork belly so it wasn't watery. I liked it a lot. It was hearty. It was filling. It was bacon. Case settled.

Next were my etouffee fries which were shoestring house fries smothered in spicy Cajun roux, lime, and cilantro. I guess I should have read it more closely when I ordered because I was hoping for some seafood in my etouffee. Alas, alack, nevertheless it was amazing.

My coconut crusted shrimp were what let me down. Though the display was a bit ostentatious, the flavors weren't. The shrimp was good on the inside but lackluster on the outside and the curry sauce that came with wasn't very complimentary to the rest of the flavors in the dish. However, it was just one fault in the meal.

The next time I came, my friends and I were just hanging out for dessert. They had recently changed their menu to be all donuts. We were a bit apprehensive to hear that the food was just to be donuts but man oh man did they surprise us (we ordered one of every kind to share). It was insta-betes for us that night!

The red velvet was an artsy masterpiece of strawberry red velvet overtopped with Kampot pepper-ginger cream cheese and accentuated with chocolate flakes. The cakey part of it was a little dry to me but that's what the cream cheese is for right? It was quite gingery and palate cleansing for a cream cheese.

Next was the banana donut covered in bourbon maple frosting, candied bacon, and a bruleed banana. There were just so many flavors going on at once with that dessert! It was savory and sweet, syrupy and creamy, a mouthful of awesome.

My order was for "The Dude," a tribute to The Dude (you better know who that is). It was a fat chocolate donut with coffee frosting and topped with White Russian whipped cream and smashed coffee beans. Wow. This blew my mind. It was my favorite of all that we tried because it was so innovative. Whoever came up with the whipped cream is a genius because there was definitely no holding back on it. It really was a White Russian, alcohol and all. I think a perfect drink would be have an actual White Russian with the whipped cream on top.

The last donut for the night was my second favorite - a peach and basil donut on top of citrus meringue and peach puree. What a refresher. I never would have thought to combine those two flavors into a donut but it was done and done well. Fabulous. This was a great way to finish off the night too!