Anticipated Obar Disappoints

Jacqueline Glenn, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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Nestled in the same strip mall as Edwardsville classics like Pantera’s and El Maguey, Obar seemed to me like a perfect Sunday brunch restaurant.

Jazzy music played just below a conversational volume. Homey sofas with a plethora of decorative pillows lined the back wall. The menu, mounted on the front wall, included expansive options for ‘O Breakfast’ (served from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.), ‘O Brunch’ (served from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.) and ‘O Dinner’ (served from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays only).

Knowing that the restaurant had opened just a week earlier, I entered with an open mind, eager to try something new.

I ordered the create-your-own egg wrap, delighted that one of my favorite foods would be used as a tortilla and stuffed with fillings of my choice. A variety of veggies, grilled meats and shredded cheeses were lined up buffet-style behind a counter. I selected sharp cheddar cheese, pinto beans, mushrooms, green peppers and cherry tomatoes.

A worker whisked my choices together in a bowl, and a chef folded the ingredients into the egg wrap while I watched, with eager taste buds, from behind the clear glass window which separated the kitchen and customers.

At the cash register, the beaming owner, Chelsea Coughlin, suggested that I try one of Obar’s signature teas, the Orange Mixed Berry, with my order. Coughlin’s palpable excitement about her new restaurant led me to gladly oblige, even though I normally stick to water.

The iced tea, complete with plump, sweet blackberries and raspberries, fresh-squeezed orange juice and mild green tea, was fortunately the perfect antidote for my disappointing main dish.

My ‘egg wrap’ was a slightly undercooked omelette that disgraced most of its contents. One of the cherry tomatoes still donned a stem. The cheese was clumpy and only partially melted. The beans, soggy and cold, permeated the veggie, cheese and egg encasement with a flavorless texture that made me bail after the first few bites.

Coughlin checked on my table several times, offering to refill drinks or grab extra napkins. Her service was so friendly that I felt guilty for disliking her restaurant’s food, which was hardly worth the $8 I paid for it.

Although Obar’s atmosphere was welcoming, its service was amicable and its Orange Mixed Berry ice tea was delectable, I will not be returning. I still have my meal’s leftovers in the fridge, and I do not want to eat them.