Interstate Is Up and Running

September 14 2009, 10:22 AM
Ever since the Santa Fe Tequila Company went belly up last November, I've been waiting to see what would fill that sprawling location. Last week, Interstate Kitchen & Bar threw open its doors. The retro space will no doubt be a draw for the rockabilly and bike-messenger crowds---if not for the dialed-up comfort food (deviled eggs, Monte Cristos, and peach ambrosia) than for the extensive whiskey selection. But even as the Web site proclaims "No spirit better defines America's distilleries than whiskey," Interstate's specialty cocktail menu is far too limited for non-whiskey sippers. That said, the Standard Etiquette---a smooth blend of whiskey, grapefruit, and honey---was rated a table favorite during a recent visit. Food and pacing need work, as hushpuppies arrived overly fried and with a dipping sauce that was never described to us. The dried-out buffalo meatloaf showed up with flavorless grits, and the braised pork ribs were memorable mostly because of the celery done "three ways." The best of the bunch was the crunchy romaine salad, with blue cheese, country ham, cracklins', and peppery dressing. Prices are similar to Steuben's. In fact, much of Interstate recalls that swell eatery just across town. While I have no doubt that Interstate will smooth out the bumps, it has work to do before it really starts cruising. 901 W. 10th Ave., 720-479-8829