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Restaurant Review: The Better Half

posted on May 15, 2014 at 5:03 pm

Better Half’s fried green tomato, cucumber, yogurt, and compressed rhubarb, Photo by Joeff Davis

Before I’d ever eaten any of chef Zach Meloy’s cooking, I watched along with the rest of his followers on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter as he and his wife Cristina realized the dream of opening their own restaurant. First, there was the supper club PushStart Kitchen. Held in a Goat Farm loft, it was an endeavor the love-struck couple started after moving here from Cristina’s home of Costa Rica, where they met. We watched from afar as Cristina’s belly grew with their first child, as that child went from newborn to toddler, and as their other baby, Better Half, went from a crowd-funded Kickstarter campaign to a working Modern American restaurant with Latin influences. The name is a nod to the restaurant they ran in Costa Rica called Media Naranja, a colloquialism that translates to “half an orange” and is used to refer to someone as your “other half.”

Because I knew all of this about their love story and entrepreneurial ambitions, I felt invested in their future. I wanted to see them succeed. Yet after dining at the restaurant, no amount of romantic backstory or baby pictures could cover up some glaring issues that, if addressed, would make Better Half, well, better.

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