Jump to content

Restaurants that suck/Restaurants that excel!


Recommended Posts

Sogno DiVino (for lunch) and Buon Appetito (for dinner) in San Diego's Little Italy... Excellent!

Rock Bottom, in San Diego... Terrible (the food, not necessarily the beer and appetizers)!

Link to post
Share on other sites

There's this stakehouse in the village I'm living in that excels. Nice meat, they have this dish made with prawns that is just :drool:... The ones close to the place I used to work at all sucked.

Edited by ZL-1
Link to post
Share on other sites

chains

good- Chili's, Red Lobster, Famous Dave's, TGIF, BUCA, Macaroni Grille, Red Robin, Don Pablos, godfathers pizza, Old Chicago, Pizzeria Uno, Big Bowl, Chipotle, Chin's, Pei Wei and whatever its parent chain is.

bad- Applebees

inbetween- Pizza Hut

will add more later.

although with this economy, i don't think anyone eats out anymore.

i love chinese buffets and mongolian joints and pizza places.....chinese places are always iffy though because they are so inconsistent.

Link to post
Share on other sites
although with this economy, i don't think anyone eats out anymore.

It's damn near cheaper to eat at McD's than it is to cook at home these days.

Restaurants that get my approval:

Applebees, Chili's (GOD I LOVE CHILI's), Baja Fresh, Subway, Carl's Jrs/Hardees

OKay ones:

Dominoes, Pizza Hut, McDonalds

Edited by Teh Ricer Civic!
Link to post
Share on other sites
Stone Brewery, and Hacienda de Vega in Escondido (north-east of San Diego), Excellent!

Agreed!

Excellent food and beer. Very nice facility as well.

I love Stone ales. Easily my favorite brewery. Speaking of which, I need to go back down and refill my growlers...

Double Bastard ftw.

Link to post
Share on other sites
why would you get macaroni and cheese on a pizza?

I was referring to the new pastas they have...

Agreed!

Excellent food and beer. Very nice facility as well.

I love Stone ales. Easily my favorite brewery. Speaking of which, I need to go back down and refill my growlers...

Double Bastard ftw.

What sucks is, all these years I've been going to school in SD but just barely found out about the brewery and restaurant. I haven't tried the Double Bastard, but the the Arrogant and Oaked Bastard are killer, as is the Smoked Porter.

Link to post
Share on other sites

subway rocks. I've been jared lately and does help a guy slim down!

i was wondering if those new pizza hut pastas were any good. I bet they are nasty though....and laced with sodium and chemicals.

can we all agree that papa johns has the best chain delivery pizza?

that said, i love little caesars.....the crazy bread, big gut bomb but oh so good!

Link to post
Share on other sites
I was referring to the new pastas they have...

What sucks is, all these years I've been going to school in SD but just barely found out about the brewery and restaurant. I haven't tried the Double Bastard, but the the Arrogant and Oaked Bastard are killer, as is the Smoked Porter.

If you like the Smoked Porter, give their Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout a try. Pretty freaking good.

I love Oaked Bastard, and they carry it at my local bevmo which is nice. The double bastard has a great flavor to it, and a nice kick as well (somewhere around 10% if I remember correctly...) Their Levitation and Vertical Epic ales are pretty good as well.

Damn...now I'm thirsty.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I happen to be a fan of The Cheesecake Factory :AH-HA_wink:

Oh, and John Harvards... they make the ONLY beer I like.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as chain fast food... I like Quiznos, Panda Express, In-N-Out, Carl's Jr, and Rubio's.

Taco trucks are great, too, and now that L.A. has overturned the ordinance that banned them, I can, uh, do homework comfortably though a Friday night knowing I can always grab tacos de carnitas or lengua from Rambo's, or tacos de asada or "veggie" from Leo's, should I ever get hungry...

Link to post
Share on other sites

The "new" Pizza hut pastas are just bigger versions of the pastas I had to make when I worked at a Hut years ago. They were a pain in the ass to make back then, I'm sure its worse now.

I'll have a better idea of local restaurants after Saturday's Taste of Springfield. Its pretty sad, I've lived here 10 years (mines that year and a half in the middle) and I really haven't tried a lot of the local restaurants. I went to the Taste last year for the live music, didn't do the food. This year I'm going to see what they've got. I know I'll be disappointed just because I grew up with the Taste of Chicago, I doubt I'll be able to get fried gator in one booth, then move three booths over for cheesecake.

Edited by Satty
Link to post
Share on other sites
Stone Brewery, and Hacienda de Vega in Escondido (north-east of San Diego), Excellent!

Stone Brewery's restaurant is disgusting. They may know beer but they don't know sh%@ about food. The onion rings are soaked in grease. The burgers are so dry that you could use it as a pumice stone. The beer however is beyond excellent!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent:

Sakura - Japanese steakhouse; my new favorite place to go, every part of the meal is astoundingly delicious

That's Amore - Italian joint in Rockville, I was impressed with the tortellini I ordered

Poor:

the Phillip's on 142nd Street in Ocean City. They used to be good...now, not so much.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Stone Brewery's restaurant is disgusting. They may know beer but they don't know sh%@ about food. The onion rings are soaked in grease. The burgers are so dry that you could use it as a pumice stone. The beer however is beyond excellent!

How long ago did you go? I wonder if the restaurant wasn't as good when they just opened it up. I've only been there twice but have sampled a lot of their menu, and it's mostly pretty good.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Excellent:

Sakura - Japanese steakhouse; my new favorite place to go, every part of the meal is astoundingly delicious

That's Amore - Italian joint in Rockville, I was impressed with the tortellini I ordered

Poor:

the Phillip's on 142nd Street in Ocean City. They used to be good...now, not so much.

I went to Amici Miei, also an Italian restaurant, in Rockville... GROSS. Should have went to That's Amore instead.

Link to post
Share on other sites
How long ago did you go? I wonder if the restaurant wasn't as good when they just opened it up. I've only been there twice but have sampled a lot of their menu, and it's mostly pretty good.

I went last month on Sunday. If I ever go again, I'll have to get really drunk first.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I went last month on Sunday. If I ever go again, I'll have to get really drunk first.

Hmmm... so I guess I'll never get the burger...

Have you had the "Super Chief," at Chief's in Solana Beach? That's a good sized burger, and definitely not dry.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hmmm... so I guess I'll never get the burger...

Actually, I had the buffalo burger and agree that it was pretty dry. Still enjoyable, but nothing to write home about. Otherwise, I did try some of their other dishes which i did find to be very good. The rest of the party I was with enjoyed their food very much as well.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Rock Bottom, in San Diego... Terrible (the food, not necessarily the beer and appetizers)!
We have a Rock Bottom here too. usually the food is pretty good!

Restaurant that fails: Shoney's.

I love me some Shoneys breakfast.

Red Robin, Don Pablos,
Never eaten at a Red Robin, always wanted to. God I loved Don Pablos. It was probably my favorite chain, but our location closed.

can we all agree that papa johns has the best chain delivery pizza?

:cheers:

Panda Express

:cheers:

Alas, I have compiled a list of my favorite local eateries here in Charlotte, some are mom 'n pops and some are small chains. (Asheville to come later :D)

1) Cabo Fish Taco. This is good place here in NoDa that has excellent food. It's always packed and It's not a lot of food IMO. But for lunch, it's great. You can find more at Cabo Fish Taco

2) The Penguin. Legendary hamburger joint that was featured on Diners, Dives & Drive Ins. It's cool, the food is good if you don't mind a little grease and the environment is neat. It's really my style. They have the BEST fried pickles in the world :DThe Penguin

3) Fuel Pizza. The original Fuel Pizza is actually right beside the Penguin and hence right down the road from my house. It's called Fuel because it's in an old gas station. (Esso) It's very cool and the pizza is second only to Mellow Mushroom IMO. Fuel Pizza

4) Mellow Mushroom. I got spoiled on this one in Asheville, then when we moved to 'the hood' here we found one in Charlotte(!!!) Too bad it closed a few weeks later. The Shroom :(

5) Zada Janes. This place is right beside Fuel and The Penguin and it has some of the best pancakes I've ever eaten. If you want breakfast, this is the place. I've never had their dinner though, so I can't speak for it. Zada Janes

6) Ri Ras. This is an irish joint up town that has really good food and is 'pretty' reasonable. It's cool, but small. Ri Ra

7) Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery. (As mentioned before) Another up town place to get that uptown feeling. It can get a bit pricey, but the food is good. Rock Bottom

8] Macs Speed Shop. This place is a biker bar themed restaurant with REALLY southern food. (Therefore I fit right in) It has some of the best and freshest hush puppies I've ever eaten. Really cool place. Macs Speed Shop

9) Phat Burrito. This place is a 'hole in the wall' but it's clean and the food is excellent if you're in the mood for some mexican. The website isn't much, but voila: Phat Burrito

10) Punchy's Diner. This place is pretty good and it holds significance to me because it was one of Dale Earnhardts favorite dives. It has homemade banana pudding that is to die for. I would reccommend eating somewhere else (if you want fancy) and going here for desert. NO WEBSITE (Those of you that have watched "Dale" the documentary will see the owner, Punchy Whitaker interviewed in the extra footage. Earnhardt's first job was working for Punchy in his shop right next to his diner)

11) 304 Pontiac Pointe. The food wasn't that good when I ate there, but that was a holiday and the place was miserably packed. It's in Albermarle (45 min away -- on the way to our local drive in theatre) and was a Pontiac dealership beginning in the 30s. As a result it still has the authentic vertical Pontiac neon sign, with indian head, that's lit every night. NO WEBSITE

12) Showmars. Quick serve food, but the lamb gyro is frickin' amazing.

Showmars

13) Old Hickory House BBQ, founded in the 1950s and still family owned, it that smells amazing everyday and the food is equally as good. NO WEBSITE

14) Brooks. This is a VERY small place that is right beside our mill. It looks pretty sketch, but everyone that has lived here says it has the best burgers in town. Not to mention, EVERY morning it is packed with tons of trucks, police officers and people, so breakfast must be really good. NO WEBSITE

15) Landmark Diner. Here in Charlotte, if you're hungry and drunk at 4AM, greek is the way to go! At Landmark you can literally pay $7 and get enough food to feed a horse. And FWIW, it has some of the best 2 layer cheese cake I've ever eaten. NO WEBSITE.

16) Boudreaux's. Cajun cuisine and some of the best breakfast I've ever had! http://www.boudreauxs.com/

Anyway, what got me thinking about this thread (despite me for some reason deciding to post my favs) was P.F. Changs. What a freakin' rip off this place is!!!! I went there this past Saturday... 3rd time I've been, mind you and it's been horrible ALL 3 times. Horrible service, small amounts of food, crappy food, and they're not very flexible in their offerings. (They wouldn't even sub sides for my vegetarian friend)

'Appleslease' is on my short list of crappy restaurants as well along with Bonefish and Carrabas.

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
Link to post
Share on other sites

Best pizza chain (regional): Donatos

-----------------------

I love this thread...I'm such a food snob. Here are some of my picks in the LA area:

Chosun Galbee (Korean, Koreatown @ Western & Olympic)

R23 (Sushi, Warehouse District @ 2nd & Santa Fe)

Roscoe's House of Chicken & Waffles (Soul Food, various locations)

Mama D's (Italian, Manahattan Beach @ Manhattan Beach & Manhattan)

888 Seafood (Chinese-HK, Rosemead @ Valley & Walnut Grove)

CBS Seafood (Chinese-Cantonese, Chinatown @ Spring & Ord)

Phillipe's the Original (French Dip/Cafeteria, Chinatown @ Ord & Alameda)

The Larchmont Grill (American, NoHo @ Melrose & Globe)

Coyote Grill (Southwestern, Laguna Beach @ PCH & 2nd)

Gyu Kaku (Japanese, various locations)

Gladstone's (Seafood, Malibu @ PCH & Sunset)

The Hat (Fast Food/Pastrami, various locations)

In-N-Out (Fast Food/American, various locations)

Fatburger (Fast Food/American, various locations)

Robek's (Smoothies, various locations)

Pinkberry (Froyo, various locations)

Link to post
Share on other sites
chains

good- Chili's, Red Lobster, Famous Dave's, TGIF, BUCA, Macaroni Grille, Red Robin, Don Pablos, godfathers pizza, Old Chicago, Pizzeria Uno, Big Bowl, Chipotle, Chin's, Pei Wei and whatever its parent chain is.

bad- Applebees

inbetween- Pizza Hut

will add more later.

although with this economy, i don't think anyone eats out anymore.

i love chinese buffets and mongolian joints and pizza places.....chinese places are always iffy though because they are so inconsistent.

How can you say places like Chili's and TGIF are good, but then say Applebees is bad? They're the exact same restaurant.

Link to post
Share on other sites
God I loved Don Pablos. It was probably my favorite chain, but our location closed.

:cheers:

:cheers:

You might want to hurry up and eat at Don Pablos, they recently filed Chapter 11. Next time I'm in the Charlotte area, we should have dinner, my treat. We can talk about both of us being Southern Boys, I know you wouldn't want to talk about GM. :smilewide:

Link to post
Share on other sites
chains

good- Chili's, Red Lobster, Famous Dave's, TGIF, BUCA, Macaroni Grille, Red Robin, Don Pablos, godfathers pizza, Old Chicago, Pizzeria Uno, Big Bowl, Chipotle, Chin's, Pei Wei and whatever its parent chain is.

bad- Applebees

inbetween- Pizza Hut

will add more later.

although with this economy, i don't think anyone eats out anymore.

i love chinese buffets and mongolian joints and pizza places.....chinese places are always iffy though because they are so inconsistent.

Good chains:

Italian: Macaroni Grill, not bad, though they need to lose the "crayons and white paper tablecloth;" good because each dish tastes different

Greek: Daphne's Greek Cafe - found only in the West and throughout SoCal - can you a believe a skewered chicken kabob, shaved gyro meat, small Greek salad, rice, pita slices and tsaziki sauce for $ 8.49?

Mexican: most are ok, though not that imaginative and Acapulco's in Portland is my favorite of the sit-down ones. Of the fast food ones, El Pollo Loco is pretty good...especially with a coupon

Argentinian: Gaucho Grill, chain in SoCal

American: Cheesecake Factory is super reliable, Bob's Big Boy in the California format (there are Big Boys in other states that carry different "first names") for that damn double-decker hamburger and bleu cheese dressing, Hometown Buffet has some decent stuff, especially for a Sunday morning buffet, Boston Market, the Black Bear Diner in the West, Lucille's in the West

Bad chains:

Italian: Olive Garden, bad because, underneath the white sauce/red sauce "fork in the road," they all taste the same, Buca di Beppo, effin' awful and bad kitsch atmosphere - aimed at those who don't know EYE-talian food, C&O Trattoria in SoCal

American: Denny's, Shoney's (in the South), Waffle House (in the South), all of the American fast food chains, sorry but I hate In 'n' Out Burger for which people in CA line up

Chinese: PF Chang's-go from having lunch there to the office and then home sick

Good stand-alones:

Italian: Riccardo's (Lake Oswego/Portland, Oregon), Bocelli's (Gresham/Portland, Oregon), Trattoria Volare (San Francisco), Pirate's Pizza (Reno), Le Tre Marie (Montreal), Garcia's (?) Pizza (Champaign IL)

Greek: Niko Nikos (Houston), Athenian Gardens (Toronto)

Mexican: Paco's Taco's, Grass Valley/Nevada City, CA, a bohemian Sierra town full of retreads/burnouts - a $5 burrito that's off the charts,

American: The Big Yellow House (Summerland, immediately south of Santa Barbara CA), Phil's BBQ - San Diego, CA, Mission Cafe - San Diego, CA (the weird segment of San Diego society, but there's a line on weekend mornings), Redrum Burger off Interstate 80 in Davis, CA, MaryMac's Cafeteria in Atlanta, Gladstone's on PCH in Pacific Palisades CA (definitely)

Bad stand-alones:

Italian: Battista's, Las Vegas, NV forgot the name, but it's a long-time Italian restaurant in San Diego's Little Italy amidst all the new trendy Italian eateries, Mama's Red Tomato in South Lake Tahoe CA, Italian Cottage in Chico CA

Greek: Greek Village Inn, Sacramento CA

American: The Proud Bird, adjacent to LAX runway toward El Segundo (deplorable, but you can see airplane take-offs and landings) which may have changed name, Moonshadows in Malibu CA

Notable buffets:

Casino style: El Dorado Hotel in Reno NV on Tuesday nights is Italian theme night: mushroom ravioli, seafood tortellini, polenta, chicken cacciatore, braised steak with Italian type seasonings ... and all the other stuff that doesn't rotate such as roast beef, turkey, ham, seafood, and on and on...and only $ 14.99 - Reno Hilton, now called Grand Sierra Resort, breakfast buffet that is unbelievable for about $ 8.99

American: Marriott Marquis downtown Atlanta brunch, Fontainebleau Miami Beach Friday night seafood buffet

Mexican: Paco's Taco's - a different restaurant on the West Side of L.A. by different owners from the one listed above where we'd go for the lunch buffet during college and would have to be carted out in a wheelbarrow

Overseas restaurants:

Italian: Chiaroscuro, outside of Florence IT and only locals go there, they come up with different pasta dishes all the time and they are off the charts, La Tartaruga, in Messina, Sicily, IT, where the food doesn't change and portions are huge/inexpensive and the couple who owns it fight with each other (she's up front and he cooks)

Brazilian churrascaria: hey, ZL-1, what's the name of that chain churrascaria near Praca de Chile in Lisboa? It was great!

Food I can't comment about:

Thai, Indian, Vietnamese - I don't eat it

Edited by trinacriabob
Link to post
Share on other sites
olive garden does indeed suck

anyone like HOOTERS?

My buddy and I collectively polished off a plate of 100 buffalo wings. Half breaded, half naked, all hot (their hot really isn't even that hot....)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob, you did NOT just slam Waffle House. I love the Waffle House. I love my smothered, scattered, diced, covered, and capped hash browns.

Another good restaurant in LA:

Blossom (Vietnamese, Downtown @ 4th & Main)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Bob, you did NOT just slam Waffle House. I love the Waffle House. I love my smothered, scattered, diced, covered, and capped hash browns.

Another good restaurant in LA:

It's the combination the greasiness of the food and a lot of the patrons. One needs intravenous Prozac/Zoloft to enter a Waffle House in certain neighborhoods and at certain times of the day.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Waffle House is awesome after a night of drinking. IHOP, not so much, although a friend of mine now manages an IHOP, so I have some hookups to mediocre food. Applebees is the worst of the chain sit-down restaurants, but the other places suck major ass as well. TGIF, Chilis, Ruby Tuesday are all better than Applebees, but its much the same way that HIV is better than AIDS.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Best Pizza in the 'burgh - Fat Tommy's (title isn't hard to take, but Fat Tommy's could compete nationally)

Best Mexican Chain - Mad Mex

Best Italian Chain - Bucca de Beppo

Best 'Americana' Chain - Pizzaria Uno

Best Fast Food Chain- Steak -n- Shake

Most overrated - Cheesecake Factory/ P.F. Changs (tie)

Best Local higher priced - Gypsy Cafe

Best Local lower priced - Peppi's Subs

Link to post
Share on other sites

Steak-n-Shake is pretty good for having the greasiest burgers ever. I love the fries.

As far as local places, Springfield Brewing Company has great live music, edible food and beer galore.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm always up for Waffle House. The other patrons are sometimes "interesting" but I swear in my area (Pensacola) those "interesting" people all work at the MickeyD's, BK, etc. So the service at WH blows any other fast food joint away.

One place I miss from living in IA is Culver's. Fast food quick, but great food and service and their restaurants were kept spotless.

Link to post
Share on other sites
but I swear in my area (Pensacola)

Billy Bob's Barbecue in Gulf Breeze on the way to the beach or Founaris Brothers Greek Restaurant on Pensacola Blvd. near where the cheap hotels are for those day-hopping it to the beach.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Most overrated EVAR!

Not in my opinion. Whenever I go to one here, the quantity is huge, the quality is up there, and the variety is outstanding. The environment is very nice.

As for Olive Garden, Bob, you hit the nail on the head. How people can call that Italian food is beyond me. I can put red food coloring in water too... does that mean I can call it sauce?

Link to post
Share on other sites
I've never liked Cheese Cake factory's dinners and I stopped going once it occurred to me that I can make a better cheesecake than them.

Cheesecake Factory is the only big "upscale" (snort) national chain I like. Now, if you go there and order a damn thing with their pasta, yea, you're getting ripped off. But they have a lot of variety, and quite a bit of good food. Their lettuce wraps are phenominal, and I'm also patial to the avocado egg rolls. The crispy crab wontons aren't good crab rangoons, but I order those and think they taste good since I know not to compare them. Chinese chicken salad is really good, and the fresh turkey sandwich is also fairly good. I forget what else I've tried there, but I've been pleasantly content. O do agree CF has an overabundance of mediocre chicken & pasta dishes that are just so..."middle class" in taste and positioning. At the end of the day, you're paying $18 for a big bowl of pasta and sauce that cost them about $4 to make. It's just really, really bad pasta.

And I also agree that the cheesecakes are overrated, but I think there are a few of them that are fairly good.

It isn't too difficult to make a better cheesecake than them, but simultaneously, I really don't feel like it's worth the effort when I can go out and get a huge slice of above-average cheesecake that will last me at least 2 days.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I forgot my favorite Thai place upthread...

Ruem Pair (Thai, Thai Town @ Hollywood & Hobart)

What do you recommend there?

I like Jitlada (nearby, Sunset & Harvard), but it's kinda pricey on a student's budget and their lunch chef is inconsistent. Ruen Pair seems more affordable.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried to go to Cheesecake Factory here once. I've never been, but my GF loves it.

I didn't feel like waiting the 1 hour plus to get in, so I went to P.F. Changs instead (The 2nd of my 3 bad experiences)

I've been going to Waffle House (usually after a night having a lot of Tequila) for years. I never tried the waffles until about 2 months ago. I remember (barely) saying "These waffles are delectable!" Everyone thought it was funny and I just said it because I was drunk off my ass, but seriously, whoever was making the waffles that night was good!

Another place I enjoy going is Quaker Steak and Lube. The food usually sucks, but it's cool to look at and they have good car & bike shows. http://www.quakersteakandlube.com/

Link to post
Share on other sites

My favorites when I'm home are.

In Pennsylvania

Italian - Buca di Beppo (It means Joe's Basement in Italian) (Exton, PA)

Thai - Royal Thai Orchid (Frazer, PA)

In Delaware

Mexican/Tex-Mex

La Tolteca - http://www.lastoltecas.com

Border Cafe - http://www.bordercafe.com

Fast Food - Hamburgers

Fuddruckers - http://www.fuddruckers.com

Sonic - http://www.sonicdrivein.com

Hardes - http://www.hardees.com/#/?video=badonkadon...annel=on-tv-now

Breakfast

Waffle House - http://www.wafflehouse.com

Cracker Barrel - http://www.crackerbarrel.com

Pizza

Geraldo's Pizza (Mom & Pop place)

Beef & Chicken

Lone Star - http://www.lonestarsteakhouse.com/files/home.aspx

Texas Roadhouse - http://www.texasroadhouse.com

Link to post
Share on other sites

Culvers is a favorite. Excellent double cheeseburgers and sides and of course the custard. It you want charcoal flaver Cinderz is the place for a burger or steak grilled right over charcoal. There are too many good loacl pizza places here to mess with Pizza Hut or Dominos or Papa Johns. Little Luigis right here in Kaukauna and Butchs Pizza in Kimberly have the best pizza in the area. Little Luigis also has better Italian than the Olive Garden could ever dream of. So does Victorias in Appleton. I rarely bother with McDonalds or Burger King or Hardees other than the Hot Ham and Cheese. Too many good local places here. Bar and Grills are a common thing here and many beat the restaraunts (especially chain ones) for quality.

Link to post
Share on other sites
My favorites when I'm home are.

In Pennsylvania

Italian - Buca di Beppo (It means Joe's Basement in Italian) (Exton, PA)

Non ci posso credere. Sei un vero Europeo, e ti piace questa "catena di spazzatura." Non c'e ne sono ristoranti Italiani autentici a "South Philly?" Credo di si.

Link to post
Share on other sites

6 months on the ground in Phoenix now..being a foodie, I've I've found a number of local restaurants I like--ranging from Irish (Rosie McCaffertys, Seamus McCaffertys) and English pubs (George and Dragon), to a couple really Thai places (Thai Basil, Thai Elephant, Pink Pepper (been going there 10 years), Malees), a decent Chinese place (Golden Phoenix) to an Israeli place (Sabuddy) with great hummus and kebabs, a couple Greek places, a good Cuban restaurant (Havana Cafe)(in Arizona? Who would have imagined that..), a few excellent local bistros close to home (Phoenix City Grille, Sierra Bonita Grille, Ticoz) an excellent New Mexican place (Richardsons) and more than a few Mexican places... there are a couple good steakhouses (Durant's, Texaz Grill) I've been going to for 10+ years out here that I still like. Some good local Italian places also (Avanti).

As far as local and national chains here, I like Corleones (cheesesteak place), Chipotle (long a favorite, from Denver), Pei Wei, Sauce (these two are only a mile from home, so I seem to hit them every week), Pick up Stix (decent Chinese fast food), Baja Fresh, L&L Hawaiian BBQ, Gordon-Bierch (tasty food and Chzech-style lagers at this brewpub chain), Pita Jungle, The Keg Steakhouse, Bamboo Club, Earl's....

I still haven't found a really good Indian restaurant, though Bombay Spice near me is an interesting wine bar with some Westernized Indian dishes. I hear there are some good Indian places out in Tempe and Mesa...have to go explore there some.

Probably will eat out more and venture further from my central Phoenix location in the winter,didn't really have the energy to venture very far from home during the 4 months of furnace heat summer..

Working downtown now instead of N. Scottsdale (where I was May-July) also brings me closer to other places to check out..

Link to post
Share on other sites
What do you recommend there?

I like Jitlada (nearby, Sunset & Harvard), but it's kinda pricey on a student's budget and their lunch chef is inconsistent. Ruen Pair seems more affordable.

The spicy fish salad is amazing, but I believe it isn't on the menu. It's fried little fishies in spicy oil and vinegar, and probably something else.

The pad thai is good, and they also have this seafood soup that they light on fire. Fried rice is amazing...and yes it is very cheap for the amount of food you get.

Link to post
Share on other sites

there's a local microbrewery here in Cape (SE MO) Buckner's. most of the beer is great, has ale, wheat, boch, porter, don't think they do lagers...? the food is pretty good, sandwiches, some soup, few pizzas.

china buffet. don't know if it's national, but have a few others in the area. a large assortment of chinese/ some american/fruit/dessert

Link to post
Share on other sites
You might want to hurry up and eat at Don Pablos, they recently filed Chapter 11. Next time I'm in the Charlotte area, we should have dinner, my treat. We can talk about both of us being Southern Boys, I know you wouldn't want to talk about GM. :smilewide:

Sure you wanna take that chance?

:AH-HA_wink:

I might have to declare a jihad in the name of Pontiac and take you hostage.

J/K.

Seriously though, I'd be open to that if you ever get out this way.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Sure you wanna take that chance?

:AH-HA_wink:

I might have to declare a jihad in the name of Pontiac and take you hostage.

J/K.

Seriously though, I'd be open to that if you ever get out this way.

When I'm home, I sometimes go down to Charlotte to see some friends who work for EDS there. I wasn't worried that you would take me hostage. I'll let you know the next time I'm down there, I think it would be an interesting meeting, however I would have to insist on no pics, as anonymity is my middle name. :smilewide:

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

I recently had Old Chicago for the first time. Being a Chicago native, I have certain expectations and Old Chicago failed on every level. Absolutely atrocious. I wouldn't recommend that crap to anyone for any reason. What sucks is that before it was Old Chicago it was a locally owned restaurant that had fantastic fried chicken. Now its just greasy, tasteless garbage.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I recently had Old Chicago for the first time. Being a Chicago native, I have certain expectations and Old Chicago failed on every level. Absolutely atrocious. I wouldn't recommend that crap to anyone for any reason. What sucks is that before it was Old Chicago it was a locally owned restaurant that had fantastic fried chicken. Now its just greasy, tasteless garbage.

no franchise can ever recreate the real thing. but i liked old chicago.. and uno. but yeah, nothing to write home about.

good pizza is tough to do. i dont ever expect much from any pizza chain.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Eating Old Chicago made me want to grab a coat hanger and give myself a 97th trimester abortion, it was that awful.

Anyways, the reason I dug this thread up is that I just got my ass chewed out for (very sarcastically) referring to Red Lobster as "fine dining." I'm not big on the seafood, so I dont go to RL unless I'm outnumbered in a group. But the food is always bland, the service is slow and the prices are high. I dont get why that place is always packed.

Lately we've been cooking more at home, doing a lot of different stuff, and I've discovered a natural food market that is awesome. Also discovered that I like crab cakes.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Eating Old Chicago made me want to grab a coat hanger and give myself a 97th trimester abortion, it was that awful.

I've never had that, but after having REAL Chicago deep-dish, Pizzeria Uno is awful. Actually, it was awful before. Of course, living in the land of awesome pizza (Phila-Jersey-New York), no franchise is going to be even close to good. In fact, I rate franchise pizza on a separate scale... "corporate pizza" vs. "real pizza". Of course, "corporate pizza" includes stuff you find in the grocer's freezer, so "good corporate pizza" is not really a compliment.

Anyways, the reason I dug this thread up is that I just got my ass chewed out for (very sarcastically) referring to Red Lobster as "fine dining." I'm not big on the seafood, so I dont go to RL unless I'm outnumbered in a group. But the food is always bland, the service is slow and the prices are high. I dont get why that place is always packed.

Red Lobster is meh... but the cheesy buttery biscuits are fantastic. I've been known to eat 20+ of those... Makes for a cheap meal, ordering the minimum needed for the unlimited biscuits. ;-)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Bobby, I'm in Houston, TX and I'm going to my 1st Olive Garden. Have you been to one my old Italian friend ???

What? You've never been to an Olive Garden. You're just trying to act highbrow. Sheez.

It's edible. Sometimes they have decent dishes, but they have an American spin on trying to be an Italian restaurant. The best one I ever had was some kind of penne/asparagus/mushroom concoction. Again, not bad. But not inspiring, either.

(Also, between the unlimited soup and unlimited salad, go soup and get the Zuppa Toscana - it has potatoes, sausage, rosemary, broth)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Had a couple good experiences at chain restaurants that were new to me this past weekend in Lone Tree, Colorado (Denver suburb). Went for brunch w/ friends on Saturday, tried Grand Lux Cafe(apparently a Cheesecake Factory owned chain)--nice decor, had a tasty fried chicken (boneless) and waffles dish (different than Roscoes, but still tasty) and salad. Their portions are huge. On Sunday, tried Which Wich? a sandwich shop, interesting place...sort of a build your own menu where you fill out the items you want (meats, bread, toppings, etc) on a sandwich bag.

Edited by Cubical
Link to post
Share on other sites
Had a couple good experiences at chain restaurants that were new to me this past weekend in Lone Tree, Colorado (Denver suburb). Went for brunch w/ friends on Saturday, tried Grand Lux Cafe(apparently a Cheesecake Factory owned chain)--nice decor, had a tasty fried chicken (boneless) and waffles dish (different than Roscoes, but still tasty) and salad. Their portions are huge. On Sunday, tried Which Wich? a sandwich shop, interesting place...sort of a build your own menu where you fill out the items you want (meats, bread, toppings, etc) on a sandwich bag.

The nice thing about Grand Lux (created because a Vegas casino wanted a CF but CF had a non-compete clause with another casino) is that they test new menu items before they cross over to the CF branded restaurants.

Link to post
Share on other sites
ruby tuesday does have a decent salad bar however

Very good salad bar. Ruby's are usually very good or very bad... depending on location.

Barely between restaurant and fast food, I really have been hooked on Five Guys burgers lately.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Very good salad bar. Ruby's are usually very good or very bad... depending on location.

Barely between restaurant and fast food, I really have been hooked on Five Guys burgers lately.

I used to work down the street from a Ruby Tuesdays..they used to have a good buffalo chicken sandwich.

I'm partial to Old Chicago's and Rock Bottom restaurants (same owners), since they are where I spent many a Friday happy hour over the last 12 years in Colorado. Did the Old Chicago's World Beer Tour also, and they used to have a great buffalo chicken sandwich.

Link to post
Share on other sites
What? You've never been to an Olive Garden. You're just trying to act highbrow. Sheez.

It's edible. Sometimes they have decent dishes, but they have an American spin on trying to be an Italian restaurant. The best one I ever had was some kind of penne/asparagus/mushroom concoction. Again, not bad. But not inspiring, either.

(Also, between the unlimited soup and unlimited salad, go soup and get the Zuppa Toscana - it has potatoes, sausage, rosemary, broth)

I agree that their Zuppa Toscana is an awesome Soup. The all you can eat Soup and Salad is one of the best deals. I love the Garlic bread sticks also. Course being a chain, some are better than others, but the one here in Lynnwood Washington does excel above the average.

In regards to best Pizza Place: Pizza Bank in Kirkland Washington. The place actually used to be a real bank, their food is awesome. Pies are hard to beat and none of the mass chains can even hold a stick to their pizza. :P

Worst place: Sherries, on par with the dirty Denny's both are pretty sad.

Best steak place: Daniels in Bellevue Washington. Their Filet and Porterhouse are amazing.

Best Seafood: Just about any place here in Seattle, but I think the best is Palisade Waterfront Restaurant. http://www.palisaderestaurant.com/

Best Fish and Chips: Spuds Fish and Chips in Juanita Bay, Kirkland Washington.

We'll will add more later. :P Gonna go grab some lunch. :D

Link to post
Share on other sites
Best steak place: Daniels in Bellevue Washington. Their Filet and Porterhouse are amazing.

Best Seafood: Just about any place here in Seattle, but I think the best is Palisade Waterfront Restaurant. http://www.palisaderestaurant.com/

Best Fish and Chips: Spuds Fish and Chips in Juanita Bay, Kirkland Washington.

We'll will add more later. :P Gonna go grab some lunch. :D

Sounds good.. I will have to do some research on restaurants in the Seattle area before I head up there next month for a little R&R.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Sounds good.. I will have to do some research on restaurants in the Seattle area before I head up there next month for a little R&R.

If you do not mind telling me the general area you are planning to visit, I can post a list of some really yummy places to visit. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
If you do not mind telling me the general area you are planning to visit, I can post a list of some really yummy places to visit. :)

I have no idea yet specifically where I am staying/visiting..just thought Seattle and therebouts would be fun for my birthday, to get away from the Phoenix oven for a few days at the end of June. Thinking about staying in the city somewhere and driving out to the coast, Olympic Peninsula, etc. Been reading Fodors 2009 PNW issue.

Edited by Cubical
Link to post
Share on other sites
Good Restaurant - Prime Sirloin

Bad Restaurant - Ruby Tuesday

We got a Christmas gift a few years ago from an employer...a family dinner at Ruby Tuesday's. One of the worst dinners I've had in a LONG time.

Chris

Link to post
Share on other sites

BJ's - people are like OMGOMGITSSOGOODYOUGOTTATRYTHEBAZOOKA, and seriously it wasn't good at all.

Apart from In-N-Out and Rubios, why do practically all chain restaurants suck?

Link to post
Share on other sites