Eileen O.

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Recent reviews by Eileen O. - Page 3 of 7
Restaurant Name City
Rating
Lauer's Cocktails & Dining Conway, MI
This is another restaurant my husband used to visit ages ago and one which he didn't have a chance to revisit prior to his death. One warm evening in July, I decided to check out this place in his memory. Lauer's offers patrons a full bar, and smoking and non-smoking dining sections, though not that well separated. There is also a view of Crooked Lake. Lauer's specializes in local fish dishes (perch, whitefish, etc.) but one can also choose from saltwater fish as well, and lobster and shrimp. There are also a number of steak offerings on the menu, not to mention pasta and chicken. I chose the 12 oz Prime Rib with a baked potato and the salad bar. The salad bar alone was worth the trip! There were actually sliced, hardboiled eggs, a rare treat in these cost-cutting days. The salad dressing (blue cheese) was probably bottled, but very tangy. The prime rib was pretty good, as was the potato. I wisely avoided the fresh-baked bread mini-loaf that arrived with my drink. Portions were generous, but I still had no room for dessert (which looked interesting). And wonder of wonders, the coffee was pretty good! After so many cases of disappointment, this was a pleasant surprise. The waitress said the brand was Douwe Egberts which is a Dutch company recently acquired by Sara Lee (of pound cake fame). As I was leaving, a couple of families with screaming children arrived, so I hustled myself out. The only drawback to Lauer's is the location. To go home, I had to turn left back on to US 31, and it took several minutes for the traffic to calm down enough to sneak out. Still in all, it was a very good meal, and I want to return with friends.
Fat Daddy's Downtown Pizz-A-Deli Petoskey, MI
The motto of Fat Daddy's is "You'll Forget Your First Piece, " which is actually on a T-shirt patrons can buy in the store. I remember "Fat" when he was stuck in a hole-in-the-way place on US31 N outside the city. He teamed up with a deli owner in downtown Petoskey and the two of them are having a ball and making some money. There is pizza (whole and by the slice), using Fat Daddy's interesting recipes stolen from pizza joints back in New England. The other guy makes tremendous sandwiches of all sorts. Everything is for eat-in or carry out. Fat Daddy's pizza is some of the finest outside of NYC or Philly (or, dare I say it, South Jersey) I've ever eaten. The guys sell wine and beer (and my favorite, San Pellegrino) along with soda and water, but the alcohol is strictly for off-premises consumption. They deliver, but not as far as my house, so ask when you call. Lots of businesses use Fat Daddy's for lunch carry out. Prices are reasonable, the people are friendly, and service is quick. Next time I go, I'll buy the t-shirt!
Zingarella's Italian Grill Bedford, NH
I was househunting in the Bedford-Nashua area and my realtor was driving around. It came lunch time and I was getting hungry, so we pulled in here because she didn't know it even though she's from New Hampshire. I am so glad we came, and when I move here, I'm going to become a regular. Not since the "Villa" in Petoskey, Michigan, have I encountered such authentic Italian offerings, and good value for money. I selected a veal marsala with side salad and pasta. The veal melted in the mouth, and the marsala sauce was heavenly. The bread was fresh, the salad had lots of garlic, and they featured --- wait for it --- San Pellegrino! I was so stuffed, I didn't have time for dessert, but had 2 caffee lattes to stay awake for the further househunting. Even my realtor was impressed and thought she'd come back with some of her fellow agents when there was an office function. Zingarella's does take-out too (pizza, of course, but anything else you want as well) and features an extensive, very reasonably-priced, catering menu. I think this place has its own web site, but I no longer recall. There is a full-service bar, too, so one can have cocktails or Chianti. I am so looking forward to moving to New Hampshire so I can return here. Molto buono!
Peterson's 31 North Eastport, MI
This place has been around forever, according to my late husband who used to come here to drink when he was a teen and sporting fake ID. He didn't manage to make it here to eat before his death, so I recently dropped in right before a huge thunderstorm hit. This place looks like it must have during the late 50's when my husband was here. It's been under present ownership for 10 years in 2004 and has obviously been renovated, but the old touches still remain. It sports a full bar and smoking and non-smoking rooms. I arrived right at 5PM when they open, so there were other people there, but not too many. Not realising how big the portions are, I had an appetizer of potato wedges & cheese & bacon & something else and it was HUGE. I had to take over half of it with me back home. The marinated chicken breast sandwich was pretty big as well, but I ate all of that. They marinate the chicken in a sweet and sour pineapple sauce which is pretty good. The service was fast and friendly and I had a nice time. Unfortunately, the table next to me sported 4 of some of the biggest idiots I've heard conversing in a long time. I didn't stay for coffee and dessert to them, but I plan to come back since it's not that far from where I live. Definitely worth a visit!
J. Beaner's Coffee House & Cafe Amherst, NH
At the end of my drive from Michigan to Nashua, NH, I pulled in the J. Beaner parking lot to see if the cop I'd seen in my rearview mirror was really following me (and yes, he was). After a short conversation with him (and no ticket!), I decided to have some coffee and a snack here. This is a brand new establishment, all very light and airy with shiny chrome fixtures and cool Euro-hip bistro tables and chairs. There is free internet access here, and one can sit at a coffee bar or in the livingroom-type set-up that's next to an informal dining area. J. Beaner's offers everything from soup to nuts (and even caters). Lots of the usual coffee drinks, plus some iced drinks for the summer. I had a veg lasagne dish which was very good. Most of the foods are in a refrigerated deli case and one picks ones meal. Mine had to be microwaved, but other items can be eaten cold. There are also some stupendous-looking desserts. As luck would have it, I was too full to try even a cookie. I saw an authentic Schwarzwaelder Kirschtorte (Black Forest Cake), complete with booze in it, but I had no more room for dessert. Just about everything on the menu can be ordered for take-out, and I put the rest of my coffee in such a take-out cup so I could press on towards Nashua. I am looking forward to visiting here again. A very nice place!
Bickfords Family Fare Manchester, NH
I was staying in a Manchester hotel the night before a really early flight and thought I'd have a quick dinner here because the Bickford's place in Nashua had been so good. This place was revolting. I got there are about 6 or 7 PM and the clientele made very extremely nervous. I was glad I could view my car in the parking lot from my table lest it get stolen, I guess. I ordered grilled scallops (it's New England, right? Seafood!) with broccoli and a baked potato. Aside from it taking absolutely forever, when the meal arrived, I was amazed at the poor quality. I think the whole thing took so long because the cook was thawing and then microwaving the scallops! And what a poor uneven job he did! Ditto the broccoli. The baked potato was almost as old as I was. I ate as much as I dared, paid the waitress, then got something from (ugh) Burger King on the way back to the hotel. Never again. What a disappointment!
Tony's I-75 Restaurant Birch Run, MI
I actually went out of my way to eat here, and now I wish I hadn't bothered ... at least not on a Saturday night. The place was absolutely packed but I got one last seat in the back of the non-smoking section. I should have ordered something else, but opted for a rib-eye steak with baked potato and veggies with side salad. The salad was good enough, but stuffed into a much-too-small bowl that made eating difficult. I asked for my steak "just above rare" and received it just above raw. I was much too hungry to send it back, but if I once thought it was impossible to ruin a rib-eye, I was wrong here! What a revolting quality of meat! This meat was nothing I'd ever seen related to a rib-eye. Yes, well, you get what you pay for, I guess. Coffee was (as I expected) not good, but the baked potato was tasty and the microwaved veggies were adequate. I'm afraid I can't understand the appeal of this place. I might try it again for lunch (i.e., a sandwich), but I should have gone to Big Boy or Quizno's just two doors away.
Grand Buffet Restaurant & Lounge Nashua, NH
I was absolutely starving when I rolled into the parking lot, and I misunderstood what the outside sign said. It advertized ITALIAN COOKING as well as CHINESE COOKING and AMERICAN COOKING. I thought it was all like a food court, but I was in error. It is just a Chinese restaurant that features a couple of other country's national dishes. This restaurant features the all-you-eat buffet for $11 or something, or one can get an a la carte deal (like veg lo mein, etc.). I tried the buffet which was set up in a large room and boasted many MANY dishes. For the American cuisine section, there was mac and cheese and some odd-looking french fries (I avoided those), and the Italian section boasted pizza (something else I avoided). There was a lot of crab and lobster which was being scarfed down by local red-necks which I'd not thought possible outside of Hazzard County, Kentucky. I tried some spicy chicken and pork and some veg lo mein. There was a large selection of desserts (pastry, cake, ice cream) but I had to give it a pass as I was full. The buffet offers definite value for money, but I'm not sure I'd return. Too many people were chewing with mouthes open for me. There is a full-service bar attached here, too, and many patrons were having beer with dinner.
Black Forest Cafe & Bakeries Amherst, NH
Not much has changed here since the last revivewer visited. I was on my way back to Michigan and spotted the place. Thinking it was German, I stopped in. When will I ever learn? The Black Forest got its name from the owners who thought the name sounded cool ... the little girl waiting on me had never heard of the Black Forest in Germany (sigh). This place is seriously priced and not for the timid, but the food is excellent. I was too late for the restaurant/lunch part, but I sat outside with some of the deli items I ordered. My absolute favorite was the roast beef and Boursin cheese wrap. Heavenly! The Cafe also serves San Pellegrino, but it was NOT priced to sell, believe me, so I just had a Diet Coke. I wish I had had room for dessert, as the various cakes and pastries looked wonderful, but I'll be back here to live soon enough and will definitely stop by. The service was fast and friendly, too.
Bertucci's Manchester, NH
I did not realize that Bertucci's is a chain restaurant, or I might not have visited there, given that I try not to eat at chains while travelling. Having said that, I found out that Bertucci's is a New England chain, and not one I'm likely to see back in Michigan, so I feel a bit vindicated. This place was hopping when I went on a Saturday afternoon. Everything was great: the bread, the antipasto, the salad, and my spaghetti alio & olio & peperoncino. The cappuccino was a rip-off ($3.29 for a smal cup) which was irritating, but the lovely young waitress gave me one for free after I got sticker shock from the price. All the personnel was extremely friendly and genuinely nice and I'm looking forward to moving to New Hampshire soon just so I go back and visit. It made me feel as if I were back in my local Italian joint back in Europe. Don't know how the other Bertucci restaurants are around New England, but this one was great.
Vito's Pizzeria & Confectionry Fort Erie, ON
I drove from New Hampshire to Michigan and cut through Ontario to save time. By the time I got over the bridge into Canada, I was ready for something to eat, so I stopped here. The chef (a real Italian) had just brought out a veggie pizza like none I had seen (or smelled) before! I ordered a slice which was generously cut. Not your regular veggie pizza, this had fresh eggplant and garlic on it. Lots of different types of onion on it, too. I had planned to order a second slice, but the first one filled me up! The chef said he was moving in August to a little place in Niagara Falls because the money there is better, but he's going to teach some guy how to do pizza like he does. I really hope so. If anyone reads this before August 2004, get over to Vito's and try a slice! I want to go back for dessert, as they had some sumptuous-looking stuff on display!
Olive Garden Italiam Restaurant Fargo, ND
During my last trip "out west" with my late husband and our Winnebago, we spent several happy days in Fargo. When I'm on the road, I try not to eat at chain establishments, but The Old Man insisted and I gave in, even though I wanted to go to some place called "Grazie's" near our hotel. This Olive Garden is just like the one back in Michigan: same menu, same drinks, etc. etc. I ordered San Pellegrino and it arrived warm (points off there). The caffe latte was mediocre but I ordered two anyway. I had some specialty pasta dish (don't recall what) and it was okay, but just okay. My husband was pleased with his meal. The service was very friendly - as are most people in Fargo - and we got in and out quickly, but didn't feel rushed. However, next time I'm in Fargo, I won't feel the need to return here.
Grazie's Pasta Company Fargo, ND
Fargo was our last stop when my husband and I were in the Dakotas with our trusty Winnebago. We stayed at a Main Stay Suites hotel across the street from Grazie's, and kept seeing the sign, but never went in. Not until the Winnebago broke down (my fault) did we check it out because we were carless and it was, as mentioned, across the street. Grazie's is owned by two guys from Wisconsin who also have a restaurant in Green Bay (I think). This place featured a large bar area and an equally big dining room (with good separation of smokers and non-smokers). The coffee was excellent, but there was no San Pellegrino available, only regular sparkling water. My husband order a personal pizza with the toppings of his choosing and was very pleased. I got pasta with lots of garlic and peppers. The portions were very generous and the prices were fair. Located in a commercial center (I bet they do a great lunch trade!), parking is very good at night when all the business people have gone home. Grazie's also offers a to-go menu, which we used the night after as football was on and The Old Man wouldn't leave the room (sigh). I want to return to Fargo again and I will definitely come here first thing!
Larry's I-29 Truck Cafe Sioux Falls, SD
My late husband's name was Larry, and when we saw this place while travelling in our trusty Winnebago, we had to stop. You can do everything here: get gas, play the lotto, eat, buy newspapers and funky souvenirs (love refrigerator magnets for my European friends), and get any food item to go. We had a basic big American-type breakfast with eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, toast (oink!). Incredibly filling, and the prices are really reasonable. I guess the owners realize that the truckers aren't made of money, and that seemed to be the main clientele. Fast and friendly service and the coffee was quite good! The patrons were very nice too and we talked about World Affairs and the state of the nation, then we got back into the Winnebago and pushed on towards Rapid City ... but not until my husband posed for a picture in front of "his" truck stop. I hated taking his picture then, but now that he's gone, it's a nice reminder of better times, and good food at this establishment. If you ever see the "Larry's" sign, stop in!
Outback Steakhouse Rapid City, SD
OK, I've said before that I don't eat in chain restaurants when travelling outside my home area, but I made an exception for The Outback because it was near my hotel and my late husband kept insisting he wanted to eat at Outback or nowhere. Perhaps I was exceptionally hungry or tired after driving all day from Sioux Falls in the trusty Winnebago, but this Outback had everything going for it. As luck would have it, we arrived at Happy Hour, where it was Buy One Get One Free time. I actually drank two Pina Coladas (then later drove the RV back to the hotel!!) while my husband had some Margarita drinks. He and I both ordered big steaks and asked for "just above rare." The people in the kitchen knew their stuff, as the meat was tender and juicy. I inhaled my potato and salad and we both had steak left over (no hardship) which we took back to the hotel. I'm still amazed I was able to drive the quarter-mile back to my room without getting pulled over -- that's how potent those cocktails were! Wow! This was one of the last places my husband visited before his death, and he was such a good time here, I'm glad he talked me into coming.
Outback Steakhouse Rapid City, SD
OK, I've said before that I don't eat in chain restaurants when travelling outside my home area, but I made an exception for The Outback because it was near my hotel and my late husband kept insisting he wanted to eat at Outback or nowhere. Perhaps I was exceptionally hungry or tired after driving all day from Sioux Falls in the trusty Winnebago, but this Outback had everything going for it. As luck would have it, we arrived at Happy Hour, where it was Buy One Get One Free time. I actually drank two Pina Coladas (then later drove the RV back to the hotel!!) while my husband had some Margarita drinks. He and I both ordered big steaks and asked for "just above rare." The people in the kitchen knew their stuff, as the meat was tender and juicy. I inhaled my potato and salad and we both had steak left over (no hardship) which we took back to the hotel. I'm still amazed I was able to drive the quarter-mile back to my room without getting pulled over -- that's how potent those cocktails were! Wow! This was one of the last places my husband visited before his death, and he had such a good time here, I'm glad he talked me into coming.
Rico's Cafe & Pizzeria Grawn, MI
Driving my trusty Winnebago back from the dealer in Muskegon last autumn, we happened upon this place on the left hand side of the road. Trying to make a turn to get to the parking lot was not pleasant, and I couldn't find a close parking space, but we got there. I was amazed to see a line at the door because Rico's didn't look like that hot of a dining spot. I was wrong! I think Rico's attracts a mostly local crowd in the off-season because everyone knew everyone else except us. My late husband ordered meat loaf which he enjoyed and I had some roast beef. Portions were very generous and the food was extremely tasty. Coffee was, yet again, just okay. After dinner, we both had pie. Had to make another left turn to get back on US-31 North, and that was unpleasant again, but we had had such a good time at Rico's, it was worth it. If I can find this place again, I'll return!
Outback Steakhouse Traverse City, MI
I had been coming to the TC area for almost 2 years before I realised there was an Outback here! Was I not paying attention or what? I guess not. On the other hand, I rarely have dinner in Traverse City, and the Outback unfortunately only does dinner, so that's the excuse I'm using. This Outback is just as top notch as the others I've visited. The service is very efficient and the prices are reasonable for sheer amount of food one gets! I no longer eat the bread or any appetizers lest I can't eat the main course! The last time I was here, I tried a shrimp griller, I believe it was called, served with shrimp, grilled veggies, all on a bed of rice. Terrific.
Grey Gables Inn Charlevoix, MI
My husband used to enjoy this restaurant, but he went with his friends or relatives. Ironically, I only started coming here after his death, but can appreciate what he liked about the place. During the off-season, every Thursday is "Cheap Steak Night" whereby a certain cut of beef (I think rib eye, but don't quote me) is offered at $13.95 versus the normal $24. One gets a dinner salad, the steak and a BIG baked potato (or rice, mashed, etc.) to round it off. The chef knows what he's doing back there, as he always cooks mine the way I like it best ("just above rare"). The balsamic vinaigrette dressing is homemade and an absolute dream. I could eat it straight out of a container! The owner (a older guy, somewhat pretentious with a little BMW Z3) fancies himself a wine expert, and has some pretty pricey wines in his cellar, but he can't know that much 'cause I ordered a geriatric Beaujolais for $38 which was absolute swill. After I complained, you'd think he'd comp me for something, right? Ha! Bet me! That really irked me, so I've not been back since, but this is still a good place to eat with quality food. If you're ordering wine, however, know what you're doing and "caveat emptor."
Bickford's Nashua, NH
I'm relocating from Michigan to New Hampshire and was staying in a hotel in Nashua while househunting. This place was down the street from my hotel and I went there for breakfast every morning. The service was fast and efficient, and the waitress was very friendly. The coffee here was quite good and the young lady never let my cup get half empty. I couldn't decide what to get, so ordered French toast with a side of bacon. Very simple, very well done. I still have to return for another go at finding a place to live, and plan to visit Bickford's again!
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