Eileen O.

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Recent reviews by Eileen O. - Page 4 of 7
Restaurant Name City
Martha's Exchange Nashua, NH
I came here with a Nashua native who asked me where I'd like to eat dinner. I said, "anywhere local but NOT a chain restaurant, " I can do the chain stuff back in Michigan. Et voila, she took me downtown to Martha's. It was a Monday night and pretty dead at about 8.30PM, which was fine with me. The smokers and nonsmokers are segregated, but I imagine if there were enough people at the bar, one could detect smoke even where we were sitting. I had scallops wrapped in bacon for $9.95 (heavenly!) and a lovely steak as my main course. The chef must have been in a good mood because he cooked it just the way I like it (called "just above rare") and it was delicious. We had a dessert I no longer remember (but which we both enjoyed) and I tried the coffee which is decent (although I prefer Dunkin' Donuts brand, silly me). The service was fast and friendly and I didn't have to mortgage my house to eat here. I'm looking forward to moving to New Hampshire so I can eat in a place like Martha's again!
Perkins Family Restaurant Bismarck, ND
My late husband and I ate here in November 2003 during our Great Trek West from Michigan to the Dakotas and back -- in a Winnebago. We had stayed at a hotel that didn't offer breakfast, and my husband, a great fan of breakfast, wanted to go here. Pleased that he got a Senior Discount, he proceeded to order his usual 2 eggs-over-medium with whole wheat toast and sausage links. He was very pleased with the size of the portion and how it tasted. Always a sucker for French Toast, I had a portion with cinnamon and a side of bacon. I was so hungry, I would have eaten cardboard, but it tasted pretty good. The coffee was alright, but just alright. The waitress was helpful and very nice and we never felt rushed as one does in some chain restaurants. After a big meal, we paid and got in the Winnebago and headed for Fargo. What a trip. Should I ever return to Bismarck, I'll come here again.
Rushmore Family Restaurant Rapid City, SD
This place used to house Denny's, and the listing still isn't in the slightly older phone books. Located almost adjacent to I-90 at Exit 59, the Rushmore Family Restaurant is just that -- a spacious place to eat with smokers and non-smokers well segregated. Breakfast is served all day, and the portions are very large. One definitely receives value for money. There is a Senior's Menu for diners 55 and over, and the portions here are also very generous. I had French toast one morning and was very pleased. The coffee was OK, but just barely (my usual lament). The service was fast and friendly and an enjoyable time was had by all. Definitely worth a visit.
Mocha Momma's Bismarck, ND
Located in the Gateway Mall, Mocha Momma's is a small coffee boutique selling all things coffee and tea. The owner, a very nice woman, offers more types of coffee beverages than I can remember! Lots of ways to do lattes, cafe au lait, you name it. There's "regular" coffee for the faint of heart, and one can order lovely hot tea and chai as well. There is merchandise for sale here, too, such as teapots and mugs, honey sticks (fun in any hot drink) and hot chocolate mixes. Loose tea and coffee beans (which can be ground on the premises) are available at reasonable prices. There are a couple of tables within the store, but one can also sit outside in a Parisian cafe atmosphere, albeit within the Gateway Mall. Mocha Momma's even offers a modest assortment of baked goods to tempt the customer. This is a nice place to sit and get a second wind during a mall visit. I want to visit here again.
Hong Kong Bismarck, ND
Rolled into Bismarck after a grueling day in Montana, and wanted something to eat at about 9.15 PM. This place was near our hotel, and closes at 10 PM, so we tried out luck there. I ordered sweet & sour scallops for about $9.50 and hoped for the best. What a pleasant surprise. The scallops were HUGE and grilled before being rolled in batter and then deep-fried. The sweet & sour sauce was pretty tangy, too, and woke me right up. I was just about able to finish my portion, it was that generous. The owner's wife greeted us and didn't mind making us something so close to the restaurant's closing time. She was very helpful and nice, and we enjoyed our meal a great deal. We left the next day, but I'd like to return someday!
Whitneys of Charlevoix Charlevoix, MI
Finally went to Whitney's after living in this town for about 2 years. Lunch was very good; had (of all things) the prime rib sandwich. The chef was able to cook it to my liking, and the redskin potato salad was very good. Had such a good time, I returned a few weeks later for dinner with my friends. Since this is primarily a fish restaurant, I ordered scallops, which were NOT to my liking. The fish was incredibly chewy - I'm thinking quick-thawed stuff here - and the sauce was a creamy one rather than a clear one, as I'd asked for. Potato salad was OK this time, but just OK. I had some San Pellegrino (a small bottle) at an incredible rip-off price. My friend had the prime rib sandwich and was satisfied. If I come here again, I'll have that again. What a joke... prime rib in a fish restaurant. Ah, well, better luck next time.
Jaedee's Glen Flora, WI
There is a JaeDee behind the counter, and she served me pie. I was travelling from Minneapolis to Michigan and took the "scenic" route on Highway 8. About 4 PM, as my blood sugar started to drop, I saw the sign for her restaurant, so I stopped in. I was the only customer, but the staff assured me that I was going to miss the dinner rush, and I had missed the lunch rush by about 2 hours. JaeDee's place is pretty spacious, but plain and homey. It's what Europeans picture when they think of a down-home, home-cooking establishment. The pies are made on the premises and they look homemade, versus the picture-perfect pies one buys from Sara Lee. The coffee was OK, but I didn't want a second cup. Wish I could have stayed longer here, because everyone was genuinely friendly and easy-going, but I had to get back to Michigan. I'm supposed to go thru Wisconsin before year's end (2003), so will try to visit JaeDee and her crew again.
Mukwa Cafe Petoskey, MI
My husband and I ended up here at the Mukwa Cafe, which is located inside the Victories Casino, because there was no room at Applebee's across the street. This place was better than I thought, but the Culture Shock was tremendous! After all those years living in Europe, where I had visited (and dined in) several casinos, I could not believe how tacky this place is! First of all, there is no "dress code, " and while I was worried that I wasn't dressed well enough, I turned out to be one of the better dressed clients! Holy moley! What a crowd of characters! There is not one centimeter in the building that is non-smoking, and that includes the restaurant! That was a HUGE minus. On the plus side, people over 55 years of age can get some Senior Welcome Packet which gets them a beer for 75 cents (my husband liked that) and $1.50 discount on their meal. Dinner was being served when we got there. For $10, there was the all-you-can-eat buffet which look utterly revolting. Think back to your high school cafeteria days and how much you hated the line to get food, and that's it. There was a mystery fish (deep-fat fried, ugh!), a sauerkraut-bratwurst-potato medley, not to mention pasta and other horrors. There was a salad, too, and funky-looking dressing, so I passed. The whole look of the buffet was unsavory as were the clients going back for thirds. My husband and I ordered something called "Pizza chips" as an appetizer. Turns out this is puffed-up pizza dough mixed with garlic and parmesan cheese, served with dipping sauces. The marinara was good, but my husband preferred the Velveeta-looking orange dip. For the main course, my husband ordered the Walleye (fish) Almondine and I chose the rib eye steak. We were very pleasantly surprised. My meat was cooked very carefully, the baked potato was still a wee bit crunchy (which is how I like it), and the vegetables were a little tired, but edible. The side salad looked pretty much like that of an all-night diner, but I ate most of it. My husband had his 75-cent beer and I drank lemonade. People smoked and joked all around us. We were full after dinner, so had to forego dessert (darn!). The Senior Welcome Packet also gets the visitor a roll of quarters, so my husband went to play a few slots while I paid the bill. All in all, we paid $33 for a very decent meal. There was a huge line waiting to get into the Cafe as we left (must have been the buffet!). I wasn't in the Casino/Cafe but an hour, but emerged reeking of second-hand cigarette smoke, with a headache and sore throat to boot. Don't know if it's worth a return visit, but that's only due to the smoke.
Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar Traverse City, MI
This is the very first Applebee's I visited when I got back to the USA, and I've always liked it. OK, it's a chain, fine, but Applebee's quality is not always the same, depending upon location. I will never go back to the one in Birch Run, MI, and I live closer to the restaurant in Petoskey, but it's just OK. If I'm going to do Applebees, I'll come to this one, which is located across the street from the Grand Traverse Mall and just down the street from Sam's Club ... so, very convenient. The servers are all very friendly and efficient, and when I order "medium rare just after rare stops" for a steak, the chef knows exactly what I want. I always have a Pina Colada here, which is good without being overly rum-ridden. This is not the ultimate in fine dining, but very popular (read: always busy), gives good value for money, and the people are all very upbeat. And if I eat here first, then go grocery shopping at Sam's Club, I don't buy all the junk food at Sam's!
Pizzeria Uno Chicago Bar & Grill Birch Run, MI
This place is located right in the middle of the Outlet Mall, and is incredibly full during the lunch hour. I first ate here almost 2 years ago (before I knew about Dine.com) and told all my friends about it. The restaurant has a web site where one can go to see what's on special, or find locations of Pizzeria Uno's in other states. We dined here in June 2003 in the evening when the Outlet Mall was starting to close, so it was pretty quiet in the restaurant. Smokers and non-smokers were segregated very well (for which I was grateful), and even though we sat near the bar, we couldn't smell smoke. I had a Pina Colada which was fluffy and sweet with not too much rum... later, I found out I could have had it without the rum! Oh well, better luck next time. My husband ate a surf-and-turf combo and I (as usual) had a steak with garlic. The salads were generous as were the dinner portions. I gave the server my weird choice of doneness for the steak (medium-rare, just where rare stops) and the chef, bless him, nailed it. My husband's surf-and-turf was also done to perfection, he said. We didn't have room for dessert, which was a shame, because there were several great-looking offerings. Our server was in training, so she had a seasoned pro looking over her shoulder, but she did very well for a beginner, and our wish was her command. One can call in ahead of time for a to-go order, or fax in an order. The Outlet Mall isn't half as interesting as this place is, and I wish we had one where I live.
Aquavit Minneapolis, MN
I remember Aquavit from New York City, so when I was in Minneapolis in May 2003, I thought visit, hoping to see the well-known chef, Marcus Samuelsson. As luck would have it, he was around, and I got to converse with him in his native language, Swedish, for a few minutes. He did recommend several items and said I had to save room for dessert. <br> Aquavit closed for good in June 2003, and Mr. Samuelsson is off to New York City to do something else. I had a very nice meal there, expensive but very well done, and I'm sorry I can't return there when I'm in the Twin Cities in September. If nothing else, the personnel (some of whom spoke Swedish) were top-notch and professional and I had a lovely time. And I saved room for dessert, which was great. RIP, Aquavit Minneapolis. I'll have to go back to the NYC location now.
Buzz's Steak & Lobster Honolulu, HI
I'm so glad there this "add a restaurant" feature, otherwise people might not be able to find out about some really nice places. Buzz's is one of them. Located just a couple of minutes away from the Armed Forces resort, Buzz's caters to tourists (no kidding?), but not the obvious American ones. No, Buzz's has a real Japanese following, which is a good thing, because the Japanese demand value and quality for their hard-earned money. I was told this by a Honolulu resident who is married to a Japanese national. When we saw the bi-lingual (Engl.-Japanese) menus, we knew this could be a good place to go... not to mention the daily special and (I'm not kidding here:) "STEAK AND KING GRAB LEGS." I thought that was such a cute typo, I was obligated to eat here. First off, if you have a Buzz cocktail, don't drink later, 'cause these things are seriously alcoholic! I had a supreme pina colada, and my husband had two(!!!) Mai Tai's. There was also some absolutely huge drink that was pink, that two people were sharing, and they looked much the worse for wear. Buzz's has other things to drink, like wine, regular cocktails (martinis, etc.) and non-alcoholic stuff, but these killer cocktails are terrific. I ordered a filet steak with garlic (and no "grab legs") that I still remember, even though I ate there in December 2002 and this is now July 2003. The meat just melted in the mouth, and the garlic was roasted so that it infused the meat with sweetness. My husband ate mahi-mahi (Hawaii's answer to Flipper - only kidding!) which had been grilled and liberally seasoned with garlic. The portions were generous, and the meal was incredibly filling. I didn't dare touch my appetizer bread or I never could have finished my steak! I noticed a whole array of meat and fish dishes, to include shrimp, scallops, crab, not to mention various cuts of steak. There were also vegetarian dishes on the menu, but I paid no attention as I wanted red meat. The personnel were incredibly friendly and polite, and the bill didn't break the bank, considering nothing in Hawaii is really cheap. We had no room for dessert, so I never got a chance to check out the coffee. On the other hand, every restaurant serves Kona coffee (except maybe stupid Starbuck's), so I'm sure I would have liked it. I believe someone told me that all Hawaiian restaurants are non-smoking; I didn't notice smoke, at any rate. I'm not sure how we got back to our hotel, but no matter. We had a great meal, a great time, and I'm saving my frequent flyer miles for a return trip to Buzz's!
Giovanni's Aloha Shrimp Laie, HI
Warning: Long review, but possibly interesting. I cannot believe that no one has reviewed this place before, as it's the worst kept secret on Oahu (or so I'm told). We heard about Giovanni's from our Hawaiian hosts, from a cab driver, and read a quick blurb about it in some rental car guide book. Yet here I am, the first kid on the block, scribbling something. So be it. First off, the location is interesting. The natives told me that this place was in Kahuku next to the sugar refinery, on the Main Drag (King Kamehameha Highway) and easy to find. The telephone book lists this place as being in Laie, so I've got to go with that, I guess. I've checked my map and one town kind of melts into the next, and I give up. Hey, the Main Drag is REALLY LONG, so keep going long enough and you'll find it. At any rate, Giovanni's sits on the north end of Oahu. This set-up is not what I expected, and I hate to give away the surprise, but we almost missed it, so I feel I should reveal that this is no fine dining establishment, but al fresco dining at its tackiest yet finest. Giovanni's consists of a big ole truck (the proverbial "roach coach" of Hollywood days) with an in-vehicle kitchen where the staff (3 twentysomething girls) prepares the shrimp. There are three kinds of shrimp, all costing $11 (when we went): garlic shrimp, shrimp in butter, and hot 'n' spicy shrimp. In parentheses next to the hot 'n' spicy shrimp, one reads NO REFUNDS. Enough said. If that weren't enough, the "dining" such as it is, takes place outside under some cheapola tent/sunhshade that's spanned across an overgrown parking lot. Tables much like those at Oktoberfest in Munich are lined up. People sit with strangers (part of the fun) and eat, spill, and drink. The drinks range from cola and water to beer. There's another truck just across from the shrimp kitchen which sells freshly-squeezed native fruits (papaya, pineapple, etc.). There are also resident cats who hang out and wait for the diners to either drop something or throw something. This is not dining for the timid. I had the garlic shrimp because the "No Refunds" sign scared me away from the hot stuff. My husband, ever the chicken-liver, had the butter shrimp. The big portion of shrimp came with our choice or rice or something else (I don't recall what else). We opted for rice. It was tremendous. I swear, I still stink of garlic, and the butter in my husband's shrimp gave him cholesterol problems, but who cares? It was a great meal. We traded a couple of pieces of shrimp to see how each offering was, and the buttered stuff was as good as my garlic-infused. We sat next to nice Australians who were brave enough to eat the hot 'n' spicy, and they drank a lot of beer to put out the fire! At Giovanni's, one sees all sorts of people from the tourist to the local, from beat-up Toyotas to very expensive vehicles. There was a limo parked when we got there which I thought was interesting 'til I sat down next to some guy I recognized as a big-time movie star. Sure enough, there was a film shooting on the north side, and this guy had the afternoon off, yet here he was, eating and spilling like the rest of us. I don't know if anyone else recogized him, but no one said anything. My husband and I, not caring about celebs, talking to this guy like he was just another guy (which he was). I think he liked that, 'cause he talked to us for a long time and we found out that he had worked in Munich once, where we lived. Had anyone made a big fuss over him, I don't think he would have talked, and might have left. As it was, we just shot the breeze, said good-bye, and he got into his limo, and we into our rented Jeep. Only in America, eh? If you do nothing else, come to Giovanni's. The food is outstanding, the "staff" are friendly and funny, and one never knows what big shot one might meet. I am counting the days 'til I can go back!
Babe's Place Attleboro, MA
I first stumbled upon Babe's in 1997 when I was visiting from Europe. Jet-lagged and cranky, I was awake that first morning at about 5AM. Getting back to sleep was hopeless, so I dressed, got in the rental and started tooling around. I saw lights at this place and thought, what the heck, and stopped in. Imagine my surprise when I found it fairly crowded at 6AM! I think I was the only "tourist" among the regulars, but everyone was friendly. I had an amazing, huge breakfast of eggs and toast with bacon and hash brown potatoes, something one doesn't see much in Germany (ah, that Continental Breakfast thing!). And the coffee good! Even back then, I was a coffee snob. And there was an actual "Babe, " a very nice man, mid-30's (maybe) who was a former military guy who wanted to run his own diner. I had such a good time, I went back every day for breakfast until I left to go back to Europe. Now that I was back in the Boston area a couple of weeks ago, I couldn't resist stopping by to see if Babe's was still around. Since I live in the USA now and the Great American Breakfast is something I can have every day, I tried pancakes this time versus eggs. Babe can still crank out the food; the flapjacks were light and fluffy and disappeared quickly along with the coffee I ordered. For American coffee, it's still better than most! One waitress even remembered me from 'way back when, and was very attentive. Babe's Place is a good example of the all-American diner, something I really missed while in Europe all those years. It's something I still miss living in The Woods of Northwest Michigan. There's nothing like a diner/family restaurant in New England. I'll be back in Boston in another 2 months, and I think I'll trek down to Babe's Place.
Heidelberg Restaurant Ann Arbor, MI
OK, you geographically-challenged Americans: first of all, Heidelberg is NOT in Bavaria, OK? So this restaurant should NOT, in theory, be serving Bavarian dishes. And "Wiener Schnitzel" is really an Austrian dish, folks, for clarification. I only came here due to the name. I studied at Heidelberg University, then lived in the city, on and off, for about 12 years. What was I thinking, coming here? I'm not German - check my last name - but this place isn't really, either. The service was quick enough, I guess, but I had to laugh at the servers' attire. Wear a Dirndl outside of Bavaria and you're in for some stares. Anyway, the day I was there, I believe there was Sauerbraten on the menu ... a dish from the Rheinland, NOT Heidelberg. Sigh. I thought there were so many Germans in Michigan. If so, where did they go? Not here, anyway. I heard nary a German word spoken other than the complaints by me, my husband and our guest (a German-American). The coffee was, by the way, the usual swill I constantly complain about. It was not a fun evening, and we didn't stay long. And what rocket scientist classified this type of restaurant as "Unknown"? Folks, please! I'll be back in Germany to visit in late 2003, and I'm really looking forward to authentic German cooking, not what was offered here.
Newport Creamery Providence, RI
When I was in my last year of high school in Rhode Island, I used to adore the Newport Creamery, especially the ice cream drink, the "Awful Awful." The deal was, drink 3, get one free. Still don't know anyone who has succeeded, as this is a HUGE drink. This restaurant is, I believe a strictly New England chain, with its headquarters in Massachusetts, but I could be wrong. The founding family sold it to some guy who drove it into the ground and the company had to declare Chapter 11 and close several restaurants. This is still standing. I had not visited here since 1997 when I still lived in Europe and I was in RI to visit my father. This place is fairly near Providence College and not far from where my father used to live. Rather than cook, we came here for a quick BLT and the obligatory Awful-Awful. So years later, when I was recently in New England, I stopped here to see if this particular Creamery was still standing. It is, and I think some of the waitresses I encountered date back to 1997 or earlier! I had my BLT and chocolate Awful Awful and relived a quick Blast from the Past. The Newport Creamery is a nice place to go --- nothing spectacular, but down-to-earth American favorites, and the personnel are usually friendly. Nice to know that some things don't always have to change. This is one of them.
Julien Restaurant Boston, MA
I was recently in Boston and decided to return to Le Meridien Hotel in the Financial District to visit Julien. Last time I was in Boston in November 2002, I stayed at this hotel and was so sick, I had to rely on room service to keep me alive. The staff of Julien also prepare the room service menus, so I wanted to try this place out "for real." This is a restaurant that I can highly recommend. It reminds me of my life and times back in Europe. The staff is very attentive and polite and represent several nations around the globe. The food was out of this world. I tried a special filet steak which was tender and juicy and just heavenly. The coffee was excellent, as it was last time, and I went through a whole liter bottle of San Pellegrino. I was too full for dessert, alas, but I'll be back in Boston again. One particular young man actually remembered me from my last visit, as he had taken my room service order and made suggestions that evening. Julien is a lovely place to dine, not just "eat." Take your time, sit back and relax and soak up the ambiance. Other diners were dressed well, and I'm glad I was appropriately attired, too.
Sugar Bowl Bakery Gaylord, MI
We visited here in January 2003, when it was extremely cold and there was a ton of snow on the ground, but it was a nice sunny day. The Sugar Bowl has been around for a very long time and has expanded to include a gift shop along with the restaurant (which is pretty big itself). As it was the off-season, there wasn't the normal mob that congregates there in summer. The decor was kind of old-fashioned and there was a lot of dark wood, but the service was fast and friendly and we were seated far away from the smokers. I learned that the restaurant's founder (whose name I've forgotten - but there's a portrait of him in the lobby) came from Greece, although this is not your typical Greek joint! There are a lot of typically American offerings such as chicken and steak and such. My husband ate the obligatory Greek Lemon soup and was very pleased. I had a large chef's salad which I could barely finish due to its large size. The coffee was OK, but I didn't ask for a refill. The Sugar Bowl offers daily specials for lunch and dinner, and we saw the dinner menu, which looked pretty appealing. When we ate there, the restaurant was populated by locals, most of them over 50. All in all, not a bad place to eat.
Saltmarsh Annie's Flint, MI
Saltmarsh Annie's sits on the outskirts of Flint, not far from exit 117A off I-75. We found this purely by accident as we got off the interstate in search of food. The name struck us as amusing, so we drove the half-mile or so down the main drag, took a quick left turn, and there was the restaurant. This is a fairly big place, and I imagine in summer it's jam-packed with people, but this was in January 2003, and it was cold, snowy and windy. We sailed in sometime after 1 PM and there were few diners left from the lunch hour. The menu features of variety of things to eat, from steak to lobster or surf and turf, you name it. My husband had a surf and turf combo and was very pleased. I opted for a regular old steak with a baked potato and side Caesar salad and the chef knew his stuff, 'cause the steak was just the way I liked it. It was a great meal. Alas, the coffee was lacking in taste, but the Diet Coke was pretty good. We were served by a pleasant and efficient young college student named Shannon, who made sure we were never waiting long for anything. The menu was interesting to read, too, as it described why the place is called "Saltmarsh Annie's." Go visit there and find out the origin of the name!
Romano's Macaroni Grill Utica, MI
According to my credit card receipt, this Romano's is located in Shelby Township, but I'm not from the greater Detroit area, so what do I know? Granted, Romano's is a chain, but I had never visited here and was pretty pleasantly surprised, since I've been fooled before by restaurants calling themselves "Italian." This particular place is quite spacious and smokers and non-smokers were well separated from each other. We sat near the grill itself and watched the chefs doing their thing. I ordered the "Create Your Own Pasta" offering, and had a simple spaghetti aglio & olio (garlic and oil). I added a few hot peppers to the mix and it came out quite well. Very simple, very basic, but quite satisfying. The coffee was The Real Thing from Italy, and I sucked down two caffe latte. San Pellegrino mineral water was also available. Service was fast and efficient and it was pretty crowded at lunchtime, but we never had to wait long for anything. My only quibble would be the size of the caffe latte... very dinky portions, and when I ordered two, it got a little expensive. The Pellegrino was fairly outrageously priced for its size. Other than that, the food was good, and everyone enjoyed his or her lunch.
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