It was my guy's turn to pic a flick. Either he was in the mood for a little atomic heat or he knows that he will be seeing 'Maleficent' in a couple weeks, but we went to see poor Godzilla at the Randall 16. So did a lot of other people.
Despite the masses, the place was clean and the popcorn was very fresh, which is always a plus for us. They had poor Godzilla set up in several venues, so we were not jammed in like sheep. As many of my Yelp friends have pointed out, we take advantage of our movie goer reward points too; a wonderful savings. At this particular, cinema, bring a hoodie as it is usually cold, and today was no exception.
This area is very easy to get to and Randall Road, on both sides, has ample options for spots to eat after the film.
And the film? He eats economy cars and needs a good moisturizer. Poor Godzilla.
My apologies to the Colonial Café, for the slight lag time for this Yelp, but now here I am with some positive feedback! This locale has been here for some time, and it has been some time since I sampled their food.
The menu has gone through some updates, for the times, and another teacher who lives in the area joined me for an early dinner. It was nice to see the friendly service was still intact. It was also nice to see that Colonial Café is still giving back to the community: the date of our visit coincided with a fundraiser for a little girl with a brain tumor.
And as for the food: my friend didn't blink before ordering the meatloaf. It isn't just any meatloaf: it is old fashioned meatloaf jazzed with onion, creamy cheese, garlic mashed, and bedazzled with onion crisps on top. Piping hot and the plate was huge!
I decided on the chicken bruschetta; charbroiled with diced tomato, basil, garlic, and instead of a ton of oil, it was whisked all over with a light balsamic vinegar. Roasted reds and wonderful grilled veggies too. It was very good.
I wish we had been able to stay for dessert (their fountain creations are cool) and the charitable event (people were already showing up); but we had enough time to give back, enjoy our meal, and decide that the next time would be for breakfast!
It isn't often that online vendors capture and hold my attention, however, flash a 30% off sign at me and my curiosity has been engaged. Art.com is the vendor wherein I speak and, in an attempt to find a couple of framed prints for the dining room, I took a look.
It's a good thing I had my brain all ready primed for a couple of Diego Rivera prints, because if I hadn't I would have spent hours viewing this site. Options for canvas, options for frames, options for limited editions, and then some. Very nice.
When the prints arrived, this company continued to impress me. Not only did my two prints arrive on time, in mint condition, but the care of packaging was not to be believed. If I didn't know better I would have thought a couple of Van Gogh paintings were on my doorstep. Personally framed and packed just for me.
For repeat customers, incentive coupons can be found in your order as well. And did their evil ploy work? Yes, I got 2 Oriental prints for the upstairs bath.
Really nice stuff!
Following a jam packed funeral service at St. Walters' church this week, my guy took one look at me and was at a loss. But when we lost a close family friend, not to mention, the most wonderful little Irish priest, he decided to console me with food.
Out of no where we became part of a large convoy, swathed in black, en route to a wonderful spot: the Brunch Cafe.
Once there, we waited a good 35 minutes, but were rewarded with a couple of wonderful cups of coffee. The nice thing about exceptional coffee is that after a couple of draws it's pretty cathartic.
Our server was awesome; efficient and unperturbed at the mob scene beginning to form. Fortunately, my guy knew what he wanted pretty fast. The Bennies here are wonderful and come fully loaded: you have a pretty big plate of food. He chose the Portobennie: mushroom, goat cheese, onion, pepper, and wonderful seasoning over 2 poached eggs, with a side of chorizo sausage.
There is plenty to choose from at Brunch Café; though we love going out for breakfast, their lunch options are equally amazing. But I picked the Lemon Poppyseed Crepes. This delicate and delish entrée comes with giant blackberries and kiwi. It isn't too sweet and it's got a touch of vanilla.
The atmosphere is kind of warm; with a lot of burgundy and bright jolts of color here and there. As we got going with the food, we smiled about all the great things our little Irish priest had done. Our plan was to have him marry us and bury us!
But in the end, the Brunch Café did exactly what it needed to do by providing a wonderful brunch in great surroundings to let the healing begin. Awesome!
I'm sure all of Yelp-dom heard the crack of my knuckles as I prepared to hoist into my 2014 Inaugural Yelp. Not only has my fan base probably died but I am appalled to note I am still wearing that plaid jacket from 2012. But enough about me.
What about Pete's!?!? I confess, this is my very first adventure at Pete's Fresh Market though it has stood glistening on the corner for some time. I'm not sure if fear kept me away or simply the virginal nuance of that initial up and down, back and forth gyration of a new set of aisles. It didn't help matters that I was the only person who didn't know the carts were not inside the building.
But once inside .... wow-ee!! To produce such produce in such a perfect production of colors, trajectory, and numbers was not to be believed. Not only did every fruit and vegetable look fresh and were lined up like bowling pins, but it was so outstanding the assortment could have passed for a mural. Thank God I had finally located a shopping cart for a sturdy grip to avoid a swoon. But no kidding, I have never seen such fab produce.
Once past produce confusion seeped in. And that is probably my biggest negative about Pete's. There is so much of so much that it is almost too much. Cookies can be found by paper products; olives can be next to cocoa; but I guess that is part of the carnival ride you get at Pete's. There are also workers replenishing 'everything' as you bounce and jab your way through the store; and are they ever helpful. They also seem to be able to recognize 'newbies' and put us right at ease.
Two exceptions to the rule at Pete's: the incomparable International section of foods from all nations, ethnicity's, and proclivities and a vegetarian and gluten free offering that covers soup to nuts. Fabulous!
By the time I made it to the end of the store I'm sure 90 minutes had past. But I was clearly not so disoriented to miss out on what appeared to be a ready to go, go to buffet like no other. If you needed a meal; any kind of meal; ready to serve in a pinch it is there. From marinated fresh grilled veggies, to succulent meats, to cakes the size of boulders (pre-cut) you can arm yourself to disarm your guests.
I was so charmed by Pete's that I really didn't care that the bagging of my cacophony of food items was not up to the standards I have just described. No problem; I will definitely give them a chance to dazzle me again.
Once again, the moment has come for me to present a particularly wonderful go-to spot that warms the cockles of my very, very Italian heart. I mean, does everything have to be done from scratch? Must my hands be worn to the bone? Is there ever enough oil of anise in the world to make my mom and all my Italian aunts happy? Well, a la sua familia: yes; yes; and no.
Mi piace Bella Pizzelle! Yep, I have found the crème de la crème company that makes some of the very best Italian cookies that money can buy. And they are amazing, fresh, authentic, and delish!
For those of you new to the world of pizzelle making, it requires some basic cookie ingredients, oil of anise from the local apothecary, and a pizzelle making iron that weighs 30 pounds brought over on the boat by short women from Sicily and surrounding regions; subsequently passed on to each female generation. And yes, I normally do it by hand, or otherwise die by the knife.
But for those other times, I order a gold tone box of 3 dozen and they come fresh in a few days. Anise, almond, chocolate. They are awesome and huge to boot! What they also have that I love is a little sampler box for pizzelle cookie foreigners that are about $11. I have been known to give those as gifts when the thought of hoisting my heirloom pizzelle iron goes against my grain.
Do I want to morire con il colitello? No way, no how. And I would give them a complete and utter 5 stars if they offered their pizzelles without the dab of powdered sugar on top each cookie. But when I relax over tea or coffee and savor these I can pretty much say that this little place does its country proud! Thanks and keep it up!
You can't miss Uncle Bill's Diner ... it's painted sky blue! And though the exterior may be revved up; the inside is pure return to the 60's, with wonderful, down home kinda cookin' where you get a full plate and then some!
How fun is this? Well, the fun can be had in deciding which retro dish you plan to revisit. My consulting friend has been on a diet for weeks; he was about to keel. So, his reward to himself was breakfast here. I, supposedly, came with as the caloric police. Not!
Indulge! Get into the culture! Tomorrow is another day! Well, he outdid himself (and so did Uncle Bill) with a plate of corned beef hash, 2 eggs over easy, wheat toast, juice, and coffee. He groaned with ecstasy through his entire meal.
And I picked something I haven't had in eons: the buckwheat pancakes and a side veggie scramble (but that really isn't what it's called). Though not formally introduced, I think I saw Uncle Bill shake his head when I was trying to explain what I wanted. Not to worry, our waitress was awesome! As was the coffee!
Sure, we looked like outsiders. But we went with the flow. It's a campy little spot with it's own subculture and pretty great food. Clean, too! And you will likely take half your food home; they are very generous.
Having driven by here countless times it's nice to be finally in the know with Uncle Bill's!
Don't ask what I was doing out in this neck of the woods but, fortunately for me, here was the Blue Goose. (No not Grey Goose). The Blue Goose and after I parked my car, what have they got going in front of the store but a BBQ!
I like when super markets test my comfort zone, I like when I don't know what to expect in every aisle. The place is huge! And, unless my eyeballs were tired, every item in the produce section was huge!
Some of their fresh made deli looked delish; and what a nice group of employees. Moderate prices for what I stocked up on; and a nice location, too! Stop in at the fresh baked items; the blueberry popovers got snapped up by me, as an aside.
I have to say I'm a fan of the Blue Goose!
I think Chipotle needs to keep doing what it's doing. I like this particular location; a decent sized spot with a so so parking lot. But they are always busy and that translates into high turnover, always fresh fix-ins.
My fave: the vegetarian burrito and the way they put it together you can basically make two lunches out of it. I love the brown rice with lime: go as heavy or as light as you want, and either way the portions are generous.
I also love their guac and chips, though the chips always seem to outlast the delicious serving of guacamole they give you. Nice flavor, but I like a little more kick.
I find the servers here really friendly and for all it's conveyor belt style they keep it clean. My one negative is that I think their beverage selections are just too sweet.
Today, being a mobile teaching machine, traversing the globe, I rolled into ye olde Des Plaines Oasis for a number of reasons. The pumps were jammed with weary looking motorists, but the price was pretty good.
The Oasis itself is a decent sized place to really stretch your legs and clear your brain, which is a good thing. The food court has many options (though 3/4's of them shut down when it's late).
But I have to hand it to the cleaning crew (which seem to be going non stop), as well as the restroom detail. Every public venue in the world should have these touch-less mega blower hand dryers in their facilities.
Not only could you dry your clothes with those things but any frail adult or child under 50 pounds could potentially find themselves plastered against the mirrored wall. They are awesome and the place was immaculate.
I stopped at Mickey D's to get a hot tea for the remainder of my voy-age home. Very pleasant service and also exceptionally clean.
Nice work Des Plaines Oasis! Keep doing what you are doing!
When in need of a quick carry out, on a cold winter day, look no further.
This spot has awesome soup! From cream of potato to tomato Florentine, it rocks. And pair it with some great bread for dipping and it will warm the cockles of your heart.
On this day, 2 quarts of homemade soup, bread, and 2 large coffee's to go approximated about $12 dollars. They go the extra mile for 'traveling soup' with a steady box holder.
Always friendly and always fast. Nice going! Keep it up JoJo's! Because it is definitely soup weather!
There is something totally sweet about this little oasis, and it's not just their ice cream. From the black and white tiled floor, to the pictures on the wall, to the cutesy indoor twosome tables, to the outdoor umbrella patio spots it really has a lot going for it.
And there is that little touch of legit romance when a guy gets his gal ice cream. Uh huh. Even though he abstained, I stepped right up. My pick of the evening was the German chocolate cake, but I must say they had enough of a flavor variety to make me stop and rethink, twice.
Though I ordered 1 scoop in a cup what I got looked more like 2 scoops in a cup, exceptionally generous for the cost, about three dollars, which is a plus for ice cream loving consumers. And our server couldn't have been nicer.
I don't think we have ever seen such an immaculate ice cream shop before. I hope they keep doing what they are doing: my ice cream was delicious. Not sweet, not too rich, with plenty of nuts, and a dash of coconut. It was just right!!
The Sweet Oasis is definitely a keeper.
There was no question: I was their last customer of the day, literally. Many places would have balked, groaned, lowered the service doors down intentionally, but not here. Steve and company handled this with their usual business like finesse; courteous and to the point and I was in and out. Though there were 2 other customers in bay, they never seem to break their stride. Thanks guys, and keep it up.
If you are into wishcraft, and that happy October season will be upon us soon, this is my go to spot for Halloween gear for the sweet, spoiled, special, small ones in my life.
I love their selection of costumes, though other spots may have similar ensembles (and the word ensemble doesn't begin to cover the do-dads, gee gaws, and ultra unreal accessories available). That is, if you are really going to turn a little girl into a mega Monarch butterfly; or if you want that special little guy to personify a whale of an Orca.
Kids may be kids, but they have some nice options for adults too. Infants and family pets can also find exactly what they are looking for, too.
Yes, the price is steeper if you truly select for them the costume of their dreams, with all the trimmings, then it's definitely a treat and not a trick. We handle the "splurge" factor by going to chasing fireflies every other year, making it do-able.
The customer service folks are very good; even when my nephews light sabre fell apart. Back it went, no questions asked. A very nice place to try!
You ever get one of those feelings when the phone rings and you know. You just know. I half expected everything black in my closet to walk out on its own. But I must say that this little spot that, from the exterior, does not command the massive vertical presence of some funeral homes handled this latest catastrophe in our family with finesse.
This place is immaculate, comfortable, and, having been here quite awhile ago, has had a wonderful makeover. Parking is adequate and this place is very easy to find.
But the most stellar kudos come in the way of the personnel handling this wake and funeral. What nice people. Spot on from the start. Available at all times. And kind. They made it about friends and family, and didn't simply go through the motions. A few other places should take a page from Countryside's playbook. Very nice job!
Its nice when time permits a semi romantic, but low key non dress up meal on a week night. Its also nice to return to a spot where the dining experience was close to ambivalent and be pleasantly surprised. Opa!
Our big fat Thursday night meal started off with placement at a fabulous table. It was fairy busy; the usual suspects plus a relatively large family birthday party.
Still, our server was on point from the start. She had water, wine, and flaming cheese on the way before we finished talking. As I sipped and hoped my guy's hair wouldn't catch on fire, (that would be such a waste), it seemed to me that this spot has had a face lift. Nicer lighting, clean, new decor ... maybe.
My hopes would have been dashed if the food failed to measure up to what opened as a really good omen. Would the gods smile down on us?
Well, as for the food, (and I'm sure I will dismally screw up the correct specialties, please forgive me, when out of my element), bread was warm, aromatic, and the type of bread where you can fill up on bread and only bread.
The saganaki flaming cheese portion was plenty for 2; it would have been fine for 3. Pungent and buttery all at the same time, with a plum aftertaste. Really good. And as far as Greek salad, that is second only to a great Italian salad. The salad was delicious; very lightly dressed (as to not be undressed), loaded with the dark greens, olives, feta, and all other standard requirements.
My guy ordered the stuffed grape leaves for an entree. His platter was filled to capacity. I took a taste; the filling was well spiced, but the meal came with a creamy sauce that didn't appeal to me. He said it was 'good'. I was glad I ordered the spanakopita spinach pie; flaky awesome crust and the filling was so good it bordered on the rich side. My serving was also large enough to feed three.
Through it all, our server didn't miss a beat; and the coffee after the meal was also my kind of coffee. It's that look-forward-to thing after a really enjoyable dinner.
Amazingly, I didn't indulge in the dessert (and this term also escapes me) but from across the table honey glistened as I watched the delicate pastry and nuts be devoured. If I had indulged I would have had a slice of the chocolate mousse birthday cake on the other side of the room. Opa!
We really had a great time and meal; no rushing by our server extraordinaire which always garners extra points. Reading my Yelp friends reviews, I was skeptical but we had a time that even Zorba would have approved of.
What can I say? Autentica cucina siciliana. That's what I can say. From the bottles of wine on the wall to the little checked tablecloths, at DiMaggio's you will find truly authentic Sicilian food. Don't get on a boat, stop by here.
I love these special European spots that often go unnoticed but if you are in the know, you will never be deprived. Not here anyway. And what nice people, too! They enjoy their customers; and most are regulars.
For openers, they have an appetizer I thought only my uncle made. You will totally love the fritti calamari. It's amazing how many great Italian dishes are made in the shape of balls. Delicious little corn fritters filled with a calamari mixture. Awesome.
DiMaggio's has Americanized a tad. They have quite a few tasty sub sandwiches and they also have burgers. For you Lenten-ites, their pepper and egg sandwich is great. Again, when in Rome ...
The pizza's are true to Italian form: from the dough, to the size, to the toppings; they are like little "mini" pizzas. My fave: The Napoletena mini has oregano and capers and will make anchovy people blissfully happy. Two other great ones both include eggplant: a Sicilian one with super sweet onion and also a Verdure with sweet peppers and zucchini.
I would give DiMaggio's a complete and utter 5 stars, but the television over the bar takes away from the intended panache of the place and the parking is not the greatest.
Bottom line: after enjoying a meal here; you will leave feeling like family!
I knew this day would come. I knew the pressure would be on me. I knew that ketchup, ketchup related items, or conversational words including ketchup were off the table.
We were just rounding the bend before turning into Gene & Jude's; their yellow sign beckoning. What was also beckoning was a lot full of cars and folks standing in a big long line. It looked like a raid.
The wait was worth it. I really get a kick out of the conveyor belt efficiency of this little place that even Rachael Ray feels is iconic. Windows were steamed to the gills and no one eating seemed to be curling their waxed papered food up in a ball and leaving in a huff. I would say a great night at Gene & Jude's.
Finally, we closed in on the place of honor: time to order. But not before the guy in front of me asks for ketchup. NO! A large group of heads, that had been previously bent over their weenies, stopped in mid chew and stared. I'm glad they weren't looking at me.
Not to worry, our orders went great, the food was great, even the fries were great. You have to try this spot at least once. And when they are on their game, simply great!
Okay, 5 generations of Italian relatives are giving me a high five for rating Queen of Heaven 4 stars. You might say, we spend a lot of time here. We rarely get lost here. We are able to help other people find their loved ones here. Enough said
Though I have had ample opportunities to review Q of H now is just fine. And I must admit, they have been making quite a number of improvements and renovations of late. Can the Archdiocese afford it? Well, they better be able to because to let some of these stunning stone mausoleums go, including innumerable and lovely stained glass windows would be a waste.
Q of H, despite being one of many Chicago cemeteries is somewhat on the strict side. Though they have loosened a bit; compared to other locales in the same Archdiocese, they are hard line. There was a time when you had to be a bonified Roman Catholic to venture in for the after life. But now, you may see picnics, Mariachi bands, Bagpipers, and of course, a lot of Italians weeping.
The in office staff, I have found ranges from exceptionally helpful (thanks Mr. Collins) to exceptionally chilly and standoffish. The cemetery workers, I have found to be very helpful; though to the fellows who cut the grass and trim the headstones -would it kill you to stand something back up when you knock it over?
Maps are available when going in search of a soul, but be warned, bring a magnifying glass because the section map is done in miniature.
This past year seems to be the year where they have really stepped up the care-taking aspect of the grounds, and that is most appreciated. Prior to, if a large tree limb had fallen, you would see family members of all ages dragging branches by themselves.
Whatever encounters you may come in contact with at Queen of Heaven, it doesn't house only souls; there is a vast array of wildlife that make their presence known, including a large family of Great Horned owls, beautiful hawks, unreal assortments of native birds, and it is the hub for migrating Canada honkers and ducks.
And most importantly, whether you visit Queen of Heaven to pray, to grieve, or to say good-bye, it serves its purpose well.
As usual everyone has all ready been to Protein Bar, except me. That's okay; time for my spin on a spot that I have heard so much about.
Upon entering, I'm not sure atmospheric is the word for Protein Bar, but it certainly was clean. My friend, who is not a PB virgin, was all ready tapping her foot, ready to go with her order. Her choice? The vegan quinoa chili with black beans on the side. She also decided on some fresh fruit.
As for me, a customer who likes to peruse before she decides, if you happen to be the person taking my order, let's just say that patience will or should be involved. The guy taking my order was in a hurry. He needed to simmer down.
I went for the Guac and Roll, one of the bar-rito whole wheat wraps. This wrap came with organic chicken, tomato, cilantro, and lime seasoning. I also ordered one of their blended fruit and yogurt extravaganzas to go.
I have to say that we both enjoyed our food. My friend who is a chili aficionado and rarely deviates from culinary staples made quick work of her food. I guess they have a couple of different chili offerings here.
As for my guac and roll, really delicious and no complaints from me on my smoothie. It went down smooth. I'm sure I will try Protein Bar again, with one of their bowls or salads. The food was good and it was fresh and as far as I'm concerned the only thing that was below the "bar" was our server. Still, a good place to try!
Yu might really enjoy trying this little place! And when yu least expect it, a carry out working dinner can prove to be a diamond in the ruff.
I'm new to Yu, but my friend enthusiastically recommended Yu; so no problem. What was also great is that Yu will deliver to yu. Very helpful. What was also very helpful? The extensive menu options. I was particularly impressed with the vegetarian options, as well as a ton of choices that were gluten free, sugar free, msg free; free, free, free.
My colleague and I decided to share an appetizer and get separate dinner entrees. He said, 'yu have to try this'. Well, okay, fine. The appetizer in question: the spicy, crunchy baked tofu, accompanied with a great sauce.
He chose the Pad Thai for dinner; I picked the garlic Chinese eggplant with brown rice. Our order from Yu was not only prompt, but hot (temperature and taste).
I really loved the appetizer; the tofu was really fresh and my eggplant dish was delicious; came with tons of veggies, scallions, and extra garlic sauce which I'm sure my friend wished Yu had lost on the way over.
His Pad Thai looked wonderful, smelled great too. Yu sure didn't skimp on the veggies and chicken or even the peanuts, for that matter.
The prices were fairly reasonable. The dinners ranged from 12 dollars on up, and the servings leave plenty for a second dinner.
I'm pleased we tried Yu. I recall that where Yu is, it used to not be Yu, but something other than Yu. I'm sure I will try Yu again, at some point. Great meal! Thanks Yu!
Sometimes the best way to alleviate stress is to leave your significant other at home, place yourself in the hands of others (and the wallets of others), and truly enjoy a much needed GNO.
Their selection for my rejuvenation was Mercadito. Si. Okay. Let's get going! I get a kick out of this spot; it has that "I have entered a Mayan ruin with a DJ" type experience going on. And even though I may not have felt like an Aztec princess, on the night we went out, Mercadito put on their A game for us.
But it was definitely time: time for Tequila! And yes, there was a collective sigh of relief that I was imbibing. Three got the Auntie Ox green tea (with appropriate octane additives) but I grabbed Misty's Sleeve (literally). This was the aroma and taste of the tropics, with awesome Serrano heat, and a healthy dose of El Tesoro. Yes please!
I think everyone who stops here does two things: one - comments on the inability to be heard and two - orders the guacamole sampler, which I think works really well for a group of nibblers. Their standard guacamole was good, but I enjoyed the pomegranate. The taco sampler also works; there are plenty of options. We had the lettuce tacos and it has to be said that Mercadito has a ton of veggie options and can easily make things even more vegetarian for you, without complaining.
We split a couple of dishes: the tilapia and the crusted chicken, which had wonderful flavors. These came with black beans and the chicken was accompanied by plantain rice. Most of this part of the meal we brought home. It was tasty.
Our server was fine; but seemed to be spread a little thin. I do agree with my Yelp friends on the cost. Even though I didn't foot the bill, I put the tip down and we chalked up quite a dollar amount. Still, if you put the location, the decor, the drinks, the starters, and the main course down and add it all up, it all balances out. We had a great evening, and hopefully our hearing will return.
When the company vehicle required quickie maintenance, I was told to call Firestone (at an alternate location) and get the thing in. Well, I did; and sadly they were not accommodating whatsoever.
Having rolled by this Firestone a few times I thought I would give them a try. Though busy and almost closing time, the service tech not only was helpful, but the guys stayed an extra few to get me on the road again.
I appreciated not having to return; and what a difference in treatment. Though it was a simple oil change, lube, filter, tire rotation, they not only get great marks from me, but they were personable too.
Nice to see that even a local spot, new or not, isn't always ruled by the clock. Thanks guys!
I won, I won, I won!!!
For the born competitor in you, or simply the favorite Aunt taking her favorite niece out for a girls-day, we had a lot of fun. Not only will you be challenged, you will also be eaten alive.
This 3 story putt putt spot has been here for awhile and provides golfers (and I use that term very loosely) two 18-hole options; one slightly more challenging than the other. Per person: about 12 dollars each
It takes you awhile to chart the course, no matter what color coordinated ball is used to match your wardrobe; basically because you may be sandwiched between a foursome who is taking everything way too seriously versus a large family of 12.
Congo River is on a massive main drag giving passers by the opportunity at a glimpse of a myriad of short games, as well as those vehicles getting beaned from a putt gone awry. No worries, the over the top lighting system puts everyone on full display.
Be warned: if you loft your ball into a parking lot, it's gonna cost you 50 cents. The staff is friendly and reasonable but bug spray is not included.
This place has not changed much over the years, but it is pretty well maintained, though the parking is kind of tight at peak times. It also conjures up some pretty decent family memories. Fun!
But ... I won, I won, I won!!!
Three women entered LongHorn Steakhouse, expecting a fairly stellar meal. A friendly greeter took them to their table; located clear on the other end of the restaurant, in front of the entrance to the restrooms. The three women adjusted their seat assignment on their own.
Ample time was given for ordering and the server of the three women was pleasant and seemingly efficient. And then, the three women waited, and waited, and waited.
Other diners entered LongHorn, were served, and still the three women waited.
Finally, portions of meals ordered by the three women arrived at the table. One meal was cold; another meal was tough; and one meal was just right.
Finally, as if coming out of a stupor, one of the women called the server over, who quickly ushered over Dave, the very pleasant manager, who responded with force that he would see to it that everything would be fine; to the liking of the three women.
The three women watched, as they waited for their reorders to arrive, as Dave went from table to table: in part, greeting and in part doing damage control for other diners.
I'm not sure why LongHorn was off their game. I do know that the manager truly wanted to make things right, in all respects. The women received piping hot meals, and an extremely nice key lime pie for dessert: all complimentary, thanks to the manager. Which was the right thing to do.
Based upon his service alone, this update is saved from being a 2 star debacle. All I can say is that I hope LongHorn will reevaluate what happens at their establishment from start to finish.
This date night review has a bit of a lag in it; my pick as it was my turn: The Conjuring.
Hehehe. He hates scary movies, but it was a good one, and as it was relatively close to the film's opening, the screen had big written all over it.
Not only are there 30 theaters here, but there are about 30 blocks of parking spaces. Note: plan accordingly, especially your foot wear.
Comfy seats: check.
Assorted candy goodies priced to the stars: check.
Clean to the core (very much so): check.
Fresh popcorn: check.
No one sitting in front of me: check.
No one sitting behind me: check.
We did not purchase tickets up front, and as my Yelp friends have pointed out: Saturday, new film, you are gonna pay for this, make no mistake.
Sometimes you just have to shell out and sometimes this is the only way to see it.
Good time, good spot.
As I will be going out of the country for work, my MD wanted me to update a chunk of immunizations. Even though that option would not make my top ten list of fun filled things to do, I figured that when traversing the tropics of wherever with my trusty back pack the last thing I wanted to be concerned about was some sort of plague.
Though he didn't carry what I would require, and didn't want to charge me an arm or leg to order it in, (which I appreciated), he felt that some local agencies would offer the shots at a relatively low cost, and would also be "on hand".
Okay, I called the "County". One would figure they would have just about everything. After being transferred 4 times, and listening to the obligatory messages 4 times, my patience was wearing thing. Yes, they had them ... but only 2x a month. Hmmm.
I called my local pharmacy: oh yes, no problem, we can order it in. Hmmm.
I called a competitor of my local pharmacy: and listened to nice music for 15 minutes. Hmmm.
Then, I called a place I had never been to: CVS. It was close, they answered the phone, the technician on the phone was not only pleasant but said, "come on down and we will take care of it now". Huh? Well, off I went. The paperwork was easy, the staff was pleasant and efficient, and the pharmacist who innoculated me did a better job than most of the RN's I know. Wow.
Sometimes when you least expect it a spot comes through for you, in a very big way. Not only am I quite likely to take my business there, but I really appreciated the experience (even though it involved needles). Thanks and keep up the great work.
Oh yo, oh yo, catch this! What a great time, we, as a cozy foursome had at this kinda rustic, kinda sexy, kinda trendy little spot. I'll take it a step further: it wasn't just about the food, the ambiance had a lot to do with it. I mean, who doesn't love lighting that makes you look 10 years younger and 10 pounds lighter. :-)
But, to the "order" of the day, and did we order. In congenial company, it was easy to pick a "wine". Not just any wine, but they offered two really lovely Pinot Grigio's (among so many other offerings), one a bit pricier than the other. But, catching up with old friends sends the calculator flying, whether counting $ or calories.
There were about a dozen options for appetizers; not to mention salads. So share and share alike with starters: we really loved the garbanzo bean dip with little pizza toasts, it was loaded with paprika and garlic. I was glad that was nearest to my place setting. We also had what "everyone else was having", that being the small meatball sliders; as well as the fried zucchini. The sliders were delicious, but the zucchini was super salty and heavily breaded. I like more zucchini with my zucchini. Some of the salads of nearby diners looked awesome (that would be on my list to try the next time) especially the Italian chop salad. (Note to self).
As this was a get together a long time coming, we didn't want to be rushed. That was not even an option; our server did a good job, with the exception of the slow water glass refills. Perhaps the city of Glen Ellyn is rationing.
By a vote of 2 to 2, our main course was the Rocketman pizza, gluten free option no problem. The roasted peppers on this thing were this side of heaven, where heat meets sweet, with plenty of veggies, garlic, and sun dried tomato. It was wonderful. Our friends asked for a special side of eggplant and red gravy and it was no problem for the staff. Also very tasty!
Fortunately, there was a nice time lag giving us the opportunity to recover from the meal. I mean, the option to contemplate dessert should always be a given. For you donut people out there, and you know who I'm talking about, get the Zeppole! Yep, thatsa donut laced with honey and chocolate. To die for.
I have to say that fire + wine pulled it all together for our couples gig, and for a first time meal, I'm definitely a fan!
Wow-eee! Overall, I had a great experience during my first experience at The Tile Shop. I say this despite the fact that my first salesperson did not seem to want to go the distance with me; which is surprising because I am one of those fast, definitive shoppers. Fortunately, my second salesperson more than made up for the first.
They have some wonderful sample rooms to view where many of the selections on hand are utilized. And, for those with an eyeball for a steal of a deal you can find some normally high priced options at huge price reductions. Good for me.
But heads up: some of the sample palettes often show great options, but all the tiles shown may not be available and in the event you have your heart set on something, be sure to have them check their available stock as many of even the most gorgeous El cheapo selections are limited in number.
No question, if I plan to tile or grout anything in the future, I'll be back.
Continuing on my current theme of all things hockey and other sports essentials, this spot on the corner by the railroad tracks will make you stop and shop. Not simply for the regular, big, and tall men and boys in your life; but also for you female sports buffs. Though the store name may seem sexist to some of you, females are not excluded.
What do I love about this place? First, they always have a fabulous store front filled with all sorts of out of this world sports attire; the type you cannot seem to find anywhere else, but you covet all the same. Do the prices reflect that said novelty. Yes. But if you are going to shell out for something that no one else in the stands is wearing: go for it!
My still going strong "Ditka" sweater came from this place long after Ditka was off making pot roast and ribs. My 2010 Hawks "gear" came from here. So, as a repeat customer I know where of I speak. And because you can find just about any size here, literally, no excuses.
I would give them a worshipful 5 star review but, on occasion, I feel their customer service could be bumped up. Yes, they provide decent service, but I have sometimes felt that they know just how quality their items are, and it reflects in their behavior. Am I too hard line on them? No, not when I hand them my credit card.
So, the next time you are stuck on Main St waiting for 4 trains to go by all at once, put the car in park, and enjoy their display. It's definitely worth taking a peek; in & out!
Coffee hounds unite! Even though the surroundings don't have the similarities of a Starbucks or a Caribou, this spot has a lot going for it.
If you haven't had Seattle's Best in awhile, or at all, they have a ranking system. If you need the darkest of the dark to get you going, or the polar opposite, they will level it for you.
And as with many coffee spots, they have a few specialty options, at least this month, that are de-lish! Indulge in the Vanilla Waffle Latte. Even with soy or skim, it was yummy and I appreciated that my Barista took time in making a super drink, as hot as I could stand it. Perfect!
I'll be honest, the coffee served here has wavered from time to time. But on this particular night, they really came through and when that happens that translates into the miracle words that many a brand long to hear: repeat customer! Thanks, nice job!
I have to give a Holiday nod to the Care A Lot Pet Supply company. Yes, we have had our issues in the past: vividly during last year's 4 legged Christmas rush. They promised, they didn't deliver.
I went with them, originally, as our Alaskan Malamute had an issue with "bloat" and these treats were recommended by our DVM. But here, they are costly to buy per biscuit. It has been almost impossible to find these in boxes around here. Especially the chicken flavor.
However, this year, after telling me they couldn't deliver on time, how refreshing, how very nice to see on the front porch, my order for Nature's Animals Organic Biscuits. It was a pleasant surprise and I'm so happy Care A Lot came through.
Though their price per box has increased this year, they have been a go-to company for me for awhile and I'm glad they will continue to be. Thanks and Happy Holidays!
Manburgers! Manburgers! Manburgers!
All right, now that I have your attention, and if you have the opportunity to head out to Wheaton, this little quirky spot that has been here forever will steal your heart. Nothing fancy, nothing trendy, nothing classic, but definitely fun!
After picking up a class for a friend down with the flu, I needed sustenance. In years past, an Eastwood, a Stallone, or even a Belushi would have sufficed (yes, those are some of the Manburgers), but I went for another sure thing, their pizza.
Some of you may be thinking, 'gee Gemma, maybe your "nic" should be Pizza Woman'. Well, okay, but I stand with the best of them.
Turn-style slices can have serious drawbacks. But not here. They keep them heavily cloaked in plastic wrap so you get what you are supposed to get when you bite into them: moist, flavorful, hot slices. Jenny waited on me and did a great job. For sliced pizza, you get 2 very ample slices and a large drink for around 6 bucks.
She made a point of getting a decent carry box for me. While she did, another young woman took care of my drink and one guy was cleaning. They were friendly and fast.
It's been awhile for me here, I needed a refresher that they do deliver. As to the flavor of the pizza, I loved the cheese pizza (It actually has a soft pizza bread type thing going on); the sausage pizza was good, too.
This place does a heavy business during the day for lunch and for commuters, and they used to have a Mafia cheese steak that was awesome, as close to Philly as you can get. And their prices are really reasonable. A nice blast from the past for me - great job.
This may not be the most glamorous spot to have breakfast, but it has a lot going for it: the food and the prices and the service. Pretty good, huh?
When my cousin needed one of his "let's catch up" chats, he suggested Maple Tree. No problem, main drag, lots of parking. But he warned, meet me by a certain time for the breakfast specials. Well, okay, I can handle a need for speed.
We had a really great waitress and I was pleased to see a number of new breakfast specials -- trendy -- for veggie and meat-eating people alike; and these ranged from 4 to 7 dollars for the meal. Not bad, right?
My cousin ordered the Irish Stack: wow: a couple of eggs with french toast plus hash with onion and cheese. Though not for me, it smelled really great. I was temped with what they called a Garden Stack; but I went with the Caprese Benedict, and I'm glad I did. This was eggs with tomato and basil, light cheese and an English muffin.
My breakfast was great; the coffee was super fresh (our waitress kept it coming, thank you), and my cousin really enjoyed his food as well.
They were quite busy so I guess the word is out about these February meals. And for you lovebirds out there, they had ads up for Valentine's Day specials too --- not sure what that means but I'm sure red will be involved.
Thanks Maple Tree, and keep it up!
Danny's can definitely find the way to an Italian girl's heart. Whether I have come here for the Monday "Chef's Surprise Choice" special or one of their weekly staples, rarely am I disappointed. I mean, from where I come from the pressure is definitely on them.
This is a cute spot, casual, where you can grab a table and take your time or do a grab n go. What they also have going for them is their service; friendly and fabulous.
But let's get to the most important thing: the food! Their "thing of things" and most talked about are the neck bones, as well as their fried meatballs. And they are good, and that is what my guy usually gets. But they have a few other things to offer that truly entice me. Five generations of Italians just rolled over in their graves at Mt Carmel cemetery as those words were written.
I love their Asparagus and Feta salad. It's totally worth the 5 or 6 bucks. And as far as my favorite meals at Danny's: it's a toss up -- their eggplant dishes vs. their handmade pasta rotini which I have gotten with spinach and romaine.
Today, it was the eggplant for me; a good sized serving, too. My guy ordered their tilapia with the fried greens and pasta, also very good. He also likes Danny's Bacala -- but refrains from ordering it, not because it isn't great, it's because it brings back childhood trauma for me of cod fish heads floating in a bowl. But I digress.
The wine and beer and beverage options at Danny's are pretty standard, but the food is the thing, so what they offer does work. They would get a complete and total 5 stars from me if they increased their meatless options, but, I have also found them open to altering a dish when my veggie side counterattacks my meat eating side.
Another nice thing that I confess to when I have been in a bind and that is ordering a gallon of their gravy/sauce for when company is imminent and I haven't made it from scratch. Hey, I'm a realist, and they do decent catering. And, yes, those same five generations just rolled back the other way.
Nice job, Danny's --- remember your humble roots and keep doing what you're doing!
This trip to Maggianos was the first group event I've attended, so I was interested to see if it would equal or exceed past date night or business dinners.
In this particular case, even though there were about 50 people, you were given the option of full bar choices (which was not only good, but necessary) and you were also allowed to selected your own entree, which I thought was exceptionally cool.
The appetizers had been preselected by our hosts and included fried mozzarella with a number of dipping options, bruschetta (crunchy not mushy), and the one I personally loved: artichokes with spinach and tomato, which came with a really light but delicious Asiago cheese sauce. Loved that.
The salad course was Maggianos Italian salad with lots of olives and peppers and a standard oil and vinegar dressing. Very fresh and it was huge; covered the whole plate. The salad was served with hot bread and olive oil with garlic garnish; I think I heard 8 people say they could just sit there and fill up on bread.
This was not a rush job: we were able to enjoy each course and relax. Maggianos has a ton of dinner options; and though I'm sure selected entrees are the norm (and are the cheaper way to go) I really appreciated being able to choose.
The whole wheat pasta with eggplant and fresh veggies had a great marinara sauce. I would order it again. The man next to me had the chicken Florentine, which also looked great, though the spinach was in a creamy sauce. The others closest to me ordered the chicken Marsala - and they seemed to enjoy it as well.
The staff was ready and waiting with care package containers: I give high marks for that. I mean, most of the time do you really totally level your meal? Coffee and after dinner drinks were also options. Really strong coffee. Wow.
Dessert, anyone? This was another preselect. Either fresh fruit, an apple crisp with ice cream and caramel, OR (the one I picked) the Sambuca chocolate mousse cake. Oh my God. I had 2 fork fulls and I was done. Whoever picked that must have had a serious chocolate fix in mind.
My only negative: we were parked in God's country. But the meal and the company made up for that. I hope the next time I visit Maggianos it will be just as good.
I pretty much will stand right to the grounds for this little DD spot. As of late, they not only have been brewing the freshest of the fresh, at least when my cup is poured, but some of their staff are starting to be subliminal with my beverage choices.
How have they done it? Yes, customers are creatures of habit, true. But based on the friendly service, as well as its consistency, they have got it down. From where I sit they seem to mesh as employees and they seem to be having a good time dealing with their customers.
If I teach a late class, they pretty much have my cup in hand as I roll through. I'm impressed and I'm a fan of their coffee, too. DD is not expensive and it's got a good flavor.
Hopefully they will continue their winning ways because if I have a caffeine headache that needs to be quashed, I won't let anything stand in my way. Thanks and keep it up!
Spur of the moment after work chow with a friend you haven't seen in ages is something to look forward to. When he suggested Simon's I said, "see you at 6". Then I wondered, after an equally long period of time, how the food was fairing there.
Spur of the moment food that comes through when you least expect it is something to write home about ... our dinner was pretty darn good. We both ordered what is called the Greek chicken, but the correct lingo on it is the "45 minute chicken".
While waiting the 45, there was plenty of time to catch up on gossip over the standard dinner salad and rolls. Though fresh, it was okay but lacked the solid dark greens and heavy veggie component that I always look forward to.
But, whether Greek or 45 minute, it turns out the entree we selected more than compensated for the mediocre salad. This thing had the taste and feel of being marinated and slow cooked. with a decent crusting of herbs. The dinner came with roasted potatoes and a nice serving of grilled veggies. Redemption!
It was a very good meal and the amount you get sends you home with more than enough for a second dinner, which was a good value.
My friend opted for dessert ... yes, rice pudding. But I have to say that this was not sweet or gummy, it was just as slow cooked as the chicken and heavy on the cinnamon. (I had to grab a spoonful for verification purposes.)
Though this restaurant is not a spot for ambiance, it definitely is a spot for a nice get together and a nice meal.
As befitting the weather, it was time for the Frosty Claws event, a charitable fundraiser that benefits the feral cat population in this area. The program TNR trap, neuter, release helps find safe grounds for cats that have been lost, dumped, or born as strays.
The recently refurbished VFW in Villa Park was the location for this event and it was nice to see a pretty decent showing. Cost? 15.00 at the door; but pre-registered members got in for 10.00. This organization put on a really nice lunch buffet, as well as a multitude of desserts to benefit their program.
A raffle, silent auction, and a cool assortment of pet blankets, beds, and orthopaedic pads were also available for purchase. The organizers did a nice job, it was low key and low pressure in terms of being informative versus being overly informative. I just wish they hadn't run out of coffee.
Two friends foster feral colonies in the area and this is one super important way to control the stray population. It was a lot of fun and I understand they hold this yearly. So, 4 paws up for Frosty Claws by the Dupage chapter of Feral Fixers. Nice work and keep it up!
There is something about flowers. Love them or hate them; everyone seems to have an opinion about them. Whether you have no clue or whether you can spout off every botanical name like Martha Stewart everyone seems to have an opinion about them.
If you are like me, your opinion when receiving them is that you're delighted!
Carousel Flowers is a tiny shop on the southern part of the main drag in Elmhurst. Amazingly, I have never ordered anything here, but I received a lovely arrangement from them. Magically colorful, all types of blooms, not chincy with the high end flowers, not loaded with fillers. It is so pretty.
I drove by Carousel today and I almost missed it. It is very close to residential and the storefront, at least for me, had a lot going on. Very busy. Almost too busy. What did I tell you ... everyone has an opinion.
But for me, the proof is in the product and I love their product. Though I'm clueless on their prices, I can tell you that what I received did not have the look of an arrangement that 375 other females received. That, as a lover of flowers, makes me happy. It also makes me happy to add another florist to my short list. Thanks so much!
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"Talk low, talk slow, and don't talk too much"
Lombard, IL, Vereinigte StaatenYelper seit
März 2011Dinge, die ich mag
Great books & movies, pets & wildlife, field stone fireplaces, diamonds, orcas, dark pink roses, long walks, family & friends, pine trees, Italy, chocolate & tequila, organic ginger snaps, veggies, fitness, meditation, Hawaii, languages, and a great sense of humorHier bin ich häufig anzutreffen
A really cool cemetery, the ways things are goingHeimatort
I L L I N O I SWenn ich nicht gerade yelpe, dann ...
I am concocting vegetarian recipes with an Italian spinWarum du meine Beiträge unbedingt lesen solltest
I've been to Ground Zero and will never forget itMeine zweitliebste Website
I admit it ... I like YouTube.comWas ich zuletzt gelesen habe
Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story by Dame Daphne Sheldrick WOWMein erstes Konzerterlebnis
o m g ... Led Zeppelin, SilverdomeMein Lieblingsfilm
Argo, Forrest Gump; Gladiator; Godfather II, The ConjuringMeine Henkersmahlzeit
Has to include an order of egg rollsErzähl's nicht weiter, aber...
In my next life I will be a multilingual veterinarianMeine neueste Entdeckung
I want a mural of Byodo din Temple in my bedroomIch schwärme gerade für
Bardem, Cooper, Crowe, Gere, Groban, Pacino, & Paisley's guitar skills
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