Where I Can Score Some Coke

Alle Listen ansehen
I'm a self-admitted Diet Coke addict, maybe ten minutes sober if I'm lucky. These places help keep me on the wagon.
  • 4.0 Sterne
    12.6.2011

    Bridie's has karaoke on Friday nights, which makes it indispensable to Highwood.  There are a lot of bars in Highwood, all with their different character, and while the Irish pub kitsch does set Bridie's apart, the karaoke is really what does it.  They have an incredible selection, with choices as recent as Adele's Rolling in the Deep and some ill-advised hits by Lady Gaga, along with a long list of beers on draft and plenty of mixed drinks to try.

    The age group is a pretty mixed bag (mostly late 20s-ish), but karaoke is definitely the great equalizer.  Really a great time on Friday nights-- and such a different kind of fun than can be found at any other bar in Highwood.

  • 4.0 Sterne
    13.7.2011

    I think I would be hard-pressed to write a negative review for a Chipotle... ever. Unless they were out of beans, maybe. Or rice.  Even then, though, just the smells would be enough to lift me from initial crushing disappointment.

    Chipotle was a sponsor for a 4-mile run event recently in Highland Park, so I came here afterward with my co-racing boyfriend and our shiny new buy 1-get 1 giftcard.  For eight dollars we got a vegetarian burrito bowl, a veggie burrito with guac, and a diet coke (with fresh lemon!) to share.  The girl who made my burrito bowl skimped a little on the lettuce front, but the experience of sitting outside, enjoying some sour cream and salsa-drenched peppers and rice, while doing some all-star people-watching on a beautiful summer day completely mexiclipsed that.

    Just like all the Chipotles, they do their best to buy local, organic, and free-range whenever and wherever possible, which of course is always appreciated.  And my boyfriend and I love that you can take the tabasco bottles to your table with you... It feels good to be trusted.

  • 2069 Green Bay Rd
    Highland Park, IL 60035
    Vereinigte Staaten
    3.0 Sterne
    2.9.2011

    I'm torn here.

    If I'm writing this review as my past self, a proud carnivore, I'd say that this is the best Mexican food around, super authentic, lots of choices.  Great burritos and tacos.

    But if I'm writing this review as myself now, essentially a vegetarian, I have to say this place leaves something to be desired.  My boyfriend and I came here for lunch and both ordered the vegetarian burrito-- he got the regular, I got the junior.  They came out, appearing to be the exact same size.  We found out later that the difference was that mine only contained cheese, rice, sour cream, and refried beans... His had avocado, lettuce, and tomato.  Mine tasted fine... but what was I paying for, in terms of veggie options? No avocado, no peppers, no onions.  Plus, I have to doubt that the refried beans were actually legitimately vegetarian.

    Which also brings me to my complaint about this place across my dietary changes: the fact that they don't have any whole black or pinto beans, only the refried variety.  Not a lot of opportunity for healthy eating here.

    We also got an order of the guacamole, which was all right (when is mushed-up avocado bad?), but which-- like the other things we ordered-- benefited a great deal by the addition of the three salsas provided as condiments when you dine in.

  • 4.0 Sterne
    3.6.2011

    Came here today... This place is a good value for really great food.  It's a chain, so the quality between franchises will vary a lot, but the Highland Park location is really fantastic.  I love the way they offer suggestions for under-600-calorie combos, and I had one of those today: the California Grille Panini with the Three-lentil Vegetable soup.  The soup was good, the panini outstanding.  I wish I had remembered to ask for carrots instead of chips (usually they'll prompt you-- not today).  I'm also a fan of the fresh lemon they offer to put in your soda!

    Keep it up, Corner Bakery!

  • 4.0 Sterne
    6.9.2011

    I'm always excited when my parents suggest we go to Norton's!

    My boyfriend and I came here the other day, revisiting the location of our first date.  We both got the veggie burger, with grilled onions, and agreed that they were really tasty, and very hearty.  I couldn't finish the sweet potato I ordered as my side, which was perfectly baked.

    It's true that it's a little overpriced for what it is (over $2 for soft drinks is a little unreasonable, even with free refills), and I think it feels like home to a very specific clientele: the HP lifers, local moms and dads especially.  Those are the people who are welcomed most graciously immediately when they come in, and maybe even recognize some faces on the walls.  My boyfriend and I didn't even get the popcorn starter when we went!  Still, for good grill food, it's a solid choice-- probably the best in Highland Park-- you just have to be ready to pay a little for it.

  • 2.0 Sterne
    9.12.2011 Aktualisierter Beitrag

    Don't try to make a reservation.  It doesn't help.  And it's not a reservation.  It's a tentative glimmer of hope that they might seat you within a half hour of the time you ask for.

    And a note on what I said before about being "accommodating to vegetarians:" they charge as much for their tofu and vegetable entree as they do for their fish or shrimp entrees.  It doesn't make any sense.  It's a pretty good entree, but there's got to be something morally wrong about charging such a different amount per calorie.

    Our chef last time was great!  Still didn't excuse the astonishing amount of waiting we did to get a table... Even with a reservation.  We've resolved to try Ron of Japan for the first time next time we want hibachi, after 11 years of being loyal to Kegon.

    3.0 Sterne
    2.7.2011 Vorheriger Beitrag
    Regarding many of the reviews below, it's crucial to note that Kegon has totally overhauled both its… Weiterlesen
  • 4.0 Sterne
    14.7.2011

    I had come here a few years ago when my family had recently moved into the area, and we had had a pretty uninspiring experience.  I just gave it another try with my mom before seeing a movie at AMC in Northbrook Court, and now I see why people love it so much.

    We were seated immediately around 6:00 pm on a Tuesday night, outside in beautiful 70-degree weather.  We ordered some drinks, and while they initially told my mom they didn't have what she was looking for (San Pellegrino), they offered her soda water instead... Then the waiter came out with some San P. he had found after all! I enjoyed my bottomless Diet Coke.

    We ordered the vegetarian lettuce wraps as an appetizer, and followed the waiter's advice to mix some chili paste into the soy sauce and put that on the wraps. So, so good.  And thus I have been indoctrinated into the PF Chang Lettuce Wrap cult.

    For our entrees, I ordered the coconut curry vegetables, while my mom got the Singapore Street Noodles.  Both of us had trouble stopping, even though we felt stuffed... It tasted so amazing.  Mine was fresh and zesty, and the brown rice gave it extra body and flavor.  The tofu especially was silky and soaked up the coconut curry sauce amazingly.  I had half of it for lunch the next day... and it was just as good.

    I take back every ambivalent reaction I've ever had to hearing someone mention PF Chang's.  Yay! I'm a fan.

    PS - They offer free valet parking, if there are no spots near the restaurant entrance!  Plus, happy hour with hibachi appetizers from 3 pm - 6 pm.

  • 4.0 Sterne
    24.8.2011

    Downtown Glencoe is cute... But it's definitely not one of the best suburbs for cute local lunch places.  And ever since Einstein's in Highland Park closed, I always go to Einstein's for lunch when I'm in Glencoe.  But I tried Vernon's the other day with my boyfriend, and had a great experience.

    I ordered the Greek salad with the raspberry vinaigrette dressing (instead of the Greek dressing).  Although they brought it out incorrectly the first time, they were quick to rectify their mistake.  The key, though, was the breadsticks that came with the salad... warm and parmesan-y, with marinara sauce for dipping.  So good.  My boyfriend ordered the veggie burger, and was happy with his choice-- it was the kind of veggie burger where you can see the veggies cut up inside (which is the kind I like, personally)... He did say the fries were only so-so, however.

    Our main criticism is that the place needs more vegetarian options.  Something as simple as a veggie sandwich (that's not the eggplant parmesan sandwich) and/or a veggie wrap would be nice.  Otherwise, vegetarians are stuck with only the salads, a quesadilla, cheese pizza, eggplant parmesan, or the veggie burger really.  We also got a little confused when the menu at the door didn't match the menu posted on the wall behind the register-- about a quarter of the menu items were missing!

    The price is fairly reasonable but not cheap; I got the lunch special which was a half portion of the salad with the breadsticks for $7.  Oh, and it's a Coke establishment, not a Pepsi one, which is major points in my book.

    In the Midwest, which does suffer from a decided lack of diner-y establishments, it really is difficult to find a lot to complain about with this classic diner-style place, especially given the other options available in downtown Glencoe.

  • 4.0 Sterne
    2.9.2011

    I was the first girl my boyfriend brought *back* to Erik's, and for that reason I could never give it less than four stars.

    The menu is extremely diverse, with a huge number of options for both meaty- and vegetarians.  It has a long kid's menu, too.  And it's a Coke establishment! (with lemon slices for squirting in, and free refills!)

    I got the Mother Nature's treat on the onion roll, persuaded by the thought of avocado and sprouts... and muenster cheese can't hurt either.  I loved that they asked me if I wanted fries, chips, or fruit-- unlike so many sandwich shops and diners where you have to ask special for the fry substitution or (gasp!) even pay more!

    That being said, I can see why some people complain about the flavor... To be fair, I ordered my sandwich without the honey mustard it's supposed to come with, but raw mushrooms, sprouts, and lettuce do not a sumptuous sandwich make, so the only real flavor came from the avocado and the cheese, especially since the onion roll was mostly just very bread-y.

    Still, I can imagine that some of the other menu options are much more satisfying in the flavor department.  My boyfriend really enjoyed his grilled cheese with (grilled) mushrooms and (grilled) onions.  And before he became a vegetarian, he always used to order The Pita sandwich.  And for someone who spent his entire childhood and adolescence in Oak Park, "always" is a whole lot.

    I really like the remodel, I found it very inviting and really liked sitting by the front window.  I hope my boyfriend decides to bring me back for a third time! Then I'll know it's for real, and that Erik's deserves another star.

  • 3.0 Sterne
    16.6.2011

    On a hunt for the best pad thai in Oak Park, I started my search here and was not disappointed.  The pad thai itself was absolutely fantastic-- great flavor, plenty of egg and tofu, tasty bean sprouts.

    The other food, though, wasn't so great.  We got the Pad Ped Tofu, medium spicy, and the red curry sauce didn't have very much flavor at all.  It was spicy like red pepper flakes, but the tastes weren't very complex or very infused into the tofu and vegetables in the dish.

    Still, for the price (about $8 an entree), it's a great deal.  And the decor-- the robot made from soda cans-- in the entryway adds a nice touch of kitsch.  My recommendation: come here for fantastic noodle dishes; don't expect too much from the vegetable-based menu items.

  • 2.0 Sterne
    11.7.2011

    Went here seeking some more of the best samosas I've ever experienced, based on the tastes I got for some tix at the Taste this year.  My boyfriend and I went in on a Wednesday night around 7:45 pm, and the place was mostly empty, with two other occupied tables.

    The menu is overwhelming if you're not familiar with authentic North Indian and South Indian fare; it's four pages of ambiguous and non-descriptive translations that left my boyfriend and myself at a loss for what to order.  We decided we would get a recommendation from our waiter...

    who never came.

    There was an old man busboy who wandered between the three tables, continually refilling the water carafes.  This went on for probably close to a half hour before the owner-chef-manager-waitress came over and asked if we were ready.  We asked her what she'd recommend, and she told us that everyone does and should order the appetizer sampler basket, which came with some of the samosas we were really after.  Beyond that, she started listing the different headings on the menu, but without telling us what they were, or which ones were best.  We settled on the Rava Masala Dosa.

    Our appetizers came out, and the samosas, as we remembered, were wonderful.  The rest of the appetizer basket was just different kind of mashed veggie combos, with different batters, fried.  It came with a couple of chutneys, one which was spicy and one which was sweeter, we enjoyed the sweet one quite a bit but there's really only so much deep-fried veggie mash you can eat.  Trust me, we went to that point and back.

    Then the Rava Masala Dosa came out-- it was a GIANT crispy "crepe" almost like shredded hashbrowns in texture, with a tiny amount of spiced potatoes in the middle, and a cup of stewed sauce and vegetables, with some chutneys.  Mostly, it was just crepe.  Pretty disappointing.  My boyfriend even accidentally took all of the potatoey filling when we were trying to split the dish.  

    Maybe we would have been better off ordering something we knew we liked at other Indian restaurants, like Aloo Gobi or Chana Masala... But it seemed like we had so many unusual choices available to us, and we should take advantage.  And nothing excuses the plates we asked for that were never delivered, or the fact that we actually did run out of water despite it being the "busboy"'s only duty, or the fact that we didn't finish our meal until after closing!

  • 5.0 Sterne
    22.7.2011

    This is my new favorite restaurant on the globe.

    I came here with my boyfriend after my mother read about it in a magazine.  We both ordered the Vegetarian Avocado sandwiches, and our conceptions of what "food" is were revolutionized.  The flavors worked together in ways we never could have imagined... The warm, crunchy baguette, the vinegary jalapenos, the fresh cilantro, the meaty tofu, the creamy avocado... We both savored our sandwiches and wanted more immediately. And it's not hard to justify, at $3.50 a pop!

    They have specialty sodas and drinks there too, so I had a diet root beer and my boyfriend had an organic lemonade. So tasty!

    We decided we needed more of this incredible fare in our bellies, so we went for some vegetarian spring rolls.  They were tasty also, but a bit drippy and hard to eat with the peanuts sprinkled on... And after the complex flavors happening in the vegetarian sandwiches, almost anything would be anticlimactic.

    I'll be honest, I'm not too proud: my mouth is watering an embarrassing amount as I'm writing this review.

    I drove 40 minutes to try this restaurant, and I'd drive twice as far to get some more this moment.

  • 4.0 Sterne
    28.6.2011

    Had a great experience coming here after a visit to the Morton Arboretum!

    We arrived on the early side, around 5ish on a Friday night, and were seated immediately in a booth by the bar area, where we were informed that from 4:30 to 6:00 pm, we could order the normal portions of appetizers for $5 (about half-price).  We decided that was a worthwhile deal, and planned our eating accordingly, since the portions really are enormous here.  The two of us split an order of the guacamole appetizer (medium spicy, which was perfect), as well as an order of the garlic noodles.  We finished the guacamole, had some bottomless free refills of our diet cokes, and ate about half of the garlic noodles-- leaving enough for one person's lunch the next day! (Albeit, a ridiculously salty one-- the garlic noodles tasted like a metric boatload of butter, garlic, and salt; my boyfriend and I both agreed that the asparagus was easily the best part of the dish!)

    We got the Chcoolate Tuxedo Cream Cheesecake, which was to die for.  Went home happy and full.

    The restaurant definitely feels like a chain (hence the 4, not 5 stars)... but I have only good things to say about it!

  • 4.0 Sterne
    1.9.2011

    My mom and I were in Palo Alto on a visit and she reconnected with an old friend living in the area who gave us the choice between eating here or at Il Fornaio.  After reading a review on Il Fornaio that said to come to Cheesecake Factory if given the choice, we followed their advice.

    The wait, as usual for a Cheesecake Factory, was long, but we stood outside so my stomach didn't have to eat itself imagining the taste of the nearby cheesecakes.  We were seated in a booth in the massive establishment and got ready to order.

    I was glad to see they came out with a new "Skinnylicious" menu that lists several of their regular entrees made in portions that humans were intended to consume.  I just wish they didn't give it a name that made you feel like such a tool for ordering from it.

    So instead I had the grilled portobella on a bun, with no cheese, and a green salad with balsamic vinaigrette.  The shroom was so delicious... can't go wrong with spicy mayonnaise, I feel!  And the side salad was good too, although they don't offer any low-fat or fat-free dressings, so even the balsamic vinaigrette was pretty creamy.

    Thankfully, I saved room for a slice of chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake for dessert.  I took it to go, which was an unnecessarily slow process.  And once again, Cheesecake Factory didn't fail to give me wayy too much whipped cream.  But I suppose that's forgiveable when they're responsible for such a blissful state of food-euphoria.

  • 5.0 Sterne
    19.2.2012 Aktualisierter Beitrag

    Okay, I get it.  I had the vegetarian duck and I get it.

    It's long been my theory that this place has such great reviews because meat-eaters come here and they're surprised at not being totally revolted by the fake meat.  Well, I'm a vegetarian and I was absolutely stunned at how real and delicious the fake meat was... It *almost* made me miss eating real duck.

    The steamed dumplings were a little gummy and wet, but still tasty-- they do have the veggie ham in them, which I'll still maintain is a little bizarre, but I haven't eaten pork since elementary school.  My fiance really, really enjoyed his Kung Pao Chicken.

    But holy fake-cow, the vegetarian duck was incredible.  It was crispy and filling, sweet and salty, with plenty of veggies.  The skin was so realistic, and the texture of the meat was amazing.

    I thought the kung pao eggplant was great the last time I was here, but I was just living in fear of the fake meats. Foolishly. Because holy-sweet-ducklings, that entree was incredible.

    3.0 Sterne
    27.8.2011 Vorheriger Beitrag
    I am moving to California from the Midwest, and am in perpetual awe of the number of vegetarian… Weiterlesen
  • 4.0 Sterne
    27.8.2011

    Came here with my mom looking for a lunch place with free wi-fi... Buck's delivered on both counts!

    I ordered a diet coke and a garden burger with avocado, my mom got a diet coke and a turkey melt on sourdough.  Our waitress definitely wasn't overly friendly, and was slooooooow to refill our DC's (and later, to bring the check)... And when our food came, I noticed almost right away that she had forgotten the avocado on my burger, but she was gone and didn't come back for at least twenty minutes, so I just went without.  And the burger was great anyway!  The chipotle tahini dressing absolutely made it.  Although... I still can't help but feel that it would have been made better with avocado.  What isn't??

    Stars also for allowing free substitutions of fruit for fries-- extra stars for always asking which the patron wants (rather than making me ask and feel like a pain in the side!)

    I thought at first the pricing was a little high, but for the area and for the food quality, it really is pretty reasonable.  Vegetarians can also get a boca burger, a few salads, or a grilled cheese... Not much else besides that.  Still, I'd be realllly close to giving this place five stars if our service had been better!

  • 5212 Monticello Avenue
    Williamsburg, VA 23188
    Vereinigte Staaten
    5.0 Sterne
    3.6.2011

    If you don't mind chains, this is a fantastic restaurant. The bang bang shrimp is legendary, and when they have chocolate creme brulee on the menu, it's completely worth it. The service is a little slow, but the ambience is nice, with a bar area and a more intimate, quiet main dining area.

  • 1001 W North Ave
    Melrose Park, IL 60160
    Vereinigte Staaten
    4.0 Sterne
    26.8.2011

    I would just like to say, my boyfriend and I saw Cowboys and Aliens here the other stormy Tuesday-- both tickets for $9 total!  Granted, it was a matinee... But it gave us extra cash monies for some buttery popcorn and Diet Coke (also about $9 total).

    Seats were comfortable.  The place was clean.  And the movie was great... Thanks for asking!

  • 1525 Lake Cook Rd
    Northbrook, IL 60062
    Vereinigte Staaten
    3.0 Sterne
    14.7.2011

    This is the go-to movie theatre for Northbrookians, Highland Parkers, and Deerfielders who want to see the current blockbusters.  If you want to drive a little further, you can get a lower priced ticket (Vernon Hills!) or a larger, more cinema-y movie theatre feel (Lincolnshire!), but this is the standard place to go around here.

    And it's fine.  I've never had any of the problems with broken seats or cleanliness mentioned in the other reviews, although I suppose the bathrooms could have been more pristine (but what bathrooms couldn't be?).  One thing that was a little lame was that we asked about popcorn sizes, bought a medium, and found out once in the theatre that the large came with free refills; the girl at the concession stand didn't even mention it to us when she was showing us the sizes.  And the popcorn was so tasty, we kind of wished we had splurged on the large!

    Tasty popcorn, comfortable seats... It's a popular movie theatre in a mall undergoing a major gentrification overhaul.  What do you really expect?

  • 4.0 Sterne
    31.8.2011

    Came here for Diet Coke and a Cosmo... Completely delivered.  Has a great grocery selection, a sizeable as-seen-on-tv selection, and they don't lock up their family planning aisle!  All good things in my view.

    Now if they'd just start carrying my boyfriend's Old Spice Aqua Reef body wash, they'd beat out pretty much every drugstore in the country...

  • 431 Temple Ave
    Highland Park, IL 60035
    Vereinigte Staaten
    4.0 Sterne
    7.6.2011

    This place is wonderful.  I went there the other day to satisfy a craving for mole, and was not at all let down.  I got the chicken enchiladas in mole sauce, and they tasted amazing.  The chicken was spiced perfectly, the mole sauce was the best I've had-- and the sides of rice and beans were perfect as well.

    We come here often and are seldom disappointed.  Our worst experience was when my father ordered a special, which the waiter failed to inform us cost twice as much as any other entree (over $30). And, our service the other night was a little lacking when we had to ask the server repeatedly to close the open window on a chilly night.  (And they continued to seat parties at tables so close that we were constantly bumping into each other, despite numerous open tables all over the restaurant).

    Still, the food is so amazing and generally reasonably priced that our only real complaint is that we wish they were open on Friday nights!

  • 4.0 Sterne
    11.9.2011

    Incredible deep dish-- probably the best in Highland Park!

    The crust is buttery and crisp, the mix of cheeses is sharp and flavorful, the tomatoes are ripe, soft, and flavorful.  And I love that the Lou, their special, is vegetarian!  Get it: spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes... too good, they work magically and garlic-ly together.

    I also like that they're realistic and honest about portion sizes.  The individual really is an individual-sized pizza; the small really does serve 2, being 9" in diameter and yielding 4 not-too-overwhelming slices.  For a little over $13, definitely a reasonably priced lunch/dinner option!

    Tonight they also had free samples available in the store, so waiting those last few minutes for them to bring the pizza out, smelling the smells, watching other orders come out in secretive cardboard boxes containing the food of the Chicagods, wasn't painful at all.

    Always my last meal before I leave town for extended periods of time... Like when I move out of my parents' house tomorrow!

  • 4.0 Sterne
    12.9.2011

    Fantastic gift shop!  The best part of the cross-half-country road trip so far!

    Clean restrooms, free coffee, kitschy antiques that run the gamut from fine to tacky (to both), chocolate chip cookies, a man painting portraits of dogs, a touristy gift shop with shot glasses and locally-made novelties, and the opportunity for a free postcard/bookmark when you fill out a visitor survey!

    PLUS the only "welcome to iowa" sign you're likely to find on I-80!

    Too bad the experience was a little soured when we went to check out... The ladies at the register were unfriendly and arrogant, giving one-word responses that bordered between unfriendly and outright snotty however we tried to engage them in conversation.

  • 900 Eagle Ridge Rd
    Le Claire, IA 52753
    Vereinigte Staaten
    4.0 Sterne
    12.9.2011
    Erster Beitrag

    Fantastic gift shop!  The best part of the cross-half-country road trip so far!

    Clean restrooms, free coffee, kitschy antiques that run the gamut from fine to tacky (to both), chocolate chip cookies, a man painting portraits of dogs, a touristy gift shop with shot glasses and locally-made novelties, and the opportunity for a free postcard/bookmark when you fill out a visitor survey!

    PLUS the only "welcome to iowa" sign you're likely to find on I-80!

    Too bad the experience was a little soured when we went to check out... The ladies at the register were unfriendly and arrogant, giving one-word responses that bordered between unfriendly and outright snotty however we tried to engage them in conversation.

  • 2940 NW 12th Street
    Lincoln, NE 68521
    Vereinigte Staaten
    2.0 Sterne
    12.9.2011

    So I get the euphemistic naming in the tourism industry.  But "luxury" is more than a stretch for this place.  The outside needs some severe updating, there aren't enough outlets even for all the appliances in the room, the wifi is slow, the (permanently discolored/stained) sheets don't quite fit the beds.  Our room even had a dirty bedspread stuffed on the upper shelf of the closet area.

    That being said, the people here are all kinds of friendly, the rooms have microfridges and working televisions, there's a (minimal) complimentary breakfast of biscuits, gravy, and cold cereal, and we paid $34 for our double room.  For an off-the-expressway 1-night stay, I've got no regrets.

  • 5.0 Sterne
    13.9.2011
    Erster Beitrag

    Came here for a bathroom pit stop and a fillup on gas, and tentative hopes for a restaurant recommendation.  Found the cleanest bathrooms we've seen on I-80, a convenience store that smelled like fresh doughnuts, reasonable gas prices, a kickass view of the Buffalo County Fairgrounds across the street, and managed to attract a veritable swarm of helpful locals with suggestions for a place to get some lunch.

  • 5.0 Sterne
    13.9.2011

    Can't imagine that there's a better place to eat in Kearney.

    We were seated immediately for lunch on a Monday, at a trendy table with these comfortable rolling chairs.  I was a little disappointed to find out that literally the only thing on the menu without meat was a garden salad... but I could get into the idea of the create-your-own combo, with the chili and the half-grilled cheese.  Both were amazing, and the portions were gargantuan, for about $8.  The grilled cheese was garlicky and buttery, and the chili was packed with quality beef and hearty beans-- topped with a load of cheddar cheese and some jalapenos.  There was just the right amount of heat, and it filled me up easily until dinner.

    My mom got the western burger, their award-winning burger, and said it completely deserved the title of best burger in Nebraska-- but really raved about the barbecue sauce.

    Our poor waitress had her hands full, but some of the other servers stepped in to help her with our table, each introducing herself and each so attentive and friendly.  A refreshingly great experience after our beyond-disappointing lunch yesterday in Iowa!

  • 3203 Quebec St
    Denver, CO 80207
    Vereinigte Staaten
    4.0 Sterne
    14.9.2011

    After leaving the Motel 6 in Denver after opening the door (or rather, having the staff open it for us, since it wouldn't open), we rushed over here for the two nights we were spending in Denver.

    What a change.

    A friendly concierge with a Southern accent, warm cookies, free and fast wi-fi, a fitness center, pool, and sauna open til 1 am... Not to mention the fresh sheets and cozy, clean-feeling beds, the lemony-scented shampoo, conditioner, and lotion, and the new flat-screen tv.  I agree that it could maybe use a refrigerator... And you are certainly paying for the experience, but if you consider that we were paying over $50 a night at the Motel 6 that quite literally scared us away, this place is worth every penny.

    Maybe not the best out there: the location isn't great, depending on what you're staying for, (it's hard to get into downtown Denver without a car), and the seemingly enormous amount of parking somehow fills up entirely.  But if you're looking for any degree of comfort, this place is like your mother's womb compared to other places you could be in Denver.  Trust me.

  • 5.0 Sterne
    14.9.2011

    So, it's not my travel style to revisit the same place twice.  What kind of Yelper would I be if it was?

    But my mom and I are going back to Udi's Bread Cafe for our 2nd of 2 breakfasts in Denver, because we couldn't not, after today's phenomenal morning meal.  I had the California egg sandwich, which comes on their multigrain bread.  The combination of avocado and cream cheese with the egg and the hearty, wheaty bread was amazing.  And the bread is made in-house, which takes it to a whole new level.  The sandwich comes with a slice of watermelon, too, which I certainly can't complain about.

    Also exceptional: their toasted coconut coffee, which is so good we're buying a pound to bring back home.  Plus, it gives us an added excuse to come back tomorrow!

    (The next day update: the challah french toast is amazing tasting, with this after-flavor of vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg-- but head's up, it's so thickly cut, it's easily the equivalent of four normal-to-large slices of french toast.  The green burrito is absolutely packed with veggies, with the unusual ingredient of kale which definitely adds a lot.  And you can sub out the tofu for eggs, if you want!  Anyway, still five stars. Easy.)

  • 1051 S. Main Street
    Moab, UT 84532
    Vereinigte Staaten
    4.0 Sterne
    16.9.2011

    We were booking our two nights in Moab fairly last minute, so we were limited in options, since so many places had no vacancies.  But we really lucked out with this place!  It's not exactly a total bargain--no place in Moab seems to fit that bill-- but it has free wi-fi, and it's extremely clean.  The beds are comfortable, the rooms have big flat-screen tvs and are definitely sizeable.  They have an outdoor heated pool, an indoor hot tub, and a complimentary breakfast consisting of the usual toast, bagels, English muffins, fruit salad, and blueberry muffins, as well as crullers, some unique cereals, and (unfortunately only) 2% millk.  They have a few kinds of coffee, and a good selection of teas.  They're also pet-friendly!

    The normal rooms don't have bathtubs, which might be a concern for some, but we really enjoyed our stay here and felt happy sinking back into the beds after a full day of exploring Arches!

  • 5.0 Sterne
    16.9.2011

    HUGE, clean, impressive grocery store with a Starbuck's inside.

    We came here for individual-sized skim milk, since the complimentary breakfast at our hotel (the Sleep Inn) only has 2%.  They had it, for a buck.

    We also wanted an individual-sized ice cream treat. They had those impossibly delicious Snickers ice cream bars.  For about a buck.

    They didn't have the Rachel Ray magazine, but no one seems to, and the customer service lady gave us a lecture on the inner workings of the self-service checkout when we didn't put our goods in the bagging area immediately.  Still, in the context of Moab, where everything seems to be overpriced--at least a little--and oversold as either fancy or tacky-touristy, this was a refreshing place to enter, which my mom and I audibly expressed as we walked the aisles.

  • 4.0 Sterne
    17.9.2011

    Had a tasty lunch here today while passing through southern Nevada.  Standard diner-type food, plus breakfast all day!

    But here's the real reason I'm a fan: in the middle of the Nevada desert, they have "vegeburgers!" And they're not the crappy, flavorless veggie burgers where you put ketchup on and all you can taste is the ketchup and all you can ever remember tasting in your life is just ketchup.  It was a real, (I'm guessing) Morningstar patty, on a grilled bun, with (very little, all right) lettuce, tomato, and red onion.  And if you don't opt for the $1 fry upgrade, you get a bag of potato chips-- which is handy if you're on the road and not that hungry yet, but planning to venture onto the extraterrestrial highway.

    My mom's cheeseburger was ok, standard once-frozen patty with cheese melted on it, and it came with thousand island dressing to put on it.  The fries were really good, though-- if you don't mind dipping in sweet generic, non-Heinz ketchup!

    The decor is great, with a big Union Pacific painting in the dining room, the narrative on the back of the menu is charmingly disjointed, the local conversation is great to subtly eavesdrop, and there is a "Rough Rider" condom dispenser in the ladies' room.  No sanitary products.  For your food and contraceptive needs, though, this is the best place around!

  • 1137 S Main St
    Tonopah, NV 89049
    Vereinigte Staaten
    1.0 Sterne
    17.9.2011

    This was our first stop on our two-hour-long quest for dinner in Tonopah that (spoiler alert!) ended at the McDonald's.  We had some trouble finding it; it's in the Ramada, Tonopah Station casino.

    Came here in hope of a salad; being mostly vegetarian, it's usually a safe bet.  All of the salads had meat.  The only vegetarian options were griddle items, a vegetarian omelette (breakfast is served all day), or a grilled cheese.

    Paired with the fact that the entire place smelled like cigarette smoke, and two of the three light bulbs above our table were burned out, we decided it was best to walk out.

    At least our waitress was friendly, which we soon learned was a lot to be thankful for, based on our even worse experience at El Marques down the road.

  • 2.0 Sterne
    17.9.2011

    This was our third and final stop on our almost-hilarious-but-mostly-hungry quest for food-- any food-- in Tonopah, Nevada.

    I don't visit McDonald's a lot. So I felt very put off by the fact that they don't post their full menu (where were the happy meals and mighty kids meals) and instead opt for giant posters of their latest pimped products.

    They had also blocked off over half the restaurant because they had cleaned it and didn't want to clean it again, even though the place was packed following a Tonopah High School football game.

    Vegetarian fare: fruit and maple oatmeal, and fruit n yogurt parfait.  Parfait was tiny, but both were tasty... prepacked, so they had to be, right?

    Cashier (Cody?) was more stoned than a boulder, with hickeys all over his neck.  Well done, Cody's girlfriend, if you're reading this.  But the worst part was the fact that it took a half hour for us to get our food.  And cashed-out Cody told me they didn't have raisins for my oatmeal. But there were raisins in it.  What is happening in this townnnn???

    Two stars because we actually got food, after about a half-hour wait, and because (supplemented with the amazing cookies from our Best Western lobby) I was satiated.

  • 2300 W El Camino Real
    Mountain View, CA 94040
    Vereinigte Staaten
    3.0 Sterne
    19.9.2011

    This is a pretty good Best Western... It's a motel, but the lobby is pretty nice.  It's got an outdoor pool and outdoor hot tub, and a fitness center that's open until 9:30 pm.  The rooms have (very) sizeable minifridges and microwaves, with tube televisions.  Access to a guest laundry room from the parking lot.  Wi-fi is free, you get the password at checkin.

    The breakfast leaves something to be desired... The bagels were pretty dry, there were prepackaged danishes, standard industrial scrambled eggs, sausage, four kinds of cereal, some oatmeal.  A good amount of fruit, which is a plus... but no peanut butter! How is that possible?

    No complaints on the cleanliness of the room, or the friendliness of the staff; when we asked for a second-floor room after they first gave us a first-floor, they were happy to comply without a question.   Beds were comfortable, sheets were clean.  Toilet was one of the economically-friendly designs, that uses less water if possible.

    But be forewarned: they don't have homemade cookies when you check in, like the Zen motel does, or the Best Western in Tonopah (Nevada).  If that's important to you.  And honestly, I don't know how it could not be.

  • 4.0 Sterne
    19.9.2011

    There are some things you should know before you come to Yosemite.  Even though the iconic experience is driving through in the family RV, whooshing through a forest of redwoods, you really need to set aside a real amount of time to camp and hike and horseback ride, to take photo classes and canoe and exist in the park.  The 'scenic drive' experience just isn't enough.  You feel that tourist grime when you do it, and will feel when you leave like you haven't done this incredible place justice.

    They have so many facilities in the park to make it easy for anyone, of any experience level, to go camping.  Bathrooms abound, gas stations, groceries, even a tasty deli (Degnan's Deli) that offers fresh sandwiches.  There's really no excuse not to camp in the park, even if you're just passing through on your move from Chicago to Palo Alto.

    So I'll stop making excuses, and just plan to post an update sometime soon where I can give the park its fully deserved five stars.

  • 1.0 Sterne
    20.9.2011

    Not. Good.

    Love the idea of an organic bakery.  Love the friendly owner.  Love the location and the neighborhood and the feel.

    Hate the bread.  Which is a problem in a bakery.

    I came here really wanting a salad, and they only have two.  That's a problem.  So I got the asparagus soup of the day instead.  It was ok, but it was spotty, with bits that were a lot warmer than others.  I got a "cheese spiral," too.  It was pretty dry, very dense.  The herbs inside were tasty, but it generally wasn't great, unless I dipped it in the soup.

    My mom got the Mediterranean sandwich.  The bread was thick and dry; the hummus and the spread completely got lost inside it.

    The owner said he only took it over a few months ago.  Props to him for inheriting a legacy of such great reviews.  But for those of us who support the organic movement, who constantly find ourselves defending it against those who would label us "crunchy" or "health nuts," isn't it worse to have places like these, that leave you with a bad taste in your mouth?

  • 5.0 Sterne
    20.9.2011

    Dinner started with the hummus appetizer and an accompanying discussion on what hummus is supposed to taste like.  Answer: this.  It's served with an herbed pesto oil that you can drizzle over the hummus and their thick, soft, fluffy pita bread.

    I got the imam biyaldi, an eggplant dish that's essentially half an eggplant with garlic, peppers, and tomatoes broiled inside it.  It's served with a side scoop of white rice. I cut it all up and mixed it together... For $9, the portion was absolutely generous.  I had to stop myself from eating past the limits of my stomach capacity, but it just tasted too good.

    My mom's moussaka was equally magnificent-tasting, although the portion was a bit less substantial than my eggplant.  Plus the rice side seems extraneous with the amount of potato in the dish.

    But the kind of food that tastes so incredible, you want to order plate after plate of it, trying to convince yourself that there's no such thing as "uncomfortably full," that there could be no pain in the world as long as you are shoveling these flavors into your esophagus by the bucketful-- that only goes so far.  What made our dinner a five-star experience was the fact that when I asked to pack my leftovers for lunch tomorrow, our waiter asked if I wanted to include my mom's extra white rice.  I was torn: did I want to ruin the perfect balance that I had managed of vegetable-saucy goodness and moist, fluffy rice?  I expressed my concerns to the waiter.

    He looked at me, recognized me for the impoverished grad student that I am, and said, "I'll put extra sauce on it for you."

    And brought me a free refill of my diet coke.

  • 5.0 Sterne
    21.9.2011

    Five stars for the location, value, and taste.

    Location is central to campus, super close to the library and (selfish, I know) to the building I work in.

    Value is great: $2.75 for a medium chai latte.

    Taste: My iced tiger spice chai was creamy and flavorful, sweet but not overpoweringly so.  Super refreshing, tremendously satisfying, and all I could think about after the first step was how much I regretted that it wasn't bottomless.

    I work way too close to this place.  I'm sorry, wallet. I'm sorry, society-that-thinks-a-caffeine-addiction-is-­unhealthy.  That chai is just too good.

  • 200 E Campbell Ave
    Campbell, CA 95008
    Vereinigte Staaten
    3.0 Sterne
    24.9.2011

    We came to downtown Campbell hoping to get a table at Aqui across the street, but it was too full so we ended up here.  It's big--2 stories-- and has a brewery-type feel.  Our first table was in the bar area, and somehow we managed to be surrounded in a sea of sloshed-at-7:30 middle aged people.  They kept screaming "cannonball" and feeling each other up.

    We moved closer to the restaurant area, which led us past the sample plates of the night's specials, including prime rib and mashed potatoes that had been sitting out for eight hours.  Nothing makes you more in the mood to chow down than the sight of crusty gravy or curdled butter, amirite?

    The beers were tasty, I had the Campbell's Pale Ale.  There was actually a surprising number of entrees for vegetarians for a place with a meat in the title, and I ordered the portabello mushroom sandwich.  If you want to swap out the sides, it's an additional $1.50, and the chips and salsa are not good.  I can get better at costco.  The sandwich was a little small, too, for $10., even though it tasted pretty good.

    Our night was really fun, largely due in part to the live band playing, Liquid Courage.  "No cover. Stiff drinks." and all the 80s covers Jessie's girl could want.  The futuristic soda machine is pretty cool, too, though it paled in comparison to the guidos, guidettes, and stumbling stiletto'd 40-somethings who were our real entertainment for the evening.

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"frisking about in my barbalute suit"

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1281 Hilfreich, 1224 Witzig und 607 Cool

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Mountain View, CA, Vereinigte Staaten

Yelper seit

Juni 2011

Dinge, die ich mag

archaeology, linguistics, vegetarian cooking, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago White Sox, Diet Coke, Arabic, eucalyptus deglupta, reading books about serial killers, casually surfing petfinder.com

Hier bin ich häufig anzutreffen

a tomb in Petra

Heimatort

Somewhere halfway between Chicago and Ann Arbor

Mein Blog oder meine Website

flickr.com/photos/171933…

Meine zweitliebste Website

supercook.com

Mein erstes Konzerterlebnis

American Idol Top Ten Tour

Mein Lieblingsfilm

Indiana Jones (Last Crusade... did you have to ask?)

Meine neueste Entdeckung

afternoon tea on a Balinese beach is what my heaven looks like

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