Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Review Extravaganza!

Here's the deal, lunchboxes - I should be welcoming a little tiny eater in about T minus two weeks.  I have a metric shitload of reviews that need written. At this point, making separate entries for each one is NOT going to happen.  So, you're going to get a lot of quick, abridged reviews, without photos.  I'd be happy to provide photos and additional commentary if you're curious about a specific place or dish - just leave something in the comments section.  Loosen up your Sans-a-Belts, here we go!

Smashburger - Dayton, Ohio (UD)
Hadn't gotten around to trying this place or Five Guys, and there was a groupon-type thing available for around $12 worth of food.  Two burgers, one order of fries and one soda was $16.  DAMN!  A bit steep for what I consider fast food.  I can't seem to recall specifics, but their menu was a little limited and confusing - and the staff had no idea what their signature sauce was.  I do specifically recall that the restaurant was filthy.  The floors were so dirty and sticky that I lost my shoe to it three times.  EW, Smashburger.  The food itself wasn't bad, but certainly wasn't impressive.  Fries were so greasy, they were transparent.  I'd choose Tank's any day, for my money.  Hell, with the experience we had, I'd probably pick Hardee's over Smashburger.  
1 out of 5 sporks! 
Smashburger (Univ. of Dayton) on Urbanspoon

CJ Chan - Dayton, Ohio
Finally tried this place out for date night after hearing nothing but rave reviews.  Situated in a really odd spot, in a tiny shopping center just between the ass-end of Kettering and Walnut Hills, the place has very limited parking and seating (not to mention pulling into the lot at over 2mph can do some damage to your car).  We lucked out and gt their just before dinner rush and had a terrific meal.  Mr. FvF had sweet & sour pork and I had Mongolian beef - probably some of the best and most traditional I've ever had.  Fried pork dumplings were also excellent. Prices were right on point, service was tops and the menu is extensive and impressive.  Can't wait to go back.      
5 out of 5 sporks! 
CJ Chan on Urbanspoon

Rootbeer Stande - Kettering, Ohio
Exactly what you'd expect from a drive-in restaurant.  The girls don't wear roller skates, but otherwise it's just as old-timey as you'd expect.  Burgers, dogs, and lots of fair-fare (corn dogs, Texas tenderloins, funnel cakes), and nothing over $5, if memory serves.  More importantly, the rootbeer is super tasty, and heavy on the sasparilla, which is just the way I like it.  My bacon cheeseburger was nice & messy, loaded with toppings, and the Mister's tenderloin was mammoth and delicious. We also split the fried pickle spears and mini corn dogs, which I highly recommend.  FYI, they only take cash.               
5 out of 5 sporks! 
Root Beer Stande on Urbanspoon

Brunch Club - Dayton, Ohio
Another groupon-type deal. Hadn't been here in years, since it was The Breakfast Club.  We met another couple there for brunch and had an excellent meal.  Kind of made me wonder why I don't hear more about the place - but judging by the wait for a table, maybe it's the kind of place everyone tries to keep secret.  Mr. FvF and I were thrilled to see Chicken & Waffles on the specials board, and even more excited to see that it's on their everyday menu.  He couldn't resist ordering that, I had the meat lovers' omelette, and our brunch buds had the eggs benedict and breakfast burrito with sides of potato cakes.  Everything was spot-on.  I'm not usually a hash brown fan, but theirs were crispy, onion-y and not greasy at all - just perfect.  The omelette was fluffy and on par with my favorites from Golden Nugget.  Mr. FvF's dish was downright impressive.  The waffle was just a waffle like any other, but the super fresh, hot broasted chicken was out of this world.  The breakfast burrito was incredibly fresh-tasting for something that was covered in gravy, and I have to take someone else's word that the eggs benedict was very well done also. The service could have been better.  Our waitress was a bit slow (cutting her some slack b/c of the crowd), but incredibly clumsy and forgetful.  We had to ask for my husband's coffee three times, and she spilled water all over our table right out of the gate.   Also, when I ask for chocolate milk "with my meal," that's when I want it.  With my meal.  Few things irritate me more than letting milk sit for 5-10 minutes, getting warm while waiting for my food.  And when are eateries going to get hip to frosty glasses for milk?  Every place I order it, it's practically room temperature.  As far as price, serving sizes are commensurate with the cost.   Will definitely be heading here again.    
4 out of 5 sporks! 
Brunch Club Cafe on Urbanspoon

McCormick & Schmick's - Beavercreek, Ohio
Sadly, this is from Restaurant week, back in July.  Pitiful, I know.  We double-dated with another couple - the boys both ordered the cashew-crusted tilapia (regular menu)and sweet potato cous cous, and the gals both ordered off the RW menu - filet florentine, cucumber salad and flourless chocolate torte.  The main dishes and cous cous were pitch-perfect, but some of the sides and salads needed a little touching up.  The vinaigrette on the cucumber salad was far too tart.  A little sweetness would have gone a long way.  The boys' cous cous was amazing and finished with Jamaican rum butter, but the risotto that came with the RW specials was, well - nothing special.  One of the dessert choices was supposed to be chocolate silk pie with bourbon creme anglaise, but had been changed to the torte with raspberry sauce. It was very good, but could have used a few fresh raspberries to balance the dense sweetness.  Service was good, despite our wait for a table when I had reservations and partied of the same size who arrived after us were seated before us.  Price points were very fair on their regular menu - most entrees between $15 and $25.  I can definitely see us dining here again, perhaps for a special occasion, outside of Restaurant Week.                
4 out of 5 sporks! 
McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant on Urbanspoon

El Toro - Huber Heights, Ohio
Ew.  I won't even go into too much detail here, because it's not worth it.  Standard Mexican-fare menu, price points are about the same no matter where you go.  I ordered something with shredded beef, which was incredibly fatty and bland.  Service was so-so.  Again, EW.  Would not go back.  Giving them one point because my co-workers swear their food was good.                                      
1 out of 5 sporks!
El Toro on Urbanspoon

Blueberry Cafe - Bellbrook, Ohio
Best breakfast I've had that wasn't at my mama's house.  Excellent service, huge portions and the food was simply outstanding.  I went there because I had a hankering for French Toast, and I heard they do it right. Upon arrival, I realized that this place was truly sent to answer a pregnant girl's prayers.  On the specials?  Banana bread pudding french toast.  I almost wish I was making it up, because I want to eat it every day of my life.  I think there was unicorn blood in it.  Magical.  The leftovers - about half a slice, took more than one hand to hold, and Mr. FvF and I split the half piece for breakfast the next morning.  Two very small complaints - the goodness that oozed from my French toast got all under my potatoes and eggs, making them more sweet than savory.  Boo.  And again, with the milk.  I asked for it with my meal, and it came out 10 minutes ahead - not all that cold, and just getting warmer.  Blueberry Cafe seems to be renowned for their breakfasts, but their lunch menu also looks impressive, as do their Friday night dinner offerings.  The place is very tiny, so a wait is likely, but well worth it. They do take reservations for dinner, not sure about breakfast and lunch, though.  Price points might be considered on the higher end for breakfast and lunch, but the portions more than warrant it.
4.5 out of 5 sporks! 
The Blue Berry Cafe on Urbanspoon


Chad said...

Have you tried the new cajun restaurant near milanos on brown street?


Looks interesting.

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