Archive for "Food and Drink"
Posted on July 8, 2015 by Ching under Food and Drink, Travel.
When we were in Edison a couple of weeks ago we ended up eating at the Cheesecake Factory two nights in row. Why? Because there’s nothing else in Edison. LOL. I didn’t mind actually because I like the Cheesecake Factory.
The nice thing about the Cheesecake Factory is they have a huge menu that has dishes from almost every cuisine imaginable. There’s bound to be something on the menu that strikes your fancy. I’ve yet to try a dish that I didn’t like. And, they’re very consistent. The same dish tastes exactly the same no matter which Cheesecake Factory you visit.
On our first trip to the Cheesecake Factory in Edison, we started with crab cake bites. They were yummy.
I can’t remember what this is called but it’s what Darcy had and she said it was really good. I had the bang bang chicken and shrimp (below), which is my favorite dish they make. I always tell myself I’m going to order something different but some always end up with the same dish.
The next night we’re dining with people from other utilities and we end up at the Cheesecake Factory again, for lack of better options in Edison. Long wait this time because there were some graduations going on that night. We were told 30 minutes but our pager never buzzed. About 40 minutes into the wait, Darcy finally went back inside to check. They told her that they’d been paging us. Not sure why they didn’t try calling because they had one of our phone numbers also.
Anyway, we should have known service wasn’t going to be great from then on. Darcy any I didn’t have any problems the previous night though, so we didn’t think anything of it.
After we were seated it took a while for our server to come back and take our orders. I think he was a little put out by the fact that we were all on separate checks. The people at the other end said that they heard him mutter, “So I’m going to get stiffed.”
The service we received reflected that attitude also. The food took forever. After we got our food, no one ever came back to check how it was. Drink refills didn’t come. We had to specifically ask. And when we did ask, he would forget and had to be reminded.
It was so bad that, even though several of us talked about wanting to order some cheesecake for dessert, he just brought us our checks without offering dessert. My thought was, he would have gotten a much bigger tip if he would have let us order dessert and rack up a bigger tab. Some people are just not very good at their job and not very smart. Either that or he was having a really bad day.
But hey, at least I got a couple more food pictures of it. I didn’t take pictures of mine and Darcy’s dinner because I got the bang bang chicken and shrimp again (surprise, surprise) and that’s what Darcy had too.
A couple of people had shrimp and chicken gumbo, which they said wasn’t very good. That’s kind of bummer because that was the only redeeming quality of the restaurant, I thought. The service was terrible but at least my food tasted good.
Anyway, the disaster didn’t end at the table. I went to the restroom before we left and two of the stalls were completely out of toilet paper. The trash was overflowing and they were out of paper towels. I’m not sure what shape the men’s restroom was in but the ladies’ room looked like it hadn’t been serviced since that morning. They must have been really busy that night.
I normally like Cheesecake Factory restaurants. They’re a safe bet because the food is consistently good and, from my previous experience, the service has been pretty good too. The one in Edison is terrible though. Must be an Edison thing because the Hilton Garden Inn there was terrible too. So relieved I don’t ever have to go back!
Posted on July 5, 2015 by Ching under Food and Drink, Travel.
Darcy and I stopped at several places while walking around New York. First stop was Brasserie Cognac at around 11 AM. This was the place with the snobby waiter who said we couldn’t stay for just coffee because of their non-existent lunch rush. I’m not an alcoholic but I did end up ordering a peach bellini. Darcy had a glass of sangria. We finished our drink and continued our NY adventure.
Next stop: Ivy in Hell’s Kitchen. This place had huge accordion windows that open completely so you feel like you’re outside inside. It was awesome. It was like we were out on the patio but we had the comfort of AC. We stay by the window which made for some great people watching.
At one point one of the NY bus tours was stopped in front of the restaurant. That’s NY traffic for you. I waved at the people on the bus but none of them waved back. They all had this uniform look of disdain. Not sure if it was the heat or what, but not one person was smiling. We had walked by several people peddling bus tours. It’s great for if you can’t walk long distances or don’t want to, but Darcy and I agreed it didn’t look like much fun. Seeing those people’s faces just proved us right.
Darcy and I ate a substantial breakfast at the hotel before we left so neither of us were really hungry for lunch. We decided to just get the artisanal cheese board and a pitcher of sangria. We were already drinking so might as well keep going.
Darcy knows more about cheese than I do so I let her do the picking. She chose Brie Fermier Jouvence (cow), Westfield Farm Capri (goat), and Pyrenees Brebis (sheep) so all the animals were represented. They were all really tasty with the grilled baguette but the honeycomb stole the show. I’d never had honeycomb before. It tasted amazing. Darcy recommended spreading both honey and cheese on the grilled baguette. I’d never had cheese that way before either. It was so good. The honey really highlighted the cheese flavors. My favorite combo was the honeycomb and capri on a baguette.
Love, love, love! Now I’m craving honeycomb. I don’t know where to buy it here, though.
We walked around some more then when we were ready to stop again, we stopped at Hudson Station. They mostly had bar food which didn’t really appeal to us so we just had drinks and left. Darcy found a place with good reviews called Marseille so we walked over there. Except our timing was a bit off. The kitchen was closed at the time and didn’t open again until 5 PM. We ended up going to Nizza down the street instead. The host at Marseille recommended it.
The best part about being in Hell’s Kitchen is all of the great restaurants. There’s so many of them. Although, out of all of the stops we made that day, Ivy was my favorite of all. I’m totally taking Brian there when we return this fall.
Posted on July 3, 2015 by Ching under Food and Drink, Reviews, Travel.
Darcy and I ended up at Efes on our first night in New Jersey because we didn’t want to be too far from the train station. We walked up and down the street and didn’t really find anything that appealed to us. Efes looked quaint and promising.
The naan and the sauces were good. Service was super slow, though. I was really thirsty and I think she only refilled my water once. I had to ask for a water refill and had to wait a really long time.
The hummus and falafel were good but neither Darcy nor I liked our entree, which was a bummer because it was one of the house specialties and came highly recommend by our server. We should have known she was clueless.
The description made it sound yummy and the server’s recommendation sold us. We both got the chicken dish, which Darcy describes sweet and sour chicken without the sweetness. It had a very pronounced sourness to it. Maybe we just don’t know our Turkish foods.
I wish that I would have ordered the salmon dish instead. It was that or the chicken dish. However, the chicken dish was a house specialty and our server told us it was her favorite and very popular. Usually, the house specialties are a good bet. Oh, well.
Maybe we just ordered the wrong thing because the restaurant is rated pretty well on Zagat. So disappointing.
The poor service didn’t help matters any. Our server never came unless we tried to get her attention. And, I really, really needed some water to tone down the sour flavor of the sauce. Darcy recommended just having more bread. I wanted my water, darn it!
The best part was the upside down “wash your hands” flyer in the restroom. The person who posted it couldn’t be bothered to make sure it was right side up. Seriously. You had one job! I had to take a picture.
Maybe this restaurant was good at one point but I’m guessing it’s been a long time since anyone who works there really cared.
Posted on June 28, 2015 by Ching under Family, Food and Drink.
During last weekend’s visit, we treated Donna and David to our favorite steak place — Cy’s Hoof & Horn Supper Club in Sedgwick. It’s a long ways from our home in Southeast Wichita but totally worth the drive. They have the best chicken fried steak I’ve ever had and it’s a huge portion. It’s more than enough for two people to share.
Of course, I ordered the chicken fried steak because it’s my favorite thing on the menu. Donna ordered the same. David had the prime rib special.
Brian wanted to try one of Cy’s legendary burgers but, after he told them to take everything out of it, it wasn’t so impressive. LOL.
He said the onion rings were good, though.
The homemade dessert that night was banana walnut cake with ice cream.
I’m not sure what was going on that night. Maybe they were just super busy. The food was good but not has good as we’ve had it there. The service was slow and my mashed potatoes were on the cold side. Though I wished that it was hotter, I didn’t say anything. I hope that mom and dad enjoyed the dinner despite the service shortcomings.
Belated happy anniversary, Mom and Dad B!
Posted on June 28, 2015 by Ching under Family, Food and Drink.
Brian and I are not really huge fans of Olive Garden but we had dinner there last weekend in honor of Brian and grandma’s birthdays. They’ve celebrated their birthdays together since the dawn of time (or really since Brian was born) and have only missed three years. The missed years were when Brian lived in Memphis.
We don’t really care where we eat as long as we are all together. Brian’s mom and dad came up from Oklahoma. Kevin, Kasey, and their kids Kyndra and Andrew were able to join us for dinner as well. Here are some fun photos we took at dinner.
It took some doing but I finally got a good photo of David, Kevin, Andy, and grandma.
Here’s a good one of Andy and grandma.
Brian and I got grandma a gift card to the Nifty Nuthouse, everyone’s favorite candy shop, and she got a bunch of other goodies from Brian’s mom and dad, including these giant chocolate covered strawberries.
These strawberries are the size of apples!
Brian got a couple of Superman prints from his mom and dad, which are now hung in his bathroom in the basement. The placement is a little awkward but to each his own. Besides, we’re have a bathroom decorating contest in the basement and I’m convinced that my bathroom, which has the lithos we got from Julie and Viktor eight years ago, will win (with or without the help of the awkwardly positioned Superman prints).
Brian really loved his prints! Thank you, mom and dad!
Here are some pictures of food.
Brian got his usual.
David got his usual.
Donna and I both got the chicken and shrimp carbonara.
I was disappointed that they no longer put frozen peaches in the peach bellini iced tea but they let grandma order out of the kids’ menu and they gave us a whole basket of Andes mints at the end of our meal so all was forgiven.
We had a great time at dinner (perhaps a little too much in Brian’s case). Thank you so much to everyone for celebrating with us.