Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Drafting Room, Exton PA

If you happen to be in, or near, Exton Pennsylvannia take a ride on the Pottstown Pike and you'll find a neat little place called The Drafting Room in a small strip mall. If you don't happen to be there; take a ride because it's definitely worth it.

First of all, they have an extensive beer menu with about twenty beers on tap, and they rotate the selection. On top of that they must have a hundred bottle to choose from, with the specialty being Belgian beers. This visit I had a Brooklyn Back Breaker, which was okay (too close to a red ale for me), and a Lancaster Double Boss IPA, which was very good and hoppy. My son-in-law had two nice Stouts, the second one being an expresso stout.

Then comes the food. I got a nice bacon cheeseburger, medium. It had thick sliced bacon (so much better on a burger), blue cheese which I substituted for the cheddar, tomato and lettuce on a nice fresh kaiser roll with some fresh cut fries on the side. All for about nine bucks. Good meat, cooked right and served hot. The rest of my party were happy too. We had a Greek salad, a Rueben, and Moroccan chicken.

Then there was the service. Mandy was our waitress and she did a great job, plus everyone else there bent over backwards for us. Substitutions are no problem, and they get the orders right. We were there on a Sunday and they were cleaning up from the brunch. The manager invited us to take some deserts off the table.

So the bottom line, nice people, good service, good food, good beer, good prices. Go there sometime, you won't be disapointed. Check out their website for the menu and more information.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Eveready Diner, Hyde Park NY

We've been to the Eveready Diner in Brewster a few times and we've always been pleased, so when we were in Poughkeepsie we decided to head north on Rt. 9 to visit the original location, the one featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. We wanted to see if it was up to the hype from the show, and as good as it's Brewster cousin. Our opinion, in one word, disappointing.

It started when we went in and a couple who got there after us were seated before us. We were seated right after and a young man came and told us he'd be our waiter and that he'd give us a few minutes. Next thing a young lady appears with our water and said she'll be our waitress. Okay, Rebecca was the best part of the visit. She was attentive and friendly and did a great job. Too bad the food wasn't up to snuff.

I ordered a bacon cheeseburger, medium well. Price was $9.45 which I think is steep for a diner burger, even if it is a half-pound. I ordered it medium well (in a regular restaurant I get medium, but in diners I get medium well because I'm not as sure of the quality of the beef) and it arrived closer to well. The fries were soggy, like they were cooked a while before and sat under a heat lamp. My wife had a Trattoria chicken sandwich. The chicken was dry and tough and the pesto sauce was bland.

I wonder if success can be a ruination of a good restaurant. When a place is new they're hungry for business and they care. When they're successful, they lose the edge and don't try as hard.

Bottom line, if you're driving through Hyde Park and you're hungry, stop by, even though there are better places in the area. But don't go out of your way to get there. Seriously, it isn't anyway near the hype that's built up around it.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cafe Mio, Gardiner NY

Gardiner New York is just off of Route 208, between Walden and New Paltz, and is remarkable for its view of the Shawangunk Mountains. It is now remarkable for a cute little bistro called the Cafe Mio. We tried to go there when they'd first opened a few months ago, but they didn't take credit cards then, and not having cash we left. Tried again recently and they take credit cards so we were all set.

Inside it's a nice restaurant with the paintings of a local artist shown, and for sale. The kitchen is exposed and you can see the chef at work, nothing to hide here. I had the shrimp po' boy at $10.50 and Teresa had the pesto, fresh mozzarella, and tomato panini at $8.50. Both came with a small side salad, note the picture above of my meal. Both were good, the bread was fresh, and the portions were good. The only slight negative we found was that we thought the pesto was just a bit too oily for our taste.

We'll be back as there were a few things on the menu I want to try, plus they are nice people. Check out their website for more info.