Saturday, November 28, 2009

Red Robin, Exton PA

Red Robin is an interesting chain. They create some really cool burger combinations, give you bottom-less fries, have good beers and give a fun atmosphere to enjoy them all. The Exton location is as good as any Red Robin I’ve been to, maybe better since they have Victory Beer. I was at the tail end of a long drive so I passed, but a Hop Devil sure would have gone well with my meal.
I’ve tried most of the burgers, my favorites being the Guacamole Bacon, the Blue Ribbon, and the Royal [with a fried egg on it]. This time I tried the Burnin’ Love burger, [from the website] “crispy-fried jalapeño rings, tangy salsa and spicy Pepper-Jack cheese layered on top of our cayenne-seasoned beef burger. It’s topped with shredded lettuce and tomato to cool things off and served on a jalapeño-cornmeal Kaiser roll with Chipotle mayo,” for $9.79. It was very good with heat in everything on it, but not overwhelming. I have a new favorite.
Service was good, restaurant was clean, including the rest rooms, and the food came hot and cooked right. If you’re passing through Exton on Uwclan Ave, stop and eat. You won’t be disappointed.
Now the rest is about Red Robin Restaurants in general. My experience at Exton was very good.
One thing I recommend, as soon as they bring your meal, order the second round of fries. This way they’ll bring them as you’re finishing the first round (They don’t give you a lot the first time). The second round is bigger, hotter, and taste better. Yeah, I don’t know why either. The other recommendation I make is to check the bill. They are notorious for making a mistake somewhere but they are so accommodating about fixing it. At some locations I’ve gotten the wrong order, been billed wrong, had them forget to bring my wife’s order, you name it. But they always fixed it, gave coupons, freebies, whatever. I don’t mind mistakes as long as they make up for them.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sonic, Wappingers Falls NY

I've been to a few Sonic's when I was in the South and found them to be okay. The drinks are good, but the burgers are nothing special. When the chain started to come up here I decided to stop off at the Wappingers Falls location. It had recently opened and there was quite a bit of hype about it.

First off, the place is busy. Very busy. The line for drive-through was about ten cars deep and most of the drive-ups were full. I parked in the lot and ordered at the board by the tables. Two cheeseburgers and a chocolate shake seemed right. Well, after sitting there for about twenty minutes a girl came out and said the trays had gotten mixed up and my order would be out soon. Soon was another five minutes. When I got it the burgers were a bit cold, but I'd already paid, and I didn't have another half-hour to spare waiting to have them redone, so I ate them. Like I said before, the burgers are nothing special, but when cold they really leave a lot to be desired. The shake was good though.

As I finished I was thinking that I should have driven a few miles north and gone to Five Guy's. I was also thinking about how the roller blades were going to work out in the snow. Maybe they'll flood the parking lot and give them ice skates.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cup and Saucer Diner, Pine Bush NY

Pine Bush New York is one of the UFO capitals of the world. There have been many sightings over the years, well mostly a few years ago. So when a new diner opened up in Pine Bush they came up with the cheeky name of Cup and Saucer and designed a spaceship logo. It's cute and interesting.

What's even more interesting about the Cup and Saucer Diner is that it is a very good diner. We've been there quite a few times and almost always the food was excellent. The only times it wasn't was when we deviated from traditional diner fare to try something different, like a special. But that's true of most any diner. If you stick to what they make al the time, it should be done right.

This time I had the gyro, I pronounced it yee-row and the waitress said, gyro. I should have written it for her in Greek, γύρος. It was very good with a Greek salad and I upgraded to sweet potato fries. I've also had the Philly cheese-steak sandwich, the rueben, omelets, and the triple decker club. Every time what I got was good.

Stop by and pay them a visit. Check out their website for more info.

Update- 9/30/11. I've been back a few times since I wrote this and the food has always been very good. Most recently I had what I thought was the best Rueben I've ever had.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Franco's Pizzeria and Italian Restaurant, Walden NY

The little village of Walden, about 7,000 people, has three Chinese restaurants, one diner, two ice cream places, two bars and five pizza places. The pizza places range from just above mediocre to pretty good. Franco's is one of the pretty good ones and is also more of a restaurant in that they serve more traditional Italian dishes. We've been there a few times to eat, and gotten take out a couple more.

Franco's is located at the Thruway Shopping center in the old laundromat. The conversion came out well and it's a pleasant place inside with tables and booths.

In the latest visit I had the Veal Sorrento, veal cutlet with prosciutto, eggplant and provolone cheese on linguine with a white wine sauce. It came with a good salad and garlic bread and the price was $13.95. Teresa had the manicotti, also with a salad, for $8.95. Reasonable prices and decent sized servings. Mine was good. Not great, but good. I thought it was a bit flat tasting and had to add salt and parmesan cheese. The manicotti was good too, but the sauce was bland, like it came from the can and didn't get enough seasoning.

In the past I've had the veal parm hero, it was okay, and the stromboli, not very good. The pizza is good though, probably one of the best in the village, and they have a $9.00 special on Mondays. Anyone out there remember the old five dollar pizza nights? They offer a few specialty pizzas, and the calzones are good.

Overall, Franco's is good. Not great, but good. Pay them a visit sometime.

Friday, November 13, 2009

McKenzie Brew House, Malvern PA

On Route 30, in Malvern Pennsylvania, sits a nice large, new restaurant called McKenzie Brew House. My son-in-law and I stopped off for lunch, he'd been there the day before, for a quick bite on the way to visit my daughter who was in the hospital in labor (she had a boy two days later, my fourth grandchild).

The restaurant is large, clean, and well laid out. Even though it was crowded for lunch, we were seated right away in the bar area. It really is quite large inside. I ordered the half-pound burger with buffalo sauce and blue cheese crumbles, and Brian got the burger with caramelized onions and blue cheese sauce. $9.25 each. They came out exactly the way we ordered them, medium, on a fresh baked bun with quite a bit of fries. They were also delicious and juicy. The buffalo sauce on mine was just the right heat. It added flavor without overpowering the burger.

I didn't try any beer, we were on the way to the hospital, but Brian said he sampled one the night before and that it was good. Rest assured I'll be back to try a couple. By the way, the beer prices are reasonable at $4.00 for a pint and only eleven dollars for a growler.

The service was good, and the food came out quick. A nice unpretentious place with good food, just what I like. This is going to be one of my favorites and I'll do an update soon, with beer reviews. They aslo have another location in Chadds Ford. Check out their website for more info.

Update 11/13/09- I went back a few days later and ordered the same burger. It was just as good, except that I forgot to order medium. The default is medium-well in most places if that happens. It was still good. I also had a pint of their IPA, Wicked Will's I think it's called. Very good, slightly hoppy, and satisfying. Next time I'm going to try the sampler.