Archive for the ‘Places we’ve already been’ Category

August 17, 2010 – The Roman Candle (Fitchburg)

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Visit the website for location details and hours.

erin says: we’ve been to the Middleton location, so I’m filing this under places we’ve already been.  The Fitchburg location has a nice dining area with at least one tv.  I liked the legos spelling their name on a ledge.  It looks like the Fitchburg location has a few sandwiches and a kids menu in addition to the pizzas, pastas, and salads that are also on the Middleton menu.  I enjoyed the bacon cheeseburger pizza.  Everything is great with bacon.  There were 6 of us, and we had no trouble getting a table.  I’m standing by my last rating.

July 19, 2010 – Porky Pine Pete’s (again) [CLOSED]

Monday, July 19th, 2010

erin says: Brian and I had already been to Porky Pine Pete’s, see our previous post, but Pat and Kevin went with us for the first time tonight.  I’m creating this as a placeholder for them to add their impressions.  I will say… mmmm… sweet potato mash is a good addition, but I was surprised to see that fries are off the menu.

The Ruppert Food Blog has been on a bit of a hiatus recently.  Our families participate in the Oregon Community Band on Tuesday nights in the summer and fall, and one day per week of family togetherness is sometimes all we can manage.  But the OCB is on break until fall, so we’re hoping to go to some more new places, including some that are downtown before the place is crawling with students again.  Stay tuned.

Pat says: Tonight was the first visit for Kevin and me.  Kevin had the pulled pork sandwich with cheese, and I had the pulled pork sandwich with slaw.  Both very good.  For sides. we shared mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, and beans.  The beans and sweet potatoes were both sweet – too sweet for Kevin but perfect for me.  I agree with all of Erin’s comments, and hope that this place will be able to make a go of it – good pulled pork isn’t easy to find.

I’d like to see a couple of changes – during the course of our meal, no one stopped at our table to see how we were doing.  No drink refills, no questions about the food.  Since you pay at the counter, at the end of the meal, we just left.  There seemed to be plenty of staff, so a little bit more attention would have been great.  Also, despite the required fees to ASCAP, some background music would go a long way toward making the place more customer friendly.  Not sure what kind of music, but Kevin suggested Gene Autry and I agree.

June 6, 2010 – Laredo’s (University Ave.)

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

erin says: Laredo’s opened a new location recently, and we managed to get there despite the construction.  They are in the building that used to be a Pizza Hut with the bubble window on University Avenue, across from the void that will someday (maybe?) be a Target near Hilldale.  There’s nothing new to report.  If you’ve eaten at one Laredo’s, you’ve pretty much eaten at them all.  They are very fast and very reliable for what they do.  They must be doing well since they are expanding.

May 28, 2010 – La Mestiza (Odana, again)

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Visit the website for locations, hours, and menu.

erin says: My mom and dad went with me and Brian to La Mestiza this time.  Brian and I had been back once with our friend Amy after the original post. A coworker of mine mentioned that he enjoys La Mestiza and thinks their margaritas are excellent. I still haven’t tried them, so I can’t verify. My dad happened to ask what we knew about the place, and we decided to stop in.  We arrived around 6, and it was a good thing, because the place had filled up by the time we were leaving.  The chips and guacamole are still probably the best I’ve had.  I ordered the Bistec con Salsa Guajillo, Dad ordered the Borrego en Chile Pasilla, Mom ordered the Chiles Relleno de Queso, and Brian ordered the Carne Asada.  The service was good and the food arrived promptly.  I sampled a bite of the chiles relleno and thought they were very good and very mild.  I enjoyed my dinner – with plenty of red sauce to wipe up and mix in with the beans and rice.  I still don’t like the tortillas, but maybe that can be explained by the fact that I’ve grown up in WI with only poor examples to imprint my tastebuds.  I sampled the lamb and I thought it was very good.  Dad thought it was a touch too spicy, enough to make his lips and tongue burn.  I would call it medium-hot, and I would say it’s maybe a touch more spicy than the beef I had.  Brian was not impressed by the Carne Asada, although he has had it before and recalls liking it.  He did say that he would have chosen the beef special over the carne asada on our first visit.  He has a habit of ordering the same thing repeatedly, and I’m trying to get him to branch out.  Sometimes he just doesn’t like one dish and writes off a whole restaurant that I really like – this is a reoccurring theme.  Based on my repeated visits, I would bump my initial rating up to an 8.5.  I feel this is a necessary adjustment.  I look forward to trying their downtown location someday.

May 19, 2010 – Tornado Steak House

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Visit the Tornado Steak House website.

erin says: Pat and Kevin gave me and Brian a gift certificate to the Tornado Steak House for our wedding anniversary last year.  We finally got around to using it.  We went to the Tornado a few months ago for fish fry and were not impressed, but we decided to reserve our gift certificate for a nice steak dinner.  Tonight we went for steak, and I think we were both much happier.  I ordered one of the specials, a filet au poivre with mushroom sauce and hash browns.  Brian ordered an 8oz filet with french fries.  He had a Caesar salad and I had clam chowder.  I had the clam chowder last time too, and it has a very definite smoky flavor that isn’t my absolute favorite, but I can see where that might be a plus for someone else.  The bread plate was really generous for two people.  We didn’t finish it all.  Last time, with three people, it was just right.  I like the rosemary in the loaf of bread.  I loved the peppercorn crusted filet, and the mushroom sauce was wonderful.  I gave a portion of my steak to Brian.  I’m not sure, but my filet might have been 12 oz or something.  8oz was too small for Brian, but he got to help with my steak.  It looked like he got a tiny portion of fries, but I got a huge portion of hash browns.  We both left stuffed.  The service was excellent, especially considering that they had a very large party to accommodate at the same time.  I’d give them an 8.5 out of 10.

On a side note:  I think this should be Erin’s food blog, or maybe Erin and Pat’s food blog.  The rest of the Rupperts are not pulling their weight.  Hello?

May 16, 2010 – Captain Bill’s again (Middleton)

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Visit the Captain Bill’s website.

erin says: Last year I missed Neil’s birthday at Captain Bill’s, but this year I was able to make it.  We had a reservation, but it was pretty empty – that might be typical on Sunday.  I ordered lake perch (what else?) with clam chowder and a baked potato.  Pat, Kevin, Neil, Brian, and I split an order of crab cakes and an order of spinach dip. I liked the crab cakes, which came as two large cakes in a creamy sauce. The spinach dip was just ok. We enjoyed the hot rolls with whipped butter.  The clam chowder was really tasty with a definite herb flavor.  The perch was crispy and lightly breaded, and I believe was served with 6 good sized chunks, which was more than enough for me. When we ordered we were offered a choice of potato OR vegetable (asparagus). I ordered a baked potato, and was surprised to find both a baked potato and asparagus on my plate when it arrived. In fact, we all got asparagus. Bonus? The service was good, even though our server told us she was new. I’d give Captain Bill’s an 8 out of 10. As tall people, we noticed the low overhead in the entry way. It looks like they have a nice patio, although it was too cold to enjoy it the day we were there. I think this week would be a great week for the patio!  Neil seems to love their lobster, so I’m sure we’ll be back.

April 30, 2010 – Cafe La Bellitalia

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

erin says:  I’ve been here before, so I’m creating this as a placeholder in the (wild?) hopes that some other Rupperts will add some comments.  How about it, guys?

I will say that it was very busy, and they do take reservations, which was an excellent idea for our party of 6.  There was a guitar player with a karaoke-like backup playing, but I don’t think he was a main source of noise.  The place is just tiny, and crowded, and noisy.  Parking is interesting too.  They are fortunate to have some overflow into a closed car shop next door.

April 7, 2010 – Erin’s Snug Irish Pub

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Visit the website for Erin’s Snug Irish Pub and read Pat’s previous review.

erin says: Kevin had not been to Erin’s before.  The rest of us (Pat, Brian, and I) have been there before.  Pat had not been there for dinner, only for lunch.  She found out that her favorite lunch options are not on the dinner menu.  I got the fried shrimp dinner this time.  The shrimp were large, and the breading was light and crispy.  I think there were 6 shrimp, choice of potato (I chose garlic mashed), and a pile of steamed carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli, along with a basket of rolls for the table.  The price was something like $14, which seems a bit high.  Kevin didn’t seem to impressed with his dinner.  Hopefully he’ll post his review here.  Brian got a steak and shrimp special and seemed to feel about the way I did.  Pat seemed to enjoy her cobb salad.  I love all of the details in the place.  The decor is really interesting.  I was kind of surprised to see that they still have evergreen decorations with ball ornaments up over the fireplaces.  The atmosphere is pretty dark.  Pat says it’s a bit of a surprise at lunch time to emerge into the sunshine after being inside.  We were interested to see ads for brunch.  It sounded pretty basic, but the price also seemed good, around $10.

March 17, 2010 – Lee’s Garden (formerly Hong Kong Cafe West)

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

erin says: This doesn’t count as a new place, although I had not been there since the name changed.  Brian and I tried to go on one of the days of Chinese New Year and found the place rocking with drums and a dancing dragon.  We didn’t stay to find out if it was a private party or not.  St. Patrick’s Day seems like a great time for a quiet night at a Chinese restaurant – but it was still fairly busy.  The food and service seem to be about the same as they were under the old name.  I’ve heard various theories as to why they changed names.  This will continue to stay on our repeat list.

November 4, 2009 – Oliva (again)

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

erin says: We visited Oliva again and found out that they are moving into the former Atlanta Bread Co. space next door. I’m very happy to hear this. I knew they were going to have to expand!

Everything about this visit was delicious. Most of my family got calzones. I got canneloni, kisir, and lentil soup (stuck in a rut, I know – I have had a calzone on another visit, and they are very tasty). The service is friendly and prompt, the food is good, and the atmosphere is good (I bet it will be even better next door). I hope they’re prepared for the stampede once they open in their new space.

© Copyright 2008, Brian Ruppert