Archive for the ‘On the Road’ Category

On the Road: July 29 and 30, 2011 – Detroit area edition

Friday, August 12th, 2011

erin says:  Brian and I recently went to the Detroit area for a weekend.  We tried a couple of local places that were in our general vicinity.

The first was Twisted Rooster in Belleville, MI. We were seated at a high table in the bar, right by the kitchen and bathrooms. It was a fairly busy place. We found it a little loud. I was amused by the rooster themed art. I couldn’t resist ordering a fried pickle, even though Brian wasn’t thrilled with the idea since he claims to no like pickles. He did enjoy it though, since it was deep fried and covered in a maple-mustard jam-like sauce. It didn’t LOOK appealing, but it tasted good. It was a very large portion, definitely enough for four. Our server talked us through the menu when we told him we had never been there before. He mentioned that the macaroni and cheese was what they were known for, so I chose the Twisted Mac & Cheese as my entree. I thought it was good. I guess my personal preference would be for fewer mix-ins so I can appreciate the basic mac and cheese more. I can’t recall what Brian had, and he is unlikely to chime in here. In the end I think we thought it was pretty good, but nothing special.

The second place was Leonardo’s Italian Grille in Romulus, MI. Our GPS didn’t tell us which side of the road it was on, and we ended up driving right past it once and overlooking it, but we did finally find it. The decor reminded me of one of the ubiquitous “family restaurant” places. The service was friendly. We ordered some bread sticks, which seemed like pizza dough sprinkled with a lot of Parmesan with a vat of sauce on the side. They were good. Our dinners came with soup or salad. I chose soup and had their clam chowder, which was ok. I ordered the Sicilian Pasta and Brian ordered the Stuffed Shells. I thought the sauce was bland in the Sicilian Pasta, the peas weren’t tender and didn’t taste fresh, and the dish seemed very expensive for the quality of the food. Brian’s shells were better, but still what I would call “family restaurant” quality at a higher price. The portion sizes were very large. We chose this restaurant based on good reviews online. Maybe the pizza is better, but I wouldn’t go back for the pasta. As we left, we passed the bar/entry area and discovered that the music we had been hearing was actually live music, but it was deafening in the bar area.

I came away from our trip feeling thankful for all of the good places to eat that we have in the greater Madison area. I think we will try other places if and when we go back to the Detroit area. The other aspects of our trip were good, and overall it was a pleasant vacation.

On the Road: April 13, 2011 – First Food (Las Vegas, NV)

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

A special post on a notable restaurant outside of our typical dining radius:

Pat says: On our last night in Las Vegas, Kevin and I went out on our own and had dinner at First Food, in the Palazzo Hotel.  With so many choices of restaurants on the strip, we’ll have to admit that we picked First Food based solely on it’s name and the cool (sort of) interactive menu posted outside.   Don’t know the chef, don’t know anyone who’s eaten there before.  Kevin had prime rib, and I had the sauted salmon with asparagus.  Since the menu is a la carte, we split an order of mashed potatoes.

First Food is relatively casual – no need to wear a tie or anything sparkly.  Fairly loud background music, and lots of televisions, but not so loud that you couldn’t carry on a conversation across the table.  Kevin is still comparing all prime rib to a place in Milwaukee from his childhood (Selen’s?) and said that while this was good, the prime rib of his memory is still the best.  The salmon was nicely done – pink in the middle (as opposed to the coral color of well done salmon), not dry, and cooked just enough to flake with a fork.  Asparagus is in season, so it was fresh and tasty, but as a side the mashed potatoes weren’t hot and lacked flavor.  Perhaps the folks in LV aren’t as in love with butter as we are in WI, but there’s a reason we love it so much.

Dining out in LV can be expensive, as evidenced by the $42 we spent on two not-very-good turkey sandwiches at the deli in our hotel.  Dinner at First Food was about $75.  We walked away feeling satisfied, not stuffed.  Next year, First Food for lunch – they have a lobster chowder that I’d like to try.

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