Sunday, December 4, 2011

Frascati Italian Restaurant

Quick thing right off the bat - I don't particularly like Italian restaurants or Italian food, but we figured we should give our local place a try. (We can walk there.)

Quick synopsis:

Menu was uninteresting. Specials were more interesting, but not much sparked my interest. Same old fare mostly.

I liked the mushroom appetizer but suspect the mushrooms were from a can. Waiter had to go ask about it when I asked what was in it. They did have a nice tomato sauce.

Lemonade for the kids was from a Minute Maid can. Lots of nasty stuff in that. Yuck. They liked it, but older daughter is wise enough to know it has a lot bad things in it - sodium bicarbonate & HFCS. She also complained it was only 3% lemon juice. Can any place around here actual make something natural for lemonade! But didn't expect much here.

Steamed broccoli is simple and was for kid munching, but no seasoning? None at all? No salt? Nothing? Really?

Waiter attire was jeans and a white undershirt. Other female waitress had white shirt also, but was at least a normal shirt. Undershirt seems strange.

Waiter took our order. Kids ordered a small cheese pizza. They forgot it when they brought out the rest of our food. Kids had to wait until we were almost finished. Was not fun. And no apology or any acknowledgement of the mishap.

Older daughter's ziti and meatballs seems uninteresting. Sauce was a bit runny. Meatballs did not taste good. No seasoning. Not even salt? Were the meatballs premade?

Gnocchi bolognese was ok. Seems a little heavy. But goes back to me not liking "Family Style" Italian food. I was hoping there was a chance they were house made but doubt it.

Overall - was reasonable for a simple Sunday night dinner. Cost was reasonable. Might give them a 2nd chance to see about service issues. And Might try something else off the menu.

Best part was the beer - craft brew, amber. Was delicious.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Fairway in Stamford

Made our first trip to Fairway Market in Stamford this afternoon.

- Like location. Very close to downtown. Only a short detour for a quick stop after work.
- Like free parking.
- Puzzled how they can afford to have all those people working there. Every lane was open but not too much traffic. Must be startup staffing.
- Like organic aisles separated from conventional aisles. We can just skip the conventional generally.
- Dislike so much selection. 25 kinds of balsamic vinegar. Can you just pick the really good brand and have a selection based on price?
- Dislike meat. Not too impressed. Looking for local, grass fed beef. Not sure why all the organic grass fed is from Australia?
- Dislike crowded and cramped hot foods area.
- Like all the European food - Nestle's KitKat. Maltesers. Nice.
- Like all the fresh pasta.
- Puzzled by produce sitting outside in the cold and direct sun. Seemed odd.
- Like the design and layout of the store generally. Modern. Nice atmosphere.
- Like the organic produce selections.
- Puzzled if they will make it. Seems like they are a bit ahead of the growth curve, but they should have a lot of business down there. I'm sure their other markets can support any loss lead on the Stamford location.

We'll have to make a few more trips back, but don't know if I can do without my Trader Joe's. And wife still a fan of Whole Foods local grass fed beef -- although I'm trying to cut down on meat generally.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Nice Facelift - NOT

So the Burlington Coat Factory building downtown had scaffolding up around the facade for several months. They wrapped up all that construction work - not sure what they were doing, but assumed they were working on the facade.

Today I drive down Broad St and notices the molding above the doors was falling off the building.

Nice work on that facelift.

Don't Block the Box Madness

So they passed a new law on blocking the box and somebody's got a great contract on white paint and brushes. Don't block boxes with criss cross diagonal lines seem to be popping up everywhere.

I have no problem with the law, but seems like a lot of paint. And the boxes really confuse me and I'm not even that old.

Take the interchange of Strawberry Hill Ave, Hoyt St, Grove St, and Prospect St. I travel south down Strawberry Hill to Grove every morning. The intersection is a mess and made worse by the morons who cut through Dunkin Donuts because they can't wait 30 seconds for the light. There were small guide lines in the intersection to keep too many people from making bad decisions.

Here's streetview prior to the attack of the white paint brushes.

View Larger Map

Now the intersection is a sea of criss crossing white lines inside a huge 5 sided "box".

My question is - how many ticket are they going to hand out. I'm all for writing some tickets for folks blocking the intersections, but I'm suspect about how all this paint is going to help. Seems to just make everyone more confused. I think we need to just step back and put down the paint brushes.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Oaklawn Ave Sidewalks

So we have some sidewalks on Oaklawn Ave, but where do they go? They start in the middle of nowhere and end before High Ridge? Or are they not done yet?

I will admit that they aren't as bad as I thought they would look. Seems so odd they could not pour concrete for real sidewalks, but the asphalt doesn't look too bad. Still a shame.

And what gives with the new sidewalks and blacktop on 5th Street? Why did they get such nice improvements?

In the end, I don't think I'm brave enough to walk down Oaklawn to High Ridge. Would be nice to walk down there with my kids, but afraid some car would zoom around the corner and hit us.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Napa and Company - Return for the Burger

We were back to Napa and Company last Thursday. We had to try the burger. Sounds like we were not the only ones.

We both had the burger and bordeaux combo. The wine was nice, but the burger was something incredible. I've never had Wagyu beef before but I think I can understand its reputation.

The burger was rich. The texture was crumbly but then just melted in your mouth. It could be called greasy but it was good grease. The roll stood up to the burger but did not get in the way. The red onions were spot on along with the mayo. I don't like cheese burgers, but the cheese was not the normal yellow crap. The gouda was more complex and tasty but did not overpower the burger in any way. It also had some crisped edges that were really nice.

The burger was on a little wooden plate. Actually wish there was more room to spread out. There were some fries with it - not 100% sure they were hand cut, but they were really nice. The had rosemary and salt - perfectly twice cooked. The salad on the side was also nice - endive lettuce with some blue cheese and a slice of bacon. Even my wife who's not a fan of blue cheese ate it all up. Was a fresh clean accompaniment to the burger.

We had to almost struggle to finish our plates - not because the burger was huge but because it was just so rich. It also took us some time as we ate slowly and each bite was so savory.

We both finished with some coffee and then needed to walk.

After finishing the burger I felt like I didn't need to eat red meat for about a week.

My only negative is that I don't think I'd order it again. It was just too much for me - I'm trying to cut down on red meat. There are also so many interesting things on the menu. I would say that everyone should try it at least once. It's an experience.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mary Ann's Mexican

The family ventured to Mary Ann's Mexican in Stamford, CT yesterday evening. (We've been painting the kitchen, or should I say I've been painting the kitchen - so lots of meals out.)

Mary Ann's was a nice dose of authentic tasting Mexican food. We had a good meal.

The surroundings seem a bit new car smell - new construction. Not very inviting yet. There were also lots of people working there - lots of busy looking people but not serving very many customers.

The chips are salsa are always a nice start and keep everyone happy while we wait for the food. The chips were made on the site - the way they should be. The salsa was very mild and reminded me a bit of Rosa's salsa we used to have in Tucson - sort like pizza sauce but not in a bad way. The kids loved it because it was not spicy. We went through two bowls of chips.

We had a long wait for out food - but I expect that was a new restaurant problem. It was a long wait for squirmy kids.

While we waited, I was entertained by waiting to see if someone would fill my empty water glass. It took a long time to fill it. There were so many people walking around looking busy but no water refill. There was also a wait person who walked by with two pitchers of water, but still no water. I twitted about it which made me feel better, but would have preferred some more water.

The food finally arrived after a long wait, but it was worth our visit.

The dish I ordered included a Guacamole taco - something I've not seen on a menu since Tucson - and oh so good, a chicken enchilada which had sauce that tastes very authentic and not from a jar, and a chili cheese relleno. I wasn't thrilled about the chili since it was still a little crunchy - not something I'd expect from a chili relleno, and it tasted more like a jalapeno chili rather than an Anaheim chili as I'd expect. 

The girls shared an entree of chicken taquitos - which seemed more like flautas to me, but they like flautas better anyway - and a beef taco. They had to share an adult portion because they had no kids menu. The waiter said they were still working out the menu - but seemed strange to not have a kids menu. (And please not chicken nuggets and grilled cheese - errr.. one of my pet peaves - the poor quality of kids menus. We'll see what they some up with. Hopefully it's Mexican!) 

The beef taco was different, but very tasty. The beef was slow cooked in an adobo sauce. My youngest loved the beef - although she ate it all out of the taco. The taco shell was also prepared fresh on site. I had to do my duty and eat the shell since the girls didn't finish it. The sauce was so good.

We've been to several Mexican places in the area and this might be our new favorite.

One final thing - the price is right! All of our entrees were well priced especially for food which seemed to be so well prepared. We'll be back with the whole family. Hopefully they will work out some of their new restaurant issues.