Whistle Stop Cafe

Address:
Whistle Stop Cafe
1102 Story Street
Boone, IA 50036-2222
(515) 432-9422

The Dish:
Western 3 Egg Omelet
Hashbrowns with Everything
Pancake
Soda
Everything x2
$29 (Tax and tip included)

Grade: 1 Fork, 1 Spoon

Not to be confused with the Fried Green Tomatoe’s version, this cozy little Cafe resembles smaller dinner/cafe’s from the era when Steam ruled the rails. Not that I would know, I just think it is probably pretty accurate.

Ambiance: Don’t expect a fancy smancy Cafe here. The resturant would be at full capacity at 36 plus four or five employees, and it would be tight then. But I like that, there is a U shaped counter which patrons dine and converse at. If your more of the booth type, they do have a few of these available. Being a hotspot for breakfast you can always listen in on the latest gossip, and farm news from other patrons (probably regulars).

Menu/Price: You could deffinantly eat here and be satisfied for less than $6. We of course wanted to try the normal breakfast items so our bill was more like double that per person. Honestly, the place is similar to Waffle House in the sense that breakfast holds the prominent place on the menu followed by a collection of sandwichs for their lunch crowd. Nothing on the menu was over $7.

Meal: The pancake was pretty awesome. It filled the plate and was fluffy enough to do rhytmic gymnastics on. The syrup provided was warmed in a stanless steel container (love those!). Western Omelet was filled with cheese onions and peppers, not sure what made this a “Western Omelet” or perhaps our waitress misunderstood us. Eitherway it was great! The hashbrowns we’re more like “home fries” which sorta dissapointed me. Not because they were bad, they were quite good however I was just expecting shredded potatoes.

Service: Hard to say it was bad, as our waitress was super nice to us and the others she was tending to. However it seemed that they were shorthanded. I try not to knock that when I review as it might be because a shift change, break, illness or something of that nature causing a staff shortage. It is also possible it is a poor management decision. Who knows, but we did wait a bit longer for our food, but it was worth it. Others waited as well but they fit the typical “regular” crowd and probably were to engrossed talking about crop prices to notice.

Overall: Not bad at all. I think it is deffinantly worth the wait and worth repeating the visit. The pancakes I’ll do again, not sure if I’ll do the “hashbrowns” again so long as they are called hashbrowns. I am weird like that though.

Colorado Grill

Address:
Colorado Grill
1514 S Marshall St
Boone, IA 50036
(515) 433-7020
www.thecoloradogrill.com

The Dish:
White Cheddar Nuggets (Appetizer was complimentary)
Grilled Cheese (Chloe)
Reuben Burger (Me)
Black Diamond Pita (Tress)
Two Diet Cokes and a kids milk
$29 (Tax and tip included)

Grade: 1 Spoon, 1 Knife

Having visited many times prior, I felt it was due to visit the Grill (as local Boonians call it) and reviewing it. I think after an early light lunch and a train ride, all of us we’re ready to eat.

Ambiance: Formally in an old Godfather’s building (the only evidence of this is the kitchen wall with the small window, the party rooms, and the sign outside) this little Applebee-similar restaurant has, you guessed it a Rocky Mountain feel about it in the menu and with some items on the wall. Additionally the presence of the DMACC Bears Boone Campus is evident as there are team signed volleyballs and basketballs in cases on the way. A great place to watch a sporting event as there are at least seven flat screen TV’s, most of which are larger in size. Kids get a “fun bag” with random items in it. Chloe just happened to get one (I picked) with a play jewel ring, soccer sticker, color sheet, and a really long and strong bendy straw.

Menu/Price: It seems that management changes the menu from time to time as certain things looked new to us, while other things we’re missing. I asked our awesome waitress (whom also happened to be an Assistant Manager herself) and she said that they change about once a year. That made sense, but seeing as we were there just few months ago, the menu change might have happened between the two visits. The Rocky Mountain/Colorado theme is evident in the menu as there are plates such as the Black Diamond Pita, Mile High Dinners, Colorado Nachos and so on. Additionally, this is one of the few places where you can get breaded pickles! Probably the weirdest item on the menu was the Reuben Burger which I got and will describe below. Pricing is very reasonable as you can get a burger and a soda for just about $10 (figuring tax and tip in). If you care to spend more, the 12 oz Ribeye and Prime Rib (when available) top the menu out at $15.99.

Meal: It goes without saying that we were hungry! One highly positive note is every time we have eaten here, I have never felt skimmed on portions. Portions and preparation here is given high detail. For an example, Chloe’s grill cheese was just like we would make it at home, loaded with cheese (albeit bad for you). Plus they used two kinds of cheese for it! Tress’s Black Diamond Pita was similar to a club sandwich with “sliced ham, turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, cheddar and white American cheese layered between two lightly toasted pitas.” The pita came with a side of a sauce that is mayonnaise based and is great to dip fries in. Now if you will imagine you take a Reuben (for those of you who don’t know what that is, 2 marble rye bread, Swiss cheese, thousand island dressing, and corned beef, all grilled) and insert a hamburger (freshly made, not preformed) into that Reuben. Then you have the Reuben Burger. It was a bit odd at first, but I grew to like it. It is a great option for those who can’t decide between a patty melt or a Reuben. The White Cheddar Nuggets that we started on were heaped into a nice skillet plate and served with a side of ranch dressing. They were nothing short of pure awesomeness. Culvers does a decent job on white cheddar as well, but the Grill has them beat because their breading is lighter, which makes the cheese more gooey.

Service: None of this would have happened if not for the customer service oriented waitress we had. When we walked in we waited probably at least five minutes to be seated. Normally this is not a big deal if there are folks in front of you waiting to be seated. No one was in front of us however. Added to that, three separate waitresses (none of them our waitress) walked buy and kind of gave a little acknowledgement that we were there but otherwise ignored us. Finally, one of them seated us and gave us menus. We then waited an additional ten minutes (approx) before being noticed by an assistant manager who ended up waiting on us. I tend to be a bit quiet to see how the server will remedy the situation on their own accord. This usually shows where there concerns are and is a huge indication about the server’s character. Tress on the other hand is a bit more vocal as she volunteered that we have been waiting forever. I did not volunteer that they were two minutes away from our walkout time, and yes I was seriously going to walk out. Regardless our waitress knew the issue (as another couple who sat down as we were leaving waited a bit of time to be waited on also), and offered to remedy it on her own. Instant gratification!

Overall: I had full intentions of giving the Grill a 1 Fork, 1 Spoon rating. After sitting and waiting for service I was going to give them the 1 Fork rating. However thanks to the customer service oriented assistant manager, I went ahead and bumped them up to the 1 Fork, 1 Knife rating. I like it when a business and their employees and managers put their customers first. Our waitress did this and excelled, which coupled with the quality of the food (which was great) the 1 Fork, 1 Knife is well deserved of the Grill.

El Azteca

Address:
El Azteca
1520 South Dayton Place
Ames, IA 50010-6438
(515) 232-0116

The Dish:
Chips and Salsa (Appetizer free)
Cheese Quesadilla (Chloe)
Chipotle Chicken(Me)
Fajita Quesadilla (Tress)
Two Diet Cokes and a kids milk
$29 (Tax and tip included)

Grade: 1 Spoon, 1 Knife

We have been by this fare at least twice a week for the last five years or so, having never made it in to see what it’s all about. A couple friends of ours swore up and down it was the best ever! As it turned out these we meet these friends at el Azteca to take care of a few business items.

Ambiance: Previous posts have noted that there have been many Mexican entrepreneurs that will buy a restaurant building that went out of business (Family Tables, Pizza Hut, in this case an old old Happy Chef) and transform it into a successful authentic Mexican resturante. El Azteca is no exception, as folks visiting who have been to a Happy Chef at one point in their lives will recognize the building design and some hints as to what the building was originally built for. Aside from that, the building was jazzed up in the a typical Latin American fashion that made you feel as though you took a step south of the border. We showed up a opening time, and the musica was blaring, but it was turned down within a few minutes. There were colored incandescent light bulbs throughout the dining area that probably would have enhanced the experience had we been there in the evening hours.

Menu/Price: Most Mexican fares have relatively inexpensive lunch menus or combos that can get you in and out for less than $7. For whatever reason, the lunch menu does not exist on the weekends at el Azteca. You can still get combo meals at a moderate price, but we decided to try a specialized dinner as the price was not much more. Expect about $10 a person taking this route, but there is plenty to choose from. I am a bit of a Chipotle fan so I went that route. Tress and Chloe got similar items that they always get at each Mexican restaurant we go to. The menu’s were bound in a nice leather that felt like an oversized new wallet, just thought I would through that in there.

Meal: Chips and salsa were pretty standard and pretty mediocre. They were not bad by any means, they just was not anything to get excited about even after adding massive amounts of salt (not recommended for folks on a low sodium diet… just sayin’). The rice and beans that came with both of our dishes we’re also mediocre. Chloe’s quesadilla must have been good because she gobbled it up pretty quickly, but at the same time maybe she was hungry. Normally I try a bit of her’s to make sure it’s good but she took to it before I could. However it looked good! I did not try any of Tress’s either as it also looked good but, I was mostly focused on my chipotle chicken that defiantly had a chipotle sauce on it with great flavor but it was drowning whatever spices might have been on the chicken. I am thinking I got more sauce than is supposed to be there. What I don’t know is if the sauce is always like this, because it was like a cream soup being poured over the chicken. Don’t miss read any of this as it was bad sauce, it was great. There was just a lot left over.

Service: Since we we’re the first customers in the door for the day we had really good service. I did like the appearance that the wait staff had as they were in a nice shirt and nice slacks. I think the host (who seated us and processed our bill) was in a tie as well. The one thing that kind of bugged me that was not a big deal in any way was it was implied that I knew Spanish. I know enough to be dangerous, but normally I let others know this by braving the circumstances. Our waiter started in Spanish with me right off the bat! I don’t recall that ever happening elsewhere.

Overall: I honestly think that over time after some move visits they might graduate to a 1 Fork 1 Spoon rating, and I do believe we will visit again (probably sooner than a year). However if we don’t, my gut says 1 Spoon, 1 Knife as I had high expectations based off of our friends comments.

Ryan’s

Address:
Ryan’s
1900 Northwest 86th Street
Clive, IA 50325
(515) 270-8620
www.ryans.com

The Dish:
Two Adult Buffets
Two Diet Cokes
$26 (Tax and tip included)

Grade: 1 Spoon

Our original plan for this day was to drive to Des Moines, eat at a “better” place, play free pool, eat appetizers at the place we play free pool, and take in a Tim McGraw concert. About the only thing according to plan that happened was the concert, which prior to we had a late lunch at Ryan’s (aka Ryan’s Steakhouse, Buffet, and Bakery).

Ambiance: Ok please don’t think I am any more racist than you are (we are all racist to some extent). But the American flags hanging all over the very busy dinning are do not cover the fact that the only American is the person running the operations of the place. Every time we are there Ryan’s seems to be the melting pot of different ethnic and racial backgrounds. It is as if to get American citizenship, you have to complete a semester at Ryan’s, which in itself might portray Americans as we are, but that’s a whole different blog post for that one. Today however everything appeared dirty. There were multiple tables that had not been cleaned from previous guest which made finding a table a bit tough. But its a Buffet and a busy one so some of that is to be expected.

Menu/Price: If you want you can order a Steak, but it seems most folks just go for the buffet. It is a bit cheaper at lunch than dinner at about $8 and $12 respectively. Since it is a buffet not much else to talk about here.

Meal: The food quality has gone way downhill from what it used to be in my perspective. The choices are there, but it seems you will run into stuff that looks really good but ends up being “meh.” For instance, they had some really cheesy looking mac and cheese that really looked awesome, but ended up being “meh.” They have dinner rolls that are delivered to the table when you waiter/waitress gets your drinks (if they come). The rolls are really good, and probably the second reason they did not get just the 1 Knife rating. The first reason they did not get that rating is because they did have self serve soft ice cream and yogurt at their desert bar area. However like everything else, they look better than they really are. Some of the better items they used to have are not out on the line any more. One of those was sliced potatoes and onions fried/sautéed. Another was the same dinner rolls that instead of just butter slathered over the top, butter, cinnamon and sugar were slathered over the top. These are items I missed dearly.

Service: Sometimes when you go you get a server whom you don’t understand that well but they take great pride in their work. Today however we got a waitress whom was more interested in spending time with her Spanish speaking group than waiting on us or the other three tables that she was assigned to. Needless to say we self served our drinks and got our own plates, something that they are supposed to do.

Overall: I was a bit disappointed with the condition, quality, and service of Ryan’s from what I remember it being having eaten there many times for lunch when I worked the night shift. It will defiantly be awhile before we revisit.

Hy-Vee: Part 1 Breakfast

Address:

Hy-Vee

1111 8th St

Boone, IA 50036-2994

(515) 432-6065‎

The Dish:

Smothered Hashbrowns (Myself)

Hy-Five (Tress)

Pancake (Chloe)

$14.57 (Tax and tip included)

Grade: 1 Fork, 1 Knife

I thought it would be approrpiate to kick off the new year by doing a two part review for the month of January. I thought long and hard about the places I should do this at, since the constraints were you had to have breakfast and dinner at different times. There were choices that were all fast food, buffet, and so on but I decided to roll with an old favorite, HyVee (aka HyVee Deli, V’s Kitchen, HyVee Kitchen).

Ambiance: Part 1: HyVee in Boone offers two great things that I enjoy to watch. People and Trains. The dining area is right next to the entrance/exit so there are many of people entering and leaving to watch. The Union Pacific mainlines are right next door and you get a great view of trains passing by or waiting for highball (if I can use that term). However if you getting breakfast and want to watch trains, you might want to come with sun glasses or on a cloudy day other wise the sun can be very bright! In Part 2, I will cover more of the dinning area.

Menu/Price: For break

Meal:

Service:

Overall:

Broadway Pizza

Address:
The Original Broadway Station (Broadway Bar & Pizza)
2025 West River Rd.
Minneapolis, MN 55411
612) 529-7745

The Dish:
2 Diet Coke’s
1 Kid’s Milk
1 Kids Spaghetti
1 Medium Island
1 Small Buffalo Chicken
$32 (Tax and tip included)

Grade:
1 Fork, 1 Knife

Another opportunity to visit Broadway’s came when we bought Bengals Vikings tickets. At least the pizza was good! (Shortest intro ever?)

Ambiance:
Having been exposed to this establishment prior by my cousin who knows I am somewhat of a choo choo fanatic (a foamer as the real railroaders call us), made this a must visit as Chloe was with us and she is a “foamer” in training. The building is not far from the former lines of the Northern Pacific and Minneapolis and St. Louis Railroads right along the Mississippi River in North Minneapolis. There is a themed “Caboose” outside and inside that you can eat in if you so desire (we did :)). In the bar area and the entry area there is a non stop model train going the heads of patrons. There are plenty of Railroad relics about the place but I think my favorite is the old brake wheels used for door handles.

Menu/Price:
If you do not want Pizza you can get a sandwhich or other item as well. Pricing for these types of items is pretty standard between $6 and $11. Pizza is a bit more expensive and may thwart people from getting it for the price, but it is what you are used to paying. For instance I can get a large Casey’s single topping back home that is awesome for about $10 (which has gone up mind you), here a large single topping (depending on crust) could be closer to $20. Should you choose the pizza route you can order a favorite combo or create your own masterpiece (they say build) with choice of toppings, crust, and sauce. No matter what your tastes are, it would be hard to not come up with a pizza for even the pickiest of eaters, unless your name is Rich Farmer Gravy Johnson. There is a buffet but we arrived to late to partake in that.

Meal:
Chloe was still in the teething stages and spaghetti was about all she would eat. I tried a bit to make sure it was not too hot, and it was decent. The pizza however was awesome! The cheese was piled high for deep dish and it was not a pizza that could be eaten with your hands, well cleanly that is. The dough they use deffinenatly makes it for me. I think the only thing that would have been nice would have been to try the Island with the Garlic Alfredo sauce instead of the original red sauce. Still very good though!

Service:
As mentioned prior we arrived a bit late for the noon hour. The indoor caboose is closed either before the dinner hours or in between busy times as there was a sign that said “Section Closed.” Our cousin asked very politly if it would be possible for us to sit in the caboose (for the foamers). The host thought about it and I think wanted to say no but his superior kinda looked at him and nodded giving us the nod to get in. The downside to this was we did not get frequent visits by our waitress to make sure that refills and everything else were ok. I am not holding this against them at all, because after all we were in the caboose and the caboose comes last.

Overall:
I said the first time I visited that if I am ever in the area again I would visit again, and I did. A great family outing if you live in the area or if your flying through. They do have other locations but this is the one I will probably choose just because of the appeal to a foamer like me.

Green Mill

Address:
Green Mill (Uptown, Minneapolis, MN)
2626 Hennepin
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 374-2131

The Dish:
Italian Ciabatta (Me)
Millhouse Club (Tress)
Mac and Cheese (Chloe)
Sweet Potato Fries (Shared Appetizers)
Coconut Chicken Fingers (Shared Appetizers)
Two Diet Cokes
Kids Milk
$38(Tax and tip included)

Grade: 1 Fork, 1 Spoon

We were in the Twin Cities to watch a Bengals game while they played the Vikings led by purple messiah (Bret Favre). I needed some comfort food after the devastating loss so I was going to go to White Castle. My cousin whom is a resident of the area and a firm hater of White Castle said no, but what he did not realize was that I was driving and if he did not want to go he would have to get out. Rather than cause a scene I yielded as I figured he probably knew of a better place anyway. Turns out he did.

Ambiance: Sort of a upscale feel to it that almost feels like it is a business casual dress code. However we were welcomed in with our Bengals gear on. The dinning area had a calming effect as candles were on each table and the room was dimly lit. We stopped in early for dinner (3:45 PM) so they were just starting to light candles and such and the place was pretty empty, save for the lounge area. When we left it was getting pretty full.

Menu/Price: A nice selection of standard popular items, mixed in with probably regional favorites (walleye dishes). Additionally you can order a pizza in a predetermined setup or build your own. Pricing for these was not what I would reasonable for small town Iowa but appropriate for Minneapolis. Look to spend in the neighborhood of $12 per person for lunch and closer to $17 for dinner.

Meal: Appetizers were a must. It had been a while since any of us but Chloe had eaten (she had a hot dog at the stadium) so we opted for two. My brother in law and sister choose sweet potato fries and we choose the coconut chicken fingers. In reality we should have gotten twice the sweet potato fries as they were great and more popular amongst our group. The chicken fingers were good but all the coconut fell off, making them chicken tenders. Both came with sauces that were ranch and honey mustard. Our main plates were out reasonably quick and piping hot. The sandwiches came with fries and the mac and cheese came with strawberry jam and toast. Can’t speak for the club other than it looked good, but my Italian Ciabatta was heaping and excellent!

Service: Staff was polite and dressed highly professional. We started with one waitress and ended with another, probably due to the change over in shifts. I guess that’s about all I have to say about that.

Overall: I have to say this was probably better than White Castle, and it did help make the loss a bit better. I would defiantly visit again, but probably under different circumstances.

Cheddar’s Casual Cafe

Address:
Cheddar’s Casual Cafe
1301 Northwest 114th Street
Clive, IA 50325
(515) 222-3129

The Dish:
Grilled Cheese (Chloe)
Ribeye (Me)
Sirloin (Tress)
Two Diet Cokes and a kids milk
Monster cookie
$33 (Tax and tip included)

Grade: 1 Spoon, 1 Knife

I had heard that Cheddar’s was going to leave Clive so I wanted to visit while we still had the opportunity (note at the time of this writing this location was no more), so we took a trip down to Clive to take in Cheddar’s one last time.

Ambiance: I always had a love for their giant windmill like fan, and their upside down pole mounted ceiling fans. Other than these oddities, the place had a feel for a plant friendly dining area. Perhaps it was because they we’re going to close this location, but it seemed as though pictures that had once hung on the walls were now missing as evident by the hooks holding nothing. Not sure why they would do this prior to closing day but perhaps they were owned by someone else.

Menu/Price: Maybe due to why they are leaving, but everything seemed a lot less expensive than it used to be. They have a great selection of dishes and meal arrangements, but I did not see my beloved Chicken Mashers that I used to get back in the day. Oh ok, I’ll share with you what they were. It was a bowl with mashed red potatoes (skins included sometimes) with your choice of gravy topped with cheese and six chicken tenders. I know we can get better versions of this at KFC but back when I visited often, the KFC bowl did not exist. Currently you can get a decent steak for less than $8, it seems in the past this would have been around $12.

Meal: The ribeye I order was pretty good, but the sides it came with; mashed potato’s and veggies were just plain lousy. The potatoes seemed as though they were pureed and the vegetables were mushy. Tress’s plate was in the same state of affairs as mine. Chloe’s grill cheese was ok, but the fries that came with it were seasoned way too much for her tastes and mine. However our desert was awesome and will truly be missed. Their monster cookie which is A colossal homemade chocolate chip cookie baked in a skillet, topped with premium vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream, chopped nuts and a cherry. Baked fresh just for you, please allow a few minutes.. A great treat to share between two to three people.

Service: I really did not want to make the last few weeks of work for someone miserable but I probably should have. Service folks were nice but you could tell they had a “meh I don’t care” attitude. There was no sense of urgency in requests and a general sense of apathy. I guess I cannot really blame them, but still stick it out through the end.

Overall: Not sure why Cheddar’s is closing its doors, although I could speculate. It is rumored another similar restaurant is going to take its place. It seems the fans, the monster cookie, and the steak quality saved them from getting just a 1 Spoon rating. Hopefully the place that replaces it has similar items.

Waffle House #1074

Address:
Waffle House 1074
1030 Hwy 34 East I85 Exit 47
Newnan, GA 30265

The Dish:
Alice’s Sweet Tea
Bert’s Chili
Triple Hash Browns (scattered, smothered, covered, capped, diced, peppered)
$12 (Tax and tip included)

Grade:
1 Fork, 1 Spoon

Late night drive, oh what to have and where to have it, Waffle House! It’s always open and the menu is all day so it does not matter what you want. It had been a while since I patronized one and since I was in the neighborhood it was a no brainer.

Ambiance:
Late night feel to it for sure. The place was realativly empty save for someone sipping on coffee, smoking a cigarette and struggling to stay awake while waiting for a hamburger. As with most Waffle House’s, due to the fact that they are so busy there is not a lot of time to try to clean the smoke and grease stains off the walls and ceiling. This unit was no exception to that rule, however now would have been the opportune time to do it. One item of note, the jukebox was missing. I asked about it and it was in for repair apparently.

Menu/Price:
To get hash browns by themselves is realativly inexpensive. To order them like I did, becomes expensive. As always, unit pricing varies depending on location but the items are all the same and usually with in a buck of every other unit. This unit had a bit higher pricing than my last visit, but perhaps the proximity to a busy interstate dictates that.

Meal:
Bert’s chili is a great thing for folks to have on a cold November eve. Ok granted being from Iowa and in Georgia where the temp is considered cold at 45 degrees, I cannot really get behind my opening statement to this section. However if Waffle House was in Iowa (like they should be), Bert’s chili would be a top seller. Bert’s chili was very hearty and not too spicy (I added some hot sauce). I love the fact that they… er Bert makes the chili with ground up sausage patties as well as hamburger. The hash browns were very filling tonight! Getting a triple order filled the plate to the brim with hash browns mixed in with onions, tomatoes, jalepeno’s, mushrooms and cheese.

Service:
The grill operator, who also took my order appeared to have been at it for 18 hours strait. This was confirmed when his relief finally came and I over heard the conversation between the two of them. Apparently the operator came in early and ran a double shift to cover for someone who is less than relieable. Kudos to him as he was nice despite the lack of rest. Plus he really loaded those hash browns up for me!

Overall:
I just cannot stress it enough, I will never get tired of visiting Waffle House. Even if they ever make it to Iowa (hopefully) I would no doubt visit that unit three times a month and probably still claim that I could use some more.

Ohanna Steakhouse

Address:
Ohana Steakhouse
2900 University Ave
West Des Moines, IA 50266-1251
(515) 225-3325
www.ohanasteakhouse.com

The Dish:
Two New York Strip Meals
Two Diet Cokes
$49 (Tax and tip included)

Grade: 1 Fork, 1 Knife

Tress and I decided to go out for an evening to ourselves for once. After much deliberation on “Where do you want,” “I don’t care, you pick,” we settled on Ohana as it had been a long while since we had been there.

Ambiance: There is definitely a Japanese theme about the place as there are rock gardens near and dear each hibachi table that guests sit at. If you can hear it over the guests talking, laughter and general enjoyment there is a Japanese (or Orient) music playing. Because there is almost always a wait, even if you have a reservation, they have a bar right as you walk in by the sitting area. Oddly enough, without a reservation we got right in. A word of note here, the seating at each table is 7-10. So unless you don’t mind sitting with strangers, you might want to come in a larger group.

Menu/Price: For a “Steakhouse” I find it odd that the only two steaks offered are a 7 oz New York Strip and an 8 oz Filet. I thought that in order to be a true “Steakhouse” you need to offer all cuts and you need to be able to allow your customers to cook their own if they like. I think that little tidbit cost them the 1 Spoon from their 1 Fork, 1 Knife rating. That much aside, you can get a vegetarian meal or something a little more exotic as calamari or lobster. Pricing starts at $12.00 for the Vegetarian meal, and could go up to who knows what because the steaks and lobster are market price. A full exotic/mixed drink menu including the much talked about Volcano. At $10.50 it is easily the most expensive drink on the menu and is loaded with rum and set on fire.

Meal: Part of the experience is that your chef is table side and cooks your entire meal in front of you. Here is what you get (in order of appearance). A hot towel to wash your hands, a Japanese clear soup, a salad with Ginger or Italian Cream Dressing (similar to Ranch), a three piece shrimp appetizer, fresh sautéed vegetables (onions, mushrooms, zucchini), fried rice (steamed is available and is included, fried is $1.50 more but worth it), noodles, and your choice of meat cooked to your specification. Everything is a delight to eat as you get to watch it being made and pretty much eat it hot of the grill. Don’t worry about needing anything beyond a fork or chopsticks, your chef slices and dices everything into bite sized pieces.

Service: This is what people go for. The entertainment you chef gives you as he/she performs while preparing your meal. From everything to, catching items in their hat/pocket/fork to giving a dialogue of the food as it is being cooked. The chefs are backed up by wait staff that is making sure the drinks are full, dirty dishes are removed, and that the chef has everything they need. There is too much to describe to go into detail here, but even if you get just the vegetarian meal, it’s total worth the entertainment.

Overall: I really can’t complain about anything beside the “steakhouse” label and the higher prices which kept it from the full 1 Fork, 1 Knife, 1 Spoon rating I really do recommend it if you have the extra money lying around because it is far cheaper than going to dinner and a movie, and far more entertaining and memorable.