Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Restaurant Critic

Originally written and posted August 1st, 2010.

Sooo…I’ve said before that I could be a restaurant critic, due to my inability to eat a meal out without telling everyone how I would have done it differently! Here I’ve decided to try my hand at it, with the two meals we ate out when we went to Bowling Green, a couple of weeks ago, for Philip to spend the birthday money that was burning a hole in his pocket. When I have that happen, I can just stroll down to the insurance office and take care of that urge, but he isn’t so lucky yet. So we went shopping…Toys-R-Us…whoo hoo!!! (I hate that store…plastic, made-in-china clutter! I told Mom that my kids would not play with plastic toys…wooden is the way to go!)

The first meal was at Olive Garden. I love Italian, and we rarely get it anymore…waaaay out here in the boondocks as we are. The last time I got to eat Italian out was back in April, when Mom and I went to Lexington for our birthdays. We ate at an Olive Garden then, at about 10pm. Carraba’s is my favorite Italian, but Olive Garden would be second.

I got Soup, Salad, and Breadsticks. I love their salad, minus the olives, but my portion did have too much dressing. Can’t really blame that on anyone but my own pirahna-like family, though…I got the last of the bowl! The breadsticks were just absolutely great! I honestly wasn’t looking forward to the breadsticks, because when Mom and I got breadsticks last time, they were cold and hard. That could’ve been because we were there at 10pm, though, because the breadsticks this time were yummy! The soup…I got a bow of the Chicken Gnocchi soup for starters. (Yes, I ate two bowls….I made the most of my visit. Felt awful afterwards, though….) I was excited about getting this soup, because I was looking at making gnocchi a few days beforehand. The soup was good….it was a creamy broth, but a little thin. I like thick, hearty soup, so I guess I’m a little biased. There were only a couple of gnocchies..or whatever the plural of that word is…and just a couple of bites of chicken. So I would have put more stuff in the soup. The second bowl of soup I got was the Italian something-or-other…I forget what it’s called. I wasn’t impressed with that one at all. It was pretty flavor-less, in my opinion. So I would reccommend the Chicken Gnocchi Soup.

The service was pretty good, only the young waiter could’ve used a bigger vocabulary. I guess that’s not on the application….every other word was “awesome.” Awesome should be used sparingly, reserved for, well, awesome, things. Not an answer to “could I have some more tea, please?”

Supper was at Outback Steakhouse. Service was great, there, and we had the most adorable little waitress. (Aren’t you glad I didn’t say that about the guy at Olive Garden???!!!) Ok, so she wasn’t really little…older than me, actually. She was from New Zealand, and told us about her many siblings and parents that she missed. LOVED the accent!

We had to go all out at Outback. We got the Blooming Onion and all. The bread was delicious, and the Blooming Onion still has me puzzled! I think if I tried something like that, I’d end up with a huge blob of fried stuff with an onion tucked way in there somewhere. I’m sure it just wouldn’t work. So, I really enjoyed the onion, and the sauce was really good as well. I ordered Prime Rib, as Dad suggested. I very rarely get steak out, but I figured since we were at a steakhouse, and that happens so rarely, I might as well get a steak! Dad said that Prime Rib was his favorite, and that’s what he was getting. So I ordered Prime Rib, a baked sweet potato, and a Caesar salad. The salad was good, and the sweet potato was good…but nothing extraordinary…just a baked sweet potato. The steak. I ordered my steak medium…I usually get mine medium well, because I don’t like seeing raw meat inside my steak. Dad and Dave ordered medium rare, so I see enough of that across the table while I eat! I ordered it with the 17 original (probably secret) spices and seasonings, and it was described as being a little spicy. It came, and the whole thing looked a bit raw to me. No one bothered telling me that Prime Rib never looks done! So, I was trusting that it really was medium, and not completely raw, which is what it looked like, in my opinion. 17 spices and seasoning? It didn’t taste like it even had salt and pepper on it, to me! I could’ve made it taste more flavorful with 3 spices! (Salt, fresh-ground pepper, and granulated garlic) Imagine what would’ve happened if I had 17!!! After a few bites, I requested some A-1 steak sauce and covered up the pink and red and just ate….trying not to look at it too much!

We also got dessert, which was a huge brownie with ice cream and whipped cream. The brownie was listed as having pecans in it, but tasted more like walnuts, to us. Mom and I ate pretty much the whole thing, as we’re the only ones who like the nuts in our brownies. It was still really, really good, just not what we expected.

All that at Outback, for nearly $100. I could’ve done so much better, with SO much less money! It was Philip’s treat, as the birthday person who wants to go shopping has to take care of expenses incured while doing so, and we always go as a family. When Mom and I go, none of the boys want to go where we go, so she and I just split everything and pay our own expenses. I think it’s nicer that way!

I’ve got to get supper for this hungry crew….Beef Stroganoff and Creamed Spinach….so that’s it for now. Something a little humorous…I’m sitting here at the table writing, and Dad came to wash his hands in the kitchen sink. I had started to boil some water for the spinach, but then rememberd that I was planning on preparing it a different way. So I had set the pot of hot water in the sink. Dad asked what that pot was in the sink, and I replied “some boiling water; I messed up.” Well, Dad didn’t hear that semi-colon, so to him it sounded like “some boiling water I messed up!” I laughed and then clarified, and he said he was wondering if he should ask what went wrong!!!


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