Monthly Archives: June 2008

A Taste of the Middle East – Aladdin Restuarant

Aladdin Restuarant – Kanawha City, Charleston, WV

Alladin Restuarant

Dan says…

I think I enjoy middle eastern food as much as Susan loves Chinese food. The bright lemon flavors combined with the silky olive oil make many dishes pop. Please don’t confuse this cuisine with Indian food, because the flavors are totally different. Counties like Syria and Lebanon border the Mediterranean Sea and the foods more closely resemble the flavors of Greece.

Aladdin is quietly tucked away on Chesterfield Avenue on the “other side of the tracks” from CAMC. This family owned business has a loyal following, and I see the same people dining there everytime I go. The dimly lit dining room is decorated with a few pictures of the home country, but for the most part the room is pretty plain. If you want to have a quiet dinner with your significant other this place fits the bill. When you walk in the door you will be seated at a table dressed in starched linen and real napkins. Something you don’t get at TGIFriday’s or Ruby Tuesday’s. Continue reading

How to Please Patrons on Their Lunch Hour

Note to Restaurants: This post is for you. And your waitstaff.

Susan says:

We eat out for lunch nearly every day. We used to try to organize certain days that we would stay in and bring a packed lunch from home. We could never pack on Mondays beause Phil doesn’t go Krogering on the weekend and he would have nothing to bring. We wanted to celebrate T.G.I.F. so we wouldn’t pack on Fridays. Being hump day and all, Wednesday seemed like a good day to go out. Invariably on a Tuesday or Thursday someone woud forget their packed lunch and the rest of us, solely in an effort to make sure this individual did not starve to death, would volunteer to go out somewhere. So the packed lunch days faded into history. We all needed a break from being in the building anyway, right? Going out for lunch was a needed form of stress management. Colleagues would always bust in and ask Phil questions while he was taking a bite of his sandwich. And then we started this blog – and a renewed sense of purpose came into play with our midday outings. Continue reading

Dreams Can Come True, It Can Happen To You – China Buffet to Reopen

Susan says:

Partly because I am a glutton for punishment and partly because I just couldn’t help myself but believe that there might be some slim chance that my favorite Chinese place could be open, I called to hear the recording for the hundredth time since the unfortunate kitchen fire put my mongolian chicken enjoyment on hiatus.

Every several days, I call the China Buffet at the Kanahwa Mall – just to check.  It rings a couple times and a recording begins (imagine a very young Chinese accent): thank you for calling the China Buffet… we are temporarily closed.  Or something like that.

Well, today….glorious day…I got a different recording.  This one said: thank you for calling China Buffet, we will reopen the week of July 7.

For a moment, I was in a state of disbelief.  Did I hear what I thought I just heard?  Or was the recorded Chinese accent mangling the words actually being said into what I wanted to hear?

I called back to be certain.  “Thank you for calling China Buffet.  China Buffet should be reopen the week of July 7.  Have a nice day.”

So it was true.   In ten days I should be enjoying the garlicky green beans, the crab rangoons, my personal favorite – Mongolian chicken, the chicken with broccoli…Hell, I might even get stuff I don’t really like just ’cause I missed seeing it as I walked by it on the buffet.

It will be a homecoming.

A Bright Spot in Southridge – Sabatino Bros

NOTE:  This restaurant is closed.

Sabatino Bros – Southridge Center, South Charleston, WV

Dan says…

So it’s no secret that I prefer a locally owned restaurant over a chain.  I eat at chains, we need chains, some of my best friends like chains, but given a choice, I’ll patronize a place like Sabatino Bros (SB).  John Smallridge opened his neighborhood deli in July 2006 near Walmart and Big Sandy Superstore.  You can tell by the decor and atmosphere that he wants people to be comfortable.  There is familiar music playing ala Pink Floyd.  There are a variety of magazines to look at while you wait for your meal to be prepared, and high speed internet is available for customers to surf the web.  I found a high-top table next to the window for my first visit. Continue reading

Chills and Thrills at The Purple Fiddle – Thomas, WV

The Purple Fiddle – Thomas, WV

Susan says:

Whether you want to chill out for a while or experience the thrill of live music, you can’t go wrong by spending some time at The Purple Fiddle.

The Purple Fiddle is located in the old DePollo General Store on East Avenue in Thomas.  On your way to the Fiddle, turn left as soon as you enter Thomas and check out the Mountain Made shop for all kinds of awesome handmade West Virginia art and gifts.  You can definitely see the remnants of the old general store inside.  The counter, the cases, the shelves along the walls, and the ladder – all remain.  Walk straight back to place an order for sandwiches, wraps, munchies, flavored coffees, wine and a superb selection of beers.  There must have been a hundred to choose from.  We sampled some Dead Guy Ale and Mountain State Brewery beers – most were around $3.30 each.  Or you can satisfy your hankerin’ for a Pabst Blue Ribbon for $1.40!

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Good Food in Milton – East Tenampa Mexican Restaurant

East Tenampa Mexican Restaurant – Milton, WV

Susan says:

One of three area locations, East Tenampa is a bright spot on the scene in downtown Milton.  Literally.  The interior decor of this eatery is sparkling clean with brightly colored walls and furnishings.  It may be impossible to be sad in such a happy-looking environment, and given the food we had, there is no reason to even try.

I noticed a whiteboard with a drink special when I first came in, a special margarita made with grapefruit juice, lime juice, orange juice…sounded yummy, for $4.99.  (Click on the photo below for a larger version to read the full description.)  Ron’s Mom and I both ordered one up and began studying the menu.  There were quite a few items that I had not seen on other Mexican menus.   Then she suddenly realized that she can’t have the grapefruit juice due to her blood pressure medication.  She walked back to let our server know and it was not a problem at all – they made her one without the grapefruit.  This maragarita definitely did not come from a plastic bottle mix.  It was freshly made and was evident in the taste.

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Disaster in Tucker County – Canaan Valley Resort

Pazzo’s Pizza – Canaan Valley Resort, Tucker County, WV

Susan says:

The term “resort” really should not be applied to this place.   The Resort Police should smack that down hard and fast.  I just had the worst lunch since the Power Alley Grill debacle at Pazzo’s Pizza, the quick-order place at the Canaan Valley “Resort” lodge.

I was attending and presenting at a conference, which put me in the building all day, therefore forcing me to eat lunch on the premises.  In hindsight, I should have brought a bag lunch.   Most of the conference attendees ate lunch in the Hickory dining room.  I was not falling into that trap again.  You know, where you unwittingly follow the masses, like lemmings…to their death.  We have been holding this particular conference in this location for years.  For the past several, the Wednesday lunch has ALWAYS been a pathetic soup/salad/sandwich buffet where my bill always totals around $10.  What makes it pathetic, you ask?  I am pleased to explain:  the bread for the sandwiches came right out of the Heiner’s bag – not toasted, not warm, not nothin’.  Regular ol’ cheap ass deli meat and American cheese.  Iceberg lettuce, of course.  And we all know by now that sandwich lettuce is very important to me.  The salad is iceberg lettuce, again, and you know there’s gonna be Ranch dressing.  I never even walked over to the soup.  Figured it wasn’t worth the trouble.  To beat it all, you can’t even order off the regular dining room menu if you don’t want that inferior sandwich stuff.  As I said, I was not going to pay $10 for that again this year so I went to the quick-order place called Pazzo’s Pizza.

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