Monthly Archives: November 2008

Steer Your Way Through the Lunchtime Waters – The Wheelhouse

The Wheelhouse – South Hills Shops, Charleston, WV

Dan says…

Even though I am the first opinion in this review I am the last person to post. So I have had the privilege of reading their opinions prior to writing mine.  So before you get wrapped up in spicy BBQ, cold bread, charts and graphs I need to tell you that the Wheelhouse is good.  This place doesn’t look like much on the outside and most would drive by without giving it a thought.  I love trying new places, but something about this place didn’t attract me.  Our good friends at the WV Hot Dog Blog rated a WVHD at the Wheelhouse, which prompted us to take a closer look.

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Refrigerator Check

Susan says…

I know we have mentioned it a couple times on the blog before, but you really should check out the Serious Eats website.  They have contributors ranging from a breakfast expert to a professional restaurant server resulting coverage of a wide range of food-related topics.

On my latest venture to their site, I noticed they asked the question: “What is the weirdest thing in your fridge?”  The responses included some items that are indeed weird!  Some, I have never even heard of and had to google.

My answer to that question would be the bottle of fish sauce. I know that’s not particularly weird and many of you probably have a bottle of your own.  The weird thing, to me, about fish sauce is that the smell is, well…eeeeeww.  But in the finished dish, it is delicious.  Weird… and magical!

So, what’s the weirdest thing in YOUR fridge?


Tourist Treasure, Not Tourist Trap – Gilligan’s

 Susan says…


Dining Room at Gilligan's (photo from their website)

A rule of thumb when traveling is to beware of the locally-owned restaurants that are situated close to a grouping of hotels. Case in point, Jamm’s in Mystic CT which I wrote about in a previous review. Sometimes these restaurants are rip-offs – they won’t be seeing repeat customers because the majority of customers are travelers, so they need only lure you in once and who cares if they do a good enough job to make you want to come back.

Our hotel in Harrisburg, PA was near a handful of other hotels and a handful of locally-owned restaurants and gas stations.  Clearly, a “passing through” area.  We were tired.  We were hungry.  We were weary of trying to find our way around new places, especially in the dark. 

The gal that checked us in at the Wyndham suggested the place next door (which resembled a bar that happens to have food) and Gilligan’s, a short drive down the road.  I had noticed Gilligan’s as we drove to the hotel- full parking lot, attractive neon signage.  I googled them quickly while testing the wifi connection in the room before heading out.  (My name is Susan, and I am addicted to the internet.) Menu looked good…approved!

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Vandalia Grille Menu

Susan says…

I always, always appreciate the opportunity to review a menu before going to the restaurant.  So here it is, folks….the menu for Vandalia Grille.  The one I grabbed has some scribbling on it but I was too excited to worry about that.

I didn’t dine there today for two reasons: 1) I am waiting on Daniel to be available to go with me and 2) I didn’t think I could gastronomically handle Vandalia for lunch and Sitar for dinner in the same day.  My parking spot was directly across Hale Street from Vandalia and its bright yellow facade so I was tempted to say “the heck with Daniel”…

Please comment and let us know what you think of Mr. Sadorra’s new venture when you try it on for size. Click here to read the article published this week in the Daily Mail with one diner’s opinion.



Today on

Susan says…

Tired of all the turkey-talk already?  Yearning for something out-of-the-ordinary?  Consider dining at Aladdin Restaurant in Kanawha City for fresh, healthful Middle Eastern fare. highlights Aladdin today on their blog, written by yours truly. 

Daniel, the Vegetarian Wife and I reviewed Aladdin in June and you can read it again here to find out what we sampled. 


They Make It, You Take It – Paul’s Pasta Shop

Susan says…

Utilizing all the 21st Century resources at my disposal, (well, at least all the ones I have figured out how to use so far) I queried the twitteratti to obtain restaurant recommendations for my recent trip to New England.

Responses received were logged and subsequently googled: Mystic Pizza (no-brainer but received poor feedback from reviews), Margarita’s (a chain, oh no!), a place too far out of my way, and Paul’s Pasta Shop.

Paul and Dorothy Fidrych make their own pasta.  You can buy uncooked pasta in a variety of shapes, you can order take-out, or you can dine in the home-turned-restaurant or even on the deck overlooking the Thames River and New London, CT on the other side.

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Noah’s Restaurant


Susan says…

I discovered Noah’s via pre-trip internet research.

Rachel Ray visited Noah’s and a couple places in Mystic on “$40 a Day”.  They also received a positive review from the New York Times, albeit years ago.  On the way to New England, we began listening to “Garlic and Sapphires” on audiobook – an account written by a former NY Times critic, Ruth Reichl, about her life as a critic in disguise.  Therefore, the Times review meant a lot to me and it’s no secret that I am a huge Rachel fan.

Noah’s is located in Stonington, a nearby town east of Mystic.  In fact, Stonington was the setting for much of the Mystic Pizza filming.

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