Tag Archives: Hope

How Big is the Food at a Place Named Biggie’s?

Note:  Susan’s daughters, ages 8 and 10, are guest bloggers for this review.

Susan says…


I take my mother duties very seriously. Every daughter’s upbringing should include shopping training. I am so committed to this ideal, I started shopping with my girls, explaining how to calculate sale prices in your head, sharing my secrets for strategic routing inside the mall, and how best to stuff everything in the trunk of the car – well before they could walk.

In addition, I am somewhat of a patriot. Now, I don’t go around waving flags on an ordinary Tuesday but I try to do my part to help keep America the greatest place on the planet.

As a means to these ends, I felt it was both my civic and parental duty to stimulate the fledgling economy the day after Thanksgiving. 

All our intensive study of shopping served us well this year because we were in Grafton, WV. You really had to get creative to find good shopping in that area. We had already exhausted the possibiities at the Grafton Wal Mart, grabbing quite a few of the $4 specials and had worked up an appetite before trekking to the Meadowbrook Mall in Bridgeport.

Continue reading

You Don’t Always Get a Side of Good Service With Your Fettucini – Olive Garden

Note:  Susan’s daughters are guest reviewers on this post.  Hannah is 10 and Hope is 8.

Susan says…

Much to Daniel’s dismay, I not only patronize chain restaurants, I actually LIKE some of them.  (And now I am writing another review of a chain.  He might have a coronary.)  One of my favorite chain joints is the Olive Garden.   I don’t place it on the same plane as south hills market & café, Blossom Deli or Sitar of India, but it has its place in my culinary life and I am not ashamed to admit I like it every now and then.

I just plain think it tastes good.  I realize a chef isn’t making the sauces, dressings and desserts under the same roof as my table – but if it tastes yummy, sometimes I don’t really care that a lot of the food was made elsewhere and shipped to this location. 

That’s the beauty of a chain, right?  Consistency.  I can go to an Olive Garden in Arkansas and get the same delicious garlic chicken with broccoli that I enjoy in Barboursville, WV, right?  One of my other favorite chains, The Cheesecake Factory, was the best meal Ron & I had on a recent trip to Orlando, Florida.  Not every city has an awesome restaurant review blog like Fork You to help diners decide where to eat.  We were so downhearted about the poor food with the large price tags we were relieved to see a “familiar face” where we knew what to expect.

Even though the food usually tastes the same in all the locations, the service is another animal.  The little girls and I went to the Barboursville Olive Garden on Columbus Day to celebrate Christopher Columbus’ discovery of America by partaking of some Italian cuisine.  

Continue reading