Tag Archives: pasta

Much More Than the Name Implies- Italian Grille and Deli

 italian-grille-outsideSusan says…

 Where do you go in the Teays Valley area when you are too lazy to cook and you want something good?  I usually suggest Taste of Asia, but Ron is sick of going there.  Neither one of us count Bob Evans as a valid destination so it was out.  I have really had a craving for a fish sandwich, so much so, that I considered eating at Shoney’s!  Totre’s was out because of the smoking.  If I eat Mexican, only Cozumel, Three Amigos or East Tenampa will do, all too far away for Ron’s mood this evening.

I suggest we try the Italian Grille & Deli, formerly known as Stefano’s.  Loyal reader LAL recommended it and since she also likes River’s Edge Cafe, Ron was all about her suggestion. 

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A Charleston Icon – Fazio’s

fazio-sampler

Sampler

 Each year near Christmas, my two best friends and I have dinner and exchange gifts.  Christy and I love all kinds of food, but Traci only partakes of two cuisines: home cookin’ and Italian. Since we all know I am not going to agree to spend a holiday dinner eating country fried steak and overcooked green beans boiled in bacon fat, we go to Fazio’s every year.

Fazio’s is one of my go-to special occasion restaurants. We celebrated my Grandpa’s 80th birthday there, Ron took his mom and I on a special date there, and it has become a Christmas tradition for me and many others.

A true Charleston icon, Fazio’s stands proud on Bullitt Street in downtown Charleston.  I consistently recommend this jewel to out-of-towners so they can experience the charm of one of our most beloved local eateries.   Linen tablecloths and napkins are accented by the printed paper placemats.  Unpretentious stoneware dishes and plastic bread baskets present the food to the expectant patron.  I imagine the interior (and the menu) haven’t changed much during the restaurant’s tenure.  The picture of a young girl on a bike hanging on the ladies’ room door amuses me every time.  Some people might call it “dated” and slightly “tacky”, but I find it charming in this instance.

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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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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.  

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Use Your Noodle To Eat Healthy – Noodles and Company

Susan says…

On the way back home from Virginia Beach, Ron & I were bound to get hungry.  Yes, we had an engaging audio book, The Monsters of Templeton, but my tummy started growling louder than the reader could tell the story.  We began looking for a good place to get off the interstate.  Not being in the mood for another Subway sandwich, we stopped in Covington, Virginia near a shopping center.  We drove all the way around, narrowing our choices and finally settled on something new: Noodles & Company.

Initially, the menu was a bit overwhelming.  So many choices, different sizes, some sort of combination-thing which I wasn’t sure how it worked…  We had to let another party go in front of us while we studied further.  Ron was about ready to leave, not in the mood for what he was seeing described on the menu boards, but the Asian-inspired dishes already had me hooked, and he could see it in my face when he made the suggestion to do a 180.

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Rachel Has A Winner! – Creamy Spaghetti Primavera

Susan says…

I love to cook and I love to read cookbooks, cooking magazines, surf cooking websites and blogs, talk about recipes, you name it.  If it has to do with food, I’m all over it.  One of several, I have been subscribing to Everyday with Rachel Ray.  As soon as I receive the new issue, I flip through every page anxiously looking at the photos of the dishes and scanning the recipes.  If it looks like something I’d like to try, I dog-ear the page.  In one of my first issues, I discovered a recipe that is one of my absolute favorite pasta dishes ever.  Ever, I say!

Creamy Spaghetti Primavera

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Summertime Supper

Susan says:

Last week, I must admit I hit a homerun with the summertime supper I cooked.  It’s a good thing, because it was the only meal I cooked all week long.  How else do you think we come up with all these reviews???

My little girls and I are huge Rachel Ray fans.  Ron gave me a magazine subscription as a gift and I have found several “go-to” recipes in those pages which I have prepared over and over.  Tonight, I chose something new that I had dog-eared last year.  It’s called “Spring Pea-sto with Whole Wheat Penne”. I had hesitated making it for so long because peas are not one of Ron’s favorite ingredients.  The warm weather, the growing pepper plants outside, and the music of the ice cream truck put me in the mood for a meal that was full of fresh fruits and vegetables.  It was time for the Pea-sto Pasta. Continue reading