Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Marigold's, Pocatello, Idaho

1800 Flandro Drive, Suite 330
Pocatello Idaho
February 8, 2011

It has been said that you are only given one chance at a first impression; this statement is a hard fact. If you fail at your first attempt then it forever lingers in the mind of those you failed to impress.

This statement is true for the little bistro called Marigold’s in Pocatello Idaho. It is located in a busy strip mall which makes parking arduous during peak times. It features the upcoming wine trend of pre measured pours offering the casual connoisseur a chance to taste a variety of wines at a modest cost. Their fare is geared towards the unusual but identifiable; hummus with veggies, spanakopita, tempura shrimp even a margarita pizza to name a few. Decadent desserts are also offered with specialty coffees to satisfy that sweet tooth. Sadly reading the menu, perusing the available wines and ogling at the desserts was as close as I got.

It was a Tuesday evening around 5pm, we were the only patrons in the place except for the waitress. We seated ourselves and the waitress brought us two waters and left. There was one menu on the table so we took another from a nearby table. My daughter asked a question about a cheese plate and got a rather subdued answer, so we continued to read on.

The phone rang and was promptly answered by the waitress and this is where our dining adventure at Marigolds stopped. We sat and sat and even waived at her but to no avail. At one point we thought she was hanging up but only turned around to make some coffee and continued to ignore her only customers in the place. I understand when a shop is busy and don’t mind waiting but I will not tolerate waiting for a personal phone call and being ignored. We got up and left and she never turned around to acknowledge our departure.

We had a delightful dinner at Red Lobster that evening, sadly I felt bad for my daughter since she had purchased the $30.00 gift card to Marigolds for my Christmas present and wanted me to enjoy myself.

I am unclear if I will return to Marigolds, I really don’t want to waste my daughter’s gift card, but I will always have a bitter taste towards this establishment and it will be hard to be un biased when it comes to judging their food and, yes, their service.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Sand Piper - Idaho Falls, ID

Sand Piper Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Sand Piper
Idaho Falls, Idaho
February 2, 2011

I have blogged Sandpiper in Pocatello several times and as my readers can attest, it is not my favorite place to dine. Yesterday was my oldest son’s birthday and as tradition goes, he got to pick where he wanted to eat. Yes you guessed it, Sandpiper! But this time not the Pocatello restaurant but the sister establishment located in Idaho Falls. A fifty two mile trip down the interstate, the historic district of Idaho Falls and the Sand Piper restaurant are situated alongside the Snake River. It looks exactly like the Pocatello building but that’s where the resemblance stops. Inside we were greeted by eager and friendly staff and quickly seated. Our table was by the window which normally would afford the diners a magnificent view of the river but in winter your view is that of a frozen river, still a fantastic vista.

Battered shrimpOur waitress was friendly, informative and eager to please but not overdone, she allowed us ample time to peruse the menu and the wine list. Our pre dinner drinks ordered, we eagerly read over the menu. As soon as our menus were closed she appeared to take our order. Almost as soon as she left she reappeared with fresh hot bread and our salads. My youngest son ordered the Caesar salad and had strips of fresh anchovies; my garden salad was a mixture of greens both mild and peppery. We eagerly ate all of our salads and a second helping of bread.

Chicken OscarSand Piper was having a wine special, so we chose a Cabernet Shiraz blend from Australia which to our great pleasure was a superb pick. Aromatic, smooth it paired well with our entrée selections. My youngest had the rack of lamb, the birthday boy had a sirloin steak our guest had the battered shrimp and I picked the chicken Oscar. I had reservations about the entrée’s since the Pocatello menu offered the same choices but in children’s portions. To our enjoyment, when the dinners arrived we found them more than ample; in fact we all had to go boxes at the end.

The steak was charred to perfection The lamb was expertly grilled to the rare ordered, the shrimp cooked through but not overdone. The steak was charred to perfection and my Oscar was tender and the crab meat was the intact claw portions. The baked potatoes were of good size and the steamed vegetables done to a turn. We all thoroughly enjoyed our dinner and all attested we would have changed nothing. My youngest son tipped the waitress about his brother’s birthday and she soon appeared offering any dessert item free of charge. He ordered the chocolate turtle dessert, which was a thick and gooey deep chocolate brownie surrounded by scoops of vanilla ice cream and covered in thick dark chocolate sauce.

Rack of LambReservations are suggested especially for the weekend. They have a separate bar and lounge section and there are steps, a ramp is available but since the lighting is dim caution is suggested. All tables, no booths, but all afford a view of the river and beltway. The prices range from $14.00 to $26.00 with daily specials. A full bar and an excellent wine list pair nicely with the menu items which range from sea food, pasta, beef and your usual salad assortments.