Thursday, August 03, 2017

The Med - Salt Lake City, Utah

The Med
420 East 3300 South
Salt Lake City, Utah
(801) 493-0100

 A small but quaint building, it is surrounded with lovely flowers and grass. The interior has a somewhat Mediterranean décor.  The staff members are prompt and courteous. We were quickly seated in a booth by the front windows. Our Server was attentive and we quickly had water and time to look over the menu and ponder our selection.

 Select items can be ordered Vegan, Vegetarian or Halal and the menu offers a smidgeon of this and that from Greek, Italian and Turkish cuisines.  This includes appetizers, stews, soups and salads, souvlakis and kabobs, pastas, sandwiches, wraps and burgers to what they call “café favorites”.  Café favorites, pastas and souvlakis and kabobs come with a side salad, all other entrees come with your choice of soup, lemon rice, basmati rice, side salad or fries.

 We ordered from the Souvlakis and Kabobs section: my son ordered the Greek Combo plate; $11.99 ($1.00 extra for lamb) two skewers of meat (beef, lamb, and pork, chicken) served with lemon rice and pita wedges.  I ordered the Souvlaki plate; $8.99 ($1.00 extra for lamb), one Greek style marinated chicken kabob with lemon rice and pita wedges. The side salads were of good size, crisp lettuce with cucumbers, onions and tomatoes. My salad was served with a tangy blue cheese and my son’s with the house Greek dressing. Both were equally good.

The lemon rice was delicious, moist with a delicate lemony tartness. The pita wedges were warm and soft.  The kabobs on my son’s plate were cooked well done and a bit dry, but still had a good flavor and not stringy.  My chicken kabob was also done well, but still retained some juiciness and the flavor was excellent.    We each had a glass of the House Table Red Wine which was okay but it did manage to clean the palate.

There was ample food on the plate, but we had to forego boxing up the left overs since we were traveling and had no way to preserve the food.  We informed our server about the over-cooked meat and he stated he would inform the chefs. We also commented that he might inform other diners to special order their meat.

 It was an enjoyable dining experience and we both would dine again to sample other items on the menu.  They offer dine in, take out and catering and seating is booths and tables with ample lighting and space to walk between.
They are open from 11Am to 9:30PM Daily.

For your convenience I have included scans of the take-out menu (click to enlarge):


Friday, July 21, 2017

Summit House Restaurant - Crystal Mt. Resort, Washington

Summit House Restaurant

Crystal Mountain Resort
33914 Crystal Mountain Blvd.
Crystal Mountain, WA 98022

From Kent, Washington it was a lovely 58-mile drive along pine studded two lane roads leading you to the Crystal Mountain Ski Resort nestled snugly on the side of a small hillside in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and overlooks Mt. Rainier.  To get to the restaurant you need to ride the tram up the hill; it was $23.00 for adults and $18.00 for seniors, Right off the bat we had expended nearly $100.00 for our party of four.  The ride itself is specular affording you a breathtaking view of the small valley you drove thru and the majestic mountains that surround the resort.

Once you arrive at the top and disembark from the tram you are greeted by the majestic panorama of Mt. Rainier and the seemingly magical valley below.  The restaurant is situated at the top of the hill and affords patrons views of the surrounding mountains. Situated at 6,872 feet above sea level, it is billed as Washington’s highest elevation restaurant.  If you dine outside on the patio there is the added bonus of the Mt. Rainier vista.  During the off season, dining service stops at 4:40 and we had arrived around 2:30, so this would be a very early dinner for all of us.

The restaurant is named “The Summit House” and is a casual eating establishment, frequented by off season patrons as well as the avid ski buffs during winter.  A rustic knotty pine clad room with tall windows on both sides of the room and the tables and chairs are rustic pine wood. It should be noted that there were flies inside, some the size of horse flies but; oddly enough they stayed on the glass windows and did not fly around us or the food.

The menu offers a good variety of appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, a kids menu and a choice of four desserts. They offer signature cocktails, beer and wine by the glass or bottle. Assorted soft drinks, coffee, tea, hot cocoa and homemade ginger ale and homemade lemonade are also available.  An automatic 20% gratuity is added to tables of six or more and there is a two check per table maximum.

Our choices included the Catch of the Day ($25.00) which was Mahi Mahi with a spicy sauce paired with rice pilaf and grilled asparagus spears. The fish was grilled nicely but the sauce lacked in depth or spice.  The pilaf was overcooked but the taste was adequate, the asparagus spears had a nice al dente snap to them. Next was the grilled Halibut tacos served of flour tortillas and accompanied by refried beans and Spanish rice.

Next we ordered the Grilled Halibut Tacos ($26.00), three tacos served on flour tortillas and paired with refried beans and Spanish rice.  The fish was moist and juicy and topped with a chipotle sauce and a pineapple slaw.  The beans were a bit on the dry side and the Spanish rice was ordinary but still tasty.  You also got a small size container of fresh Salsa which helped to brighten the otherwise mundane flavors of the rice and beans.

The third choice was the New York Strip Steak ($29.00) paired with truffle fries and seasonal grilled vegetables. The steak is topped with herb butter and crispy Shitake mushrooms.  The steak was ordered medium rare and was medium when served but the taste was excellent, it retained its juiciness.   The Truffle fries were the hit of the table, taste, texture and aroma were divine.  This entrée was also served with grilled asparagus.

Our final choice was the Zucchini and Corn Tacos ($16.00), three corn tortilla tacos laden with grilled zucchini, corn, onions, tomatillos and black beans.  The taste was excellent but eating them was difficult because excess moisture wicking into the tortillas caused them to fall apart.  None the less they were delicious.  This entrée was served with the refried beans and Spanish rice also.

We paired our entrees with a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Seven Falls Winery in Washington State.  It is a deep coffee, cocoa flavored wine with hints of plum and cherry and a slight under taste of mint.  It paired well with all of our entrée choices.  The bottle price was $39.00 a bit cheaper than the per glass cost for four patrons.

Our server was nice and provided our food and wine promptly, however when she asked how our food was, she added no response when told about the over cooking of the meat. She then asked why we had ventured to the top of the mountain and was informed we were celebrating a birthday; she offered no complimentary dessert even in the light of the cooking of the steak.

Our tram ride and meal came to over $220.00 not including tax and tip, would I go again?  For sure but not for dinner, I would enjoy a bottle of wine out on the patio while savoring a pile of Truffle Fries.

Friday, April 28, 2017

King Buffet - Nashville, Tennessee



King Buffet

1051 Murfreesboro Pike

Nashville, TN 37217

                The vacation, visiting with my brother in Tennessee, was coming to an end. A quick trip to Nashville and an overnight stay was in order for me to catch the very early in the morning flight back home. A bit of sightseeing in town done, we checked into our motel and asked the desk clerk where we could get something to eat. He pointed “that-a-way” and said to drive about a mile along the Pike and we would start to see restaurants. As strangers in a big city we were at the mercy of the local’s directions.

                It has been said that all good things must come to an end, so with that in mind one could say that portion of the Murfreesboro Pike and the establishments therein are doing just that.  While there is a smidgeon of rebuilding going on, mostly hotels, but the remainder of the businesses are dated and worn.  You can find the usual fast food eateries, some various ethnic cuisines are offered, a Mediterranean Kebab and a Greek Gyro to name a few  as well as a Mexican market complete with butcher and many smaller places offering fresh Carne Asada tacos.

                We found a rather dated but okay looking Chinese cafeteria and decided to give it a try, we were hungry and well “all you can eat” if it was good food, we won.  The young woman at the front was friendly and soon motioned to a young man at the back to take us to a table.  The décor is nothing fancy, plain table and chairs; separated down the length of the area by a wall with a partial decorative panel on top to offer light and a view out of the window.  A picture or two depicting an oriental motif was on the walls and at the front a smattering of oriental offerings.  There were about 6 self-serve tray lines set up each offering different menu options, but in no particular order. The back wall held the dessert section which had fresh fruit, pies, cakes and puddings.  Here too was found the sushi rolls which I found odd to have placed them there.

                A fresh salad bar offered the usual offerings for a small salad along with fresh fruit; there were two types of hot soup offered, egg drop and their special soup of unknown ingredients, neither of which I tried.  They had steam trays full of small cray fish, steamed shelled small shrimp, what appeared to be muscles topped with a yellow cheese, fried fish with a seasoned corn meal batter, white fish in a tomato type broth to name a few.  You had your usual offerings of all things Chicken, sweet & sour Chicken, Hunan Chicken, Szechuan Chicken, hot and spicy Chicken, Sesame Chicken, Chicken with vegetables and Chicken with mushrooms. 

                They offered tiny beef ribs (1”) Mongolian beef, beef with vegetables and so forth.  You had fried rice, but no white rice, an udon type noodle with seasonings but no broth.  Some fried eggplant coated again with a corn meal type crust.  Dumplings, spring rolls and egg rolls; then not to offend anyone they also offered macaroni and cheese, fried potatoes, taquitos and several other “American” type foods. You are served hot tea, soft drinks or sweet tea and refills are up to you.

                With plate in hand we set off to sample the offerings; some of the chicken dishes had a most familiar taste almost like you could purchase them frozen in your local store.  The Mongolian beef was a bit fatty and tough but had a nice flavor.  The fried white fish with corn meal batter was delicious, lightly seasoned and fried nicely.  The stir fried vegetables were just a bit more al dente that I like but none the less very tasty.  The fried eggplant was also excellent, golden brown and a delicate flavor.

                The egg rolls lacked for a dipping sauce but you got the dipping sauce for the dumplings which I found to be way too sweet.  The noodles were cooked but not mushy and had a nice seasoned coating on them.  I sampled two of the rolls and they were to my surprise very good. Sashimi with salmon and nori, sushi with avocado, white fish, ginger and carrot were both excellent.

                My brother and I both went back for a second plate in order to sample other menu items, when we sat back down I noticed the young man who seated us earlier was standing behind the back wall partition sort of watching our progress and when we were about ¾ done with the second plate he came around and gave us our bill.  This took us by surprise so much so that my brother felt he needed to offer a statement that he was not yet finished and was going back for dessert.  This ruffled my feathers quite a bit since neither one of us had filled our plates to excess, we only took small portions of items in order to taste them.

                So the burning question; would I go back if presented the chance?  I have given many establishments a second chance in the past but unfortunately this will not be the case for King Buffet.  On a scale rating the best at 10, I give them an overall rating of 4, some of the food was mediocre, some greasy and some was delicious but the overall factor in the scoring was the rudeness of the waiter who actually told us by his posturing, “…you go home now!”

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Waffle House
2118 TN-115, Maryville, TN 37801
 (865) 233-0112 Open 24-hours a day
Two years ago while my youngest son was attending the Delta Flight Attendant School in Atlanta Georgia he happened to stumble across the Waffle House.  He raved about the waffles but sadly no such place existed in Idaho, I had to wait these few years until I visited my brother and sister in law in Friendsville Tennessee.

As a treat to me I was invited to breakfast at the local Waffle House; it was a gloomy dismal rainy day and I needed the distraction. This waffle house opened recently at the end of 2016 and is as I was informed slightly larger than most other Waffle House’s.  We were greeted by friendly server Laura and quickly shown to our booth, the waitress was very friendly and eager which is always a good sign.
I glanced at the “main” menu when my sister in law asked for the “$5.00 ”menu which is not on the table as a rule.  This special menu gives the diner a choice of 15 menu items which include your choice of drink.  A very good value based meal; I got a waffle, two scrambled eggs and coffee both my brother and sister in law ordered the waffle and two eggs over medium and coffee.  This is a lot of food and drink for just $5.00 per person.
The food arrived quickly and cooked to order, the waffle was golden brown and cooked through, my two scrambled eggs were cooked but more on the French style, the whites were just slightly from being completely done.  The over medium eggs were done to a T.  The coffee was nice and aromatic and not bitter nor too strong, as Goldie Locks would say, just right!
The waitress came around several times to refresh our coffee and ask how our food was; she was very attentive even though the place was packed.  If you like waffles and a few sides this is the place to try out, fast, good food, quality priced and friendly.