Saturday, January 19, 2019

Sterling Spoon Cafe - Silver Seven Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV

Silver Sevens Casino  4100 Paradise Road  Las Vegas, NV. 89169

Website  (702) 733-7000 x8106

Open 24/7 – Daily Specials 11AM – 11PM  Their Menu 

 We were staying at The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino but wanted to find a more quiet setting to have breakfast.  So we went off strip and discovered the Silver Sevens Hotel and Casino. We were immediately attracted to the free, front of the building self-parking with only a short walk to the hotel and casino entrance.  After two days of valet parking and associated fees this was a refreshing change.

As is the usual in Las Vegas, gambling is the business and rooms, food service and entertainment are the lures to the gambling mecca. The Silver Seven offers three choices for food and drink for its patrons.  The Corona Cantina Bar, open Daily 2PM to 2AM: It is a TV and video game bar with a limited menu of snack and fast foods. The S7 Buffet, and buffets are very popular in Las Vegas, its hours and days vary depending on the specialty items. Our choice for breakfast was the Sterling Spoon Cafe.

 The casino was nicely lit and clean with adequate ventilation. We walked up a short flight of stairs to the restaurant area, and were quickly seated.   The area is spacious with a self-serve buffet area to the left of the dining area.   We ordered from the breakfast menu, received our water and coffee in short order, this is where it stopped.

We ordered: The Silver Sevens Breakfast ($7.77) 3 eggs ( ordered over easy), bacon and hash browns with sour dough toast,  Sausage Biscuits and gravy ($5.99) and New York Steak and eggs; ($10.99)  (ordered over easy and the steak medium rare)

After 20 minutes our orders arrived, besides our party there were about 5 other couples, all of whom had been served their orders. The exception was one couple who arrived after we did, and incidentally, received their food orders just before we did.

My order, the Silver Seven Breakfast, arrived with rubbery, over done eggs, and greasy flaccid bacon with almost done hash browns.  The toast was so drenched in butter that it pooled on the plate, so much so that when the toast was held at an angle the butter dripped onto the plate.

The steak and eggs arrived with over well eggs, but in only slightly better condition than my eggs. Unfortunately, the steak was cooked well done (if you are a medium well done steak lover you what a crime it is to cook a steak well done).  The only order that arrived in good condition was the biscuits and gravy.

We told the waitress about the eggs, the steak and our other concerns. To give credit where credit is due, we soon were able to explain the condition of the food to the manager. He offered to give us something else or to recook the items (I am curious, how does one recook over done eggs or recook an already over cooked steak?).  We said no and wanted the items to simply be removed from the bill.  This was done with some reluctance; they removed the cost of the eggs and steak (a la cart cost) and presented us the new bill.  It is interesting note is that after this the waitress never came back to our table, to offer us any water or coffee refills.  This was our clue to exit I would suppose.

The casino offers free parking and very cheap rooms, on line you get mixed reviews but the review of the food was considerably better. Perhaps this was just one of those bad days for the café that are so hard to live down. They did respond to our complaint and made offers to try and resolve the issue. I am considering that I might go back for a second time just to see if our experience was simply a fluke or if the food is up to par.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

The Smoke House - Burbank CA

The Smoke House
4420 W. Lakeside Drive  
Burbank, Ca. 91505

Established in 1946, the Smokehouse has been around a long time and is a reminder of days past. In some ways it reminds me of the Brown Derby, a chain of restaurants that were once a Mecca for all things Hollywood. They faded into history in the 1980’s.  Inside of the Smokehouse are similar framed photos of famous actors and Tinsel Town elite who are rumored to have dined there.  Costumed actors have frequented the restaurant eschewing the studio cafeteria’s offerings. The restaurant’s web site gives a bit more history and a list of films and TV productions filmed in and around the restaurant. A YouTube video history, with the tag line, “Where every diner is treated like a star,” can be found here.

The restaurant is located across the boulevard from the Warner Brother Studios and conveniently for us just around the block from my children’s Great Uncle’s Sark’s home.  We arrived a bit late. It had been a long drive to get there for a mini-family reunion. After riding in the car for several hours it was decided all eight of us would walk the short distance to The Smoke House for our late evening reservations.

I think we would all agree that a popular and long established restaurant should treat all of its customers in a gracious manner. That would, of course, include the obvious such as prompt and courteous service, adequate seating, well prepared food and certainly not making changes in customers’ food orders without first consulting them. Or, to quote a line from their video, “Where every diner is treated like a star.”  A short list but all of the items are important in providing for dining pleasure. We arrived at The Smoke House in good time for our reservation, were greeted warmly and shown quickly to our table. From that point on our expectations were largely unfulfilled.

Since we were in “Movieland,” for lack of a better term, let me set the stage. The restaurant in addition to the standard menu was featuring a special menu to celebrate their 1946 opening. All the selected items on the menu were $19.46 and those included the house salad. They also had a special; bottled wine at a greatly reduced price with an entree order. I would surmise that they prepared large quantities of the special menu items to serve quickly. Perhaps not unlike buffets featuring the display food all the while having a menu featuring foods not offered in the buffet.

This was our starting point; our group of eight elected to walk the short distance for our late evening reservations.  We were seated quickly although we were very cramped at our semi round booth with a small two person table added at the end.  The restaurant had a special menu to celebrate their 1946 opening. All the selected items on this menu were $19.46 and included the house salad. They also had a special on bottled wine at a greatly reduced price with an entree order.

Sadly since our group was so cramped I was not able to take photos of the other items ordered from the menu, only myself and my two sons, so this critique is not in its entirety.  I ordered the Chicken Piccata with mashed potatoes and asparagus ($19.46), one son ordered the same but with a stuffed potato ($19.46).  My other son ordered off the regular menu, the Filet Mignon and Lobster with pilaf and asparagus ($64.95).

Those who ordered from the special menu got their salads, if you ordered from the regular menu the salad was an additional cost.  My salad was way over dressed, swimming would actually be the term I would use.  I ate from around the edges; it was a typical dinner salad, nondescript.  My Chicken Piccata arrived with small French Green Beans in place of the asparagus, nothing was said about the replacement until the waiter was questioned, and he looked puzzled and simply stated “They must have run out of the asparagus.”  The Piccata was as it should be tangy from the lemon caper sauce, the mushrooms were cooked thru but not mushy, it was a good dish.  I did not get any butter for my mashed potatoes, which I overlooked.  The son who ordered the stuffed potato stated it was dry and the texture not to his liking.

I am going out on a limb here but since our service was the last of the evening, I think perhaps the stuffed potato was sitting way too long to be served.  You know that feeling of lateness when the wait staff are busily stacking chairs, rolling the tables and basically clearing all decks. The server with the task of filling the water glasses did his best. However, since we were so cramped his overreach to fill the glasses usually resulted in some splashing.  But he kept them filled.

The son who ordered the Filet Mignon and Lobster got a spectacular tail and a very nice filet cooked to his specifications.  He got the best dish of our group and even generously shared some of the filet with his cousin.  My brother in law ordered two orders of The Smokehouse’s “World Famous” garlic bread ($6.95 per order).  French bread cut into 1” slices and slathered with their own garlic/cheese concoction.  It was okay, but not to my particular taste, it reminded me of the packaged cheese you get in the macaroni box.  But as I said my taste but the others seemed to like it very much.

So in conclusion I would say the food was good and prepared well, but it was not spectacular or over the top, with the exception of my sons Lobster and Filet dish.  I will jump to a conclusion here and say that the items we ordered from the special menu were the last of the evening to go out from the kitchen and it showed.   Towards the end of our meal we had a hard time getting our servers attention, as I said the entire staff was busy tearing down tables and chairs and getting ready to close service.  But in retrospect our group although shoulder to shoulder had a wonderful time just being together.  It was an experience for us, a first time eating at the Smokehouse.  Would I go again….perhaps but if we all went as a group I would make sure we did not get the excuse of this was all they had to sit us in, since somebody else was having a birthday party in the large dining room.


Saturday, November 03, 2018

The Rose - Salt Lake City, UT

The Rose
235 S. 400W
Salt Lake City, UT 84010
Monday-Friday 7am-6pm
Saturday & Sunday 8am-6pm
Food served until 4:00PM

Parking is confusing, posted signs state 2-hour parking and by permit only; however you are apparently allowed to park while in the Rose Cafe or the other adjacent stores.   Access is above sidewalk level via stairs, I did not see any type of handicap access.  The interior is basic cafeteria style tables and chairs, mostly two per table, a couple of 4 seat tables and one 8 seat table.   The music is loud but you can still carry on a conversation, you order at the counter and they will bring your order to your table.  The Rose seems to be a coffee, meeting, computer café. They have stacks of board games in the front of the store for you to use.

The menu is limited.  We chose to go around 10AM for a light brunch. We found hey already had sold out the Frittatas.  As an alternative, we all selected the Smashed Avocado Tartine at $7.50, which consists of avocado, olive oil, black pepper served on five seed toasted bread with a lightly dressed winter green salad.

We waited around 15 minutes for our order and then he only brought us two of the three orders. We could see our other plate sitting on the service counter.  My son had to go up and ask the cashier for our order. He did receive a rather embarrassed apology.

The bread was awesome, lightly toasted and about ¾-inch thick and thickly crusted with seeds and all crowned with a generous layer of lightly smashed and seasoned avocado.  Well worth the wait.

They have the usual type of coffee house selections as well as sweet pastries and muffins.  Brunch is served until 4pm and lunch starts at 11am until 4pm.

Would I go back? Probably not; but that is not because of the food. I am just a bit uncomfortable with the atmosphere, a tad bit too young for my liking.  I was positively impressed with the food and  I will certainly try to replicate their bread and Avocado Tartine for a luscious meal at home..



Sunday, October 28, 2018

Hedary's Mediterranean Restaurant

Hedary’s Mediterranean Restaurant

 7365 W. Sahara Unit K
Las Vegas, NV. 89117
(702) 873-9041

Monday – Thursday 11am-9pm
Friday & Saturday 11am-10pm
Sunday 12pm-8pm
Happy Hour Monday-Friday 3-6pm 

$3, $4 & $5 drinks and food

Hedary’s offers the casual diner a nice selection of Middle Eastern fare stemming from Lebanese influence.  You get generous portions with selections from the dinner menu that will satisfy the bigger eaters.  Luncheon selections offer a slightly lighter fare..  You can enjoy wine, beer or freshly made Sangria with your meal. They also offer a wide range of non-alcoholic beverages including Tamarind, Mango and Guava Nectars, Leban Eran (a salty yogurt drink), Acqua Panna Spring Water and San Pelligrino Sparkling Water. You also have a choice of American or Lebanese coffee.  Soft drinks come with free refill.

 The interior is roomy with table chair seating. Al fresco dining is an option.  The vegetables are displayed in a cooler with a glass front offering the diner an idea of just how fresh the ingredients are.  The service staff are very friendly and the service was fast and the food cooked to perfection.


We started our meal with the Happy Hour Feta Cheese and Olives ($4.00); you get two generous portions of delicious feta cheese with black olives, slices of cucumber and tomato. Included is a basket of freshly baked pita bread to accompany your meal.


An order of their Lamb Chops ($24.95) served with fries and lightly grilled vegetables served      with their red sauce.  You get six chops, all good sized and done to order.


Our next order was the Hummus Ma-Lah ( ($16.50) A hummus dip topped with your choice of    beef, lamb, chicken gyro or ground sirloin and onion dip.  This dish had the beef strips topped with slivered red onion and parsley.  The meat sits atop a ring of hummus, pickled red turnips, sliced cucumber and hot peppers.


Our final dish was the Falafel Plate ($14.50) You get 10 nice sized Falafels which were cooked    to a  golden crisp brown on the outside, yet remained moist on the inside.  It is served with chunks of tomato, cucumber and lettuce and a small bowl of hummus and a yogurt and garlic dipping sauce.

All of the food was cooked to order, extremely delicious and the portions were very generous.  My only criticism was the amount of garlic in the hummus (but then it said that if you like garlic you’ll love hummus), other than that shear perfection and worthy of a future visit to explore other menu options.


Thursday, October 25, 2018

Greek-Style Moussaka - Meal On A Dime

Greek-Style Moussaka 
 Meal On A Dime - by Pattie Sue Knapp

 Moussaka is an eggplant (sometimes potato-based) dish, sometimes a vegetarian dish it can often be made with lamb or ground meat. It is, in its traditional form, found in the cuisines in the Eastern Mediterranean, Middle East, and Balkans. Many local and regional variations can be expected. I have read where the root word for the dish, musakhan, literally means, “something that is heated.” Today the dish is most closely associated with Greek cuisine mainly due to a famous early 20th Century Greek chef, Nikolaos Tselementes. Perhaps overly fond of French cooking styles, he adapted the local moussaka by adding the French Béchamel sauce. Variations of his adaptation are what we most frequently see today.

As a mother raising three children I often ran into the age old problem; how to provide a good meal and use whatever I had on hand.  While it’s fun to peruse cookbooks all too often you find yourself short of the required ingredients. Big name chefs and sponsored programs call for the finest and costliest ingredients. While it is true that to make an exact copy of a particular dish you have to follow the recipe, it is also true that you can consider a recipe simply as a starting point to be amended as needed considering the cost of the ingredients and what foods you have on hand or growing in the garden. That concept is what I call my “meals on a dime.”
To that end, I offer two recipes for moussaka; the first a generic recipe that follows so many in cookbooks and on the internet. The second is my latest endeavor using home grown vegetables and with most of the other items from my pantry shelves. Sometimes it is fun to experiment. Feel free to use whatever you have on hand, cheddar cheese or even pepper jack; you can substitute sausage for the beef or a combination.  Why not use leftover spaghetti sauce in place of the white sauce? After all, it’s your dish and you are the cook and no one should tell you otherwise. The ingredients for both versions are listed for comparison but the preparation instructions are the same.
The full recipe can be seen in the Janis Gardens Cookbook

Ingredients: Generic Recipe
  • 3 eggplants (peeled, cut into ½-inch lengthwise slices, 3 medium or 2 large)
  • Salt (for seasoning and for eggplants) and cracked pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon each nutmeg, cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons parsley (fresh or dried)
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/3 cup red wine - optional
  • 4 cups milk
  • ½ cup butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • Salt to taste (for white sauce)
  • 1 ½ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg for topping
  • ½ teaspoon herbs (I generally use basil, mint and tarragon)
  Ingredients: Meal On a Dime Version
  • 1 large eggplant (peeled and cut into ½-inch rounds)
  • Salt (for seasoning and eggplants) and cracked pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¾ pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon each of nutmeg and cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon herbs of your choice
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 4 ounces tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup red wine - optional
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 3 tablespoon flour
  • Salt to taste for sauce
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (the kind that comes in a jar)
  • Nutmeg for topping to your taste
    •   Salt the eggplant and put on towels to absorb the liquid for about ½ hour, then pat dry and add olive oil to skillet and bring up to heat.  Fry eggplant quickly until lightly browned on both sides, remove from heat and put on towels to catch any residual grease.

    Wipe out the skillet and add the butter, when melted add the ground beef and onions and garlic.  Stir to combine and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Stir mixture until meat is cooked through, then add the cinnamon, nutmeg, herb mixture and parsley, stir to combine.  Add the tomato sauce and wine*, stir and simmer for about ½ hour.  Remove from the heat and when cooled add the beaten egg*, stir to combine.

      Bring milk up to a hard simmer (do not boil) while melting butter in a skillet.  When melted add the flour mixing with a whisk to combine; then slowly add the milk while whisking to avoid lumps.  Continue whisking until mixture thickens to desired consistency. You can add salt to taste if desired.

    Spray a 9- x 13-inch (or use  7- x 11-inch) pan with nonstick cooking spray and place a layer of eggplant on the bottom, layer the meat on top then add 1 third of the cheese* over the meat and layer with remaining eggplant.  Cover with another 1 third of the cheese and top with the white sauce. Spread sauce evenly over the eggplant and cover with remaining cheese and top with nutmeg.

     Bake in a preheated 350° F oven for approximately 1 hour or until nicely browned on top. Remove and let sit for about 10 minutes before cutting.

  • * I also use a generous tablespoon of Greek yogurt in place of the egg.
  • * You can omit the wine.
  • * You can substitute or combine fresh or grated Parmesan along with mozzarella or jack cheese (I use whatever I have on hand) Above all, enjoy your meal on a dime.
  • The full recipe can be seen in the Janis Gardens Cookbook

  • Saturday, January 13, 2018


    4.2 ounce can

    Servings: 1

    389 calories    Calories from fat 193
    In my childhood my parents often prepared dishes featuring cod fish. In those days long gone by, the fisherman would hand process their daily catch and preserve the fish in salt. It was way too early for the smaller fishing boats to feature refrigerated fish holds. As a result, the salted cod fish came to the market in little wooden boxes.  As you can imagine, cooking with salt cod is dramatically different than cooking with fresh or frozen codfish.
    I have many old family recipes calling for salt cod. I have made the required changes and prepared them with frozen cod. They are good but they seem to lack a “certain something,” the slightly different, more energetic taste that you get from real salt cod; the taste that I remember from family meals back when.
    (From The CityCook, Inc. - Why would we eat salt cod when we can have fresh fish? The answer is flavor. When white fish is saturated with salt and dried, amino acids and other chemical changes occur in the fish. This produces a chewier texture and milder, almost sweet, yet still fishy taste than its fresh counterpart.)
     Some years ago I had the urge to prepare foods for my children that were like the meals that I had as a child. Finding salt cod was not impossible but it was not easy either. Alas, for the most part those little wooden boxes are almost a thing of the ancient past. Atlantic Canada, Scandinavia and Portugal are sources of salt cod. Unless you just happen to live next door to a rare over the counter sales emporium, you have to buy online and pay a premium for shipping the vacuumed-sealed bags of dried and salted cod.

    A little searching finally located a California company that is reasonable in price and doesn’t gouge for shipping.  On occasion I do buy some salt cod and make bacalhau the old-fashioned way. While I was making my last salt cod order I came across a listing for these small, single-serving cans of codfish. They were not too expensive; about $3.98 a can. Shipping charges were for the order so I added a couple of cans just to see what they are like; a bit of cod without the hassle of making a large portion.

    The codfish is packed in oil with traces of onion.  The fish has been lightly smoked and the skin is intact.

    Although the can says a single serving I found the product rich and ½ of the filet made two open faced sandwiches. It has a delicate smoked taste and no trace of salt or brine, once the filet is spread on the bread the texture resembles that of smoked herring or sardines from a can. Care must be taken as the filet does contain some bones.

     I enjoyed the meal of BACALHAU A PORTUGUESA.  Whenever I reorder some salt cod I will also order a couple more cans of this fish to keep on the shelf to satisfy an unexpected craving. I suspect, if you like good quality fish, you will too.

    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!”