Showing posts with label YTOWNR. Show all posts
Showing posts with label YTOWNR. Show all posts


Michael Alberini's Restaurant Chicken Parmigiana

Michael Alberini's Chicken Parm
Saturday night found us in Boardman, Ohio zeroing in on dinner. We spied Michael Alberini's restaurant on Route 224. It must have been a perfect time for it was crowded but we were seated right away. Our waiter was very nice and took our dinner orders. I selected the Chicken Parmigiana with penne pasta.

In no time at all, our drinks, (Diet Pepsi's) were delivered with some very fresh bread. The bread was Italian and cut in perfect pieces ready to butter up and eat. The taste was very good.

Just a few minutes later our dinners were brought to our table. As you can see, the portion was large. The piece of chicken was fresh, hot, and seasoned fantastic. The penne pasta was plentiful, well cooked, and tasted great. The sauce was prepared perfectly.

All this for just under 20 dollars. A real bargain.

The Grassy Knoll Diner rates 4.5 out of 5 Shots for the Chicken Parmagiana at Alberini's in Boardman, Ohio.



Dominos Pizza


Domino's Pizza with sausage.
LOCATION: Boardman Poland Road. Boardman, Ohio
A long time ago I used to order Domino's pizza frequently. At least several times per month. The pizza tasted good, the service was alright, and the price, acceptable.

Fast forward to January 2018. The pizza was placed in a sturdy protective box. And well, that is all I have to say about that. The taste was below average, the price was high, the service slow. And we are talking about a pizza here.

Pizza Hut and Pappa Johns is kicking your ass.

It will be a long time before I order Domino's again.



Chick-Fil-A Online Ordering

New Digital Age Chick-Fil-A Sandwich
I don't know about the rest of you but Chick-Fil-A is a fine fast food restaurant. The one I frequent was located in Boardman, Ohio, in front of the K-Mart on Route 224. It was so busy, cars wrapped around the building twice, yes, twice.

Finally, Chick-Fil-A moved across the street affording them more space and a modern facility. However, the restaurant drive through is still packed, even with the double lanes. Even though the employee's at chick-Fil-A are very speedy and efficient, it may take up to 15 minutes or longer to wind your way to the pay window. Even if you decide to park the car and walk in, the lines inside are long as well.

But there is another option. The CHICK-FIL-A app. I downloaded the app in seconds from the Android play store and it took several minutes to set up. Add your name and credit card info and in a moment you will be prompted to add funds to your digital chick-Fil-A card. I selected $25.00

The test of the system is during rush hour, and 5:30pm was the time I selected to try the new ordering process out. I opened the app and it offered me two locations to go, the Southern Park Mall or the new location on Tiffany. I selected Tiffany. The app showed categories of foof choices along with pictures of what you were purchasing as well as quantity. I selected a chicken sandwich and a large order of waffle fries.

The app prompted me to press the I'm Here button once I did arrive and to enter the store and go to the PICKUP AREA and the order would be brought over to you right away. Seems to good to be true. I was very skeptical.

Well, I pulled in, found a spot to park and walked in. As sson as i entered the door I hit the I'm here button on the app. The app responded by stating my order would be processed and the total of my order would be deducted from my digital card. Inside, there were at least 18-20 people in line waiting to order. The drive through line was worse. I spotted the pickup sign and sat down on the bench and waited for my order.

In less than a minute, yes, less than a minute, an employee walked toward me, smiled and said, "Patrick!" I replied, "Yes." She handed me the bag with my sandwich and large waffle fries and said thank you selecting Chick-Fil-A.

I was stunned. I walked out feeling sorry for all the people still in line but estactic how well the app worked.

The Grassy Knoll Institute Rates 5 out of 5 shots for Chick-Fil-A online ordering.

Addendum: I tried the app for lunch and it worked just as well and just as fast.



Cheddars Restaurant - Chicken And Ribs

The first time I went to Cheddars Restaurant it was a pleasant experience. The food was good, the service great, and the place clean. The second time however, well....
BBQ Ribs And Chicken
Twenty minutes later my dinner arrived. It looked good. It smelled good. But....
In a nutshell, the chicken was under cooked, well, it was barely cooked. The breading was soggy and the inside chicken was cold and chewy. Not a good sign.

The ribs were supposed to be "Fall off the bone" tender. They were not. It was a challenge to get the meat off the bone.

The saving grace was the dessert, croissant rolls. They were tender, flaky, hot, and very good.

The Grassy Knoll Institute scores 2.5 out of 5 shots and recommends Cheddars for dinner just because of the previous experience.



Steak N Shake - Double Cheeseburger

Double Cheeseburger
Is Steak N Shake a fast food joint or a restaurant?
From the outside it has the markings of a fast food setup with a drive through window. However, when walking inside, the decor is 50's style diner, black and white tiles, booths, and even a counter to eat at.

We sat down and a waitress took our order. Chalk one up for restaurant. I ordered a double cheeseburger and fries. It was brought to our table in less than ten minutes. (Another restaurant feature) The cheeseburger was excellent, in the top 10 list for sure. I watched them make the burgers on the grill before. They start with a fresh round ball of meat and using the spatula, smash into a thin patty. A few minutes of sizzling and the patty is flipped. Cheese is added and then placed on the bun.

The fries were thin cut, (We will call them Mini Fries) and were tasty especially with the dipping cheese sauce.

The cost was very cheap, (A fast food feature) $4.00 with fries. We paid and left a higher than usual tip for our waitress and walked out the door.

The Grassy Knoll Institute scores 4.75 out of 5 shots and recommends steak N Shake for dinner.



Down On The Boulevard Tavern

Boulevard - Chicken Parmigiano
The Boulevard Tavern has been an icon in Youngstown, Ohio for a long time. Famous for their Friday fish dinner, the Boulevard also has some very good Italian selections. One of them is the Chicken Parmigiano with a side of spaghetti.

We were seated right away and we placed our orders. The waitress was very nice and we had our Cokes in just a few minutes. I ordered the chicken Parmigiano with spaghetti.

The portion was very generous, large chicken breast cooked perfectly, topped with cheese with a zesty sauce. It was very tasty, fresh, and the spaghetti completed a great meal.

The Grassy Knoll Institute scores 4 out of 5 shots and recommends The Boulevard Tavern for dinner.



Cheddars Restaurant - Boardman Ohio

Cheddars - Boardman Ohio (CLOSED)
Patty and I decided to try Cheddar's Casual Cafe, the new restaurant in Boardman, Ohio. (It's in the Southern Park Mall parking lot next to Chilli's) The parking area was full so we thought we would be in for a wait. We were wrong. The restaurant is like Doctor Who's Police Call Box, it is much bigger on the inside.

We were seated right away and our waiter Eric took our drink order right away. Just a few minutes and our drinks, (Mine was a Coke Zero) were on our table.

Since it was our first time there, I opted for several simple things. I went with the Southern fried chicken tenders as an appetizer and the bacon cheeseburger as the main meal.

Cheddars Chicken Strips
The appetizer was delivered quickly to our table, within minutes. The chicken was good, crisp, and enough. The fries were an added bonus.

Cheddars Bacon Cheeseburger
On entre's were also delivered in good time. The bacon cheeseburger was big, a half pound of beef, well done, with 4 full slices of bacon, melted cheese, and a very fresh bun. Fries again completed the meal. The burger was very good. Very tasty, juicy, especially with the added fries to the top of the burger.

The cost was low, 15 bucks without tip.

The Grassy Knoll Institute scores 4.25 out of 5 shots and recommends Cheddar's for dinner.



Scarsellas Restaurant Lasagna Dinner

Scarsella's Italian Restaurant is one of Patty's and mine favorite eating haunts. The service is almost always great, the food is always excellent, and prices are just right.

As usual, Patty and I stopped on the way home from work at Scarsella's. We were seated right away and the waitress took our drink order and our dinner order. (We knew what we wanted) In no time our diet pops were at our table along with fresh Italian bread and our salads. 

The salad was standard fare, fresh, and with the added grated cheese on the table, was very good.

Tonight I ordered the Lasagna and it was a good choice indeed. The portion was generous, the sauce zesty, the meat spicy enough, the noodles cooked well, and the taste was very good. All for around 13 dollars not including tip.

Scasella's Lasagna Dinner
The Grassy Knoll Institute scores 5 out of 5 shots and recommends Scarsella's for dinner.



Caffe Capri - Filet Mignon

Caffe Capri, an Italian style restaurant is located in Boardman, Ohio. Patty and I have tried Caffe Capri several times before and found the restaurant and food very good. We were seated right away and our waitress came and took our drink orders.

We ordered appetizers as well. We went with the fried mozzarella cheese with spaghetti sauce. The breading was perfect, just enough crunch to keep the hot melted cheese manageable.

Bread was brought to the table. It was fresh, warm, and tasted fantastic.

The salad was standard fare but with the added grated cheese it was good.

I ordered the filet mignon, and it was very tender, zero fat, and a generous enough portion. The taste was good, it was juicy, and cooked just right. The filet came with a side of pasta. I chooose penne pasta. It was very well cooked, zesty sauce, and complimented the filet. The cost was around $30 dollars for the meal without tip which is adequate here in town.

Caffe Capri - Filet Mignon
The Grassy Knoll Institute scores 4.25 out of 5 shots and recommends Caffe Capri for dinner.



Dairy Queen - Butterfinger Blizzard

Dairy Queen has many treats. One of my favorites is the Butter finger Blizzard. Patty and I just went back the other night. I just had to have another treat. DQ would not disappoint.

The medium sized blizzard was $3.39 and had plenty of ground up butter finger candy bits mixed in with classic Dairy Queen vanilla ice cream.

The mix of ice cream and butter finger candy is almost heavenly.
Don't like Blizzards, not to worry, there are plenty of other options. Dilly Bars, Buster bars, cones, hot fudge sundae's and of course the banana split.

The Grassy Knoll Institute scores 5 out of 5 shots and recommends Dairy Queen Butterfinger Blizzards for dessert.



Wedgewood Pizza - Boardman Ohio

Wedgewood Pizza - Boardman
Wedgewood Pizza has branched out and has another pizza place in Boardman, Ohio. It's been there for several years and I have eaten there several times and decided to check in and critique the famous pizza.
Wedgewood 16 Inch with Chicken Topping
Ordering was standard fare, call your order in, (16 inch pizza with a topping of chicken on half the pizza) and was told 20 minutes and was given a pickup number.

In 20 minutes I pulled in, and you can see by my picture of the store front that it was raining. My pizza was ready and the cashier said that the pizza would be $13.50 total.

Now, the menu states that a large pizza is $10.50 plain. Chicken as a topping was $3 dollars. I assumed that since I only asked for chicken on half the pie that the topping charge would be $1.50 but I was wrong. (Other pizza joints only charge half when you only want the topping on half. Not Boardman Wedgewood.) I paid the $13.50 and left.

The pizza tasted great. Thick crust, nice sauce, cheese, and the chicken was well cooked. All in all a perfect five rating, except for the over charge for the topping.

The Grassy Knoll Institute scores 4 out of 5 shots and recommends Boardman Wedgewood Pizza for dinner.



Hungry Howies Thin Crust Pizza

Hungry Howie's Pizza Shop - Boardman, Ohio
When deciding on a pizza for dinner, several factors come into play.

One: First and foremost, the pizza must be good tasting.
Two: The pizza Ohio has to have a very quick take out service.
Three: The pizza box must be sturdy to survive the ride home.
Four: The pizza must be affordable.
Five: The pizza shop must be close by.

Hungry Howie's meet these requirements. The thin crust is good tasting, not fantastic or exceptional, but good. The drive through pick up is pretty spot on. You pull up, they take your money and hand over the pizza. The box, yellow in color, is sturdy to handle rough roads and perhaps another box stacked on top and still the cheese will not be sticking to the top of the box. Howie's is fairly cheap, and check on their weekly specials for some good deals. And the shop is only five minutes away from us. 

BTW, the chicken nuggets, or strips, or tenders, whatever they call them, are not bad.

The Grassy Knoll Institute scores 4 out of 5 shots and recommends Hungry Howie's for dinner.



Davidsons Restaurant Bacon Cheeseburger

Davidson's Restaurant - Austintown, Ohio
From the looks of the restaurant, it appears small on the outside but once you walk inside, there are plenty of rooms with many a tables. Don't be concerned if the parking lot is full, there will be a table for you inside.

This evening I was intrigued by one of the appetizers, the "Mini Corndogs." Yes, corndogs! There were 10 of them, dipped in batter and browned to a nice crunch. I was surprised at how good they were.

My main course was the half pound bacon cheeseburger with fair fries. The burger was well done as specified, the bun fresh, the cheese melted and thank goodness the bacon was cooked. (I hate when I order a bacon cheeseburger and there is soggy uncooked bacon on top) The burger was delicious.

The fries to my surprise, were fantastic. I am in search of the elusive "Idora Park" french fry taste and this night was the closest I came. On a Idora Park scale of 1 to 10, these fries were a 9. The texture, the taste, the look, feel, the presentation, all Idora Park like. Only thing missing was the white paper cone holder that Idora fries came in.

Completing the meal was a slice of cheesecake topped with strawberries. It was very good and ended the meal on a high note.

The reason for 4 stars and not 5, the service is a tad lacking. No offense to the wait staff, they are working hard, but they are spread to thin. Our waitress was covering an entire room, which was to much for one to handle. Management needs to add more help.

The Grassy Knoll Institute scores 4 out of 5 shots and recommends Davidson's for dinner.



Bacon Hot Fudge Sundae From Burger King

Hell Yeah Bacon
Yes, I know it was out there, hanging out with the deep fried twinkies and deep fried cheeseburger and it was just a matter of time before it landed on the Blue Plate Special.

Let's break this down, ice cream, hot fudge, and bacon. Whip em all together and you have the Bacon Sundae. I will state, I was a skeptic, however, after the first bite, it's true, bacon makes everything taste better.

If you like bacon, and ice cream, make the drive to Burger King and score a bacon sundae today.

The Grassy Knoll Institute scores 4 out of 5 shots and recommends Burger King Bacon Sundae for dessert.



OCharleys Restaurant - Steak And Chicken

Patty and I stopped at O'Charley's restaurant chain last week for a bite to eat. It was not crowded, but it was busy but we were seated immediately. Our waiter came right over and took our drink order and returned promptly with them.

Our waiter returned with our drinks and took our order. I had the potato soup and it tasted good. Plenty of chunks of potato, creamy sauce, and bacon scattered on top.

Renee brought out our dinner in a timely manner smiling and having a good time. I ordered the sirloin and chicken combo with a baked potato.

The chicken strips were lightly battered, well cooked, crispy, and surprisingly good.
The 6 ounce sirloin was cooked perfectly, juicy, no fat, and tasted great.
The baked potato topped off the meal. There was no room for dessert.

The service was fantastic all the way around, the experience was very pleasant, the prices reasonable, including diet pop but not tip under $20 dollars, and the food tasted great and was prepared perfectly.

The Grassy Knoll Institute scores 5 out of 5 shots and recommends O'Charley's Restaurant in Boardman, Ohio for dinner.



Marinos Italian Cafe - Austintown, Ohio

I have heard about a quaint little restaurant called Marino's located in Austintown, Ohio. During Lent, we decided to stop in and try it. On a Friday night we were a little stunned that it was not busy. In fact, there were only about 4 tables being used by customers.

Anyway, we were seated right away and I ordered the fish dinner and a fried cheese appetizer. In about five minutes the cheese was brought to our table. There were five small pieces and a small bowl of dipping sauce. The sauce was OK, standard fare. The cheese sticks the same way. Standard, nothing bad, nothing good, just average.

The rolls were good though. I suspect they were home-made, they were warm, fresh, and tasted good, especially with melted butter.

The salad was standard fare. Excuse me for the late snapshot of the salad. I ate more than half when I realized I forgot to snap the picture.

About 20 minutes went by and our fish dinners arrived. I ordered Mac and Cheese as a side dish. As you can see, the fish was thin, and skinny. The breading was adequate but a little soggy. It had a "Fishy" smell to it which to me means it was not as fresh as it could be. The taste was OK. Certainly not what I had expected as several people told me about the place. The Mac and Cheese was cold.

All this for a Friday special of $12 dollars plus coke and tip.

The Grassy Knoll Institute scores 2.25 out of 5 shots and does not recommend Marino's Italian Cafe for dinner.



Marcs BBQ Grilled Chicken Take Out

Marc's Grocery Store in Boardman, Ohio is my usual place to stock up on Coke Zero. Marc's runs some deep discount deals on pop every so often and that's when i stock up.

The other day after loading my cart with Coke Zero, I spied in the cold section some packaged grilled chicken breasts with BBQ sauce. The cost was $3.09 for the package. Feeling saucy, I decided to try a pack.

After loading the Coke zero in the basement I fired up the microwave and warmed that chicken BBQ up. I wasn't expecting much, (It was cheap, in a plastic container, and it was from Marc's) but I was hungry. The portion was generous with the cost at just over three bucks. I cut a small piece off and tasted it.

WOW! I was impressed. The chicken breast was juicy, tender, with no fat. The BBQ sauce was tangy and flavorful and complimented the chicken perfectly. It tasted really good. Not just plastic wrap take out from a grocery store good, but from a respected BBQ restaurant specializing in BBQ chicken good. Shocking! I rate this BBQ right up there with the Outback, Calhouns, and Texas Roadhouse. Yes, it was that good. And it was cheap.

The Grassy Knoll Institute scores 5 out of 5 shots and recommends Marc's Grocery Store BBQ Grilled Chicken take out for dinner.



Smoky Bones Restaurant - BBQ Combo

Smoky Bones is located on South Avenue, a very busy highway in Boardman, Ohio. Today, we decided to stop driving by and instead pulled into the parking lot.
We were seated quickly as it was not very busy and our waitress came over to take our drink order. We ordered diet Cokes. She returned with our drinks and took our dinner order.
I ordered the pretzels as an appetizer as they looked intriguing. Fifteen minutes later, the pretzels arrived at our table. I asked the waitress for plates, napkins, and utensils to eat the pretzels. After asking three times, I never received them.
As I stated earlier, it wasn’t crowded leaving no excuse for lousy service which we were receiving. It took our waitress 30 minutes after she delivered our pretzel appetizer to deliver our dinner.
Triple Combo Platter
Finally, our dinner was served. I ordered the triple combo and selected BBQ pulled pork, BBQ chicken strips, and BBQ grilled chicken. A baked potato and garlic bread completed the dinner.
Inspecting the plate, I noticed the pulled pork was not the BBQ variety. Nor was the chicken strips and the grilled chicken. Luckily our waitress returned with refills on our diet Cokes. I informed her I ordered BBQ and she said for me to use the tubes of BBQ sauce kept on the table. I then noticed she had given us iced tea instead of diet Cokes.
I once again sternly asked for napkins and at least a fork to eat my dinner. I also pointed out that we ordered diet Cokes and not iced tea. She said she would be right back with them. Instead of waiting, I got up and found an empty table and took the napkins and utensils and returned to our table. Our waitress never did bring us any.
I also noticed in our thirty minute wait patrons that came in after us and serviced by another waitress were served their dinners before us. There were four other tables served before us.
Side Note: As we were eating, the table behind us had a problem with their bill and it took the waitress (Our waitress) several trips to the cashier to remedy the problem.
Still want to read the critique?
OK, the baked potato was cold, seriously, it was cold. Not hot, not warm, but cold. It was not baked all through and the center was hard. Score for the potato, zero.
The pulled pork was maybe warm, tasted OK but was bland as Hell. I was afraid to use any of the sauces our waitress directed to use on the table. Some of the tubes were oozing several foul-smelling odors and the sauce was dried and chunky on the tubes. Score, zero.
The fries were also cold. See the trend here? I really think our waitress forgot about our order. I hate cold fries. Score, zero.
The chicken was adequate at best, and could have been better if hot, at least warm.
Our waitress should be fired.
The Grassy Knoll Institute scores 0 out of 5 shots and DOES NOT recommends Smoky Bones for dinner.



KFC Lies To Customers

Driving down South avenue the other day I spied a KFC restaurant (Kentucky Fried chicken) and a minute later I found myself in the drive through. Since I was there I decided to order something. It would have been a little awkward if when the drive through window employee asked, "May I help you," and I said, "No, just browsing right now!" Instead, I ordered a #10 which was two chicken filets, a biscuit, wedge fries, and a Pepsi. All for $6 dollars. I was told to pull around to the window.

After I paid my $6 dollars, I was told that the filets were not cooked and it would be 5-6 minutes. She told me to pull over and park on the right and they would bring it out. I noticed the time and it was 5:24pm. I pulled over. It started to rain. Perhaps a bad omen.

Six minutes passed and still no winner winner chicken dinner. Ten minutes passed and KFC became officially liars. Three minutes later the KFC employee was spotted, running my take out bag to me in the pouring rain.

For a brief moment I thought of being mean, with it raining hard and the girl outside my Jeep window holding my take out, perhaps I would pretend not to notice her. Make her wait on me. Instead, I unzipped the window and took my order and drove off.

The moral of this post is:
KFC lies to its customers. When they tell you it will only be a 5-6 minute wait, expect that time to be at least double.

You see, I am at a loss for rating this take out dinner. The chicken was good, the fries and roll hot and tasty, but the service was down right despicable.

The Grassy Knoll Institute scores 1 out of 5 shots and DOES NOT recommend KFC Drive through for lunch or dinner.



Subway - Grilled Chicken Sandwich

I saw a Subway commercial the other day and it showed a very good-looking sandwich. It was called the Grilled Chicken foot long. It was only five dollars so I decided to have one for dinner.

The employee at the restaurant was pleasant and nice and began to make my sandwich. I asked for Italian bread and toasted please. I saw her cut the bread and proceed to place two thin white slabs of what I believed to be chicken on the bun. She then scooped out a ladle full of meatball sauce and spread it over the chicken. Into the microwave to toast it went.

* Cheese was $1 extra if wanted.
* Bacon was $1 extra if wanted.
* Any other meat add-on was $1 extra if wanted.

The sandwich was wrapped up and away I went. When I got it home, I unwrapped it, placed it on the counter and snapped this picture. It looked nothing like the television commercial sandwich. False advertising for sure.

But how did it taste?

Well, the Italian bread was OK. The meatball sauce was OK. The grilled chicken slabs were adequate. Of course the chicken was processed, not real chicken, but parts of the chicken. And that's it. Nothing else. Put it all together and you got a sandwich with no real taste, no real zing. However, the price of $5 dollars saved the sandwich from being a total loss.

The Grassy Knoll Institute scores 2 out of 5 shots and DOES NOT recommends Subway Grilled chicken sandwich for lunch or dinner. With so many other choices, this sandwich is a DOA.