Eats - Diner
Big Downtown at the
Palmer House Chicago
124 S. Wabash Ave.
The big restaurant in the Palmer House hotel. The theme appears to be the roaring
20s, but that doesn't explain the model train running overhead. Food is all over
the map, with some items being noteworthy. We were here for IML 2007, and there's
a certain surreal charm when half of the restaurant is full of leathermen and
rubbermen in full gear.
We had the calamari appetizer (very good, although
sauces were so-so), a diablo burger (ordinary), a mini steak
sandwich (good finger food but a bit overcooked), Vietnamese
spring rolls (a risk to order; I was punished accordingly),
chicken skewers (typical), and a "famous" Palmer House brownie,
which my boyfriend ate all by himself. The item to order,
however, are the mussels, which I had two days prior. They
were very nice considering they had traveled so far to get
to the kitchen. There were only a couple that were questionable.
Service is generally
excellent although uneven depending on the server. Outdoor
eating is very nice if the shadows favor you and you enjoy
the cacophony of the city; otherwise, you'll broil in summer.
Before tip: $61.73. I should really start a
section just for hotel restauarants because the pricing scale
is entirely different; it's more like eating in a foreign
country with an unfavorable exchange rate. May 30, 2007
1115 Willow St.
San Jose, Ca 95125
A small restaurant with simple food and friendly service. My single
greatest waitress experience happened here at the expense of my
then boyfriend. Nice breakfasts, okay dinners.
Cafe Mason - San Francisco
320 Mason St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
A decent spot for breakfast if you're stuck in that neighborhood.
Since we had breakfast, which is almost impossible to screw
up, it gets an average rating. Decor is cute although the place
is dark even in the daytime. Food is on par with Denny's, which
isn't saying much I know, but it was breakfast for godssake.
Service was very good. I get the feeling that this is mostly
a tourist place, which is fine. Prices reflect this. Before
tip: $27.16. Mar 1, 2007
Capitol Park Cafe
1119 9th St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
We drifted here because I couldn't find the "famous" hangout
near the capitol in Sacramento. This is a dump ne plus
ultra, but the waitstaff rocks. One woman, who I think may
be the owner, was totally out of control, and this was on
a Sunday morning when downtown Sacramento is like a set out
of Omega Man. Anyway, our food was decent, the cook was sexy,
and our waitress never let our cups run dry. I'd go back
if I had to. 07/2005
543 Coleman Ave. (in the San Jose MarketCenter)
San Jose, CA 95110
This was our second choice after the Hawaiian BBQ place in this shopping center,
but neither of us had actually eaten at a Chili's before, so it was worth a shot.
Plus we were practicing balloon hats and we didn't think they would mind. The
restaurant was fairly busy for a weeknight, and we had a good table by the bar.
Our waitress Regina didn't mind the balloons and was friendly. I had the fajita
trio, which was actually fine except I have this suspicion that there is no kitchen.
My boyfriend had a quesadilla salad and a caesar salad, which was actually too
big a portion for him to finish. Would we go here again? Probably not given the
proximity of the Hawaiian BBQ, but honestly the food is fine and the bill for
a fairly large dinner was only $25.94 before tip. Jun 6, 2007
2089 The Alameda
San Jose, CA 95126
Better quality but less selection than John's. The gruff owner takes care of his good customers and the waitstaff has personality and a LOT of mascara. Very nice steaks and always busy at breakfast (a 10 min. wait max most weekends). Good mix of clientele from the neighborhood.
Flames Coffee Shop & Bakery
449 South Winchester Blvd.
San Jose, CA 95128
A favorite of one of my ex-boyfriends. The cakes are amazing, but the food...so so. A good place to grab a bite before a movie at the theaters at the other end of the parking lot.
John's XLNT Food
1238 Lincoln Ave.
San Jose, CA 95125
A huge diner favorite selection, including dolamades and other Greek dishes. I usually opt for the prime rib, and have never been disappointed. Huge regular crowd. Parking is in back down the driveway to the left of the building; enter by the garbage cans.
Redwood City, CA 94063
Burgers for two: $20.
A nice little bar and grill on the hippest block in Redwood City (don't blink). Hamburgers have a wide choice of toppings and cheeses, and they're grilled to order. Fries are of the single fry variety, but are still quite good. Outdoor dining out front, and bands, comedy, etc. upstairs. Full bar and fantastic attentive service.
Tip well. 07/02