Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Michael's Italian Feast

After a morning business meeting we went out to lunch at Michael's Italian Feast in Germantown Hills with our new friends.  I have to be honest that I was impressed and surprised at the place.  Here's why:

Our overall rating was  (rating) (out of 5 stars).

Here's how that breaks down:

Family Friendly: 4 Stars  This could maybe be higher, but some elements of the atmosphere (see below) could be an extra burden depending on the energy level of your kids.

Menu: 3.5 Stars  Michael's is an 'order at the counter' place.  The menu overhead was good: not to expansive but still with enough options.  The only downside is that everything on it was pretty typical of an Italian place.  I guess that's what you want, but it was so similar that I could have been at a couple other local Italian restaurants and not known the difference.

Taste of the Food: 4 Stars  That being said, the food was great.  I really enjoyed my Pizza Bread.  It probably could have had less cheese, but it was still good.

Appearance of the Food: 3.5 Stars  Whatever Italian food you're picturing, picture it covered in cheese.  That's what everyone who ate with us experienced.

Restrooms: N/A

Atmosphere: 5 Stars  This is why I want to take my family to this Michael's location specifically.  Half of the sitting area felt like you were eating outdoors in Italy.  No joke. They did an excellent job of painting, decorating and construction.  There was even a decent sized working fountain in the middle.  (See Family Friendly).

Service: 5 Stars  For a seat yourself place, service was excellent.

Ethical/Sustainable: 3 Stars  Just the average rating here.

Pricing: Lunch entrees were $7-10.  

Michaels Italian Feast on Urbanspoon

Thanh Linh

I met a friend for lunch at Thanh Linh next to Bradley.  It was packed, as I hear it is most everyday.  It was an enjoyable lunch... a great conversation to be sure...  Here's how I would rate the restaurant.

Our overall rating was 3.75 Stars (out of 5 stars).

Here's how that breaks down:

Family Friendly: 3.5 Stars  It would be a little intense to have young kids there during the lunch hour rush.  This isn't anyone's fault, it's just a tiny restaurant that's popular enough to be completely packed.  (Word is that they will be moving to a bigger location down the road in 2013, but as it stands now, it's a tiny place.)

Menu: N/A  I didn't even look at the menu as there was a lunch buffet.  I did see a few gentlemen order off the menu and their dishes looked great!

Taste of the Food: 3.5 Stars  The friend I ate with would disagree with me here, but I found the food to be okay.  It was a step above most Asian buffets, but never did I find it "great".

Appearance of the Food: 4 Stars  For a buffet though, the food all looked great.

Restrooms: N/A

Atmosphere:  4 Stars  Despite being packed, or maybe because of it, Than Linh has a great feel.  Just a fun place to be and talk with a friend.

Service:  5 Stars  Top-notch.  Great service, especially consider the full room.

Ethical/Sustainable: 2.5 Stars  I have to be careful here.  Like most restaurants there really isn't anything public about their buying and cooking practices. The reason they scored so low is that while and after eating it, I felt terrible.  I'm not sure if it was MSG or what, but I didn't end up with a cold or flu later, I truly think it was the food.

Pricing: Under $10 for the lunch buffet

Thanh Linh Vietnamese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Savory House

We tried out the Savory House in Morton Illinois for a business breakfast.  This place was formally known as Main Street Deli and only open for lunch. But after a remodel they are now open for every meal. Overall we weren't too impressed, although for a quick breakfast meeting it did fine.

Our overall rating was 3.31 Stars  (out of 5 stars).

Here's how that breaks down:

Family Friendly: 4 Stars  It's tough to tell when you're meeting before most kids are awake, but it seemed like a fine place to take kids.

Menu: 3 Stars

Taste of the Food: 3 Stars  Considering this was breakfast, 3 stars is pretty low.  Nothing was bad, but nothing was great either. 

Appearance of the Food: 3 Stars  Again, nothing specifically bad.  But nothing was impressive about the appearance.

Restrooms: 4.5 Stars  

Atmosphere: 3.5 Stars  The old Main Street Deli was sort of in a weird facility, and while things have been remodeled, the new restaurant still feels like you're eating in a food court.

Service: 3 Stars  

Ethical/Sustainable: 2.5 Stars  Not having real butter is a huge downside here.  

Pricing: Breakfast was about $6 per person.  

The Savory House on Urbanspoon