February 8, 2012
Il Forno took over the location of the Kyoto Bowl at McKellips and Power Road, and they clearly are trying to move the place upmarket. The tiled floors are still there, but they’ve neatly marked their logo on all the windows, and added some attractive, rustic-looking tables and a large “booth wall” leather seating surface. Our party of ten was seated immediately, once enough tables were wrangled to handle us. Background music was relatively subtle, but when the wood-fired oven is going, there’s the unmistakeable smell of its activity.
February 25, 2011
Bellagio continues their seeming perpetual process of reinvention since our last visit. The most prominent new feature is a massive wall seperating the bar area from the dining room. The result is a more intimate-seeming dining room, and a somewhat hipper looking bar area, and a round of confused looks as we entered a bar area the size of a postage stamp looking for the rest of our party. The dining area itself, however, retains the same general vibe of murals on the walls and wooden tables. A little more ornate than family-spaghetti-night at Buca di Beppo, but still inviting and unpretentious. (more…)
January 28, 2010
When Web-Op moved into its first offices, the Falcon’s Roost was right across the road, having been there for about 200 years. A death in the owners closed it for several months, and it re-opened with a decidedly less dank and bar-like atmosphere.
Much of the small dividers, and all the booze bottles went, and now there’s a few small posters of aviation fairs, and an endless movie of small aircraft being projected on the wall. It’s a more welcoming place than the original Roost, but it seemed to be as short-staffed as ever. Only 4 in our party, a fairly empty room, and we still had to wait for a menu.
The Roost has also scaled back their menu– many of the Mexican dishes and breakfast items are away, leaving a few American standards and a custom burger or two. It still seems like a very old menu, where nobody wants to offend anyone, so they make two cuisines.
I chose the patty melt. It was my favorite at the old Roost, and it seemed largely the same– big patty, onions, sort-of rye bread. While I had to get it re-cooked (it was initially a bit raw, for hamburger– scary!) the finished meal was fresh and crunchy, with very home-style french fries. It was reasonably priced– about 7.50– for an American style diner.
While the service was slow, they were attentive and polite when we sent back stuff. It’s all we can hope for, realistically. They also did better after the order was made. Our orders were correct, and came together.
The Falcon’s Roost fills in a local niche: reasonably-priced food not even an 85-year-old would fear, but still more vital than the Iowa Cafe. I hope they can thrive with their new layout and target market.
I had the sense this place was trying for the wholesome-meets-sports-bar vibe with the chalkboard wall of specials and the cutesy casino theme. The overall space is fairly cramped, with a sit-down bar and many small corners packed with tables.
While our party of ten was seated quickly, it seemed like no real accomodations were made for parties over six or so.
While much of Lucky Lou’s selections seemed conventional American, there seemed to be a lot of gaps on the menu. All the sandwiches seemed to follow a basic theme, and there were few entrees. A large focus was on burgers, and much of the lunch menu was soup-and-small-entree offers. However, the narrowness in some sections was compromised with exotic appetizers, suggesting sports bar again: meat skewers and fried zucchini were tried by the others eating today.
I chose the fish special. It was three large, freshly-fried filets, served with a red-cabbage coleslaw and a vegetable selection. I asked for the steamed vegetables, as a fat balancer, and was saddened to see broccoli only. It was topped, for no aim save to make it fatty, with shaved cheese, but was otherwise fine.
Another diner ordered a salad, which was the size of a satellite dish; the main aim of the restaurant seems to be to overwhelm with size, not inexpensive offers. The lunch special (walleye) was over $12. It might work in Lou’s fancy Chandler area, but I’m a Mesa hick.
Our orders came out erratically, but the service was fairly fast. Drinks didn’t seem to be intensely monitored, but on a cold, rainy day, who wants more Coke?
While Lucky Lou’s doesn’t offer much to email home for now, it could improve easily– a little wider menu, a little healthier menu, and it would draw more easily.
November 24, 2009
Mi Amigo’s has moved up in the appearance department- less frills and random decor, more of a tidy, moderately expensive place.
However, once we were seated, the impression failed. A laminated, child-proof menu, and crude tortilla chips, made of a half-tortilla each, didn’t make the grade. (more…)
November 13, 2009
Silke’s is crammed next to a closed WaMu branch beside a likely soon-closed Basha’s. It formerly held Florodino’s, a low-end Italian place, and some of the general look– leather booths, nicely done up tables– seems left behind. The walls have a small scattering of Cracker Barrel style doodads, making Silke’s seem a little higher up-market than other American places.
October 24, 2009
It seems Hot Dogs and More has become our default “penalty choice” when alternatives aren’t given. It’s still a narrow location stuffed with local business’ advertising cards.
As a self-service location, our orders were taken reasonably quickly, but we simply can’t seat 8 in one group.
October 9, 2009
They spent a lot of money furnishing Flancer’s. Framed vintage posters and large plasma televisions dominate the walls, and nicely finished wooden tables and fresh booths fill the room. However, it was still difficult to find a seat for eight; we were wedged into a booth really best meant for six.
October 2, 2009
Wasn’t this place Monte Cello’s last week? Or a Mexican place a year ago? A lot of places have come and gone from this location in the Target centre at Brown and Power.
The inside is much more elaborately decorated than you’d expect from the strip-mall surroundings: tiled floors, faux-finish internal walls, and formica tables to look like marble. Even the necessary LCD TVs were out of the way and looked tasteful.
September 25, 2009
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While Ted’s is very clean, although heavily decorated with Best of Phoenix awards and pennants for Buffalo-area sports team, you can’t shake the feeling it was another fast-food place in the past. The bolted down benches and wood-panel walls do it.
Notable touches include many awards from local school fundraisers and a box of “borrow and read” copies of the Buffalo News. They’re really pushing their heritage– supposedly 75 years in Upstate New York, and one location, strangely, in Tempe.