Wednesday, September 25, 2013

O'Leary's Restaurant & Pub

We have an O'Leary's in St. Louis that is co-owned by the actor John Goodman, but this restaurant is not related to that one. We were told this one is family-owned.

We ate here on a Sunday afternoon.  We were seated promptly.  Football games were on the big screen TVs.

Our meal started out with an appetizer. We chose a three appetizer combo which included wings, mozzarella sticks and onion rings.  We wanted to try their egg rolls, but they were out.

The appetizer.
The mozzarella sticks were a little cold.  The onions rings and chicken wings were good.

I ordered a half order of baby back ribs and fries.

The ribs had a really nice texture to them. They fell off the bone.  The sauce was a little sweet, but it was good.  I haven't had good ribs in a while, but these were very good.

Jeff ordered the baby back ribs (spicy jerk style) and shrimp dinner. His meal came with two sides, so he chose the spicy coleslaw and fries.
Jeff was surprised by the size and the amount of shrimp he received.  He expected maybe three and for them to be small.  He said they were really good.  His ribs were supposed to be spicy jerk, but they were plain.  He liked them, but agreed the sauce was a little sweet.

Our waitress was MIA after our appetizer came out. It took us a while to get our food due to this. Another employee brought out our food and filled our teas.  Our waitress did bring us our check. Maybe she was on break when she was MIA.

We enjoyed eating here and we may make another visit especially since their Saturday night special is baby back ribs and a salad is included.

O'Leary's Restaurant & Pub on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Los Rancheros

We had not heard a thing about this restaurant, but decided to give it a try.  It turned out to be our favorite Mexican restaurant in the area.

We were very surprised when we walked into a packed restaurant on a Saturday evening.  We really didn't expect that because we had driven by many times and never noticed a crowd.

The service was good, although the food was a little slow coming out.  I noticed that our waiter was not happy about the slow service from the kitchen.  We ate our chips and salsa while we waited, so it wasn't a big deal.

I ordered my regular meal at a Mexican restaurant which is a beef chimichanga.

The chimichanga was a little small, but it was good.  It had chunks of beef which I prefer over ground beef.

Jeff ordered something unusual and I can't remember what it is called.  I have looked over a menu that I found online and unfortunately it only gives names and not descriptions of the food, so I am unable to figure out what he ate.

Isn't it different?  LOL   It has chunks of cheese, beef, chicken, peppers, sausage, shrimp, onion and cacti.  Everything was whole, so he had to slice it himself.  Tortillas are provided to make it into a taco. His meal was huge.  He really enjoyed it.  They also have a seafood version of this and he wants to try that sometime.  Can you believe it?  We are going to repeat a restaurant!

Los Rancheros on Urbanspoon

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ruby Tuesdays

If you are regular reader of my blog, you know that we normally do not eat at chain restaurants that we have in St. Louis.  Why? Well, we like to try the local cuisine. We have not been to a Ruby Tuesday's in probably two years and I really wanted their croutons.  Have you had them?  They are so good!  A few years ago, I started making my own but haven't since we have been on the road.

Their salad bar is so good and now it is included with some of the meals.  It used to be an additional charge and that used to aggravate me.  The salad bar at the DeKalb location was really good. The food all looked fresh.  It was early in the day, but still.  The salad bar had the usual items along with potato salad, broccoli salad, pasta salad and coleslaw.

This is my salad creation.  Notice the black croutons.  Yum!
I ordered the rib-eye with a stuffed baked potato.  The rib-eye was thin, but had a nice flavor to it.  I enjoyed it.  The potato was good.  How could it not be good with butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon and green onions?

Jeff ordered the shrimp and baby back ribs.  He really liked the shrimp. They were wrapped in bacon.  He said the ribs were good.

I really enjoyed my meal.  I am hoping I can convince Jeff to make a return trip even though it is against our "rules" since it is a chain and we try not to repeat restaurants.

Ruby Tuesday Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

World Famous Pizza

We have heard good things about World Famous Pizza, so we decided to give it a try.  I tried to find a coupon, but wasn't able to come up with one.  I always look for coupons when I order pizza.

We decided to order the World Famous Can. You choose seven toppings.  We chose: sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, crumbled bacon and extra cheese.  Extra cheese counts as two toppings.  We ordered the 16".  The menu said it would serve 3-4 people, but they have never seen me eat pizza.  However, in this case, they were correct.  This pizza was huge and weighed a lot.

Jeff and I both agreed that it would have been better without the sausage.  We liked the pizza though.  It was a thin crust and didn't have too much tomato sauce.

We had enough leftovers for two more lunches for me.

I would order from here again. I just wish they included coupons on the pizza box.  This pizza was $24.

World Famous Pizza on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Nat's On Maple

We ate here on a Saturday night.  We almost didn't eat here because I thought the dress code might be dressier than what I like.  Since we are living in our RV, I do not own anything but jeans.  I was happy when we walked in and found other people in jeans and t-shirts.

A nice wall hanging inside Nat's.
Decor is nice.
We started our meal with fried dill pickles as an appetizer. I was really surprised by the price which was $8.25  The menu that I saw online showed the price as $5.95.  Jeff said maybe the lower price is their lunch price.  We went ahead and ordered them as I really wanted to try them.

Fried Dill Pickles
The order of fried pickles was huge!  The pickle slices were thick. They look like they were hand cut. They were very good.  The ranch dipping sauce was good, too.

The menu consists of a lot of comfort foods.  There is meatloaf as well as meatloaf sandwiches. They also serve steaks, hamburgers, seafood and pasta.  I decided to order a pasta and it took me a while to decide which one.  I chose the Chicken Saltimbocca which is fresh asparagus, mushrooms and crispy Pancetta tossed with penne pasta in a garlic Parmesan cheese sauce.

Chicken Saltimbocca
 The pasta dish was huge!  I ended up taking more than half of it home.  I really liked the mushrooms and asparagus.  It had a lot of cheese, but I thought it lacked flavor.  It needed something more.

Jeff ordered Crab Cakes.  He liked his food, but he has had better.  I told him he needs to order crab cakes in a seafood restaurant. 

Crab Cakes
Our meals came with a salad.  I thought the salad was really good.  The cherry tomatoes were really sweet.  The croutons were homemade and so good!

I really liked eating here and hope we can make a return visit.

Nat's On Maple on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 16, 2013

Al's Cafe

We were in Elgin, IL on Saturday.  An employee at a motorcycle shop said that Al's Cafe was the best place to eat in town.  It was just down the street from the shop, so we gave it a try.

Al's has indoor and outdoor seating.  We decided to eat inside.  The cafe has nice decor.  There are many black and white photos showing past activities in Elgin.

I ordered the Bacon Colby Burger.  Sandwiches come with chips, but I upgraded my order to fries for an additional $1.50. 

The burger was good.  It would have been better with a toasted bun.  :-)   I was happy to see that they were not skimpy on the fries.

Jeff ordered a Rueben Sandwich which had homemade corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and dijonnaise spread on pumpernickel bread.  He said it was really good, but not enough sauerkraut for him.

Jeff ordered a brownie to go.  It was big enough for two people and it was really good. Sorry, no picture of it.

We noticed that many people were drinking shakes or eating ice cream, so it must be good.

We enjoyed eating here.  The service was good and the prices were average.

Al's Cafe & Creamery on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 13, 2013

Rainforest Cafe

We ate at the Gurnee, IL location on a Sunday afternoon.  I figured the prices would be high due to all the decorations inside the restaurant.  The restaurant is made to look like the rainforest with fog, rain showers, aquariums and animals that come to life every 15 minutes. There is also a thunderstorm every 30 minutes.

 The restaurant is very dark.  If you look closely at the above photo, you may be able to see the tigers in the background.

We waited in line for about five minutes to be seated.  Our table was "under the stars".  We enjoyed looking at all the decor in the restaurant.

The service was quite slow.  Employees were plentiful and the manager was constantly running back and forth looking for empty tables. It seemed very unorganized.

I decided to just order a hamburger because the prices were rather high and I did not know if the food was worth the money.  I was correct.  The first bite of my burger was good.  However, the next bite was cold. 

BBQ Bacon Burger

Taste of the Islands - Coconut Shrimp, Blackened Tilapia, scallop and shrimp
The only thing that was hot on Jeff's plate was the scallop and shrimp.  He was quite disappointed since his meal with a beverage was almost $30.

No, we did not send our food back as we have seen on TV what happens at some restaurants when you send your food back.  The manager asked how our food was and I did tell her.  She said "I'm sorry."

Obviously, we will not be returning to this restaurant. This meal was one of the worst that we have ever had.

Rainforest Cafe on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Red Ox Restaurant & Bar

We have driven past this restaurant several times and decided to give it a try on a Sunday evening.

Fresh flowers are on each table. 
The restaurant serves a variety of items including steaks, chicken, pasta and pizza.  One of the specials when we were there was butt steak.  I had never heard of that, but the waitress said it was a sirloin.  I almost ordered it but decided to have a rib eye instead so that I could compare it to all the other rib eyes that I have eaten.

Our meal started off with a salad.  I asked the waitress if they had a creamy garlic dressing and she said they did.  I really liked the creamy garlic dressing at Sorrento's, so decided to have it here.  I think it might have been homemade here as it was very thick and lumpy.  I did not like it as it was really strong.

Salad with creamy garlic dressing
The rib eye dinner with baked potato.
The rib eye dinner was good.  It is one of the better ones that I have had recently, but it needed more seasoning.  I took about half home and had it in a breakfast burrito the next day. The burrito was really good.

Steak & Shrimp Combo- this is the sirloin butt steak with horseradish sauce.
Jeff said the shrimp was really good.  He liked the butt steak, but said he had a hard time tasting the horseradish.

We enjoyed eating here. Our waitress was very nice and attentive.  The prices were reasonable.  My meal was $22.95.  Jeff's was $17.95.

 Red Ox Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 9, 2013

Riccardi's Red Hots and Soda Fountain

I knew as soon as I walked by this place that I had to try it.  It is a 50's type diner.  It is located in downtown Sycamore, IL.

Orders are placed at the counter.

Isn't it cute?

The Menu
The menu is mainly burgers and hot dogs, but they also serve fried bologna, spam burgers and an Elvis burger (grilled peanut butter and banana) as well as several others. They offer a wide variety of toppings for your burgers and many are free.  They do charge extra for egg, bacon and mac & cheese as well as some other toppings, but the prices are not high. 

They offer some unusual side items like fried mac & cheese and broccoli cheddar bites.

I ordered a double cheeseburger with pickle, garlic mayo and ketchup.  It was so good!  The buns were toasted, which I love.  The burgers are thin, so I don't think I would want it as a single burger.  I loved the garlic mayo.  The fries were very good.
I was so excited that I added ketchup before I took the photo.  Sorry.  LOL
Jeff ordered a bison burger.  I didn't take a photo because it basically looked like my burger.  He said it was good.

We had pickle spears, too!  They were good.  They came with a ranch dipping sauce.

Pickle Spears
I really enjoyed eating here.  I am already planning a return visit.  LOL

Riccardi's Red Hots & Soda Fountain on Urbanspoon