Edward Hopper – Diner – I wish that I could paint…not. This fountain set up was in the back of an antique store in Oakland, Maryland. Ha! Old fashioned. Maybe it was an old “Five and Dime” at one point. Right now, it’s old and quaint. The staff were not wearing period costumes. That would have been cool. There’s one in Damarascotta, Maine. And the soda jerks dress to match. But Maine’s a long way to go from here. Hmmm. It was a girl who waited on us in Maine. What’s the female equivalent to a soda jerk?
Romano’s Macaroni Grill – there’s a difference when you have a good manager. I ate in the place in Wilmington. It was bad enough for me to write off the chain. Too bad. However, I was persuaded to try another branch in Frederick, MD. Better! Much! Enough that I will return. It’s not as good as the Filipino’s cooking in Jeddah. Hey! You ‘d never know the extent to which I would go to get something so simple as chicken parmesan. The other dish pictured is goat cheese stuffed pepper glazed with balsamic vinegar. Yes, I had a nice meal in a chain restaurant.
Here’s a place we ate in the same day as I saw the sushi place. It’s a tavern in an old 1764 building. The fare is American. So, I had the meat loaf. Boring? But you don’t order meat loaf in a sushi place either? The town is New Castle. It’s old and it’s got cobblestone streets.
It’s quaint and well worth a visit. Sometimes there is time to smell the roses. I’ve been busy lately. So, taking a break is a nice thing. The beer menu is a large library size book. I don’t drink. The food is solid. I lost my appetite there.
It’s random juxtaposition. I’m sure the two are unrelated. But it’s something to ponder and consider. They got an A. In NYC it means they passed the health inspection. No bugs or mouse droppings. Otherwise anything goes. I’m glad to know it.I haven’t eaten in the place. Too many restaurants, too little time…
Seen in a pizza bar – antler light chandelier. I like the light bulbs. The dead antlers are a bit disconcerting when you consider all the dead deer who gave up to make this chandelier possible.
I misread the menu. The symbol .30 was not alcohol content. The content was 17%. Yeah! It was the price! They served it up in a wine glass. It’s a craft beer brewed by Avery. I didn’t catch how special it was. It was served up in a wine glass because it’s “aromatic.” And, watch out for the “dregs.” To say the least, I was impressed by our bill at the end of a fine meal. And to be sure it was a memorable beer. If I had but known, I’d have taken a better picture. To paraphrase, “We drank our meal…”
Life’s short. I was not gonna return. But we were in Wilmington again. One more try and one more disappointment, don’t go back. It must be a slow day for posting. Romano’s Macaroni Grill – don’t do it. The cooks are tired. On Broadway they change the cast to refresh the show from time to time. Someone needs to do it here. I had a wonderful meal in Jeddah. But two tries in Delaware were overwhelmingly disappointing. The chicken was a bit better – flatter. But it was not good. And it was definitely not worth the try and for sure not worth another glance. Go somewhere else. I will.
It’s a chain – Romano’s Macaroni Grill. It’s struggling. It opened in 1988 and was sold as recently as 2015. Its value tanked in 2008 with the economic depression. There are branches around the world including Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Full circle. I was introduced to the restaurant when it opened in Jeddah in 2016. I’ve written about it. The restaurant is run by Filipinos. They don’t own it. They run it. Waiters and cooks, the Filipinos run the economy in Saudi. I’m not a fan of their ability to cook Chinese. But in this Italian place they did a bang up job. Great! The chain is in the US and upon returning, I located the nearest restaurant. It’s about 100 miles from home. We were traveling back from Boston and there was a restaurant in Hartford. Closed! Forever. The restaurant close to home was a bit out of the way and we arrived at 10PM an hour before closing. I know the chicken parmesan in Saudi. The cutlet is pounded flat and as large as your dinner plate. It’s covered in red sauce and mozzarella and cappellini pasta is layered beneath. The pasta is hot enough to burn you. The cutlet is crisp from the grill and the cheese is bubbling when the dish arrives at the table.
All of this explanation is the prelude to disappointment. Is it the local chef? Or did the restaurant quality control sheriff not visit recently. The cutlet was thick and dry. The dish was cold. The pasta was large spaghetti and covered with watery sauce. In short, this was a meal as unmemorable as I would expect from any fast food chain. Had I tried this restaurant location first I would never return. So to the sad new owners of Romano’s, wake up and pay attention to your place. You are failing. There are too many choices. And 100 miles is hardly a reason to make the trip. And I’m not going back to Jeddah. Talk to your Filipino chef there. He’s a lot better than your guy here.
Not quite. I’m not religious. Particularly. In Saudi this view does not fly. So, say nothing. I was advised to do so and for this particular time I did so. So there is no upcoming crucifixion. However, there is always a last supper. My last night in Jeddah, well next to the last, I ate out with the people who cared about me and meant most to me. It was “bye.” We had a very nice peaceful subdued dinner in a Korean restaurant. My circle was complete. I taught Khalid how to use chop sticks in about ten seconds. He’s good. I’ll be missed. And I will miss them. A lot of history was shared these past four years. To paraphrase – what happened in Jeddah, stayed in Jeddah. Or, if you have something nice to say do it. No one likes to hear complaints. To which I can only add, “We sure did some interesting shit.” Yes, that’s the operative word.
What lamb in Arabic? If you don’t know it will not help you to sat baa. Ogden Nash wrote about the language of dogs. They bark differently in different countries. Woof is not universal. French dogs do not necessarily “bow wow.”
When I arrived in Jeddah I could not speak Arabic. And I still cannot. Thankfully all the Filipino waiters speak English. We tried a Malaysian restaurant the other night. Tried. Failed. The staff looked vaguely oriental which meant to me that they were likely Filipino. Nope. My nurses were embarrassed. They could not speak with or get a translation for the menu. We were stuck in a place with cuisine I was not familiar and with no one to guide us. We went to an Indian place instead. My nurses have never eaten Indian food. Imagine? I ordered us up some good vittles. Mmmm….
This picture? I was in the mall. I saw someone eating. It was a stew that was eaten with fresh made flat bread. I went to order up some too. And the Arabic speaker behind the counter was mystified. We could not speak. At all. I pointed. He shrugged He asked in Arabic. I pointed. I said baa. I said moo. He smiled and shrugged again. I got beef. They don’t serve pork. And I never clucked.
Now? I get on the phone to my assistant. I tell him and he speaks on my behalf. A lot of hospital staff have asked me for help and I use this method to be sure I am understanding the problem. No, I did not learn enough Arabic to be conversant. Yes, I am shameful. I still eat well. And mostly Filipinos wait on me. I am not learning a new language but I have adapted. Bow wow.