Archive for November, 2008

McDonald’s Review – Fishers

November 29, 2008

Restaurant: McDonald’s
Location: Fishers, IN
Address: 8907 E. 116th Street  Fishers, IN 46038  Map This on MapQuest
Menu: McDonald’s Menu
Type: Fast Food American
Loyalty Program: None Known
Today’s Meal: Big Mac, Fries, Soft Drink
Cost: About $5.00

I’m not sure when McDonald’s raised their prices around here, but it definitely happened at some point.  Fortunately, this was a very good Big Mac meal today.  The sandwich was excellent with the perfect amount of special sauce, and the french fries were near perfect with being warm and having just the right amount of salt.

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Qdoba Review – Fishers

November 28, 2008

Restaurant: Qdoba
Location – Fishers, IN
Address – 8971 E. 116th Street  Fishers, IN 46038  Map This
Menu – Qdoba Menu
Today’s Meal – Vegetarian Nachos, Soft Drink
Cost – Around $8
Type – Fast Mexican Food
Loyalty Program – Qdoba Card

Going through the line at Qdoba, the workers were quite friendly today.  They also layered on plenty of toppings that I had picked out.  Everything was quite fresh when I sat down to eat my nachos layered with black beans, mild salsa, queso, lite sour cream, rice, and shredded cheese.  This is definitely a good combo!

The one complaint that I have about the meal today was that the soda fountain machine must have ran out of syrup on the Diet Coke.  When I got a refill, I was shocked with the awful taste of carbonation without any of the Diet Coke syrup.

McAlister’s Deli Review – Fishers

November 23, 2008

Restaurant: McAlister’s Deli
Location: Fishers, IN
Address: 8355 East 116th Street, Suite 101  Fishers, IN 46038
Menu: McAlister’s Menu
Type: Deli
Loyalty Program: None Known
Today’s Meal: Taco Salad, Soft Drink
Cost: About $10

Today I ordered the Taco Salad, which as you know from my previous McAlister’s Post, I really enjoy.  Today’s was not quite as good for two reasons though.  One was that I asked for no jalapenos, and yes, you guessed it, it came with jalapenos.  This wasn’t a real big deal though because they were easy enough to pick off.  And second, after I was finished eating the taco salad, I felt like the chili they used had been laced with a large dose of Phillips’ Milk of Magnesia, if you know what I mean.  I have never experienced this after eating this meal before, so I’m not sure what the deal was.  Hopefully next time will be better!

Want to fix a taco salad at home?  Enjoy this simple Taco Salad recipe courtesy of Paula Deen!

Mitchell’s Fish Market Review – Carmel

November 21, 2008

Restaurant: Mitchell’s Fish Market
Location: Carmel, IN  Clay Terrace Shopping Center
Address: 14311 Clay Terrace Blvd, Suite 100  Carmel, IN 46032
Menu: Mitchell’s Menu
Type: Seafood
Loyalty Program: None Known
Today’s Meal: New Orleans VooDoo BBQ Shrimp, Maryland Crabcake Sandwich, Fries, Cole Slaw, Soft Drink
Cost: About $25

Today was a late lunch at Mitchell’s Fish Market.  First off, the host/hostess was amazing.  They not only let us choose the table that met our group’s needs for dining, but they also were attentive in seeing if we needed any help while we were getting everyone situated.  The server was also superb.  All our food came out at perfect intervals with the bread, appetizers, and main dishes, refills were presented before we needed them, and they were knowledgeable and very friendly.

First I ate the complimentary bread.  I believe that it is a sourdough type of bread, and it is very good.  They also serve a whipped butter with this.  Next the New Orleans VooDoo BBQ Shrimp came out.  This is very good.  It’s shrimp, with a sweet-tangy type of BBQ sauce and then a piece of bacon wrapped around the shrimp.  A small scoop of white sticky rice is in the middle of the plate with 5 of the shrimp fanned around.  I always find myself wanting more of these delicious shrimp!  Finally, the crabcake melt sandwich arrived.  This is a really good sandwich.  It is served on an English muffin and has a tomato with a slice of cheddar cheese melted over.  Onion is also on the sandwich, however mine came with only a small sliver.  Sometimes a side of tartar sauce is served, but if not, I always ask for some.  This adds a very nice zest to the sandwich.  The one thing about this sandwich is sometimes when I bite into it, I get little crunchy pieces.  I used to think it was bits of the crab shell, however now I’m wondering if it is just the edges of the crabcake where it has been cooked to a crisp.  That definitely makes me happier to think of it that way!  The fries in the past have been excellent, however this time they lacked enough of the sea salt that they use.  Other than that, it was a great meal with excellent service.

See if there’s a Mitchell’s Fish Market near you!

Macaroni Grill Review – Carmel

November 15, 2008

Restaurant: Macaroni Grill
Location: Carmel, IN
Address: 2375 116th East  Carmel, IN 46032
Menu: Macaroni Grill Menu (dinner menu for Carmel location, lunch menu also available)
Type: Italian
Loyalty Program: Mac Pack (Sign up on home page.  It says that you’ll get a free appetizer and other things.)
Today’s Meal: Bread and Oil, Create your Own Pasta of Four Cheese Alfredo Sauce, Capellini Pasta, Caesar Salad, and Soft Drink
Cost: About $16

Today I went to Macaroni Grill for lunch, and I immediately was seated.  A few minutes after being seated, I received my drink I had ordered as well as the complimentary bread loaf.  Here, they pour some Extra Virgin Olive Oil on a dish and grind some fresh pepper into it for dipping the bread.  Throughout the course of the meal, I requested two additional loaves of bread as it was so warm and fresh when it came out that I kept wanting more. 

I typically order off the Create Your Own Pasta menu when I come here.  They have other dishes that are quite good, but I really like a cheesy type of Fettuccine Alfredo which is what I can order off this menu.  You ask your server for a Create Your Own Pasta Pad, and you mark which type of pasta, sauce, meat, or extras that you want.  Some of the items are complimentary, while others cost more.  The menu denotes which costs more. 

First I got my Caesar Salad, and I must say that it is one of my favorite Caesar Salads out there.  The dressing and the croutons are just perfect to me.

The food came out at a perfect time after finishing off the salad, and it was really warm.  The sauce that I got on my pasta was four cheese Alfredo (which cost an additional $2), and I really like it.  When you are served your food, they ask you if you want freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and I always get that as well.

It was a great experience at Macaroni Grill.  The server was very polite, kept drink refills going, and was knowledgeable about the menu.  The food was equally as delicious.

Find a Macaroni Grill menu or location near you!

Red Robin Review – Noblesville

November 13, 2008

Restaurant: Red Robin
Location: Noblesville, IN  (Hamilton Town Center)
Address: 13215 Harrell Parkway  Noblesville, IN 46060   Location Map
Menu: Red Robin Menu
Type: American Food
Loyalty Program: E-Club
Today’s Meal: Red Robin Gourmet Cheeseburger (minus pickle relish), Fries, Soft Drink
Cost: Under $13

Today I walked right in and got seated immediately.  Today the character mascot ‘Red’, which is appropriately a red robin, was out and mingling with the kids.  We were seated near the kitchen, however it was not a negative experience as I would anticipate sitting near a kitchen at most restaurants would be.  I even got to see that the cooks and food preparers were wearing gloves while they worked which thrilled me to see.  The fries were still pretty bland steak fries (with a little seasoning on them), and my cheeseburger was pretty good.  My one complaint would be how my burger was cooked.  I had ordered a medium well burger, and mine came back with several pink areas still in it.  Each time I have ordered a burger from here, the toppings have been very generous.  They have especially put a lot of onion on, which suits me fine.

McDonald’s Review – McCordsville

November 10, 2008

Restaurant: McDonald’s
Location: McCordsville, IN
Address: 9707 Olio Road  McCordsville, IN 46040
Menu: McDonald’s Menu
Type: Fast Food American
Loyalty Program: None Known
Today’s Meal: Big Mac, Fries, and Soft Drink
Cost: About $5

Today I had intentions of going through the McDonald’s drive-thru line.  Once I arrived at this McDonald’s and saw the drive-thru line wrapped around the building, I knew that would not be happening.  This McDonald’s is typically slow when I come here, so with a line like that, you might as well forget a quick stop.  I decided to go ahead inside to get my order since the line was not backed up in there.  After waiting several minutes, with no one in front of me, someone eventually paid attention to me and took my order.  While waiting several more minutes before I got my food, a lady who had went through the drive-thru came in and was standing at the counter trying to get someone’s attention.  She was waiting a minute or two before anyone paid her any attention.  Apparently they had failed to put fries in her bag with the rest of her food. 

I finally got my food and went on my way.  The Big Mac was typical, but the fries were awful.  They were so bland, with barely any salt on them.  They tasted just like potatoes, similar to the inside part of an Ore-Ida crinkle cut french fry that you cook yourself in the oven.  I usually really enjoy McDonald’s french fries too, even if I do take them to-go and don’t eat them when they are still hot.

This McDonald’s seems to have gone down hill since they have opened.  I would like to know if they have changed ownership or management.  I remember when they first opened, they were quite friendly and efficient. 

Find a McDonald’s close to you!

Speaking of Ore-Ida french fries, who would have thought that the Ore-Ida website has an area with Ore-Ida recipes?!?  Use those fries in your freezer to whip up something good!

Don Pablo’s Review – Indianapolis

November 8, 2008

Restaurant: Don Pablo’s
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Address: 3824 E. 82nd St.  Indianapolis, IN 46240  Map This on Mapquest
Menu: Don Pablo’s Menu (Must Click on “Menu” Link on Home Page)
Today’s Meal: Create Your Own Combo – Pick Two – Two Cheese and Onion Enchiladas, Mexican Rice, Corn Meal Spoon Bread, and Soft Drink
Cost: About $10
Type: Mexican Food Chain
Loyalty Program: Habaneros Club (Must Click on “Habaneros Club” link for more information.)

Today was a very good experience at Don Pablo’s.  The server was very friendly and was very attentive.  They stayed on top of drink refills and my meal came out exactly how I had ordered it (even with a special request).  The enchiladas were very good, the rice okay, and the corn meal spoon bread was great.  I always save mine until the end, and it is a sweet way to end the meal without having to get dessert. 

I was quite pleased with my visit to this Don Pablo’s today as I have had a very unpleasant experience at the one in Westfield.  I had to wait there for about 20 minutes before my table even saw a server for the first time and was even asked what we wanted for our drinks.  Then it was another long wait before we actually saw our drinks.  That was just the start of the poor service.  The manager even came around after hearing about our situation but did not even seem that concerned about the whole ordeal.  This was at a very busy time of day for the restaurant, and I have had better experiences when coming to the Westfield Don Pablo’s at their off times when they are not busy.

Oh, and if you really enjoy the Corn Meal Spoon Bread like I do, the easiest recipe to get something really similar (although not a 100% match), is to go buy the Chi-Chi’s Fiesta Sweet Corn Cake Mix.  It is like a corn meal mix that comes in a pouch.  The back of the pouch tells you what ingredients that you also need to buy in order to make the Corn Cake.  At my grocery store, the Chi-Chi’s Fiesta Sweet Corn Cake Mix is located with items like taco shells and taco seasoning.  The Corn Cake makes a great accompaniment to a lot of the Mexican dishes that I make.  You can go to the Chi-Chi’s products site to see what the packaging looks like and to see what store near you carries their products.

Casler’s Review – Fishers

November 7, 2008

Restaurant: Casler’s Kitchen & Bar
Location: Fishers, IN
Address: 11501 Geist Pavillion Drive  Fishers, IN 46038   Map This on Mapquest
Menu: Casler’s Menu
Today’s Meal: Appetizer Sampler (Fried Cheese Sticks, Chicken Tenders, Fried Mac and Cheese, and Onion Rings), Four Cheese Ravioli, Garlic Toast, and Soft Drink
Cost: About $31
Type: Bar & Grill
Loyalty Program: None Known

First of all, the waiting area…if the place is busy, there is almost no where to wait for your name to be called.  It is a very small area, almost like a hallway because people are trying to come and go from multiple directions through a very narrow pathway.  So, on a busy night, prepare to get cozy with the person next to you while waiting.

I will preface this review by stating that, while $31 may seem like a lot to pay for a meal at a bar & grill, had I not shared the appetizer with others, I would have had enough food left over for a whole other meal.  Now, while the appetizer is definitely not one of the healthiest selections, it sure is good!  The onion rings have a really good flavor to them, and I also really enjoy the fried mac & cheese.  They are little fried triangles with mac & cheese all on the inside.  Now, the ravioli, I wasn’t so impressed with.  First of all, I was really hoping for a pasta on the menu with a cheese or alfredo based sauce.  However, this was the only pasta that I saw on the menu.  I decided to give it a try, and I really wasn’t into it.  It didn’t really have much of a flavor except some overwhelming spice that it seemed like they were trying to overdo in order to make it have some flavor.  There also wasn’t a whole lot of it in the dish for as much as it cost.  I easily finished it all after indulging in some of the appetizer.  I even ate both slices of ‘garlic toast’, which wasn’t very good either.  There wasn’t anything to it…it was something that I could have made without having any culinary creativity or spending any time on.  It was actually quite bland, and had I not read that it was garlic toast, I would have just thought it was plain bread that had been very lightly toasted.

I also wish the server would have been more friendly.  It seemed like they were ‘hot’ then ‘cold’.  At one point they seemed to be in a good mood, and then the next it seemed like things were not going their way or something.

I also was in a non-smoking section but still was able to smell smoke.  I realize that this is a bar & grill, but I thought that it was worth noting.

Qdoba Review – Fishers

November 6, 2008

Restaurant: Qdoba
Location – Fishers, IN
Address – 8971 E. 116th Street  Fishers, IN 46038  Map This
Menu – Qdoba Menu
Today’s Meal – Vegetarian Nachos
Cost – Around $7
Type – Fast Mexican Food
Loyalty Program – Qdoba Card

Today, I got the Vegetarian Nachos.  There were good overall, however the mild salsa was a bit runny today and made liquid puddles on top of the nachos.  Fortunately it did not settle down into the bottom and get the chips soggy.  Mostly, the liquid stayed on top of the cheese.  Not the prettiest presentation, but they still had a good taste.  The vegetarian nachos consisted of tortilla chips, black beans, queso, rice, mild salsa, shredded cheese, and sour cream.  I think some of chips that were used were from the bottom of the container because some were extremely salty.  Others had the perfect amount of salt on them though.  I typically really enjoy the tortilla chips from here.

Find a Qdoba near you!