When traveling, my wife and I tend to mostly eat in restaurants or get take out food. Our Christmas vacation was no exception. We had a few quite good meals and a lot of fast food. Today I want to give a review of sorts of a couple of the standout restaurants. This is not a comprehensive review by any means, but a short look at our experiences with these two establishments.
On Wednesday December 22 my daughter Emilee treated us to dinner at the Longhorn Steakhouse in Lakewood, New Jersey. The place was nearly full when we arrived at about six in the evening, but we were seated immediately. The service was quick, efficient, and attentive.
I ordered a 7 oz filet that was served with very tasty honey wheat bread, salad, and steamed vegetables. The steak was perfectly prepared and melt in your mouth tender. The seasoning was very savory. This was one of the better steaks I've eaten. The vegetables had the right amount of crispness and an excellent flavor. At $18.79 this meal was in line with other restaurants of this caliber. The serving was adequate. I ate every bite and was well satisfied.
My wife ordered a Grilled Chicken & Strawberry Salad. This salad was a huge delightfully presented mixture of grilled chicken breast served over mixed field greens with strawberries, grapes, mandarin oranges, candied pecans, red onion, feta, and raspberry vinaigrette. She loved it, but was not able to finish it because it was so big. At $11.99 I'd say this was a good deal for a high quality salad like this. Too bad they don't offer a half size version for half the price for smaller appetites. This of course is something I would say about many restaurant meals.
The restaurant is clean with pleasant western-style decor and well lit, which makes it conducive for family or business dining. Perhaps not the environment for a romantic dining experience, but this is the kind of place I would prefer to go for the business of getting something good to eat for a price that won't make you feel a big void in your wallet.
I was looking forward to trying one of these restaurants again, but alas they are only located in the eastern U.S. I'll have to wait until next Christmas I guess, or whenever it is I'm back east again.
It's a family oriented chain that offers home-cooking with a gourmet touch. I'd been told about how busy these restaurants get and I believed it everytime we'd passed a location during business hours and saw the full parking lots. Our family dinner was set for 4 P.M. hoping we'd beat the crowds. We still had to wait--the place was packed. However our wait was only about fifteen minutes and once seated the waitress was very accommodating to our needs.
The food was quite good-tasting and seemed of excellent quality. My wife ordered a lemon-pepper chicken breast for $7.99 and I had tilapia in a mango salsa. Both meals came with two sides with a fine selection from which to choose. My sides were carrots and cole slaw. Everybody had a healthy portion and no one went home hungry. The price is right at Cheddar's and it's easy to see why the place is so popular.
Have any of you eaten at either of these restaurants? What's your opinion? What have you heard from others?