Tuesday, March 24, 2009

American Pie pleases taste buds, lacks television

A trip to an authentic pizza parlor near Bainbridge would seem impossible, especially with the sparse amount of good dining in the area. But, if you want to taste what real pizza tastes like, you've got to try American Pie Pizza.If you don't have time to wait on lunch, you can always call it in. I'd come inside to pick it up though, because the drive-in window isn't big enough to get a pizza box through, which means they have to turn the box sideways (which makes the hot cheese run to one side).Besides the humor of not having a window big enough for pizza boxes, American Pie is a great place to eat.

They also have menu that includes pastas, salads, hot wings, sandwiches and you guessed it, pizza. You can order it by the slice or by the pizza. Their 28-inch extra large pizza would be great for a Super Bowl party, or just having a good time with friends. The pizza is the best in Bainbridge and it's the only place you can get a pizza so big you could float on it down the river.

I had two slices of pepperoni that were hot out of the oven and dripping with melted cheese and covered in pepperoni. Each slice is so large that it takes up an entire plate by itself.

My lunch partner had the breadsticks and a drink for under $4. There were so many breadsticks that it took two plates to get them on. He said they were covered in garlic and butter and were full of flavor.

Not only is the food good, but the employees at American Pie are friendly, and usually good-looking. So, even if the food wasn't spectacular, which it is, then it'd still be worth going there to eat.

There are TVs in American Pie, but they aren't hooked up to any cable or anything, there just there. So, don't go there for the big game, or any game for that matter. Unless it's in the parking lot outside, you won't be able to watch it.

And Since they serve beer, you could always get hammered on your lunch break. But, I wouldn't recommend it with jobs being hard to come by these days.

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Friday, March 20, 2009

The Landing serves good food, good drinks and a good time

Wednesday nights at the landing there are $2 10-wing baskets and $5 pitchers of beer. But, I know what you're thinking? "The Landing serves food?" The answer is yes, and it is actually delicious. I would've never thought a bar would serve good food, but the hot wings are excellent. I'd say they are better than any wings in Bainbridge, and rival some of the best I've ever tasted.

Now I know you're thinking, he must've drank too many of those $5 pitchers and got tanked so anything would've tasted great. That my friend is incorrect. I did have a few mugs of beer, which were served in a frosty mug, but I did not get "tanked."

After the wings I even ordered curly fries thinking they could've just gotten lucky and had one good thing on the menu. But the curly fries were good too, especially with the ranch dressing that comes with the wings. You'll have to ask for it with the fries, but the friendly waitresses/barmaids will glady bring it out to you.

Some might think The Landing is kind of a sketchy hang out because of the recent bottle busting which went down there. But on Wednesday nights it's just a laid-back restaurant that happens to serve $5 pitchers. Of course there's always the one guy so hammered he can't stand up because he is staying at the hotel that night. But, hey, at least he's not driving.

So if you want a good place for a quick bite to eat, and maybe a cold beverage, the Landing is the place to be. It's located at the bar inside the Charter House Inn on Tallahassee Highway.

If you're really looking for a good time come on the weekends for karoke until 12 when the whole town shuts down. Then you'll have to go to Pud's to get your kicks.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Betty's serves cheeseburgers, sweet tea and good service

Betty's Cafeteria in Bainbridge has a buffet every lunch and breakfast Monday through Friday and you'll probably never enter the place without most of the tables being filled. There's even quite a few folks you'll see every day, rain or shine.

It may be because of Miss Betty's down-home recipes or because the service is always great, but Betty's Cafeteria in West Bainbridge has been filling tables and glasses of tea for over 20 years.

I had a bacon cheeseburger because there was nothing on the buffet which I particularly cared for, but usually the buffet is the way to go.

You can get the cheeseburger alone but it is definitely better with the freshly cut fries piled high on your plate. There probably isn't anything healty to eat at Betty's, but that's why it's so good.

My burger was just off the skillet and the cheese was still melting off of the burger and toasted bun when it arrived at my table. It was so big and juicy that I thought I was going to have to change clothes before I finished it. But, I did manage to keep the excess on the table and not in my lap and only used about three rolls of napkins to stay clean.

As soon as your beverage has been touched at Betty's you can guarantee someone is going to ask you if you need a refill. That's just the way the service is at Betty's.

Fridays are usually fried catfish days and Shepard's Pie usually makes it on the line once a week as well. If you've never had any of the pie, it's something to write home about. Because you'll be staying for seconds and maybe thirds.

Next time I can give 2,000 calories to breakfast, I'll write about how good it is as well.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Laredo has better burrito, but it isn't on menu

If you really want a really good burrito, order one that isn't even on the menu at Laredo Mexican Grill in Bainbridge. The California burrito comes with steak, peppers, onions, sour cream and guacamole in a enormous tortilla covered in queso. But, it isn't on the menu - it's a special-order item. The steak was very flavorful and the peppers and onions were just off the grill. The guacamole was also very good as well. If you ask for the hot sauce to go with it, you'll get what my server called the "sauce for big muscular Mexican men." It is definitely hot, but it was also flavorful. The cashier said it was a mixture of habanero peppers and celery, and I was literally sweating when I was done.

The chips and salsa were good, but I'd rather have fried sliced tortillas than the chips that come in a box and are just dropped in. When they come free with your meal you can't really complain that much. The salsa it comes with is pretty hot, but you can ask for the "hot" sauce if you dare. You'll get the same kind I had with my burrito that will definitely have you think twice next time.

Their queso that comes with the chips is good, but it isn't anything special. Since it costs extra to get it, I'd just stick with the chips and salsa.

The service at Laredo is outstanding, as always. You are greeted when you enter and the servers continually check on you and your meal. They are always friendly and try to get to know every customer that enters.

If you want a good meal with a good atmosphere, you should go to Laredo. If you're looking for a good time, you should go to Laredo after 9 p.m. for the bar and pool room.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Beef O'Brady's cares about good service

A buffalo chicken wrap is always a good choice, so it's what I ordered at Beef O'Brady's at the Port City Shopping Center. I didn't know the wrap was toasted, but it was, and it was ten times better than it would've been without being toasted. The chicken was dripping with sauce and the tomato and lettuce were fresh as well. There was some kind of weird cheese flavor, which I guess would've been the Parmesan, because I asked for no blue cheese, but the wrap was still good. Even better if you like Parmesan cheese with your buffalo sauce.

Even though the wrap was good, I think the curly fries were better. It's not like they are hard to make since I'm sure they come pre-packaged and you just drop them in the grease, but they are delicious. When you dunk them in the Beef O' Brady's ranch dressing they are even better. I ordered Diet Coke to drink and our waitress, as well as another waitress who noticed I was low, kept our drinks filled.

My lunch date said his lunch was good. I say lunch date instead of compadre because in the past week 90 percent of our servers have asked if our meal was together or separate. He had the Waterson which is a roast beef sandwich with Swiss cheese on toasted rye bread. He had the curly fries as well, which cost a buck extra, but they're worth it.

The televisions at every booth are nice. Even though I'm not much for TV, I was glad to get caught up on Sportscenter while I was there. I couldn't help but think of all the buffalo sauce covered fingers that have to be wiped from the screens daily. They were clean.

A shocking experience also occurred during my lunch. The manager came to see how our food was. That doesn't happen often, but every time I've eaten at Beef's the manager has came to see about our service.

The meal was right at $10, but the portions were heaping and the service was excellent. It didn't take too long to get our food, and it was made steaming, fresh to order.

Needless to say, I'll probably go back. But I think I'll have a PB&J tomorrow since my lunch partner forgot his wallet and I caught his tab too.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Port City Deli is pricey, not spicy

Oh great, another sandwich shop in Bainbridge. Anyone can make a sandwich at their own house for a fraction of the cost of one from any deli in town. But, at least at Port City Deli, in the Inland Port Shopping Center, your $8 sandwich-chips-and-drink meal will be good. They serve Coke products, which I guess is a Southern thing, Pepsi really tastes better, but that's just me.

The place was packed when we arrived at 12:15 and every table in the joint was full. Fortunately for us, some folks knew we were important and evacuated their seats before we had to kick them out. More patrons continued to flow in even after we sat down and the place kept rocking until around 1:15 when it looked like a ghost town.

I had the El Diablo sandwich, because it sounded cool and because I like spicy food. It was rather small for an $8 combo, but it did fill me up, so I can't complain too much. It consisted of a freshly baked hoagie bun topped with grilled chicken, jalepenos, picante sauce, mayo and jack cheese. It was far from the Diablo, not being very spicy at all, I'd give it an El Diablito - maybe. Either way it was tasty, just not as menacingly spicy as I had hoped for.

My lunch compadre (I call him compadre because we're already in Mexican mode with El Diablo) had the Godfather sandwich combo. It consisted of the same hoagie bun with roasted turkey, ham, salami and pepperoni, melted provolone cheese, the garden and Italian dressing. He said the sandwich was tasty, but for a name like Godfather it didn't amount to much. He suggested they name it Santino, for the Godfather's hot-headed son.

It took a while to get our food, but it was made to order and our server was friendly. They do serve Miss Vickie's potato chips which are premium chips with a premium taste. If you've never experienced them, you'll have to try them next time. You can also choose potato or pasta salad as your side. I didn't get to taste them, but I was kind of upset my dill pickle spear didn't come with my sandwich like listed on the menu.

They do offer free delivery for orders for four or more people, which is good for all you drug reps trying to get the doctors full before you give em' the spiel.

I was pleased overall with my experience but couldn't help but notice most of the picture frames in the front of the store were crooked. I guess when you spend so much time making sandwiches, you don't sweat the little things.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cinda's serves good Mexican, who would've thought?

I hate that I haven't written a bad review in a while, but I haven't had anything bad lately. Which is good since a few years ago I could've written a bad review everyday in Bainbridge.

But, we had Cinda's on the Square yesterday and the special was a $6 taco salad and drink combo. I figured since it was only $6 it'd probably be an itty-bitty taco salad, but it wasn't. It was an overflowing taco salad full of so much chili and cheese you couldn't see the lettuce and tomatoes, and the taco shell itself was freshly fried, not one of those pre-ordered shells that are stale and chewy. It didn't come with a salad dressing so I requested ranch, but then I didn't need it after all because there was so much flavor already on the salad.

Being the only people in the restaurant at one time made me wonder if we were going to pay for trying out something nobody else was eating. But, it was delicious. Our waitress, Jennifer, was very nice and came and checked on us very often. She kept my Diet Coke filled, with an extra sitting next to it in case I was especially parched that day.

My food review cohort ordered the Willis Park Burger with bacon and no cheese, well-done. He described it as good, but not great, (I think he just ordered it overcooked, it needs to be bloody to be good) but the fries were very good. It came topped with fresh lettuce and thinly sliced tomato. The bacon was also cooked to order and added a mouth-watering flavor to the burger.

You might have to wait 10 or 15 minutes on your food, but it's because it's cooked to order, not before you get there. If you don't want to wait that long, you can always call it in.

Probably the most memorable thing that happened was a patron that entered and asked what time the bar opened. Is there really nothing to do on your off day that you've got to start drinking at 11:30 a.m?

Overall, the food was good and our server was great. I'll be going back as an off-duty reviewer to enjoy more of what they have to offer soon.