Thursday, January 29, 2009

Yuki is fun to say, and better to eat

Yuki Express has a fun name to say. Especially since there are probably 75 different variations of its pronunciation in Bainbridge. It's really fun to pick on the people who can't say it correct, but that's neither here nor there. Yuki, pronounced "you-key," is delicious - even for a retrofitted waddle house. For those not familiar with Waddle House, it was the illegitimate child of the Huddle and Waffle House and has since grown up and left town in a duck-like fashion.

Though Yuki doesn't have the feel of a Japanese restaurant on the inside, the food is genuine. The sauce that comes with every meal is one of my favorites of any Asian cuisine (And they give you enough to float a boat in). Most of them taste similar, some mayonnaise-based concoction that if you found out how to make, they'd certainly have to kill you. Yuki's taste like thousand island dressing mixed with mayonnaise and sugar - but don't tell them I told you.

I had the Shrimp Soba, which consists of noodles topped with sauteed shrimp, broccoli, onions and zucchini. The meal is piled on the obvious Waddle-House-inherited plate which is oddly split into three sections. But, it's piled on there so high you'll never get to the bottom to notice that anyway. It's served steaming hot and fresh off the grille too. So, you definitely won't be eating it fast.

Our waitress, who obviously not Japanese, doubtfully Waddle House inherited though, was fast, friendly and kept my drink full. But the glasses are so big you probably won't be able to drink more than two. If you do and ask for a to-go cup, you'll receive a small Styrofoam cup suitable for a toddler - all it needed was a sippy top. (I think they might be discouraging to-go drinks)

One of the owners came to see how our food was while the other was busy cooking it for us. Where else do you get that kind of service?

I'm still trying to figure out how I received a stale fortune cookie, or even how one became stale. I think they may have ordered fortune tortillas on accident. But, the food is good, and the service is grand. Don't be afraid to ask for a to-go box for extras, and a to-go shot glass for a swallow of your tasty beverage.

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hardee's makes delicious omelet biscuit

After an early morning out, I decided it was best to end the week with an actual breakfast, rather than a banana. Usually the lines are long in the Hardee's breakfast line. But, I guess we were in luck this morning since deer season is over and the duck hunters hadn't made it off the lake yet. There wasn't a line at all, so I changed from my usual Loaded Breakfast Burrito for a Loaded Omelet Biscuit. Now, after realizing both menu items contained "loaded" in their titles, I feel I might have some subliminal craving for the word.

Upon our arrival the kitchen window was already filled with biscuits of every assortment - which I generally think is a bad idea. But, I guess Hardee's serves so many that they can spare to make them earlier than they are ordered. My biscuit tasted fresh as if it had just been rolled in the paper and slid into the window. A good thing about the Loaded Omelet Biscuit is that since it has 44 grams of fat, you can usually skip lunch! The biscuit was covered in layers of eggs, cheese, bacon, sausage and ham. It was really like they folded a giant three-egg omelet in half and stuck it on a biscuit.

The new potato wedges are also much tastier than the hash browns they used to serve with the breakfast combo. I'm not sure if I liked the biscuit better than the burrito, but my order is generally always hot and fresh at Hardee's.

The service was good this morning, but there have been mornings when I've experienced cashiers than didn't want to be at work and kitchen workers who wanted to argue with the cashiers. However, it seems on Saturdays they always have the cream of the crop working because of the morning rush.

You'll never find another place where separate groups of people meet almost religiously at the same time every morning. And what better place to meet than over a hot, fresh breakfast.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bainbridge Truck Stop has smoking-good burger

Today, I found another restaurant in Bainbridge that I'd never eaten at. I'd never even stepped foot on the premises. Partly because it is a truck stop, and partly because it's way out of the way for anything I'd be remotely close to. But, the truth is, it really isn't that far out of the city limits, especially if you live or work in West Bainbridge.

The Bainbridge Truck Stop on Highway 84 West, is a place where truckers and non-truckers collide. Apparently truckers like to smoke, so there is a smoking section which is separated from the non-smoking section by a glass wall and doors. Only, there are cracks at the bottom of the doors so you still smell the smoke in the non-smoking section.

Aside from my obvious vendetta against smoking sections, the food and service was great. I had a bacon cheeseburger, all-the-way, and fries. The cheeseburger was hot off the grill with freshly fried bacon and just melted cheese. The bun was nice and crisp and the lettuce and tomato were fresh as well. The burger itself was so over flowing with meat and toppings that it was hard to get a good bite. After I smashed it down really well I bit into it like a real meatatarian.

The fries the Bainbridge Truck Stop serves are the pre-packaged crinkle fries which aren't freshly cut daily like some restaurants. But, they didn't taste as store-bought as I figured they would. They weren't too greasy, and they weren't too dry. They were definietly hot, out-of-the-grease as well which made for a delicious ending to an excellent cheeseburger.

I had a Diet Pepsi in rememberance of all of the Team Lean readers who are lusting over an actual cheeseburger right now.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

An appreciation for dining, heaters

After a weekend of roughing it, we've decided that one should always appreciate dining out, even if the food or service isn't always the best. Three days of camping in sub-freezing weather and we've learned that food as we know it, wasn't always that easy. Cooking without electricity is a chore, even with a propane stove. One can only eat so many Vienna sausages before he or she would just rather not eat anything at all. With that being said, we just wanted to let our loyal readers (all five of you) know that we'll be back on the prowl this week for something you don't have to hunt down or catch on a rod and reel to eat.

Best wishes,
The Second Helping team

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Pond House pleases on every level

After a week of food faster than a Georgia running back, it was time to slow down for some grub that was really off the beaten path. So, I ventured out Spring Creek Road to the Pond House restaurant. I've lived in Bainbridge all my life, and sorry to say, I'd never eaten at the Pond House before. I figured it was about time to give it a shot. Although, it was a little farther drive than most places in town, it was definitely worth the drive.

Upon our arrival a little after 6:00 that evening, there was already a wait for a table. The Pond House opens at 6:00, so obviously somebody knew it was going to be crowded and got there early. But, there were so many tables it wasn't long before one became available - in the room where a children's birthday party was being held. Not being too keen on dozens of children screaming, we asked to be moved to the main room. We were graciously accomodated to a freshly cleaned table adjacent to the ever-inviting fireplace.

The menu selection isn't that great, but the quantities of food you get for your price is excellent. I had the fried oysters and catfish fillets combo with cheese grits and a salad. The salad was overflowing from the bowl when it arrived as an appetizer and it wasn't long after when our entrees arrived. Even with a packed house, the food was quick. The oysters and catfish were both stacked high and our server brought out a tray of cocktail and tartar sauce to go with it. They were both cooked just right and I could tell that it hadn't sat under a heat lamp for any length of time.

I also sampled a bit of the grilled pork chop which was the best tasting pork chop I'd ever put in my mouth. Even a half-order comes with a full, thick pork chop which is grilled to perfection with a bit of sweetness in every bite. I was sad that I hadn't ordered the pork chop after my sample, but I know what I'll be having next time.

Our servers were all well-mannered and well-dressed and kept our drinks filled with smiles on their faces. Even after we asked to be moved to another room, not one server even batted an eye as our request was granted. I was very satisfied with my visit and hope to return soon. Only this time I'll make sure to get their early, and most likely be dining on those delicious pork chops.

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Zaxby's drips with flavor, service

Welcome to Zaxby's! There, I said it. Because when you go to Zaxby's, you're going to get yelled at when you come in, just be ready. But, it's good to feel welcome, especially from employees who actually seem happy to be at work - a rarity these days. Even when my cashier took my order she seemed overly satisfied to be doing so. It might be because I'm such an attractive person, but let's be honest. Zaxby's trains their employees to be happy or go home.

The Kicking Chicken sandwich I had was bundled up ranch dressing and hot sauce goodness. Then you throw in the freshly buttered Texas toast and the never-frozen or pre-battered chicken fingers, and you've got yourself a sandwich that will make your taste buds beg for more, and your laundry room run low on Shout. The sandwich was so full of flavor it actually drips out onto your plate, lap, people sitting next to you, etc. Actually, it's not overdone, but there is plenty to pour out on your plate. Just give the sandwich a good squeeze before you take your first bite and you should be good to go.

The crispy, crinkle fries were freshly fried and covered in seasoning to make them great even without ketchup. But, since we've mentioned ketchup, the easy-pour spout instead of packets or that press-to-squirt mess, sure made life pleasant. You can tell it's not cheap ketchup either. There's nothing worse than having good fries and cheap ketchup. It'll make you wish you brought your own bottle.

So get yourself a kick in the mouth from Zaxby's and you won't be sorry.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sonic: Where even the Ocean Water tastes great

Since a long season of holiday travels was now over, it was nice to return home and eat all the leftover turkey for three weeks — but not really. So, off to find a good meal. The number one combo, add cheese to the burger, add chili and cheese to the fries at Sonic was great. The bun was fresh and so was the garden on top. The condiments were plentiful, but not pouring in my lap. The burger was good overall, but a bit dry. It's probably because the lunch rush was over and it was made at lunch, but it was still tasty even after sitting under a heat lamp for a while. When you can make a burger that's delicious an hour later, you're on to something.

The chili cheese fries were superb. Especially if you eat them second and let the cheese melt all the way to the potatoes. You can eat it with your fingers, but you may mistake a finger for a fry in all the mess, then you'd have an even bigger mess. So, be sure to use a fork, but I would suggest a real one and not the crappy plastic one you'll get with your meal. It'll just break and have you covered in chili that probably isn't going to come out of your shirt before your lunch break is over.

Another great thing about Sonic is that if you wait until 2 for lunch, it's happy hour and all drinks are half price. Only they don't serve alcoholic beverages or everybody would be there. However, they do serve some delicious drink blends including Ocean Water which is my personal preference. It sounds like a bad day at the beach when you get salt water up your nose, but it tastes a lot like Malibu rum and Sprite, just without the stumbling and inability to return to work after lunch. Even the ice is good. It beats your everyday-cubed ice you get most places because its the small barrel-shaped ice cubes that crunch perfectly in your teeth. If you don't know what I am talking about just try a drink for yourself.

As for the service at Sonic, it's usually fast and friendly. Since I ventured for the drive through this time, instead of the drive-up, I thought it might be different. But, the cashier was easy to understand and pleasant to talk to. She even thanked me for my purchase, something that is always nice to hear.

So all-in-all, I'd say it's a great place to grab a quick bite to eat. Just don't forget to grab a flavorful drink to go with it.

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