Tag Archives: Restaurants I like less

Maxwell’s East Coast Eatery: Good Lunch, Slow Service

If you’re in a hurry, do not try Maxwell’s East Coast Eatery.

Situated just north of fourth south on Main Street in Salt Lake City, Maxwell’s is an obvious stop for the downtown crowd. Occupying the corner of the building, Maxwell’s is lots of polished wood, a central bar, large televisions, and high stools. It’s an attractive place, and, in retrospect, the food was pretty good, too.

Just don’t come in a hurry.

We hit Maxwell’s for lunch, and when the waitress offered, within a minute of our arrival, we jumped at the lunch special–our choice of one of four types of salads and one of four types of sandwiches. For just $5.

Nice deal, eh?

It is. If you can get your food in less than 45 minutes, which we did not. To boot, as we waited, we watched our waitress approach and try to hand us our check…before we had been served our food.

Awkward moment, to say the least.

On to the food. I order a Caesar salad and a chicken parmigiano sandwich. The sandwich was a tender piece of chicken parmigiano with a marinara sauce on sliced Italian bread toasted in butter. It was tasty, and not too large, either.

The Caesar salad was a good side, drenched in dressing, and added a god green to the menu.

Final analysis? Good food, less than average service. I’ll go back at least once more to try their pizza, though. I’ve heard great things.

Service: 5/10
Atmosphere: 7/10
Food: 15/20
Parking: 5/10
Eat-ability Quotient (an average of scores):  6.4/10

Check out my other restaurant reviews here. If you have a restaurant you’d like me to try out, please contact me by sending an email to SLCWeekendReviews@gmail.com.

Maxwell's East Coast Eatery on Urbanspoon

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K-Rico Peru: Salty, Rich, and Worth a Try

It’s almost hidden, squished into a strip mall just down the street from Home Depot on Third West, and I had to drive by twice before I could find it. K-Rico Peru.

I’m glad I did, though I may not go back too soon, which I’ll explain.

With large televisions blaring news from Peru (because that’s how you make a place feel Peruvian, I suppose), I found a seat in the clean and tidy dining room up front as soon as I walked in. It was a little before the lunch hour, and we were the only gringos in the room. (That changed later, but for a while…I only heard lots of Spanish buzzing through the air).

The waitress was quick and courteous. She came with drinks, as well as a tray of a sauce, or two sauces, I guess, as well as some roasted corn nuts. It’s been years since I’ve had corn nuts, and I’ve never had them fresh roasted. I liked them, though I found dipping them in the sauces more messy than I cared to try more than once.

For the entrée, I ordered the Lomo Saltado (I think?), a richly flavored dish of steak, chicken, fresh tomatoes, shrimp, and onions on a bed of hot fries. The flavor was a salty cumin that seemed to permeate everything on the plate. It was a ‘hot’ kind of spicy, but it certainly was not gentle, either. The meats were well marinated and for the most part tender. I hadn’t noticed that the meal would come on a plate of fries when I was ordering, but the fries were a welcome addition.

The meal also came with a side of rice, and I welcomed the bland flavor to balance the intense saltness of the Lomo Saltido, as were the tomatoes. Filled with wedges of fresh red tomatoes, they were an almost fruity contrast to the salt of the rest of the meal.

My gripes are few, but they are two-fold: first, it was a large plate, but I only found three shrimps. What gives? Second, the flavor, while rich and exotic, was almost too heavy and too salty. I found myself downing my water faster than my meal. (which, fortunately, they kept full).

One last note: apparently they do karaoke on Saturdays at 7 PM.

Service: 7/10
Atmosphere: 5/10 (because the t.v.s were large and set to Peru news…in Spanish)
Food: 12/20
Parking: 8/10
Eat-ability Quotient (an average of scores):  6.4/10

Check out my other restaurant reviews here. If you have a restaurant you’d like me to try out, please contact me by sending an email to SLCWeekendReviews@gmail.com.

K-Rico Peruvian Grill on Urbanspoon

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Edo Kitchen: it’s West African cuisine, you know?

West African cuisine tastes as West African cuisine tastes…and if you don’t like it, you better acquire the taste or go eat somewhere else. (Might I recommend Oh, Falafel! just down the street?)

But what is it and what does it taste like?

Hidden in the back of a strip mall just off of 2100 South, Edo Kitchen looks and feels like something right off the streets of Nigeria or Ghana. The tables are of the wobbly, folding type, covered with an inexpensive white plastic.  The walls are painted in yellows, reds and greens. The lighting is low, mostly for lack of lights, and comes from natural lighting through the smallish windows.  The proprietor is a round, smiling character who is eager to please.

Looking around at the “restaurant on the cheap,” I couldn’t help but feel like I was in an African country.

The food: definitely a departure from what I am used to. I ordered the Egusi Soup with Fufu, which the proprietor called yam. It was served in the styrofoam bowls that you can pick up at any grocery store, and not the expensive type. It was a slightly spicy soup with spinach and some kind of meat described as having shrimp and beef.  I liked the flavor. I didn’t like the meat. Also, it was very oily.

The fufu? Starch city. It was giant blob of white starch. Designed to be dipped in the soup, I tried it. A few times. But I couldn’t get past my western predilections that I was dipping dough into the soup (piping hot dough, at that). I had a hard time enjoying it.

Do you like West African cuisine? Then I think you’ll enjoy this. My lunch partner, who has had it before from other West Africans, says it is authentic.

Looking for a more conventional (and safe) meal? Then pick something a little less “ethnic.” This isn’t the place for you.
Edo Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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Bear Paw Cafe: Not Worth Waiting In Line

If it weren’t for the wait, Bear Paw Cafe might be a decent breakfast.

Heck, their Bear Paw French Toast — fresh “egg bread” an inch and a half thick stuffed with either spiced apples, vanilla bruleé  cream or chocolate bruleé  cream–is a good breakfast. The hash browns are freshly made and sans a decent dose of grease. Pancakes are pancakes, and Bear Paw pancakes at least pass muster.

The fun stops there. Ignoring the wait to get in the door, because you can begrudge good business, once in, we were quickly seated, then watched as they sat someone next to us…took our order…took their order…brought their order…then brought their check…

…and still our food hadn’t arrived. The folk next to us were packing up before our food was served.

At the end of the meal, it was all we could do to get our waitresses attention for water refills or anything else. Finally, we finished, and waited some more…and more…

At the end, we got up and walked out while one our party ambushed another waitress to pay our check. Even this girl nearly blew us off. Guess no one wants to make money?

I’ll give the Bear Paw credit: they run a busy restaurant. But their organization was lacking, their service was horrible and negligent, and it’s unlikely I’ll be back.

And no, this wasn’t a one time problem. I’ve eaten at the Bear Paw thrice, twice more than I needed. Food was fair, but the service was not.
Bear Paw Coffee Co on Urbanspoon

Philly’s Cheesesteak & More: Emphasis on the “more”

What you get? A random selection of near ethnic foods as well as one selection of cheesesteak.

To be sure, it is not a shabby selection. Even the cheesesteak is suitable.

And here it is:

It almost looks right, eh?

And it almost is. The meat is chopped steak, the cheese is drizzled on, and the toppings are appropriate. My complaint? The bread seemed to overwhelm the meat.

Sadness. Ergo, I will continue to look for a better cheesesteak.

Philly's Cheesesteak & More on Urbanspoon

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