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maryelizabeth's Profile

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Lola's Latin Bistro Metuchen NJ

We went to Lola's last night. Apparently it was the second night in their new location. The food was excellent. The service was the worst I have ever experienced at any restaurant. We had a 7:30 reservation, were seated fairly promptly, but our entree was not served until 10:15. Yes, two hours and forty-five minutes later.

I understand that getting used to a new space presents a number of challenges but really, it was the same menu. The real problem seemed to be that the restaurant was completely understaffed, and the staff that was there was young, inexperienced, and incompetant.

The head server came to our table at 10pm, offered a half-hearted apology for the delay, and offered to give us complimentary dessert and coffee. Really, and make us wait another hour? Not interested. Finally, at 10:30, the owner came out and offered to cut the bill in half. That was a much more reasonable offer, and one we appreciated.

The food was really quite good. We may be back (we were a group of six), but not until they've had plenty of time to work out the service issues.

Sep 18, 2011
maryelizabeth in New Jersey

Difficult group of ten looking for fabulous BYO between exits 116 and 138 on GS Parkway

Mojave Grill or Theresa's in Westfield. I've been to both with large groups and haven't had trouble with noise. Food is great at both.

Nov 10, 2010
maryelizabeth in New Jersey

If You Were Registering for Wedding Gifts,...

We have a wok that we use quite a bit. I think ours is from Williams-Sonoma. It has held up really well so far (11 years).

We also got a Belgian waffle maker from W-S, which only lasted about 5 years. We replaced it with a cheaper brand which is still going strong.

Sep 19, 2010
maryelizabeth in Cookware

Todai Restaurant (6 E. 32nd Street)

I've been to Todai a few times. The food is not too bad. There's a huge variety and it's a huge place, so tons of seating. It starts to fill up at about 12:30 for lunch on weekdays. My five year old son loves eating there and it's very kid-friendly. They have a nice dessert bar with fruit, jello, and little cookies and pastries.

May 17, 2008
maryelizabeth in Manhattan

What and where are your fave meals ever? Any price - high or low.

Williamsburg, VA: Baked ham sandwich with extra house dressing at the Cheese Shop.
Cape May, NJ: Sunday brunch at Alexander's Inn
Boothbay Harbor, ME: ploughman's lunch at Crump's Tea Room (no longer in business)

Jan 01, 2008
maryelizabeth in General Topics

The Spaghetti Social (Still Alive?)

My high school in Morris County, NJ used to do the exact same thing as a fundraiser for the music program. It was only a couple of times per year, though. It was the late-80's and I know it continued for awhile, but I don't know if they still do it.

Around here (Union County, NJ), pancake breakfasts seem to be the big fundraising event.

Dec 30, 2007
maryelizabeth in General Topics

Recs for meals for friend with cancer

Best wishes to your friend. My dad is currently undergoing treatment for lung cancer. I agree with the suggestions about comfort food. Even when my dad doesn't feel like eating much, a trip to Charlie Brown's (a local steak place) is appealing to him. He also likes to have grits (having grown up in NC).

Also, someone suggested to me for my dad that lemon sorbet helps "wake up" the taste buds that are dulled by the chemo. It seemed to help him quite a bit.

Dec 29, 2007
maryelizabeth in Home Cooking

As A Chowhound, What Did You Get For Christmas?

My parents gave my husband a book about cheese from Murray's cheese shop in NYC, the American artisinal cheese collection from Williams Sonoma, and a few boxes of Carr's crackers. Yum.

Dec 25, 2007
maryelizabeth in Not About Food

Help with SouthEast US Road Trip (VA NC SC GA) [moved from Not about Food board]

The problem with Smithfield is that it's not easy to continue north from there without either 1) driving out of your way back to an interstate or 2) crossing the James River on a car ferry. Having said that, though, I was going to suggest Williamsburg which is basically where you end up when you cross the river from Smithfield. There is a nice Christmas market in Colonial Williamsburg (boxwood wreaths and Colonial garden things, not so much food). There are also several good restaurants in W'burg. I actually like the colonial taverns...some people find them too touristy, but there are good modern restaurants in W'burg too.

Dec 07, 2007
maryelizabeth in General South Archive

What do Chowhounds do for a living (besides eat of course)? [old]

I'm a life insurance actuary in New York City.

Dec 01, 2007
maryelizabeth in Not About Food

Sat lunch near Madison Square Park?

Not much to eat between Penn and MSP. Lots of good Indian in Curry Hill...Lexington Ave around 28th St. There's also a Japanese place, East, on 3rd Ave. between 26th & 27th st.

Sep 28, 2007
maryelizabeth in Manhattan

Recs Near Short Hills NJ/JFK Blvd?

Winberie's on the corner of Springfield Ave and Kent Place Blvd in Summit. Try the cheese fondue appetizer.

La Foccacia on Morris Ave. is also very good if you're in the mood for Northern Italian.

I've also been wanting try the Indian place, Dabbawalla, on Springfield Ave. in Summit.

Sep 24, 2007
maryelizabeth in Mid-Atlantic

Recipes for starving college students?

Another easy crockpot recipe:

1 package of skinless chicken thighs and/or legs, depending on the size of your crockpot
1-2 cans of diced tomatoes (the kind with garlic and Italian seasoning is best)
1 can of tomato paste
1-2 cans of canned corn
Whatever other vegetables you like
Additional seasoning if it's not already in the diced tomatoes

Dump everything in the crockpot, stir to cover chicken with tomatoes. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Serve with rice or noodles.

Note: boneless chicken tends to get dried out in crockpots, so bone-in is best for this recipe. Skinless is best because there's no way for skin to get crispy; it just gets kind of slimey.

Sep 20, 2007
maryelizabeth in Home Cooking

Your favorite go-to recipe for kids

My 4 year old loves spaghetti and meatballs. We make lots of small meatballs at once and put them in the freezer. Homemade are so much better than the bagged frozen ones.

My son also loves gyoza (Japanese dumplings). They're a little time-consuming but otherwise very easy to make and they also freeze well. I use beef instead of pork or shrimp for the filling, and mix in cabbage and green onions. That way they get veggies, and by the time the gyoza are cooked you can't even tell there are veggies in there!

Sep 19, 2007
maryelizabeth in Home Cooking

subtle-tea (30th & Madison)

I walked past this place today but didnt have time to stop. Anyone been there? I only saw it from across the street, so I couldnt see what it was like inside.

Aug 22, 2007
maryelizabeth in Manhattan

What's good in Murray Hill?

Thanks for all the suggestions. I have been to Tabla and loved it. Will have to go back.

I assume Park Bistro is on the east side of PAS? Is the Park Avenue Country Club still on the corner of PAS and 27th? What's in the space that used to be the Globe in the middle of the block between 26th and 27th?

Aug 14, 2007
maryelizabeth in Manhattan

What's good in Murray Hill?

I'm going back to work in a couple of weeks in the Murray Hill area (27th and Park). I worked there for 10 years, but left 4 years ago. What's good for lunch now?

Loved the Curry Hill restaurants, as well as the Afghan place on 26th & 3rd(?). What are your favorite restaurants in the area? New places, or maybe someplace I've just forgotten about?

Aug 08, 2007
maryelizabeth in Manhattan

Current recommendations for Williamsburg, VA

Check the South board for more info. But, since you're here:

The Cheese Shop in Merchant Square for amazing sandwiches. Get extra House Dressing.

Nawab. Indian on Monticello Rd. in the Big Lots strip mall.
Chez Trinh. Vietnamese across the street from Nawab.
Fat Canary in Merchant Square. Haven't been there, but everyone raves about it.

Jul 31, 2007
maryelizabeth in General South Archive

Williamsburg,VA-ISO great fried chicken

Jul 29, 2007
maryelizabeth in General South Archive

Short Hills, NJ - Need recs in area

Winberie's in downtown Summit is upscale casual. They have a great Sunday brunch. There are several restaurants in downtown Summit that have outdoor dining. Also, on the way to the mall on Morris Ave (coming from Summit), La Focaccia is very good upscale Italian. No outdoor dining, though.

Jul 01, 2007
maryelizabeth in Mid-Atlantic

Taste of Thai Westfield 6/22/07

Laurie, where is this place? Do you mean Splash of Thai on South Ave.?

Jun 24, 2007
maryelizabeth in Mid-Atlantic

Kid-Friendly in Lancaster/Strasburg

That sounds perfect! We love all types of Asian food. All of the recommendations have been very helpful. Thanks! Keep them coming!

Jun 18, 2007
maryelizabeth in Pennsylvania

what are you eating right now?

Pad Thai. And popcorn.

Jun 17, 2007
maryelizabeth in General Topics

Kid-Friendly in Lancaster/Strasburg

My family (me, husband, 4 year-old, 20-month-old) will be arriving in Lancaster on Thursday and visiting Thomas the Tank Engine in Strasburg on Friday. We're coming from NJ via I-78 and staying at the Eden Resort.

Can you recommend a place to eat lunch on Thursday before we check into the hotel? Willing to drive a bit out of the way since we'll probably arrive well before the 3pm check-in time. Also looking for Friday lunch and dinner. We'll be staying in a suite, so take-out would work to.

Jun 17, 2007
maryelizabeth in Pennsylvania

Mario's Italian Deli in Westfield - Anything Happening?

Don't know anything about Mario's (although I, too have been looking for a decent Italian deli in Westfield). In the meantime, though, have you tried Zappia's in Summit? I love their sandwiches. It's right across from the train station on Union St.

Jun 11, 2007
maryelizabeth in Mid-Atlantic

Gaucho's in Westfield NJ - Any Details?

I've noticed it too, but I don't know anything about it. I hope it works out for them as I really miss Samba Grill, but that location on South Ave. is really awful. No convenient parking anywhere except right in front, and that's pretty dicey with all the traffic.

Jun 03, 2007
maryelizabeth in Mid-Atlantic

Salmon Chips?

Yes, beef jerky...that's exactly what they were like. Thanks.

Apr 26, 2007
maryelizabeth in General Topics

Truly family friendly restaurant finds in Williamsburg, VA

Second St. is very good, but it was remodeled recently and I'm not sure when it's supposed to reopen.

If you like Indian food, Nawab is excellent. Great lunch buffet for about $6. In the Big Lots shopping center on Monticello Ave., just off Richmond Rd. Across the street from Nawab is Chez Trinh, a very good Vietnamese restaurant. We've taken my 3 year old and one year old to both restaurants, and they're definitely family-friendly.

The Cheese Shop is my favorite restaurant in W'burg. It's right in Merchant Square.

Apr 26, 2007
maryelizabeth in General South Archive

Salmon Chips?

I was at a luncheon yesterday in the executive dining room of a large corporation. The fixed menu included "salad with salmon chips." I am not a fan of salmon at all, so I thought I would just have to skip the salad.

When the salad was served, I just had to try it. It was basically salad greens with a light vinaigrette, and these huge salmon chips. They were the size of large potato chips, only I don't think they were fried. It seemed to be just dried smoked salmon. They were amazing. It was all I could do not to just scarf down the whole salad while trying to have a dignified conversation, LOL.

Has anyone seen these before? Am I just clueless because I'm not normally tuned into salmon as an option? More importantly, where do you get them besides in a corporate dining room?

Apr 26, 2007
maryelizabeth in General Topics

Sally Lunn's tearoom, Chester, NJ

My husband and I and our two boys (4 years old and 18 months) had lunch at Sally Lunn's today. Sally Lunn's is probably my favorite restaurant in New Jersey but we only get there once or twice a year because it's about an hour from our house. Anyhow, lunch was excellent as always but the service was absolutely dreadful.

We arrived around 11:20 and there was only one other party already seated. We asked for a table for four with a high chair and were seated at a round table. One very surprising thing about Sally Lunn's, in a positive way, is that it's very child-friendly. Plenty of highchairs, hostess didn't even bat an eye when we walked in with two little ones. You'd think, with all the lace and china around, that they'd be a little nervous. But we've never had a problem, so kudos to them. While we were there, I noticed at least six other children come in, mainly toddlers, so I guess it really is child-friendly.

I was also very surprised, not in a positive way, that it took a good ten minutes for someone to come take our order. Really, there was only one other party (of 2) there, so I don't know what the delay was. Once we ordered, our tea came out right away and our food didn't take too long. I had Prince of Wales tea which was good but weaker than I expected. My husband had jasmine and was happy with it.

Normally at Sally Lunn's I order the Ploughman's lunch (basically a Stilton, cheddar, some salad and a hunk of bread) but we've been eating Stilton at home recently, so I went with the tomato, pesto and mozzarella sandwich. Not too English but really tasty. My husband had a turkey sandwich. It looked good, but he had to wolf it down and hustle my younger son out of the restaurant when he started to fuss.

Once my husband and son left, it only took a few minutes for my other son and I to finish our lunches. We waited at least 15 minutes before anyone came by to clear the dishes and ask if we wanted dessert. We didn't, since I wanted to rescue my husband from exile outside with the baby. We waited another 10 minutes for the check, including asking 2 servers in addition to our original server for it. By then, the restaurant was fairly busy but really not packed. I don't know what the problem was. Hopefully it was just a fluke. Even if it wasn't, the food is so good that we'll definitely be back.

Apr 06, 2007
maryelizabeth in General Tristate Archive