I have been a slacker on a couple of reviews, so now that I have a few minutes while at work (more like I don't want to really do any official work right now), I thought I would say a few things about my experiences.
More recently, I ventured into Chili's and into the California Pizza Kitchen restaurants, both in Orem.
This one has always been kind of like a staple. It features southwest cuisine, but also the traditional burgers and fries and stuff. I have always loved the traditional fajitas. This time, Queenmeadow, her husband Stuthewise, and their 3 kids invited me out for an evening of fun since they couldn't make it to a BBQ I invited them to a little while back. One thing I love about this restaurant, is that you can use a service called "Call Ahead Seating." The idea is that your name will go on the waiting list as soon as you call, and then you pick up your pager when you get there. The wait time is the same as if you had just walked in the door, but it is from the moment you call, not when you arrive! I haven't ever had to wait very long when I used this wonderful service. Other restaurants are dumb for not implementing the same type of service. I believe this would ease the stress of a huge lobby of hungry, yet angry guests (bad combination)!
I have heard many advertisements lately for their new menu item called "Fajita Trio." (My favorite one is the game-show one on the radio, about naming that sound...cracks me up everytime I hear it)! I was kind of tired of the usual things I get everytime I go there, so I thought I would try it out. It is small portions of steak, chicken, and shrimp all cooked in a sizzling skillet with bell peppers and onions! MMM!!! I thought they were fabulous, and so did Queenie! Overall a very good experience!
CPK specializes in non-traditional pizzas with more gourmet type toppings and cheeses, etc. Along with that you will find some pastas along the same lines. They too have a call ahead seating option available, but you still have a bit of a wait once you arrive, which is no big deal usually.
One of my friends, Ms. Cvitas, graduated from BYU (or at least walked, cause she gets her diploma in August). She is from Croatia, along with some friends she as met while living here the past few years. They have green cards, and live here, while Ms. Cvitas is here only on a student visa. After the long, boring, drawn out, graduation ceremony, she had a little celebration at CPK.
We got in and got seated after a short wait, but then the server was not aware we were her table. Usually servers have sections, so if a new group comes into your section, they are your table to serve. I don't know what happened, but they gave us a free appetizer to make up for it!!! The food was prompt, and the right temperature. She had issues with keeping up on our drinks (some didn't like the italian sodas, but she wasn't around to get it changed).
The biggest beef of mine was when I paid my bill. My bill came to $11.00, and I paid with a $20 bill. She brings me back $6, but a $5 bill, and $1 bill. I have no other cash, and I was going to leave her like $3, even though it was only supposed to be like $2 technically. I would have asked her to change it out, but like I said before, she never came back. We were there talking for like 30 min after our bills came, and I had no caffeine to help me keep up the fast pace of a foreign language I can barely understand anymore as it is! So, I left her $1, and then I found a couple of quarters, so her tip ended up being $1.50. HALF! If any of you are servers in restaurants out there, and you actually want a tip, don't expect me to be leaving you the $5 bill. IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN unless you blow me away with your incredible service/food!!!
Lastly, this place shouldn't have even been mentioned cause it was so bad. Sakura Teppanyaki Grill and Sushi Lounge in Orem. I only have two words for this place. SO BAD! Perhaps these ones are better: NEVER AGAIN! Two hours to get a few sushi rolls, then it comes back either not rolled tight enough, or they used the wrong kind of rice, because they fell apart the second you touched them. Just avoid this place if you can!!!