Monday, October 22, 2007

Lifetime Restaurants

I have been a major slacker...yes what else is new you say! I have been a very very bad slacker, I have two restaurants to review, and one big major announcement to make! So without annoying you any further...

I AM A LIFETIMER!!! What does that mean you ask? Well, that means that in my last 1 year, 10 1/2 months of being a faithful paid member of Weight Watchers, I have reached my goal weight, and maintained it for at least six weeks. That now means, that as long as I stay no more than two pounds over that goal weight, I am what they consider a Lifetime Member. I don't have to pay them anything ever again, and I only have to check in ONE time during the month, instead of going every single week. HOORAY!!! I have lost 61 pounds (and counting), and have dropped my pant size in half!!! YEA, YIPPEE!!!

In between, and after said blessed event happened, I managed to find a couple of restaurants to review. One was so-so, and the other BAD!

Remember "The Place of Which We Do Not Speak?" Well, someone told me that it no longer existed. That it was named something different. I figured this would be a good opportunity to find out if I simply disliked the location by the movie theater, or if it was the actual restaurant itself. I still can't tell.

Kristen, and Kristeee and I all went out to try our hand at this new place to see what we could see, while the LDS boys were supposed to be at their Priesthood Meeting session of the LDS General Conference. The restaurant is called, "La Vigna," not to be confused with a different vulgar word referring to a woman's body part, as Kristeee originally thought it was called!!!

We arrived at the restaurant, and were escorted in very promptly. It kind of surprised us being that this was usually the time all the women go out to eat, while the men were in their meeting. Kristen and I usually have issues with this restaurant telling us ten minutes, forgetting about us, even though they asked us our name twice, and the actual wait time ending up to be about 45 minutes. This was a very nice change of pace for us!!!

Anyway, we took a look at the menu, trying to decide what we could order. I noticed that much of the menu was the same or very similar to that of the previous restaurant, only maybe with a different name. The prices seemed to be slightly higher, but only by a dollar or two. We asked our waiter for some suggestions, and he gave us ONE. His favorite. OK, so not that bad, but maybe we wanted some options to choose from, maybe you could tell us what a lot of people order, or what another dish you like might be. Don't just give me one and walk away like a homer!!!

As we sat there wondering if we dared ask the waiter what happened to "That Place of Which We Do Not Speak," or for more menu suggestions, we mulled over some other options to choose from. None of us picked the waiter's favorite as it turned out. Maybe I should have. They had a dish similar to my favorite one from "that other place" (Lobster Bits), only slightly different, but I wanted to try something new. Once again...BAD IDEA!

I can't remember exactly how the dish I ordered was supposed to be prepared. I ordered the tortellini in what I thought was supposed to be a garlic cream sauce with sun-dried tomatoes. What came out was tortellini in some broken, sorry excuse for a pasta sauce I have ever seen. There was no garlic flavor in it at all, and it appeared to be either straight butter or olive oil, or a combination of the two together. In fact, there was no flavor to the dish at all, even though they had strings of basil ALL OVER the outside and on top of my plate!!!

I think the dish was called something like "Katarina de tortellini." Or something with some woman's name in it at least! If that is the way that Katarina intended that dish to be, someone should smack her upside the head with one of those hanging sausages on the walls, because as I said before, it was the sorriest excuse for a pasta sauce EVER!

I am pretty sure that both of my companions enjoyed their dishes. But how much different can you get with Marsala Chicken, and Cannelloni??? I might give this place one more try. Maybe go try their version of my lobster bits and then I can compare for sure.

While trying to search to see if a website was available yet, I came across this guy's commentary on the place. It explains what happened to "that other place" and why I thought things looked so similar in the new place. Apparently is was differences of opinion between the two partners, and that's why the Provo location of "that other place" is still in tact. I hope that since the management is the same, and only the name and the menu differ slightly from the original, their service will differ as well from what we have dealt with in the past. If it is the same...I will ban myself from eating there as I did "that other place."

Just a quick note...that other place that I went to, just stay away. It will not be in business long at all. It is called "National Express Restaurant," and it is located in Orem where the old dine-in Pizza Hut used to be by Jamba Juice. It is supposed to be a chinese buffet style, but their selections were very few...maybe like 10 or so, and the flavors weren't quite there. They had a General Tso's Orange Chicken dish, which tasted neither like the hot and spicy norm of the general's chicken, nor anything like orange as one might expect from a dish with that name. Their assembly line seemed backwards and kinda wierd. The plates were at the end of the line, the forks and napkins way over by the register, and the sweet and sour sauce was at the beginning before you ever come to the actual chicken. With the mother of all chinese buffets (LQ Chinese Gourmet by Subway off of 1200 north) only a few blocks away, I can't imagine this place staying open for very long.


Kristeee said...

I'd just like to point out that I'm not the only one who's glanced at "La Vigna" and confused it for another anatomical word. I do, however, giggle about it every time I drive by. I know, I'm immature. Oh well.

I'm glad to know that the Chinese place sucks. I'd been tempted to go in. Now I'll stop wondering.

And another giant CONGRATS! on reaching your lifetime award. That's seriously soo awesome! Go, Foodie!

foodie said...

Kristeee-yeah seriously...if you want Chinese, go to that other one...they at least have tons of choices, not to mention a salad bar, and the fresh Mongolian grill.

I don't think you are immature...I hadn't noticed it until you pointed it out, but I think its pretty funny too!!!

Thanks for your help, and cheerleading on the W.W. trek...hopefully by next summer you'll have the same feat eh?!

Kristeee said...

I don't know if I'll make it by next summer . . . I'll start back at WW in March or April and then won't be able to really diet for a while (because hopefully the breastfeeding thing will work out). But maybe you can help me out with some deathball workouts in the Spring . . . :)

QueenMeadow said...

I thought the anatomical word too, when I first read it on here. I was thinking "eww, why would they name it, oh, nevermind" hehe.

I was just thinking of going to that new chinese place, thanks for sparing me the torture ;).

Congrats again, you rock!

kristen said...

Tried leaving a comment earlier; stupid blogger.

Yay for the achievement. That is sooo awesome. We'll have to go out and celebrate. Oh wait, we just did!

And yeah, I admit I had to do a double take on the restaurant name. A little too close to something else, but whatever.

Let's hope this restaurant proves to be better. One slip though, and we're through!!

Heather said...

Hey! Congrats, that is awesome. If I would only get on the bandwagon and loose some of this baby weight, I could be happy like you :)Sorry about the chinese food- nobody like a bland General Tso.

Don't forget about me, I'm still here in Oregon. BTW- i started a bakery and I'm not going to tell you anymore than that so I can keep you intrigued enough to call or email about details. Hahaha!

foodie said...

Kristee-I forgot you have a couple month layoff after the baby is born to report back to WW! We will definately have to do some serious death-balling come spring!

Queen Meadow-Maybe that word means something in Italian or something, but I still think they should change it! We will have to all go to that really good chinese place just up the street to make up for my lack of enthusiasm for that other restaurant.

Kristen-They are for sure on a VERY short leash. Even though we just celebrated, we'll have to go out again. Maybe The Pie or something...they have two other locations closer that the one at the UofU I just found out about!

Heather-Congrats on the new bakery! I can't wait to see it some day! I won't forget about ya as long as you don't drop off the face of the planet again!!!