Thursday, March 20, 2003

12/8/02 -Blue Coat Inn, 800 N State St Dover, DE,(302) 674-1776
Strengths: The Blue Coat Inn has a very nice location, with beautiful views of Silver Lake. My several last visits to the Blue Coat Inn all have one thing in common... they made us wish the Dinner Bell was still in business. The food at the Blue Coat was just fair, but priced as a higher end restaurant. They just didn't keep their end up.

Service: Truck-Stop style, but not as good. "Honey" this, and "Sugar" that, from the tatooed server while I had to vigorously work to get her to clear the table between courses and bring us more drinks. I shouldn't have to work up a sweat trying to get service.

Could use Improvement: It is broke. Fix it.

Turn Off’s: none.

Handicap Accessibility: Fair

Reviewer: REI1
Sunday, November 24, 2002

11/24/02 CAFFE GELATO 90 E. Main St. (302) 738-5811
Strengths: I have had about 6 meals at Caffe Gelato. All have been very good. This morning's brunch was no exception. I had an omlette and grits that have never seen the South of my youth. It was a dramatically different taste, of Italy I suppose. I thoroughly enjoyed it. But beware, this is NOT granny's cookin (unless your granny is from the boot).

Service: Excellent. Normally the one aspect of service that I notice the most, is how they keep up with the drinks. We had to waive off staff... and tell them... "enough"! [this is a good thing]

Could use Improvement: It ain't broke. Don't fix it.

Turn Off’s: none.

Handicap Accessibility: Adequate.

Reviewer: REI1
Thursday, November 21, 2002

11/20/02 Don Pablos Restaurant, 600 Center Boulevard, Newark, DE 19702 302-737-3984
Strengths: Don Pablos is a nice place to eat near the mall. We have visited Don Pablos on a dozen or more occassions. Their menu is sufficient and their quality is consistent. Good Guacamole and Wednesday night specials on fajitas!

Service: Very Good. Yes, definitely very good.

Could use Improvement: The architecture lends itself to echos and noise. This won't be changed. Just be prepared for it.

Turn Off’s: none.

Handicap Accessibility: Very Good.

Reviewer: REI1

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

11/17/02 Timothy's - Newark, Papermill Road
Strengths: This is usually a good place to go, for ribs, or chicken sandwiches. Clean facility.

Service: Very Good.

Could use Improvement: See Below

Turn Off’s: My wife and I arrived after the Eagles game for some ribs. Upon ordering we discovered that Ribs were on special on Sundays – ALL YOU CAN EAT! We were in tall clover. The first half rack was Timothy’s usual very good ribs. When the second half rack arrived – in a timely manner I might add – they were almost inedible. The first half rack was juicy, meaty, with just enough fat so it almost fell off the bone. The second rack, my wife’s, and mine were both the same – tough, dry and they even had a different sauce! Did they do this intentionally to make us eat less? All we could eat of the second half rack was none! Rate Timothy’s a 1 [out of 10]this night. Very disappointing.

Handicap Accessibility: Good. Parking is not immediately adjacent, but not too far.

Reviewer: REI3
Saturday, November 16, 2002

11/15/02 La Casa Pasta Route 896 - Four Seasons Shopping Center - Newark, DE 19702 302-738-9935 - Fax:302-738-3441
Strengths: This is our favorite Italian Restaurant. It is our place for special nights out with the spouse. The cuisine is mouth watering and dependable. On this occasion we had a business associate with us from Italy who very much enjoyed talking with the proprietors and customizing our meal for us. We ate and we ate and we ate. The wine list is very nice.

Service: I find the service here to be not only flawless, but enjoyable as well. It adds nicely to a truly memorable dining experience.

Could use Improvement: Nope.

Turn Off’s: Nothing.

Handicap Accessibility: Good.

Reviewer: REI1

11/14/02 China Buffet, Glendale Plaza, 1136 Pulaski Hwy (rte. 40), Bear, DE 19701
Strengths: On this follow-up visit, we found that the moderate pricing, the variety of the menu and the overall cleanliness remain the strengths of this establishment.

Service: Service however, on this one occasion was unpleasant. Our server was flippant and dismissive. It spoiled our experience. On an up note, they did for the first time get the drinks right.

Could use Improvement: Attitude.

Turn Off’s:

Handicap Accessibility: Good.

Reviewer: REI1
Tuesday, November 12, 2002

11/11/02 Mikasa, 3602 Kirkwood Highway, 302-995-8905, Wilmington DE.
Strengths: On this follow-up visit to Mikasa, we were impressed with the hearty miso soup. Their primary strength remains their affordability.

Service: Pleasant and courteous. I think the service has improved since my last memory. The teamwork aspect of the servers was evident. It is nice to go to a place where you are remembered, even your favorite menu choices.

Could use Improvement: I tried their ultimate... Sushi Heaven entre (I think it is intended for groups). It was ok, but I will stick to the basics in the future. If Mikasa could just get their sushi a day or so more fresh... they could compete with the quality of Mikimoto's and Utage.

Turn Off’s: none.

Handicap Accessibility: Appeared to be fairly good access to the dining room. Restroom access, however, appeared doubtful. Reviewer: REI1

Thursday, October 31, 2002

10/25/02 Ciao' Pizza and Pasta 270 University Shopping Center, Newark, DE 19702 302-738-6810
Strengths: This is my favorite Pizza and Pasta takeout spot. And nice to stop by for a slice. The staff seem to be very consistent, which adds to the quality of the food. The food is very good.

Service: They do have a seating area, but I suggest it only for snacks or a quick lunch. The servers are pretty good.

Could use Improvement: I would really love it if they would start up delivery. But if you get delivery, you will miss the charm of the place, and the view and aromas of their many menu items.

Turn Off’s:

Handicap Accessibility: Access appears tight to me, through the entrance.

Reviewer: REI1
Wednesday, October 30, 2002

10/28/02 Italian Bistro, 4301 Kirkwood Hwy,Wilmington, DE (302) 996-0700.
Strengths: The reviewer found Italian Bistro to be clean, comfortable, and kid approved. The price range was reasonable ($13). Shrimp ravioli is recommended for those with that inclination.

Service: Service was excellent on this visit.

Could use Improvement: Nothing noted for improvement.

Turn Off’s:

Handicap Accessibility: Good.

Reviewer: REI2
Monday, October 28, 2002

10/26/02 TGI Friday's 650 South College Ave. Newark, DE 19713 (302) 737-3700.
Strengths: Fridays has a tasty menu selection, with variety. They are a long time family favorite.

Service: Was good this time, and usually so.

Could use Improvement: If it aint broke, don't fix it. It aint broke.

Turn Off’s:

Handicap Accessibility: Good.

Reviewer: REI1
Sunday, October 27, 2002

10/27/02 Friendly's 185 Elkton Rd, Newark, DE 19711 302-453-9775
Strengths: Friendly's, at this location, is a fairly good spot for a family meal, or just a meal. The food quality has been consistently good for the 23 years that I have been haunting the place.

Service: Slow, but friendly. Did I mention slow?

Could use Improvement: In case you missed it above, it is too slow. You should get a table before you get hungry.

Turn Off’s:

Handicap Accessibility: Fair.

Reviewer: REI1
10/23/02 Bob Evans Farms Restaurant, 404 Eagle Run Rd Newark, DE 19702-1603 302-369-3122
Strengths: Bob Evans has a solid menu, with some new items and improved pricing. As strange as it may seem, the favorite of ours is their oatmeal. We go out of our way to have their oatmeal for breakfast or brunch on our family days. I could go on and on about it, but what it comes down to is that you should try their oatmeal. A side order of grits or sausage doesn’t hurt either.

Service: Service has been consistently good on previous visits. On this particular occasion we were the only patrons there (at 6am), and so it is understandable that we got individualized attention.

Could use Improvement: There are fairly big lines to get in on weekend mornings. But that’s to be expected at a good place, I suppose.

Turn Off’s:

Handicap Accessibility: Good.

Reviewer: REI1
10/16/02 Applebee’s, Suburban Plaza, Newark, DE
Strengths: Applebee’s is a nice place to sit down with clients, co-workers, or family. They have a pleasant but informal atmosphere and a nicely varied menu. Not spectacular, just nice.

Service: Service was fine the dozen or so times that I have visited, thus far.

Could use Improvement: The isles are a little narrow for the seating of larger parties.

Turn Off’s:

Handicap Accessibility: Acceptable.

Reviewer: REI1
10/14/02 No Name Pizza And Gyro Eatery, 250 E. Delaware Ave., Newark, DE (302) 738-7999 10a-4a Sun-Wed; 10a-6a Thur-Sat
Strengths: We were pleasantly pleased with the quality of the greek food we tasted here. Moderate prices, extended hours, and a convenient location add to the strengths of the menu.

Service: Service was fine, although this is primarily a take-out facility, they do have 4 tables.

Could use Improvement: It’s a pizza-plus place in a college town. What do you want?

Turn Off’s:

Handicap Accessibility: Reviewer: REI1
10/14/02 Home Grown Cafe, Main Street, Newark, DE.
Strengths: This health-trendy restaurant has a nicely unusual menu. I enjoyed exploring the unknown items during this meal (lunch), as I have about 20 others at this location.

Service: Service has been consistently good.

Could use Improvement: The miso soup was way off the beaten path. I am not sure if I cared for it. It was the only thing that I ordered on this visit which I thought I knew what it was, but I was wrong. Mayhap a rethinking of the recipe or naming it something altogether different?

Turn Off’s:

Handicap Accessibility: Good.

Reviewer: REI1
10/12/02 La Tolteca 203 Newark, Shopping center, Newark, DE 302-737-8220
Strengths: Very good informal mexican – tex/mex cuisine. One of our three favorite mexican style restaurants in the state. There is a wide selection of entrees. On this occasion I had entrĂ©e number 201. I recommend it. J Live entertainment on selected nights adds to the flavor.

Service: Service is generally good, but hurried. Be sure to ask for extra napkins in the beginning (and guacamole dip for the chips). The restaurant is deceptively large, and the server staff have to cover long distances and lots of hungry folks.

Could use Improvement: One extra staff per shift might make things run more smoothly.

Turn Off’s: On some nights, if you sit near the bar with your family, you may encounter boisterous drunken revelers. On my previous visit this had been an issue. On the instant visit there was a nice even mix of families and as-yet sober students. [editorial aside… the police blotter on the following morning showed a stabbing in front of this establishment late in the evening]

Handicap Accessibility: Good.

Reviewer: REI1
10/11/02 Perkins Family Restaurant, Kirkwood Hwy & Possum Park Rd, Newark, DE 19711-2108 (302)737-3500
Strengths: Perkins is a good, reliable, place for a meal. Coffee by the pot – on the table.

Service: Service is generally good. On this visit, I requested water that never arrived and there was a mix up in the order. The server discovered the error on her own and fixed it, only causing a short delay.

Could use Improvement: For the niche that they fill, I wouldn’t change anything.

Turn Off’s: None.

Handicap Accessibility: Good.

Reviewer: REI1
10/09/02 Utage Japanese Restaurant, Independence Mall, Wilmington, DE (302) 652-1230
Strengths: This is one of my very special places. For the quality of the sushi, and a nice atmosphere, I think it’s the best in Delaware.

Service: Service has been strained on the last couple of my visits. It seems that staff are being pushed to their limits. This time I had trouble getting a refill on our drinks.

Could use Improvement: Could use additional server staff. I wish they were open 24/7. J Their hours are: Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm, Mon-Thu 5-10pm, Fri-Sat 5-10:30pm, Sun 5-9pm.

Turn Off’s: None.

Handicap Accessibility: Fair. Entrance and Hallway appear somewhat narrow and could be challenging to wheelchair clientele.

Reviewer: REI1
10/04/02 China Buffet, Glendale Plaza, 1136 Pulaski Hwy (rte. 40), Bear, DE 19701
Strengths: I think this restaurant’s primary strength is its variety of foods on the buffet. I find the facility to be clean and neat. The food is good and kept fresh. There are reduced prices for children, and buffet items for those who don’t care for chinese food. This is a good option for taking the kids out for a no-fuss meal on a financial or time budget.

Service: Service has been consistent, prompt, and friendly. There are plenty of staff available.

Could use Improvement: Every single time I have been there (about 8 times now), the server staff have mixed up the drink order, without fail. Their record in this is phenomenal. This time I was careful when making the order and reviewed each drink with the server when she brought them to the table. They were still switched.

Turn Off’s: Drink replenishment is accomplished by the server removing our glasses, and refilling them at the fountain, and then returning the glasses to us at the table. I do not prefer this method. I feel uncomfortable, especially in light of the switching problem identified above.

Handicap Accessibility: Good.

Reviewer: REI1
9/20/02 Home Grown Cafe, Main Street, Newark, DE.
Strengths: Very good, fresh, healthy food. Lots of options for folks who have to watch their waistline. This is one of my many, favorite places to feed. Takeout works too. This is a downtown Newark restaurant, so expect students.

Service: Service has been consistently good.

Could use Improvement: The packaging system for takeout could use some more thought, and maybe a box.

Turn Off’s:

Handicap Accessibility: Good.

Reviewer: REI1
8/22/02 The Authentic Chinese Restaurant, University Plaza, Newark, DE.
Strengths: The best sit down environment for a chinese restaurant in the area. The food quality is slightly above average.

Service: Service has been above average on 8 of the 10 last visits, partly because of slow business.

Could use Improvement: The sushi menu should either be improved or discarded.

Turn Off’s: Indoor air quality has been poor. This is soon to be moot with the ban of all smoking.

Handicap Accessibility: Good.

Reviewer: REI1
8/18/02 Olive Garden, Route 13, Dover, DE.
Strengths: Good food. Clean environment. Plenty of room in the seating area. Food arrival times were good.

Service: She was disinterested, didn’t speak clearly, and didn’t listen well. The server didn’t understand about having a saucer of olive oil for the dipping of the bread.

Could use Improvement: Service.

Turn Off’s: none.

Handicap Accessibility: Very good. Reviewer: REI1
8/18/02 Bennigan’s, Rte 273, Newark, DE
Strengths: Good food, if you don’t mind sharing with the flies.

Service: Good, prompt, personable service.

Could use Improvement: Pest Control.

Turn Off’s: The flies were so thick and persistent that it ruined the entire event. I was constantly waiving the flies (unsuccessfully) away from my food. It was disgusting and miserable. The server agreed.

Handicap Accessibility: Good. Reviewer: REI1
8/13/02 Mikasa, Kirkwood Hwy, Wilmington DE.
Strengths: The best value spot for sushi in Delaware. The $5.99 lunch special can’t be beat. Quality of the sushi and the miso soup is fairly good.

Service: Pleasant and courteous.

Could use Improvement: N/A

Turn Off’s: none.

Handicap Accessibility: Appeared to be fairly good access to the dining room. I am unsure of restroom access.

Reviewer: REI1
8/12/02 The China Garden, 1015 S. College Ave, Newark DE.
Strengths: Consistently good chinese food.

Service: Pleasant and courteous.

Could use Improvement: Patronize this establishment for take-out and delivery only. Do not eat at their location. Comfort and cleanliness in the sit-down area just don’t cut it.

Turn Off’s: See Above

Handicap Accessibility: N/A

Reviewer: REI1
8/10/02 Roma’s Italian Restaurant –Route 113 Dover DE.
Strengths: We were pleased by the quality of the food and the cleanliness of the restaurant. Smartly dressed staff, fresh bread and olive oil lent to the nice Italian atmosphere, albeit tempered with a pinch of downstate charm.

Service: For Dover, it was very nice. It lacked the formality and professionalism one would normally expect of a higher class restaurant, however. This may be just fine for many patron’s. I didn’t mind.

Could use Improvement: The smoking area is near the entrance, and it is open to the non-smoking. The courses were slightly rushed. The wine list was very short, especially by the glass and carafe. Booths weren’t available in the non-smoking area.

Turn Off’s: None

Handicap Accessibility: Accessibility appeared to be tight through the front door sequence, and in the single occupancy restrooms.

Reviewer: REI1
8/10/02. Timothy’s, at the riverfront, Wilmington DE.
Strengths: The main courses were very good, consistent with our previous visits. Crab melts, carolina barbeque, ribs, and wings are among a few of the verified items.

Could use Improvement:

Service: See Below.

Turn Off’s: The service we received on this occasion was below poor. We never received sufficient silverware. We weren’t checked upon for drinks (or anything) during the meal. Three times, our server, turned and walked away from us while she was still speaking. She made no inquiry as to what we may require.

Handicap Accessibility: Accessibility appeared to be fine.

Reviewer: REI1