Monthly Archives: November 2010

Jeff Ruby’s Sucks

So, Mr. T and I are fans of yummy steak whether at home or at a restaurant.  Mr. T was in the mood for an anniversary slab of well marbled tender aged steak so we decided to head over to Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse.

Mr. T called for a reservation and we headed out the door…hungry!

Upon arrival in front of the restaurant (with no street parking options visible) Mr. T decided to bite the $8 valet parking bullet.  And was promptly ignored.  I went ahead and got out of the car and headed inside worried that we would be late for our previously mentioned reservation.  I opened the door for the valet who commented that it was a hectic night.  Yeah.  I didn’t say, “Gee, my husband is going to pay you $8 so you can complain about your night at least you could have opened the door for me.”  But I dismissed that as a private car parking company not being up on their manners.

Much like the Seinfeld episode the restaurant took our reservation but they failed to hold or keep the reservation.  It was a little annoying to be interrogated, “Are you sure you made the reservation at this location?”  Um, yes.  This is the only Jeff Ruby’s in Cincinnati.  In the end we were seated despite them not having kept our reservation.

We were seated in a banquet booth.  Unlike most banquette booths I have sat in though, this one had 2 tables.  It was very much like we were joining these strangers for dinner.  In fact, at one point I said, “Hello, we’ll be joining you for dinner.”  They laughed.  We were able to smile about it too but it didn’t feel very romantic to be seated so close to this other couple.  We just don’t go that way.  🙂

Eventually, a waiter came and asked what we wanted to drink.  (And much of this review now will be comparing our treatment with other tables this same waiter had because I found it noteworthy and frankly, interesting.  When I hear about inconsistent service at a restaurant I usually think that service on Monday with Elaine is great but Tuesday with John isn’t so swell.  I don’t typically think that different customers are treated with such variance.)  He asked another table, “Would you like Pellegrino or tap water?”  Well, I would have liked Pellegrino (it’s my favorite!) but didn’t think to ask for it and it wasn’t, for some reason, offered.

We ordered our dinner.  I  ordered a shrimp cocktail, we split a large steak, and ordered macaroni and cheese (a speciality) and creamed spinach.  While we were waiting for the shrimp cocktail the waiter brought bread and butter.  The butter was a compound mushroom butter and a regular butter.  Both were really tasty.

The shrimp cocktail was brought and was also really tasty.  The cocktail sauce had plenty of flavor and kick.  Even Mr. T. liked it although he isn’t a shrimp fan.  Before I had finished the 3(!) shrimp a waiter came and asked to take the platter away, “You done?”  Does it look like I’m done?  I’m obviously still enjoying the food, right?  But instead I just said, “No.  I’m still eating.”

Our food arrived and was placed before us.  Another table’s food arrived and the waiter served them portions of the family style sides.  Not us.  Our steak was ordered medium rare.  Mine was well done.  The creamed spinach was frankly awful.  One of the worst spinach dishes (okay, BFF, you know the worst one ever and I guess it wasn’t that bad) I have had.  I found it all very disappointing.  Mr. T said it was one of the most flavorful steaks he has had.

The manager came by and asked if everything was okay.  I said, “It was okay.”  He asked what was wrong.  I eventually pointed out the well done steak and said the spinach was not good.  He offered a new steak with asparagus.  I accepted.  After a few minutes it was brought to me.  It was better but still not as good as Ruth’s Chris or Flemings or your locally owned steakhouse.

We asked for a dessert menu which never materialized.  A crème brulee with an amaretto cookie spoon with a candle in it was brought over by the waiter who pointed out it was “free.”  I was really wanting cheesecake but wasn’t offered the opportunity to order.  Mr. T ordered coffee which was okay.  Other tables were brought dessert menus and got to choose what they wanted.

As we finished the few bites of dessert we ate I started to smell cigarette smoke.  I asked one of our waiters who was cleaning the table next to us, “Is someone smoking?”  He said, “I dunno,” and walked away.  A few minutes later he came back and said, “The door to the cigar patio is open.”  I thought, “If this was my restaurant this is not how I would have them speak to customers.”  The smell did go away so I figure that the door must have been closed either by him or someone else.

We paid the bill and left.  It was less than stellar and I wouldn’t recommend the experience.  But, I think that other diners were having better service and food so perhaps a rating of inconsistent is the most honest.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, it looks like I’ve fall behind again!  But instead of dwelling on my lacking of recent blogging I will press on.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope this day finds you thinking on the bountiful blessings that have been bestowed upon you.  We had a lovely meal and as is our custom shared what we are most thankful for.  Various guests shared their thanks for family, friends, good health, employment, and housing . What are you most thankful for today?  We also read the 100th Psalm which is one of the many Psalms of thanks.

Soon I will get back on track and update with the Jeff Ruby review, pictures and info about a lovely baby shower BFF and Mrs. B hostessed for me, and maybe even some details about Mr. T’s birthday (he’s getting old you know?!?)…

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Cincy Part II

 

We got up Tuesday and headed for breakfast at Sugar N Spice.  It was delicious!  I had a ham, egg, and cheese English muffin, 2 “whisper thin” pancakes, and some of the best macaroni and cheese I have had.  Mr. T had an egg sandwich and french toast.  The place is kitschy (although when it is authentiquely old does kitschy still apply) and cute.  I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting a yummy breakfast in Cincy.

 

After breakfast we decided to head over to the “World Famous” (not really!  That’s the slogan for the San Diego Zoo)  Cincinnati Zoo.  We two extra dollars on top of admission we could purchase unlimited train and tram rides!  What a treat!  I love trains and trams!  We rode the train once and the tram twice.  It was a glorious 70 degree day so the animals that weren’t inside or waiting for habitat refurbishing were out and active.  We had a lovely, lovely time!

 

We drove around near the zoo for a little while looking for a place to get  a bite to eat.  We wound up at this taco/burrito joint which was not yummy.  Please do not eat there.  Seriously, the salsa was bad, they didn’t have guacamole, and the staff was rude.  The place was in a city block of bookstores, jewelry stores, and most importantly a Graeter’s.

I’m sure you have heard of Graeter’s French Pot Ice Cream.  Well.  I’m  happy to report that everything you have heard is true!  In fact, probably more so!  They had a special deal going where one could get 3 tiny cones for the price of  a single scoop.  Now, it probably wasn’t as much ice cream as a scoop would be but 3!Different!Flavors!  Mr. T and I shared and had cinnamon, vanilla, and double chocolate.  Blissfully delicious.  Just perfect!

 

After our late lunch we headed back to the hotel to rest (I wound up taking a several hours long nap!) and decided in celebration of our anniversary we would go out for a nice dinner.   That is a whole other post!

 

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Cincy Part I

On Sunday evening Mr. T and I decided to go to Cincinnati for our anniversary.  Yeah, I know.  Cincinnati?  We looked at Philadelphia but I just couldn’t stomach the thousands of dollars that trip would have been.  Thousands?  Yes…I wanted to stay at the Ritz.  I know, I know, there are lots of nice hotels in Philly that are not the Ritz.  But, as a last hurrah before we saddle ourselves with the burden of children it seemed like a good plan.  But, as I said, I couldn’t stand the idea of all the money that would have been ($50 a day to park!) so we settled on Cincinnati.

We stayed at the AWESOME Mariemont Best Western in the lovely burg of Mariemont.  I heartily recommend and enthusiastically endorse the Mariemont Best Western.  We stayed in a lovely, lovely king room with an ornate woodframed and canopied bed, a fireplace, and a hidden television.  Mr. T didn’t find it until day 2.  The bathtub was a large jet tub and the walk-in glass surround shower had 2 heads (the overhead rain head was fantastic!) and there was a separate water closet for the toilet.  Our room also had 2 chairs, a couch, and a coffee table among the various end tables, lamps, paintings and such.  Definitely luxurious and plush!

The little burg of Mariemont is in the same style as the hotel.  I’m not enough of a student of architecture to identify the style as German, Tudor, or English…but the buildings are white with dark wood accents.  (Mr. T just said he thinks it is Tudor)  Even the ice cream parlor (um.  We need Graeter’s in our town!) and movie theater sported this uber-European look.

So, Monday we arrived around 8:30pm and Mr. T inquired after checking us in where we could get a bite to eat.  Three or four places were named and so we set off.  What the guy at the front desk of the hotel failed to mention was that although some places would be closed due to it being Monday the rest would close at 9pm.  We wandered near and far in search of grub and every place we entered (yes, they were still open with people inside!) would respond, “Sorry, kitchen closes at 9,” or “We’re closed.”  Huh.  After awhile we gave up and returned to eat at the hotel restaurant.  The waiter we spoke with said the kitchen was closed.  Seriously?  I see people sitting at tables eating right now.  I then stated that I was 1) pregnant, 2) hungry, and 3) had been in a 10 mile radius looking for something open.  He said he would go ask and be right back.  He came back with 2 really yummy looking salads in his hands and for a brief shining moment I thought maybe our luck had changed.  I was hoping for a “The kitchen is closed but I have these 2 salads you could have,” but instead got a, “There’s a Wendy’s or the Wooster Tavern about a mile down,” as he took the 2 salads to a nearby table.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?

So, disgruntled we went to the Wooster Tavern.  It was not bad.  The chili was pretty good.  The fat the poppers were fried in wasn’t old.  But, romantic, anniversary, loving feeling inducing?  Not so much.  Chili and poppers are not really the  food to woo by.  But we survived and had a good plan for activities and food for the following days.

Stay tuned…

 

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Reticent, Rat, Rueful, Repentent

No, I can’t think of the word.  It is an R word that means guilty or at least feeling guilty.  Anyway, whatever the word.  That’s me!  🙂  I just realized it has been 10 days since I posted.  Tomorrow (sure, right, heard that one before!) I’ll post the post that should have come last Monday and there should be lots of posting this coming week as well.  We had an anniversary, house guests, and a baby shower!  So, I’ve been really busy but stay tuned for info on Cincinnati, restaurant reviews, baby news, and such…promise!  No R word necessary!

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Candy

No, I’m not talking about corn syrup laden sweets.  I’m talking about those items as parents that we choose to purchase new and/or because we want them not because they are necessary.  🙂  Mr. T. and I have been very thrifty with our big purchases buying almost everything used.

BUT

We splurged on a stroller.  We don’t need a stroller and in fact, I didn’t think we’d own one until AU was closer to a year or so old.  But we were gifted some money with the suggestion of getting a stroller with it by Mr. Ts generous parents.  Mr. T was tasked with deciding on which stroller to get long ago by me.  I was too busy figuring out cloth diapering systems and how to attach a crib as a side car to our bed to bother with wheels, cup holders, and the jogging/system/umbrella debate.

But I did have two requests.  1) The seat should be able to face toward or away from me.  2) It should be red.

Mr. T came through gang busters with a gorgeous ruby red rolling kidtraption.  The seat will recline fully, can be faced toward or away, there is an optional toddler seat (for AU if there are future kiddos) add on, and lots of other perks like a cupholder.

Mr. T wanted the stroller to have real wheels which this does.  In fact, he hand inflated them this very evening.  Unfortunately, he wanted a three wheeled pram (for stability or physics or something) but settled on this model because I thought most of the 3 wheeled models were strange looking.

Anyway, so far, I can highly recommend the Bumbleride Queen B for ease of putting together (took me about 15 minutes and I didn’t even read the directions!  It was pretty intuitive) and looks.  Hopefully, it will stroll like a dream too but I won’t be able to report back on that until later in the winter.  😀

So, yeah, pictures of our candy…

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