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Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

Neil
May 02, 2009 05:37PM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 988

I've been to Vinnie's once. It was fine.
But why only once? Because when I'm going to go out and spend too much money for something I could easily make at home, I need some extra incentive. "Ambience" works for me. Music works too.

TRW... and others.... regarding the bartender at Off the Wall, I just think it's a BETTER policy not to specifically name people on a message board, especially if they're young. Many of you use screennames instead of your real names (mine really is "Neil" btw), so I would just extend that courtesy to those we might be commenting about.

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

Betty
May 02, 2009 05:40PM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 2,047

Best pizza is currently east end pizza. Only one with a real pizza oven that is currently in use (restaurant above styx also has one). Service is bad and slow but the pizza is really good even by stx standards. Off the wall pizza is totally mediocre, I can do much much better at home.

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

speee1dy
May 03, 2009 07:03AM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 8,382

well, the only thing i do get from vinnies is the pizza, never been to east end pizza

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

divinggirl
May 03, 2009 08:16AM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 887

Vinnies makes good lasagna and I like the pizza. I was not impressed with East End Pizza. I think the best pizza on island is at Smugglers Cove (my favorite is called perfect pepperoni) or Lost Dog (although it can be hit or miss there...rarely a miss). Back when Stixx was open upstairs and Jason was the pizza chef it was the bomb! My husband said, "there's always pizza hut"....such the gourmet!

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

Betty
May 03, 2009 01:56PM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 2,047

Jason was the best at stixx. I've heard a rumor that someone has leased the place again. But I've only heard it from one source.

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

trw
May 04, 2009 10:36AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 2,707

Betty,the guy that leased the upstairs at stixx is the guy that was going to take over indies but the building owner would not lower the monthly rent so he passed on it and went with the stixx thing

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

trw
May 04, 2009 10:54AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 2,707

my boss eats at vinnies every tuesday night,and bombay on sunday nights,i eat tacos at microwave magic a few times a week and pizza at off the wall almost every sunday,lol thats pretty much the only times i eat out, i eat at paradise 6-10 times a week

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

trw
May 04, 2009 12:02PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 2,707

so i hear that brian has left zebos to go to salud,what happened to noah?

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

chefnoah
May 04, 2009 03:08PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 531

I gave notice to join Quality Food as a sales rep in August (after 2 months vacation in the states) thumbs up

I've been cooking for 15 years and am ready for a change.

I leave the first week of June so I'm still the Chef until then.

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

stiphy
May 04, 2009 03:13PM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 955

My co-worker said that Twin Cities raised their prices on their salad's by $1. One more place I won't be going to. The price of restaurants here are out of hand...I just eat at home much more now. Energy costs are down so I doubt that this is a cost thing.

So often I see small businesses make the mistake of raising prices when sales are down to try to re-coup the loss in business. I don't know if its a complete lack of understanding of supply-demand capitalism but usually this leads to failure. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy...sales are down, you boost prices, sales go further down and on and on. I just can't figure this out, when the economy is suffering you CANNOT raise prices especially when costs are not rising!

When energy prices went up last summer there was a lag in the price increases at restaurants in getting their new menu's out with higher prices. I expected their to be a lag again on getting lower prices out once energy prices went back down. That lag period is over and many restaurants are still charging outrageous prices on island. Of course the net effect is people don't eat out as often.

The upside is when I travel to the states, even DC or NY I think everything is cheap. I never thought I'd feel that big city restaurants were cheap but living here has done it!

And of course, the good thing about a free country is that I can start my own restaurant if I really think I can do it for less...put my money where my mouth is. I probably won't do it though smiling

Sean



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/04/2009 03:14PM by stiphy.

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

Neil
May 04, 2009 05:27PM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 988

$1 sounds cheap. I hear coffee places are hurtin, however, as more people brew at home.

Four of us ate at Tutu Bene's the other night: bottle of wine, entrees, desert and tip came to $250.
Good food, very good service, nice place, but so's Olive Garden and it would have cost maybe $140 for four people.
And we would have gotten salad with our meals.

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

speee1dy
May 04, 2009 06:23PM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 8,382

seems like alot for tut benes. and i love olive garden

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

stiphy
May 05, 2009 10:07AM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 955

Quote
Neil
$1 sounds cheap. I hear coffee places are hurtin, however, as more people brew at home.

But if you are hurting because people are staying at home you have to LOWER prices not RAISE them. Raising them just gets more people to stay at home.

I really enjoy the food on STX. It seems that many of our restaurants are run by "food" people and not "business" people. The upside is that I think we get some great food here, unique dishes, not cookie cutter corporate crap etc. The downside is that they often can't stay in business because they have no idea how to run a business. I'm not saying this is the case at Twin Cities, maybe they will make more money with a price increase, but in general I've been here long enough to see great chef's try to be successful opening their own restaurant with not a lot of business sense only to go under within 2 years. I guess the same thing happens in the states though too.

I realize its a tough racket, like I said if I thought I could do it better I'm free to try. I just get frustrated as I have consistently been "priced out" of restaurants that I enjoy here (not really priced out, I can afford it, I just don't value the offerings at the constantly higher prices).

A rumor I heard this weekend, the old BK at Sunny Isle (used to be Local Gecko) may be turning into a Taco Bell. If this is so I'm going to start a business buying .99 tacos, putting them in a hot box and driving them into town on Friday night selling them to drunkies for $2. Ok not really (I'd rather be the drunkie on Saturday night), but could be a good business smiling

Sean

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

chefnoah
May 05, 2009 10:28AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 531

As far as pricing goes I've never been more shocked when ordering for my kitchen. A bag of fresh mussels in the states runs $2 a lb. or $20 for a 10# bag. Here, it's double. A 10# bag of mussels costs $40. Ridiculous!

The availability of products make it hard to be a chef here. One week I can get serrano ham....when I need another one 2 weeks later....it's gone and it will take 3 weeks to get another one. How do you plan a menu with that?

The menu prices are usually based on the idea that vacationers are dining out and don't even blink at prices. Usually they don't....so that's why restaurants can upcharge so much. But, I think during the summertime and during this recession they should be reactive and lower prices to capture and maintain local customers. You would think it's common sense but sometimes when a place like Twin Cities is busy enough, a $1 increase goes unnoticed. Not by Sean, though.

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

divinggirl
May 05, 2009 10:34AM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 887

I also notice every increase in prices and there are many STX restaurants that I will no longer frequent because of it. There are many places that have raised prices at the same time they reduced portions and lowered the quality of food - you won't stay in business long doing that!

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

Maguffy
May 05, 2009 11:02AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 2

I've been following this thread for a few weeks now and thought I'd throw my two cents into the mix.

I work for a local food distributor here on island. I think everyone here should be concious of how the island is being affected by the current economic unrest.
We partially base the quantity of the food we bring to STX by communicating with the local hotels and rental agencies. Hotel bookings are down almost 50% island wide! As a result, we import smaller quantities of stock, which results in higher prices for all parties involved.
Ever wonder why you can find some of your more exotic items lately? We can't trust bringing in, say, a pallet of pomegranetes, because the demand just isn't there. Staying home and eating out less does affect the prices in local restaurants. I'm not advocating eating out every meal, just understand that there are far more concerns and economic pressures being placed on restaurants than WAPA (although, WAPA tries hard)

With that said, here's some restaurant quips...

Off the Wall
Much has been made of the service here. Would it kill em to hire an extra body, especially on the weekends? Probably not, but apart from that the food is always tasty. Buffalo Chicken Pizza. Enough said.

Rowdy Joes
My new favorite place on island. Good, competent staff and cool eats, specifically for the north shore. The friend polenta with marinara is simple and delicious. If you get a chance, catch some of Chef Scotty's prime rib. Best I've ever had on island.

Elizabeths at H20
Your kidding, right? Gone are the days of the fun food from princess. But, I guess anything to survive the downturn. For all of you upset over places raising the price a buck here or there, go check out Elizabeths and their $20 three course meal... Just remember, you get what you pay for.

Palms
Last week we tried it for the first time in a few months. Our bartender was smoking while making our drinks. I'm pretty sure she was missing a couple teeth. We tried ordering three different items, all of which we found they were out of... only after she walked to the back and disappeared for five minutes a time.
Don't think we'll be going back...

Salud
Always have a good time here. The food is always prepared wonderfully and I can't get enough of their new wine on tap. We ate there a couple nights ago. I had the double cut pork chop and my wife had a beet and mango salad. We always leave happy and full. Awesome, plus... Wine on Tap!

Zebos
I've actually only had appetizers at the bar. Good, fun eats. Foie of the day? Sign me up!

Bombay Club
Is there a better or friendlier bartender than Michael? I doubt it. And try the chicken fried pork.... Can't miss!

Bacchus
The staff always smells a little too "herbal" for our liking. The oldies but goodies are timeless but some of the specials we've had lately lacked inspiration... The pork belly appetizer is a serious contender for favorite meal on island.

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

chefnoah
May 05, 2009 11:03AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 531

That's true!

I put out a new menu at Salud at the beginning of April and it was the cheapest menu to date. I think it's important to have a small menu that covers the bases at a low price and then go nuts with specials.

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

DixieChick
May 05, 2009 11:07AM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 1,495

Did I hear (see) you right stiphy??? a TACO BELL???? omg can you imagine???? mouth is watering now.

Would hate to drive to sunny isles for a .99 cent taco but i sure would. Wonder if they could deliver????

I would "run for the border" for a taco bell burrito.

PS Happy Cencho Di Mio (sp) to all

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

sugarlander
May 05, 2009 12:00PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 199

I've heard that they are going to make the old BK space into an IHOP. I've also heard that Dominos is backing out of putting in a restaurant in the food court. My info may not be as good as stiphy but I did hear it from an employee of Sunny Isle.

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

nforbes
May 05, 2009 02:50PM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 580

I too heard about Dominos going in by the new McD in Sunny Isle. I wish something different would go there. i hate dominos. Doubtful about Taco Bell - i heard they do not want a franchise here - friends have tried! i would love one here...but then again my hips would not, so better to save it for those mainland trips! Unfortunately, no matter what goes where when, we still have the same kinds of employees to choose from - it's not like the employment pool gets better with new places! Also, it won't be as inexpensive as the states - that's not really possible.

I have also heard from people who go to Tutu Bene - food quality is ok, service is fine, prices are outrageous. The last time i went, i got Mahi...for $30...for the tiniest little piece i'd ever seen. I haven't been back, and the reviews i'm getting lately won't change that. Too bad - i love Kelly and Smokey.

Dashi is my fave. it's expensive, but worth it each time. Same for Bacchus. Can't WAIT to try Ono's and Rowdy Joe's...just need a little bit more money to do so!

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

beachy
May 05, 2009 03:01PM

Registered: 12 years ago
Posts: 631

Between the increase in prices and the lousy dinners we were getting, our dining out has been cut way back. It's just not worth it to me to pay some of the prices. Having gotten a number of bad meals, we've also started eliminating some places that were long favorites...a bit awkward when we run onto some of the owners and staff, but that's how it is. Unfortunately we haven't found too many replacement dining spots...I did become a regular at the Beeston Hill Farmers market though..if we're going to cook, we at least want good ingredients, and the grocery stores have gotten even crazier price-wise than the restaurants

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

Juanita
May 05, 2009 03:13PM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 3,104

On top of the crazy prices at the grocery, what about the already old produce? Nice to have fresh, home grown veggies, I agree! I also agree about not going out as much. We're on a "diet", but when we do go out, we are very selective. Dashi is our favortie too. It is pricey, but it's even better than it used to be, and the truth is I would rather pay more and really enjoy than save a few bucks and go ho-hum, or worse.

Juanita

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

margaritagirl
May 05, 2009 03:26PM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 539

I would love to see the restaurants do specials for the locals. We live here year round, we go out at least 2 times a week. I think as a local the restaurants could offer us a 10% discount or maybe have punch cards buy so many drinks or dinners and get one free or half price. You would see more business that way. We are the ones out there supporting the restaurants especially in the low season. What's up with the $8 desserts?
I use to love when Cormorant use to have on Tuesday buy 1 entree get one free. The place was packed. I'm sure they still made money, they made there money on drinks. We use to go every Tuesday night. We always tip the waitress on what it would cost for both dinners, that way she made her money.
I love going out but it does get expensive.
BTW, the other day we ate at Rhythms the food was terrible and not cheap. I will never eat there again.
We love El Sol, great food and low prices. You can get a nice steak dinner with a huge potato and salad for $16. Now that's a deal. Place is always packed.
If anyone knows of any good deals, I'm sure everyone here would be interested.

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

sugarlander
May 05, 2009 04:01PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 199

As far as the value segment of the market, the wings at Cost-u-less aren't too bad and great deal for the money. The sandwiches at Quality Market are a good deal. Some of the Chinese places are a good deal for the money. You’re getting decent food for not much more (or less) than it would take you to buy the ingredients -- especially considering the breathtaking prices at the grocery store.

These are better choices than McD, Wendy’s or KFC. As a matter of fact, I still can’t get over the fact that a Big Mac costs $5.25 alone. I do admit to liking the chili at Wendy’s though. As far as KFC, the brain says “no” but the stomach says “yes”.

My wife and I try to go some place nice on Sundays. In the last month we went to Zebos and were underwhelmed. Service was slow and it’s very pricey. My steak was good but wifie said here dolphin was really dry. I was also disappointed they weren’t serving the short ribs that won best of STX.

TuTu is the most consistent. We go there a lot. The service and food are always good. It doesn’t seem particularly expensive but maybe it’s what we order. We went to 19th Hole recently. The sandwiches were very good – as good as anything in the states. But it also cost $30+ for two sandwiches, ice tea, and tip.

Sandcastle (sp?) in F’sted is also really good food and view. The menu is a bit limited but not especially pricey. It would probably be our favorite except it’s a drive to get there for us.

The best steak I’ve eaten is at the Carambola. Their buffet is just OK but we will probably go for mother’s day.

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

limetime2
May 05, 2009 07:28PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 342

I'm in agreement with everyone on the whole price of eating out thing. We eat out alot, but I'm trying to cut down on that. Price is one consideration, and a big one... but it IS expensive to cook too. So the other big reason for not eating out is I'm bored with most of the same o same o, mediocre food, unispired options and bad service. I get so tired of the limited choices available.

Raising prices surely isn't going to get me to want to come out for dinner, nor is reducing portions. I think it would be wise of restaurant owners to create a summer menu that has some interesting new food items for under $20.00. It can be done. With the right advertising it would draw out the folks. Last summer Kendricks did a summer steak special every Friday night for a fixed price. I think he did pretty good with it! Really good food, fun environment, steak grilled to perfection. It really catered to locals and was an innovative way to get more business during those slow months. More of that kind of thinking is needed. It could be a STX Summer Chef Challenge... best new entree under YY bucks!

I guess its time to go back to the home cooking... beans and cornbread!, Tuna casserole, Salmon Croquettes, Mac and Cheese, Shepherds Pie, Lasagna, .... Time to bring back some of those time honored, low budget classics! Tonight... its tacos, mojitos, and margaritas... at home!

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