Pinocchio Bar and Restaurant

Pinocchio Bar and Restaurant is located at 1005 SW Park Avenue. I ate there for the first time about four weeks ago with Rusty and our buddy Jose. Rusty was just about to have his second kid, so we all thought we should have lunch together before he wasn't available.

We started with the Calamari, which was amazingly light, crunchy and tasty. The consensus was that it was the best Calamari any of us have ever eaten. Rusty and I plan to take our wives there again for the Calamari, as they are big fans of the fried squid.

For my meal, I had the Vegetable Panini. It was a large, fresh and filling sandwich. A salad came with it that was as equally fresh. All in all, a satisfying meal with friends.

Chinese Village

Chinese Village is located at 520 SE 82nd Avenue. It's another one of my childhood haunts. I don't get to eat there very much anymore, as none of my friends like it. My wife isn't a big fan as well. But, a couple of weeks ago, I went to dinner with my parents and my grandpa. I love Chinese Village, but you probably won't. It's very American-Chinese. Most everything is deep fried. There's nothing authentic about it.

We eat the very same dishes every time we go; Sweet and Sour Pork, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Pork Fried Rice, Deep Fried Shrimp, extra white rice and lots of Chinese yellow mustard. This time, I talked my parents into ordering the garlic green beans...nice change.

The place is stuck in the '50s. The latest owners did finally add doors between the restaurant and the lounge, which helps to cut down on the second-hand smoke. There's a fish tank (which my daughter loved). For what it was, I enjoyed it.

Sayler's Old Country Kitchen

Sayler's Old Country Kitchen, located at 10519 SE Stark Street, has been around since 1946. I've been eating there for half of it's existence. Tonight, on a whim, my wife, child and I decided to stop in for dinner. It's been a long time...a really long time. It's not the type of place I normally take my wife. But, once I suggested it, it called to us. The moment we sat down, all the childhood memories came flooding back. The prices have gone up since I first darkened the door, but it really is a pretty good deal for the price.

Within five minutes of being seated, the relish tray arrived; carrots, celery, baby corn, pickles, olives. There was also the potato topping, which is mostly sour cream, that arrived at the same time. While nibbling, we placed our order. My wife opted for the fish and chips. I ordered the Chicken Thigh Dinner with the baked potato. We both ordered coleslaw. All coleslaw that I eat is compared to this coleslaw. It is the standard by which I judge all others. It tasted just as good as always. While waiting for the coleslaw to arrive, the bread, butter and garlic butter arrived. I'm glad we opted not to have the onion rings tonight.

Deep into the second slice of bread is when the coleslaw showed up. Minutes after finishing the coleslaw came the main course. I should have just requested the doggy bag at that moment, because I was pretty full. But, I pressed on. No less than four thighs were on the plate, all deep fried (you could order it baked, but why???). I ate two, and the potato. Ice cream comes with the meal. I had the spumoni. My wife had the Tin Roof Sundae. My daughter had bites of both. The entire meal, minus the tip, was $30.00. We didn't order anything for our child, as she just shared what we had with her, and I still brought two thighs home with my very full tummy...fully satisfied.