Lucha Cantina in Rockford

Posted by on Apr 24, 2014 in Reviews | 0 comments

Last night Mike and I went on what will probably be our last dinner date before baby is here!  We tried Lucha Cantina, located at Edgebrook center on N. Alpine.

Lucha Cantina is one of those places that boasts of fresh, organic vegetables, grass fed beef,  gluten-free options, etc.  So if you are into that this is definitely a place to look into.  The atmosphere of Lucha was pleasant enough, although it bore slight resemblance to the inside of a dentist’s office.  There was a cozy looking patio, but it was a bit too cold when we went to venture out there, but we will certainly be sitting outside next time we go.  The bar was nice, as well.  It wasn’t too loud and seemed to be a place you could carry on a nice conversation with friends without shouting over obnoxious music.  I don’t know if I’m just a people hater, but I was yet again perturbed by our waiter.  He talked an immense amount and I grew tired of looking at him while he was speaking but I felt it rude to look away.  It’s safe to say he knocked a couple points off of our overall experience.

The cuisine was unique – a mix of Mexican and American.  Mike and I both decided to try one of the several burrito choices.  I got the Hippy (being a spelling Nazi, I was bothered that it was not spelled “hippie” as I believe it should be.)  The Hippy is a veggie burrito containing rice, hummus, cheeses, beans, etc, smothered with Verde sauce on the outside.  It was decent enough – although I would not order it again. But that’s most likely my fault for attempting to be healthy.  Mike made the better choice.  He went with the BBQ burrito – a burrito containing BBQ pork, cole slaw, onions, and cheeses and smothered in Queso.  Quite good, but could still have been better, we both concluded.  Other menu items included quesadillas,tacos,  sandwiches, burgers, interesting mac n cheeses,  and various appetizers.  All of the combinations seemed unique and there were several things I would like to sample in the future.  As for drinks, there were many beer choices on tap, more than your average restaurant I would say.  The margarita seemed to be the specialty, and there were several margaritas to choose from.

Price was fairly standard for a restaurant of this caliber.  Mine and Mike’s burritos were 10 and 11 dollars, respectively.  His beer was $4.50, which was a Greenline, one of the beers they offer on tap.  Burgers and sandwiches seemed to fall between 10 and 12 dollars, as well.

Overall, we enjoyed Lucha Cantina, but were not enthralled with it.  We will be going back to give it another try.  Hopefully it will redeem itself on our next visit!

Atmosphere: 2.5 out of 5
Service: 4 out of 5
Food: 2.5 out of 5
Price: 3.5 out of 5

Overall: 3 out of 5


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Stir Crazy in Schaumburg for Jen’s Birthday!

Posted by on Oct 18, 2012 in Reviews | 0 comments

First off, its no big secret that Stir Crazy has some of the best food around. And if that was a secret, well now you know, you are welcome!

I took Jen to Woodfield Mall to shop for her 22nd birthday. It was a good time, didn’t buy too much. But the highlight of the night was definitely Stir Crazy. This was my first time going, but Jen’s 2^(x)th time, where ( 99 < x < 100,001 ). She likes it there, I think we’re going to make it a habit of going on her birthday.

To start, we got these Wonton Tacos with shrimp, steak, and chicken (one of each). They were heavenly, and I was so happy Jen didn’t finish hers. So happy. The sauce, the shell, those little onions. So good. One of the best appetizers I’ve ever had, can’t wait to try ’em again.

At Stir Crazy, they have a Market Bar where you can create your own stir-fry. We went with this, and I got the Lo-Mein noodles with all sorts of spices, onions, fruit, vegetables, yada-yada. Stir-fry stuff. Jen had rice and stuff, I can’t really remember I was kinda focused on my own plate.

We can’t wait to go back, ’tis one of our favorite places! This time around we didn’t buy drinks, so I’ve left it out of the review.

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5
Service: 5 out of 5
Food: 5 out of 5
Price: 4 out of 5

Overall: 5 out of 5

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Salamone’s in Cherry Valley

Posted by on Oct 8, 2012 in Reviews | 0 comments

Hello Everyone!

It has been awhile since our last post because unfortunately Mike has moved to Chicago for school so we have been unable to go out very often. When we are reunited we will be back in full swing, gorging ourselves like there is no tomorrow.  But here is our opinion of a little place in Cherry Valley.  We hope you find it useful!

Mike and I were feeling like Italian food the other night so we decided to try out Salamone’s which is located on South Cherry Street in Cherry Valley.  We were overall very pleased with our experience.  Salamone’s is a quaint little place on the corner.  The atmosphere was a step up from a family restaurant.  It would be an acceptable place to take a date, but you could also bring your family, little children included.

The service at Salamone’s was phenomenal.  Our server was extremely attentive and polite, and I’m not just saying that because she told me I was lovely 😉 (perhaps it has a LITTLE bit to do with it.) We never had to wait longer than a couple minutes for her to come when we needed something.  Also, the food and drinks that we ordered did not take too long to be delivered to us.

The food was excellent, as well.  To start, we ordered the cheese filled breadsticks with marinara sauce. They cost approximately $7 They were crispy and flavorful and delicious!  As a main course we decided to share the meatball calzone.  It was ginormous and more than enough for us to share. It cost about $8.50, which we felt was a fair price considering it was so large.  We both enjoyed the calzone very much.

As for drinks, we were not quite as impressed.  Mike ordered just a coke at about $2, which is standard, plus it had free refills. Free refills are fantastic for Mike because he drinks like a camel.

But I ordered a melon ball martini and I was not overly pleased with it.  It was much more syrupy than it had to be and it seemed warmer than room temperature. It reminded me of some drink from my childhood, which is alarming considering it supposedly contained alcohol.   It cost about 6 bucks, which is a standard price but I felt that it should have been a bit cheaper at a family

Overall, Mike and I enjoyed Salamone’s and we would definitely go back.  The food was lovely, the service was awesome, but do try to steer clear of those melon ball martinis :/

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5

Drinks: 3 out of 5

Service: 5 out of 5

Food: 5 out of 5

Price: 5 out of 5

Overall: 4 out of 5



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Fiesta Cancun of Loves Park

Posted by on Jul 25, 2012 in Reviews | 0 comments

Hello everyone,

This Saturday, on our way to see the Batman movie, Mike and I stopped off at the Fiesta Cancun on E. Riverside in Loves Park.  Our experience there was quite pleasant one.  We were seated almost immediately and a server showed up promptly to take our drink orders.  Being in a hurry, we just ordered a margarita to share.  The margarita, normally $3.99, was on special for $2.99.  We felt this was a very fair price.  The drink was a fine one – but after all, it is difficult to mess up a margarita. Along with our drinks, we were given complimentary chips and salsa to snack on.

Our food came within about 10 minutes of ordering.  We decided to share the Fiesta Cancun Special Fajitas.  My best friend introduced me to these fajitas recently and I was dying to get them again.  As always, they were superb.  They cost $11.99 for a single order and somewhere around 18.99 for a double order. Don’t bother getting the double order, unless you want a lot extra.  The single order is more than enough for 2 people.  These fajitas have shrimp, steak, chicken, and chorizo mixed with peppers and onions.  They also come with sour cream, rice, and guacamole.  If you do plan to share the single order, be sure to order extra tortillas, as you only get 3 with the meal.  Mike and I ate until we were stuffed and we even had enough leftovers to take to my brother.  The total bill was about $16.50 – very good for 2 people.

The atmosphere of Fiesta Cancun is just what you would expect from a family restaurant – nothing exceptional.  The staff is friendly and the brightly colored decor is perhaps supposed to remind one of Mexico?  I have not been to Mexico so I wouldn’t know whether the decor does the country justice or not.  One very positive aspect is that the booths are very tall so you and your dinner mates can have a private conversation without being oogled by the other patrons of the restaurant.  Being gawked at by strangers while eating makes me very uncomfortable.

Overall, we felt Fiesta Cancun was somewhere we would definitely return to.  The prices are very reasonable, the service is good, and the food is delectable!

Atmosphere: 3 out of 5

Drinks: 4 out of 5

Service: 5 out of 5

Food: 5 out of 5

Price: 5 out of 5

Overall: 4 out of 5


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Ciao Bella of Loves Park

Posted by on Jul 22, 2012 in Reviews | 0 comments

For my 21st birthday, Jen’s ma got me a gift card to Ciao Bella on Riverside in Loves Park, and I finally got to use it this Saturday. I’d heard of the place, knew some people that liked it, but never really got around to visiting. I heard it was mainly older folk that went there, and I thought it was more of a diner. This wasn’t entirely true, but it did in fact remind me of a diner. There were people bustling all over the place, it was quite loud, there were blinds on the windows like you might find at a Denny’s, and other things that didn’t remind me of a higher quality dining establishment. It was decorated well enough with pictures of Italy, old photos, and the like but I felt that the overall atmosphere was lacking any sophistication or uniqueness.

We arrived for dinner at I think around 6:30 or so. It was a full house, only a couple spaces in the mall where we could park. We were seated right away, but in the back of the restaurant by the kitchen. I ordered the Chicken Parmesan and Jen ordered the Eggplant Parmesan. We were given bread, oil and parsley, and grated cheese. The bread was hard, and I like soft bread with oil. Maybe some people prefer hard bread, but I find it is harder to eat that way, but I’m glad they gave us something as I was starving. We didn’t ask much from the waiter, but it is fair to say he did his job well.

While we waited, we got to watch the employees working there. Not because we were creeping, but because that was all we had to view plus it was quite distracting. Busboys would bump into our table, waitresses would lean on our booth as they waited to enter information into the cash register (which was right across from us, closer to everyone else in the room than we were), and there would be a constant flow of traffic coming to and from the kitchen. I caught a couple of their jokes, stuff they were doing after work, someone was talking about someone who got fired, and other stuff that I do not want to be forced to hear while I’m at a restaurant. It was an unpleasant place to sit, and would suggest that if placed in that booth by the kitchen, which shouldn’t be there in the first place, you ask your server to move. We would have if we weren’t planning on writing a review of an average unsolicited experience, or if we weren’t too lazy to move. This was probably my biggest complaint. I tried to snap a picture of our view, but the picture I got doesn’t do the situation justice.

The food arrived just a bit before I’d expect it to come. And the taste was unique. I asked Jen’s opinion and Jen’s mom, and without even mentioning my own thoughts on the taste they both independently came to the conclusion that it tasted like throw up. The taste was faint, and probably caused by too much acid in the sauce or something, but the fact that all three of us came to this conclusion independently worries me. I was not at all fond of the pasta and red sauce that came with the chicken either, but the chicken itself was fine so long as you can get past the idea of it tasting like throw up. Jen said that her eggplant was pretty good, but agreed that the noodles were sub par. They were watery and had a strange taste to them.

Overall, not great. Between both of us, we spent about $34 with tip included. I probably wouldn’t go back unless to give them another review to see if perhaps it was just the busy day that made their restaurant fall far below what I would hope to experience.

Atmosphere: 1 out of 5

Drinks: 3 out of 5

Service: 3 out of 5

Food: 2 out of 5

Price: 3 out of 5

Overall: 2 out of 5

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The District in Downtown Rockford

Posted by on Jul 16, 2012 in Reviews | 2 comments

Hello all,

On Sunday night, Mike and I went to the District  to celebrate my best friend’s birthday.  It is a restaurant/bar located on W. State in downtown Rockford.  We arrived around 6:30 and the place was nearly dead, as to be expected on a Sunday night I suppose.  We were greeted right away by a friendly server who took our drink orders.  Mike was drinking a draft beer that ran 6 bucks a glass and I a Mimosa that was on special for 3 dollars.  We were displeased that the price of draft beer was so incredibly high.   However, the Mimosa was quite delicious and well-priced.  Needless to say, this is surely not a place to get your drank on unless you are ordering one of the specials.  They also had “Big Ass Beers” for three dollars.  I do not know what is meant by a “big ass beer”, nor am I interested in knowing.

The food proved to be more impressive than the beverages.  Mike had the turkey swiss panini, which was mediocre at best.  But, the french fries that he got on the side were heavenly!!  I recommend them to any french fry connoisseur.  I chose the chicken bacon panini, which was most satisfying.  The mashed potatoes that accompanied my sandwich left a lot to be desired.  They were somewhat lumpy and only lukewarm.  Our paninis cost approximately $8.50, which is maybe a bit much for what it is, but not outrageous.  Our friends ordered the spinach artichoke dip, which was overpriced for the amount that they got.  Also, the cheese on the top was a sticky stringy mess.  They essentially had to peel the cheese off of each others fingers to get a bite.  My food came out in a timely manner but they had to wait quite a long time for their mess of spinach dip, which is baffling considering the cook most likely only had to remove it from the freezer, pop it in the microwave, then coat it with sticky cheese.  Our total bill, which consisted of 2 paninis, 3 beers, and a Mimosa, was $39.50.  It should only have been about 2/3 of that for the amount of food/drink that we actually consumed.

The place was quite big, and also empty, being that it was a Sunday night.  This left us feeling a bit isolated at our tiny table.  It was also rather cold in there.  However, we began to enjoy ourselves much more when we went into the back game room.  The room is complete with a foosball table, pool table, a couple arcade type games, and several big comfy chairs.  The foosball costs a dollar to play and the pool is free on Sundays.  It was a great place to sit, chat, drink wildly expensive beer, and play games.  Also, it is worth mentioning that the bathrooms were very clean and sanitary.  I know this is often a complaint of women that the bathrooms are dirty.  My only grievance is that there was no hook in the stall to hang my purse!

Overall, Mike and I felt this was a fine place to go eat and have a few drinks with friends (on special only, of course) , but not somewhere we would frequent.  Oh, and beware of the prices of the drinks that you are ordering because the server seems to have no idea how much they cost and the prices are not listed on the menus!

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5

Drinks: 2 out of 5

Service: 4 out of 5

Food: 3 out of 5

Price: 3 out of 5

Overall: 3 out of 5


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