Saturday, July 14, 2012

Capone's Pub & Grill Review

Capone's Pub & Grill


Date Visited: 07/14/2012

Overall Rating: 9/10

Service: 7/10

Prices: 7/10

Environment: 10/10

Food: 10/10

Beer: 10/10

We've been to the Capone's in Post Falls, ID quite a few times and have never been unimpressed. We decided to try the original Capone's this week and once again left pleased. I want to talk about two different things here, the Pizza and the Garlic Fries. First the fries...

 Garlic Fries ($6):
Garlic fries are just one of those things that I love ordering. While not always amazing, rarely are they "bad". When I first saw the $6 price-tag on these I almost didn't order them but I'm SO glad I did. There has not been one time when we've gone to Capone's and not ordered these. Fried to crispy perfection and coated generously with garlic, parmesan cheese and black pepper. Not to mention the 6 different dipping sauces to choose from.

Summer Delight Pizza ($9):
My wife and I usually split a 9" Pizza and a side-order of the aforementioned Garlic Fries. Out favorite pie on thier menu is the Roasted Garlic Chicken (red sauce, mozzarella, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, roasted garlic and seasoned chicken) but today we decided to go with the Pizza of the Month (ranch, mozzarella, white onions, honey bourbon ham and feta. Finished with fresh spinach and honey mustard). While we do prefer the RGC pizza, this was really good. The bite from the fresh mozzarella with the sweet pop provided by the honey mustard on Capone's amazing crust was a great combo. I highly recommend trying it for something new.

As a side note, my sister-in-law ordered the Thai Chicken Pizza and it was OK. The peanut sauce was a little to much like peanut butter and slightly to sweet. It wasn't bad by any means, it was just not as good as it could have been...

A quick shout out to whoever chose the decorum in this restaurant. It's definitely a pub by design with the baseball mitts, beer taps, classic pinups and other sports memorabilia hung about. The place really couldn't have a better classic feel. Oh and speaking of beer taps, Capone's has one of the best beer selections I've ever seen (41 revolving taps!!!)

In conclusion, if you want beer, fries and/or pizza then go to Capone's. It's about as good as you can get in the area.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sidebar & Grill Restaurant Review

My blog started out as a place to post my thoughts on my recipes and beers I've tried but I've had a couple of people say that I should start posting reviews on restaurants I visit as well. Who am I to argue with what others want me to do with my blog? :) To be honest, this is really going to be similar to the reviews I was posting onto Facebook before but with pictures and more structure. So without further ado (whatever the heck an "ado" is), here is my first restaurant review blog post:


The Sidebar & Grill Restaurant Review

Date Visited: 07/11/2012
Overall Rating: 7/10
Service: 4/10
Prices: 8/10
Environment: 7/10
Food: 9/10
Beer: 7/10
When we first walked up to and into the Sidebar & Grill, I honestly wasn't that impressed. There was one guy at the bar and one table with a few patrons but other than that the place was dead. The guy behind the bar didn't greet us (or even look that happy to see us) and we had to wander around and find a place to sit. I know what you're thinking, "let's never go to this place" but don't let the beginning of my review keep you from visiting the Sidebar... keep reading. 

The first thing I look at when going to a new restaurant or bar is the beer list. While not extensive, there was a pretty decent range of beers from breweries in the Northwest as well as a couple imports (I went with a Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA).

After ordering our brews, we cracked open the (very nice looking) food menus. A lot of places I've been to have ridiculously long menus (the biggest one I saw was 9 pages, front and back...of just food!) but the owner of Sidebar knew what he was doing when he made this short and sweet list of choices. Not only that but there wasn't one thing on the menu over $10! I was drawn immediately to the Thai Chicken Wrap and the Double Jeopardy Ruben Sandwich. We quickly place our orders for the BBQ Chicken Quesadilla starter and the two aforementioned entrees. We also requested the beer battered fries with the Ruben and sweet-potato fries with the wrap.

In order of appearance, here are my thoughts on each food item:

BBQ Chicken Quesadilla ($7.50): Without a doubt, the best quesadilla I have ever eaten in my entire life...anywhere. Roasted chicken, mozzarella, grilled onions, BBQ sauce and a side of chipotle dipping sauce. I would honestly return to the Sidebar for this alone.

Thai Chicken Wrap ($9): First of all, this thing was monstrous and beautiful. I wish I had taken a picture because my descriptions are not going to be able to do it justice. Grilled chicken, romaine lettuce, stir-fry veggies and cashews grilled in a Thai peanut sauce; all wrapped in a flour tortilla. Other than the quesadilla, this was my favorite item tonight (although the others I was with were not as impressed as I was).

Double Jeopardy Ruben Sandwich ($9): Corned beef & pastrami, fresh sauerkraut, Ruben sauce, Swiss & provolone cheeses all piled on marbled rye bread. I don't think that I am able to give this a totally fair review because I didn't eat it as soon as it hit the table so the bread was a bit soggy (equaling less enjoyable). Besides the bread (which is normally my favorite part of a Ruben) the sandwich was good. It didn't need the pastrami or provolone, I think that it would have stood it's own without adulterating the perfection of the rube. The sauerkraut was amazing though; I think he grilled it before putting it on the sandwich.

The Fries: The beer battered fries were good but not great. They had perfect crunch but had a fishy taste from the oil they were cooked in. But, that's ok because when I come here again I'm ordering double sweet potato fries. These fries were also cooked to the perfect crispiness and had a touch of maple syrup drizzled on them. I've tried a lot of sweet potato fries from a lot of places and most of them are not so much about the fries themselves but about the sauce served with them. The Sidebar's required no dipping sauce, extra salt or any other additions as they were a close to perfect as a pub can get.

In Conclusion:

Service: 4/10 - The service was lacking overall personality and we had to wave the waitress down to order a second drink (no offer of water either).
Prices: 8/10 - I would have given the prices a 9 (there's always room for improvement) but to be honest I think that for the amount of food we received, we were undercharged. The serving sizes were a bit to large.
Environment: 7/10 - Much nicer looking on the inside than the out. Also very clean, especially for a bar. And sadly, there was only 1 bathroom (no stalls). 
Food: 9/10 Besides the ridiculously large portions, the food was stellar. So good in fact, as we were leaving I mentioned to my wife, "who needs good service when the food is that good?!"
Beer: 7/10 - The beer wasn't as cold as it should have been even though they had a good selection.
Overall Average: 7/10 - I'll have to go again to make sure that any of these scores weren't a fluke but if they aren't, the Sidebar & Grill just slid it's way into my top 5 favorite eateries in Spokane. Let me know if you wanna go sometime!