I had to respond to the New Yorker who didn't care for the carne seca. I wonder what they're selling in New York called carne seca??? El Charro's carne seca rules, but let's admit that it's an acquired taste. "Carne seca" means dried meat - but if you don't know that you might be surprised at the texture.
If you don't see your favorite, ask - they may have it in the back. And if they don't have your flavor they can create it with all the different options available. If you are lactose-allergic or intolerant or on a diet, come on in! There are plenty of choices and full nutritional information is available online. (For Weightwatchers, try the sinless sweet cream with black cherries - a small is just 3 points - add a little strawberry-mango sorbet to liven it up!) No restrictions? Besides the regular menu, be sure to check the signs and posters and blackboard for lots of dreamy concoction ideas.
PROS: check for daily specials, it may be close to what you were going to order.
Another PRO: try a fundraiser at Cold Stone for your non-profit! You can even get your director behind the counter to keep everyone laughing while waiting for their orders!
CONS: sometimes there's a long wait.
Panda Express is a chain and no mistake about it. But if you are in the mood for rice with something vaguely asian flavored, this sometimes hits the spot. (Disposable chopsticks help the illusion!)
PROS: If you go regularly, be sure to check your receipt for a survey - take a minute to make the call and get a free side dish - that makes it easier next time when you can't narrow the decision to less than 3!
CONS: If you're not going straight home, be sure to get a bottle of water to go - this stuff is really salty.
Most of the food is quite good - and certainly lots of it! The staff are always efficient and friendly. My problem is the MSG - I always feel very sleepy after eating here. However I confess that even though every time that happens, I swear I'll never come back - but I do because the memory of the great food lures me back!
PROS: during peak hours the food is always steaming and fresh.
CONS: during peak hours it's less relaxing because it's so crowded.
This is a hole-in-the-wall that offers a large menu in a low-key atmosphere. Food quality is a bit uneven but good enough we keep going back. Even a late night visit results in freshly prepared dishes, not the usual warming dish mush. The decor is non-existent but this is the kind of place you can hang out with university students and faculty, kick back and read a newspaper or bring your own book, and take home leftovers.
This is fast food, Indian style. I wish the dine-in service weren't served in the same stryofoam containers as take-out, but it's still absolutely delicious and filling. And we eat in as often as we take out, because the decor and ambiance are so great! We love both the tiny booths surrounded by filmy curtains, and the large family table where customers will have a chance to enjoy meeting and talking with other curry afficionados.
PROS: Indian music videos to entertain while eating or waiting for take-out
CONS: parking is precious. And after parking several blocks away it's a huge disappointment if those videos aren't playing!
This is the kind of place I might never visit, in general chains are disappointing - but watching the huge structure being built was intriguing, then seeing the lines of people outside made me curious, then the wonderful odors wafting across the road compelled me to see what was going on. To start, I love the decor! Especially on a hot summer day, being inside what looks like a ritzy mountain lodge is a wonderful way to beat the heat. And on a brisk winter evening, even though the raftered ceilings are soaring, it's warm and cozy. How do they do that!
As for the food... we've tried quite a few items without disappointment. (Exception: the I Declare Eclair - it's fun but it's not really an eclair!) My favorites are the salmon, the blue cheese wedge salad and the veggie burger - and I'm not a vegetarian! My daughter favors the chicken pot pie. We both dream about that huge chocolate cake! We usually split one item or if not, we take plenty home for another meal. The cake? One slice of that is equal to 6 small or 4 average portions!
PS - The lines are mostly for large parties - we never wait long for two to be seated.