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Next Door American Eatery: the Diner Next Door July 30, 2018

Posted by Kenny Norman in news, north.
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So tonight, at my dad’s suggestion to find somewhere close for dinner, I ate dinner at Next Door American Eatery for the first time. The restaurant is located at 46th & College in what used to be a run down, low-income grocery store. Not that you could ever tell…the place was extensively remodeled with only the framework from the previous tenant remaining. There was nowhere to park in the adjacent lot, which I took to mean the place was popular, so we parked across the street. Thankfully, we were seated immediately, and we chose to eat outside because it’s uncharacteristically cool for July. The service was prompt and friendly, though the menu was limited to one page. Also, Next Door doesn’t have a soda machine. They only have bottled soda, and there’s no refills on that. I wanted a nonalcoholic drink with free refills, so I chose lemonade. In all fairness, it was very good lemonade- rich and sweet, but not too tart. When the time came to order, my first choice, the meatball bowl, was out for the night. I’ll have to try that again on my next visit. I ordered the 50/50 burger, named for its half-mushroom, half-beef patty. It was served with Swiss cheese and balsamic onions, and lettuce and chips came on the side.

Admittedly, I’m a picky eater and even pickier when it comes to burgers. I only order burgers from Red Robin, RAM, and Rock Bottom. I have to say, though, this burger was DELICIOUS. It was quite juicy and very substantial, as I didn’t walk away hungry. The balsamic onions gave the burger an interesting kind of sweet…not a sugary sweet, but more like a honey barbecue-type sweet. My dad got a Cuban Sandwich, which he also liked. The indoor seating was also neat- there were board games for people to play, the bathrooms were clean, and the lighting was just right. I was pleasantly surprised at the prices as well. The bill showed that two lemonades, a burger, and a sandwich were $30. Given the area the restaurant is in (Meridian-Kessler) and the type of trendy, novel concept the restaurant is, I expected the food to be a little overpriced, but I am thoroughly grateful that it wasn’t! Next Door also has a scratch kitchen, and the food is cooked surprisingly quick. I don’t think I had to wait 10 minutes between the time I ordered and the time the food arrived. The only downside was that the menu was a bit limited, but other than that, it was great! I highly recommend it. I’ll be back there again, and next time, I hope that meatball bowl is still available.

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India Cafe with Ebony July 11, 2018

Posted by Kenny Norman in north.
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So tonight, July 7, I went to India Cafe at 86th & Ditch with Ebony. I had been there once before with Sarah to try their lunch buffet, which was delicious and filling. I wondered what their dinner menu was like, so I went there again with Ebony. I have to admit…while the food was good for dinner, I like the lunch buffet more. With lunch, the food had a simple rule: if it’s liquid, then it’s spicy; if it’s solid, then it’s not. Also, the lunch buffet had several savory options, most notably the chicken tandoori. I couldn’t get enough of it! The dinner menu was different. We had sauces in taco shells as an automatic appetizer. I only tried one of the sauces, as the others were too spicy even by Ebony’s standards. I also ordered an appetizer. I forget the Indian name, but it was a pouch filled with potatoes and peas. That’s all the menu had for a description. That appetizer was actually pretty spicy, and I did not see that one coming.

I also had a boneless chicken tandoori for my entree, and it was so hot when it arrived that the skillet was still bubbling. Somehow, it tasted different than the chicken tandoori I had for lunch that time. There was a bit of a black bean-type aftertaste. Service was good, although I don’t think our waiter spoke a lot of English. I repeatedly asked for no ice in my drink refills, and the drinks always had ice. Not a big deal, but I ordered more Sprite as a result. All in all, I may try India Cafe for dinner again with another entree, but I think I’d rather go there for the lunch buffet. They have a wider variety of food, and I already know I like a few of those.

Dinner at Squealers July 8, 2018

Posted by Kenny Norman in north.
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My dad and I went to Sapporo on June 3…or at least we tried to. We were so excited to see their new facility, only to find they played a dirty trick and refused to accept the coupons we had. I guess that new facility has gone to their heads. Anyway, Squealers, a barbecue place, was across the street. Nolan highly recommended it a month earlier, so we decided to try it. I was surprised at how reasonably priced everything was! I had a juicy piece of barbecue chicken smothered in teriyaki barbecue sauce, with mashed potatoes and broccoli for sides. Their menu had quite a bit of options, and the waitress was very friendly and prompt with plate removal and drink refills. I could use a nice, new barbecue place to go to…and with the demise of both Perkins and Golden Corral from Castleton, I could use more restaurants in Castleton as well!