Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hurrah for Johnny; Angie, not so much.

No, not Depp and Jolie. I'm just taking an opportunity to publicly dis, and publicly praise, a couple of restaurants.

Last month the Sandyshoes family spent a weekend in Mystic, CT. We usually head down there for the first weekend in June, which we chose because it's not too awfully hot yet, and with school still in session, the crowds are manageable. Our routine has been to get into town for dinner Friday night, settle in, then visit the Mystic Aquarium on Saturday morning. Always looking to avoid the high cost and poor nutrition of "attraction food," we bring a simple picnic lunch to eat in the grass near the car, then go back in to spend more time at any exhibits we feel we shortchanged in the morning. Then it's back to the hotel for some quiet time before we go out to dinner.

For a few years now we've been going to Angie's Pizza -- a very basic family restaurant, easy parking, large-portioned pasta dishes and the like. This year we ordered a pizza. And waited. And waited. And waited. And finally asked what was going on? We were told it was coming right out... and still we waited. And waited. Then our server came out and said, "I'm so sorry, but they just dropped your pizza..." ...and the girls burst into tears, and we got up to leave. But not before being charged $5.50 for a bowl of pale lettuce that they called a "garden salad." Now if you're in the restaurant business, do you keep customers waiting almost an hour for a pizza, then drop it, and still charge them for a pathetic salad? I didn't think so. We won't be back. It was adequate in years past, but not so great that it's worth recommending or returning to anymore.

Unfortunately, it was now later than we'd wanted to be out, and we were now quite hungry. Earlier that day we'd noticed a Chinese and Japanese restaurant, Johnny's Peking Tokyo, in a strip mall near our hotel. From the outside it didn't look like anything special, but Chinese food is usually pretty quick to come to table, so we gave it a shot. What a pleasant surprise. If you like sushi, there's a bustling sushi bar. But with the hungry, cranky girls to think about first, we opted for simple, familiar dishes... cold sesame noodles (people seem to love or hate these -- I love them a lot), steamed dumplings, chicken with garlic sauce. Everything was very tasty, and the service was fast and friendly. We'll be back, at a more leisurely pace and with a more adventurous spirit, menu-wise, though I'm not big on sushi. An odd little bonus: the place was playing Latin dance music. This made the Peanut very happy. We don't know who Johnny is, but we're grateful to him.


  1. I judge every restaurant by their salad.

  2. My new way of dealing with shitty restaurants is to leave a note on the table that says:

    "Attention management: Give Gordon Ramsey a call. This restaurant is a perfect candidate for Kitchen Nightmares."