Solid, but unspectacular.
Maybe I'm spoiled. Growing up in the Boston area, I was always spoiled by the North End and the Italian eateries in that area. When I lived in the area, I would look for the place that looked like the biggest dive and go in. The best place I have ever eaten Italian in was a little sea foam green two story house, total mom & pop outfit with plastic table cloths and Sinatra posters on the wall. I was hoping Mondo's being tucked in that shopping center would live up to that standard.
It was good, but I've definitely had better. The bread is good, but I'd rather have the bread at EVO or Amalfi's. I usually test an Italian place by their spaghetti and meatballs. It's a bread and butter dish, you either do it well or you don't. Mondo's was "meh". The meat mixture is fine. The beef, veal and pork combo is pretty standard. It was the texture that killed me. It was all so fine that all I could think of was that they put the meat in the food processor and then formed it. Pasta was cooked just fine, but that is cardinal sin to screw up. The problem was that there was so damn much of it. Just complete carb overkill. The red sauce is good. A good sauce can make up for a league average meatball, and frankly this sauce just didn't do that.
Not to mention that the place is a cavern. It is tremendously loud in there, which wasn't necessarily bad considering there were 8 in my party (with two kids under 5). But I couldn't imagine going there on date night without a megaphone. I would go back to give it another shot (it wasn't so bad that it doesn't warrant another chance), but I would prefer someone else pay this time.
We went for lunch on a Friday. We got the Red Dragon, SC Crunch, Diablo and Niminobi. We were hungry. The sushi was very pretty, however the presentation was
a retangular white plate. No pretty garnish, nothing. The rolls were expensive which
is okay if the sushi is outstanding. It wasn't. The sushi lacked the flavor of fresh fish. The only flavor we could detect was that of the sauce and/or the topping on the sushi. Neither of us could tell with our eyes closed what we were tasting, fish or filler. It was passable sushi, but I expected great. My real issue was the service.
After finishing our $62.00 lunch, (including two draft beers), we sat for 10 minutes staring at empty, dirty dishes. No one came to take them. We finally had to wave someone down to ask for our check. I expected better.
I've been to this place 3-4 times in the last year. The food is actually pretty decent, but the atmosphere and service not so much. We go in there for dinner during the week when it does not seem to be very busy. The acoustics are terrible and the food is always slow to come out. I would go there more often for the food, but I just get annoyed with the lack luster service and too laid back attitude from the staff.
We went a couple of weeks after they opened and everything was sublime. The food was inventive with a great conciseness. We went back this past Tuesday and I wondered what worm hole I had stepped into. For one, the place was packed to the rafters. We took the last table they had. It took a while for anyone to realize we were there and bring us menus. And then it took an even longer while for them to come back and ask if we wanted something to drink. And a while after that we got our drinks and got to order.
We had the kung pao sweetbreads, which we shared, then we both got ramen. The kunb pao sweetbreads were sweet breads. They were not even remotely kung pao. It's supposed to be bite-sized chunks of protein with a mixture of chilies, Sichuan peppercorns, and peanuts. The sweetbreads were fried in three large chunks. The sauce was simply straight soy sauce that completely overpowered the delicate sweetbreads and was so salty I couldn't eat it. There were no peanuts, peppercorns or chilies in sight, and it was topped with some incredibly pungent scallions that I was still tasting at lunch the next day. When our waitress -- who is one of the owners -- asked if we liked it, I said no and explained why. She asked if we wanted the chef to remake it for us. I was thinking in my head "he doesn't know what kung pao is", but I simply said no.
I ordered my ramen with lamb belly, kim chee, and pickled mushrooms in a pork broth. The lamb belly was three postage stamp sized slivers that I had to dig to find. The kim chee was spicy, but straight from the refrigerator, as were the pickled mushrooms. I didn't mind the kim chee being cold but was put off by the mushrooms.
I enjoyed talking with the owner and we had an okay time, but something really went off the rails. Because we had such a wonderful time the first visit we'll give them another try. I hope they can pull it together.
Smokey Oak fills the late night parking lot. Smokey Oak is small with a patio when you love the outdoor heat & bugs. If you want great barbeque, drive out EARLY along Maybank all the way to JB's SmokeShack early Wed-Sat... late night HOME TEAM BBQ is GREAT IN WEST ASHLEY and on Sullivan's Island. I'm going back to Smokey Oak when we visit James Island friends. Beer snobs learn the difference between bock & tap
We went for brunch today, and at 11:45 we were the only people there. We started with Bombay Sapphire bloody Marys and I ordered the prosciutto benedict. My my partner got the steak and eggs. The bloodys were good, but I was a little put off when I saw the bartender open a can of V8 and pour it into the shaker. I'm not sure why, I know it's commonly used, but for some reason it annoyed me. I guess I'm becoming one of "those people."
The food was very good. My benedict was two thick pieces of toasted bread topped with poached eggs and a green olive hollandaise sauce. I didn't taste any green olive and the bread was a little thick and awkward, but it was tasty. The fries I got as a side were freshly made, thinly sliced, and delicious. My partner's steak was cooked nicely and his over easy eggs were done correctly. I was a little annoyed that the "onion and pepper hash" he ordered was actually home fries with onions and peppers. If it had said that on the menu I would have ordered it.
The best part: the total bill was $24.
Wow, glad you read my 2 year old review and the rest of them. I probably go to Foster's twice a month, so I don't think Craig would want me to stay home. Many of my early comments were in fact addressed. For a while, I thought the food was stepping up (had a cheesesteak sandwich special that was really good), lately it may have slipped a little.
I can usually find a decent beer here and the food is good. This place continues to be in my rotation. Is it a 5 star as you report, definitely not, but it is a good neighborhood pub with above average beer. I think Craig is a good guy, and the staff at the bar has always been friendly.
I give detailed honest reviews and don't throw 5 stars out at every place. City Paper does not define their stars, but most reataurant guides see 1 star as recommended. 5 is typically reserved for a place that you would drive 200 miles out of your way for (3 to me denotes good). Owners can use my free assessment to improve or not. If they improve, I will go back as is the case with Foster's. Some places are not geared towards my tastes, or do not care to be.
My wife and I have been about 3 times in the last year. Every time we have been there haven't been more than one or two at the bar and a few people eating. Not sure how they stay open. With that said the burgers were good and the beer okay. Would like to see a better selection of draft beer but all in all each time has been a good experience. I just wish they would clean and lighten the place up - it dosen't feel very clean. Could be that it has dark walls and furnishings.
Everything said by the two most recent reviewers is true: it takes forever to get your food, even if they aren't busy; the owner will carry on lengthy personal conversations while you are waiting; the people working there rarely know how much anything costs and it takes a while to pay. I think we have become so accustomed to super polite, fast, and cheap that any perceived inconvenience seems much bigger than it really is. Queen Street Grocery is not the place to go if you expect standard Southern sugar coated niceness, or if you are in a hurry, or if you want incredible food (the food is good, but don't expect to be blown away). Instead, if you go there, appreciate what it has to offer and accept it for what it is: a small, kind of quirky neighborhood corner store with crepes and coffee.
Its a great little place, great selection of cheese and meats but the prices will have you heading for the door.
If you love cheese and have got some cash burning in your pocket though, I can't think of a better place in town.
My husband and I stopped in for a drink and a small bite to eat at the bar last night. Unfortunately we were not particularly impressed. I ordered the "Mac-hattan," which was the worst Manhattan I have ever had - it was really watered down and had ice chips floating in it, presumably from over-shaking. The octopus panzanella was not much better. The octopus was nicely cooked, but everything else on the plate buried the delicate sweetness of the octopus. The heavily buttered mushy croutons and roasted root vegetables were really fatty and heavy, the bitter greens on the plate could have been a nice contrast to the heaviness of everything else, but they were drowned in a dressing reminiscent of Hidden Valley Ranch. Basically it lacked balance and was crying out for some acid. On a high note, my husband enjoyed his rabbit and the Avery Ellie's Brown Ale on draft. We'll give them one more shot for a whole dinner, but my expectations will be a bit lower next time.
Saturday night after some debate we decided we still wanted pizza but wanted to try something new. We picked EVO due to CCP's reviews.
Point of fact I would like to make first, I never order pizza from chain stores. They are overpriced, over sauced and the pizza is usually lousy.
We were probably the oldest couple in the place being in our (very) late 40's, as we looked over the menu I could not tell if we were in a pizza place or not. I couldn’t find most of our favorite toppings on the menu but the one I did find was $3! Strike one.
After looking at the beer prices I felt it necessary to ask the server if the price was reflecting any sort of stock option in the brewing company.
There wasn't any sort of normal beer to choose from. They had what seemed like dozens of craft beers. I have had these beers before, I did like “Theobroma” from Dogfish but it isn't easy to find anymore. There are certain foods that I demand a decent beer for such as, cheeseburgers, fish & chips and PIZZA. I will drink Guinness with any food on the planet but I was told they didn’t have that on tap or in a bottle. Strike two. (Thank goodness we were not far away from Madra Rua Pub.)
After looking the menu over for 10 minutes or so and having the server come by every 2 minutes to get our order we decided to just order the Focaccia appetizer and two drinks. The server asked if we were ordering anything else and we declined because there wasn’t anything we wanted to eat on the menu, the server got snippy and disappeared. After 20 minutes we got our drinks and a plate of the Focaccia and oil. We needed more oil because the Focaccia was not stale but hard from being too close to the ovens maybe? (I would suggest a few shakes of a good Modena Balsamic Vinegar along with the oil for the Focaccia) Strike three.
I am not sure where the young people who were in there work, but they must be making more money than this engineer. I see no reason at all for the prices of the food and more importantly the beer.
After a few pints of Guinness down the street we picked up a pizza on our way home. Don't worry Mr Baroni, we will never be unfaithful to Baroni’s NY Pizza again!!
Highs: genuinely friendly staff, yummy burgers/sandwiches, jam-if-you want live music setup.
Lows: EXPENSIVE ($28 for sandwiches and tea for two), and it is a strange mix of "new" and "dive"
I liked this place; it is completely un-pretentious, the food was solid, and they have a nice outdoor setting. Draught selection looked good. They even have karaoke. But seriously too expensive in general.
The food is good. The tables are tiny. Perfect place for a party of four infants or two skinny midgets.
Lots of staff to be sure and a bartender with social skills were pluses here (no mock on Poes or Home Team).
We got a queso appetizer that was advertised as made in a cast iron skillet. It was not, but it was good and emough for at least 3 people.
Ordered 2 tacos and a side, and a single taco. previous poster mentioned a side with a taco, you do not get a side with a single taco.
Sloppy Jose- cheesy and tasty could use more fritos for the crunch.
Jerk Chicken- salso was good, chicken lacked jerk flavors though
Royale- probably my favorite of the three, standard taco flavors but good and the most filling of the three.
Corn as a side lacked flavor- had some background chipotle flavors, and the cheese was bland. Was expecting more vibbrant flavors from this one. Also, very small portion.
Beer selection is ok, 3 mexicans on a draft and some rotating crafts. Bit expensive on the mexican beers 5.50 for a pacifico, 5 for dos xx.
We will be back to try some of the other menu items. I'd say it is a good start, pricing is a bit high at $3.99 a taco though.
They have a very good tequila selection, I will need to try one next time to check on proper service.
I picked up a to go order today because I was at the Citadel Mall Target and it was convenient. I have eaten at Sesame before and it's been pretty good, but with all the burger places in town it isn't my favorite. Anyway, after driving to work with my burger, which I asked to be cooked medium, I took a few bites and realized it was raw. Charred on the outer 1/2 inch and on the inside it had the color and consistency of raw meat. I called and talked to the manager who was very nice and said he would refund my money. When I went back, the manager was friendly and accommodating, but the weird thing was that he said "they didn't tell you it was going to be pink throughout when you ordered medium?" This burger was in the "not cooked enough to be served legally" category as far as I'm concerned.
Bagel Nation is dirty, I will give you that. And yes, sometimes the staff appear to be extremely busy and can be less then friendly. A few coats of paint could go a long way in this place.
However the food is good, and the coffee is even better. They offer the best bagels I have found so far in Charleston. Not sure why your eggs were so terrible. I had an egg, ham & cheese bagel for lunch today and it was delicious, as always.
Could Bagel Nation use some renovations? Absolutely.
Will that stop myself and many others from visiting frequently? Nope.
I have dined here two or three times. The first time I went by myself and was just cathcing a bite to eat. The other time I went with my father and he paid so I imagine I only have positive things to say. It is in a quiet part of town. I had to wait for a good seat. The place is pretty nice and like any Wild Wings it has interesting decor. The food was alright. I would recommend this
restaurant to anyone.
Thought this place was really good when I first tried it, a little pricey but the portion was big. Tonight, I got a Black and Blue that was quite small and had only a couple of pieces of chicken. For $9?? My son had the Turkey Bacon which was bigger and not skimpy on the meat. I live in the neighborhood, but don't think I'll be back anytime soon. Dellz has way bigger portions for less $.
I usually try to give a restaurant 2 chances before I critique but this place was so absurdly overpriced it's not worth it. Overall, the meal was good and the chef creative, but the dining experience was horrible. The atmosphere is frenzied with staff buzzing everywhere, not congruent with a relaxed beach environment. Our server was prompt but startlingly loud. Our bread was OK but had a cinnamon taste, that's fine but with olive oil?? The food came out quickly adding to the fast pace feel. OK, I get the point, in-out-next. I would label this place as a tourist trap with no focus on repeat business. Far too many excellent restaurants in Charleston that deliver the whole package for me to come back again. Good luck.
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