Tuesday, September 02, 2008


After escaping to Howard Hughes Center one hot summer evening, we decided to watch a movie to soak up some delicious A/C. The movie was pretty mediocre (Get Smart. Why. My quick review, probably a 4 out of 10. But I had pretty low expectations for the movie...even so. Don't watch this movie if you were a fan of the original series. But I digress), but we wanted to stay out of the apartment a little longer, to wait for it to cool down a bit more, so we stopped into Callendars for some dinner.

Callendars is an updated, "higher end" Marie Callendars. I only know Marie Callendars for their pies and horrible mediocre premade plastic food, but Callendars is actually alright. Service was quick, albeit awkward (our waitress was a bit new I think, and kept checking in with us...too much coddling makes me feel they want us to leave ASAP.)

To start, we ordered spinach and artichoke dip, which came with really thin and flimsy tortilla chips, and pico de gallo. This plate was HUGE. I mean seriously, I think I could have used this plate to fit 3 meals on it. The dip itself is pretty decent, cheesy and hot, but as I mentioned before, these chips are so thin, if you try to dip with them, the chip cracks with the effort and the result is half a chip in your hand, and half a chip embedded in the dip. That was a bit annoying, but again, the dip was still tasty, as was the pico de gallo.

Complimentary cornbread, brought to the table, with whipped butter. Crumbly, dry, I dunno, maybe cornbread is just not my thing. We didn't eat that much of it.
Owen's favorite kind of sandwich combination: turkey, avocado, bacon club on a croissant. The thick steak fries are the star of this plate, personally, but the sandwich is pretty darn tasty too. The turkey isn't fake, it tastes like it actually came from a bird carcass. The bacon is decent, probably could be crispier but that's my own preference. The croissant as the bread product that binds everything together, just a stroke of genius. The outside of the croissant is crisp, the insides fluffy. And it randomly comes with a small red delicious apple. Why not?

Here's what I got, a cobb salad. Way too drenched in the dressing. Shredded lettuce, I think mostly iceburg. Blah. Chicken was okay, just kinda bland and dry. They weren't skimpy with the avocado, at least. This was definitely...eh. Okay. Nothing I'd get again.

Owen ended up getting a piece of pecan pie to go, but I never even got a bite of it..he ate it while I was asleep. He owes me pie. That's all I have to say about that.

Again, Callendar's is alright, definitely better than the Marie Callendar's usual restaurant fare.


Mark from work said...

I once went to the same restaurant (I think the full name is "Callendar's Grill," what do they use in the other Marie Callendars, pressure cookers? but I digress) You did go to the one on Miracle Mile I assume. If not, a thousand pardons.

A few work pals and I went one day for lunch and I think our waitress was the yin to yours' yang. She was sloooooooo.....sigh.....ooooowwww. When she did show up she was super chipper, which just made things more awkward. I would have preferred her to just drop the charade and sullenly ignore us while she beats herself up for messing up that audition!

I think I had some burger with grilled onions. It was too big. It came with french fries of the steak variety. I don't like steak fries. I like my fries crispy. If i wanted potato-ey fries that bend (And what self respecting fry BENDS??? I mean really!) then I would whip up some Ore-Ida.

Other people got some other kind of burgers. I think Stacey got a salad. No one raved, no one booed. It's just that kind of place, nothing special.

Meanwhile, the main attraction is the CRAZY decor. For some reason they went with a "brass and brick" theme which I thought was only used in brothels that are converted from old Firehouses. Also, do you like to eat in multi-level establishments, then this is your place. We sat in a table (what no booth? boo!) in the middle of the upper level and were able to gaze down at the poor souls at the bar. This had the added effect of granting us a good view of the kitchen, and seeing all the food coming out that WASN'T OURS! They should call our section of the restaurant "Frustration Alley."

Also, near the restrooms there was a place for a shoe-shiner to work. (What do you call those high chairs used only for shoe-shiners? Wikipedia, I'm looking at you!) This was weird. Was it ever actually used to shine shoes? Did they put it in to just convey that nostalgic "remember when there were shoeshine boys and the white man ruled the world" feel? Well, I take great umbrage at your racist decor, Callendar's Grill!

No one got pie. I hear its good. Apparently people love their salad bar. I don't see the appeal. Salad bars strike me as antiquated relics from the 80's that are a breeding ground for viral infestations. Just like Michael Douglas.

We had some beer though (hence what should have been a simple affair turned into a 2 hour ordeal!)
I sometimes feel that most restaurants that give you HUGE portions are trying to hide something. Usually the food is mediocre at best....but your mind says, "But there's so much of it!" Like those Discovery Health specials about people with 200 pound tumors, you know you should be disgusted, yet you're fascinated and keep picking at it.

We decided to never go there again for lunch.

heysandra said...

Hey Mark from work! hah!

I will be accepting those thousand pardons, as I clearly stated I went to the Howard Hughes/Bridge location :) Which has a lot less chatckeys all over the walls. It seems that the decor at the Howard Hughes location has a lot of the things that Miracle Mile location does not:

1. Booth seating
2. Decent, if not frequent, service/check ins
3. Decor that faintly reminded me of a weird contemporary hotel that is trying to be "hip".
4. No shoe shine stations in sight

Why wasn't I invited to this lunch?!! :D