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Archive for the ‘The Sour Potato Review’ Category

The Old Stone Church~210 3rd St. Castle Rock, Co 80104

Let me begin by saying that the only eating I have ever done in the city of Castle Rock was about six years ago when I was forced to patronize a very sad, sad little Mexican restaurant which used Velveeta on its burritos, so, I wasn’t expecting much when we rolled into town looking for the OSC. The Old Stone Church is located in the Downtown area of Castle Rock in…you guessed it…an old, stone church built in the 1880’s and serves up some very tasty American cuisine and we’ll get to that but first, a sidebar:

Before deciding to eat at this place, I did descend into a personal little moment of angst. It’s the same misgiving feeling I have every time I find myself patronizing an establishment that was formerly a house of worship. I mean the place was really, truly a church and the bar is called the Chaplain’s Bar and folks can eat in the confessional…The Confessional(!), so much about that had me a-battlin’ with the Jimmy Cricket inside me. My mind was filled with thoughts of lightning and Armageddon and where would I be, probably seated in the confessional, piggishly snarfing down some (delicious) fundito. Yes, these thoughts did give me pause but then, an epiphany! I remembered that eating is, itself, invented by God, and coupled with a thankful heart can be an act of worship, too! And so, with one last check for lightning, I proceeded south on I-25 to the OSC…

Okay, back to that food. Very, very good. The photo above was taken solely because I have never seen a quesadilla quite that beautiful. All of the dishes were that well thought out, not just the aesthetics but the flavor, too! I have to give Chef Jeff Richard snaps for putting as much care into the appetizers as he does to the Sea Bass special (incredible!)  and the Kobe Top Sirloin (also, incredible!). The kitchen at the OSC continued to turn out consistently beautiful, flavorful, well cooked dishes to our large party. If you stop in I would definitely give the Sweet and Sour Calamari and Pepperjack Queso Fundito (made with crab meat!) a try. Our adorable waitress knew absolutely everything about the menu (including the rather elaborate Specials), was happy to recommend a good wine, keep our glasses filled and stayed close without hovering. Also, the children’s meals were really good. I can get a little rumpled if I have to pay for dinner out and still go home and feed my kiddos because they didn’t get enough to eat or didn’t care for the greasy, bland chicken nuggets that usually grace the Kid’s Menu. Well, no problem here, both meals were prepared with the same attention all the other dishes received, with plenty of fresh made fries on the side, Yeah, Baby!

A couple of notes…the Old Stone Church is open Tuesday thru Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday. and the main dining room is a bit congested and stuffy, especially the Choir’s Loft. Also, I hear they have a great happy hour but seating in the bar can be a problem during the rush. Lastly, the OSC is pretty pricey for dinner, with the most inexpensive entrée, the Buttermilk Roasted Chicken, setting you back $18, so you might wanna save this one for Aunt Edna’s birthday or your Summer Solstice celebration or some such other special occasion. The bottom line? The Old Stone Church has very good food and very good service all stuffed into a smallish restaurant. Amen.

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The Kona Grill

The Kona Grill ~ 3000 1st Ave #184 Denver, Co 80206

For my husband’s recent birthday we paid a visit to The Kona Grill, a trendy place with nice ambiance. It features an open kitchen, a gi-normous fish tank, and a lovely patio. The Kona serves a mix of modern American and Asian cuisine and also has a sushi bar with what I understand is a pretty rockin’ Happy Hour. Our family enjoyed a very nice Chicken Satay appetizer with two very good sauces (a teriyaki and a peanut sauce) and my husband and I had a lovely Moscato wine.

Sadly, everything else about our experience was very, very average. In fact, that is being kind. It was on the low side of average. From the super stylish, teenage hostess who neither spoke nor made eye contact with us (maybe she was in the Witness Protection Program?) to the waiter who knew absolutely nothing about the menu, the service was terrible. I am not kidding, my husband asked the waiter which dry white wines he had and his response was, “I don’t know.”. Then we threw a real curveball at him, we asked which microbrews he had. Apparently, he had some Shrug and Blank Stare on tap. When I returned to the table and asked him another question he pointed to my husband as if to say “You have the floor”. I wish this had been the low point of the evening. I might have been willing to overlook the bad service for an amazing culinary experience but, alas, it was not to be. I had a Thai Noodle Salad with (what I thought were) gorgeous Beef Medallions. The meat was tiny and unfortunately cooked, medium well in the middle and very well done on the edges (it was supposed to be medium rare) and the noodle salad was okay but had a decided fish taste to it. Both Adam and the kids also had disappointing experiences, with Adam’s Ribeye being full of fat in the center and the poor kids who ordered the Mac n’ Cheese off the kids menu and received about 3/4 cup of pasta and no side. Paying the $85 bill was extremely painful given the waiter’s neglect of our table and the poor and inconsistent preparation of the food.

Although, I’d tell my friends to skip the Kona Grill for dinner, you may still want to give that rockin’ Happy Hour a try and let me know how it goes…who knows, maybe they’ll even know what kind of drinks they serve.

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The Dancing Noodle~10842 S. Parker Rd #10 Parker, Co 80134

Okay, so Parker is known for a lot of things but great restaurants is just not one of them. But did you all know that lurking near the library is a really good, really authentic Thai restaurant? Well, now you do and it is tasty! The Dancing Noodle, located just off Twenty Mile and Parker Rd. (in the strip mall behind Taco Bell, c’mon don’t try to pretend you haven’t had a late night Run for the Border!) is absolutely dee-lish! At least what we had was. I had the Pad See Ewe which turned out to be made with homemade noodles, SO good! My husband had Panang and again, Fan-Tastic!  All of the food has a delicious, homemade quality to it so it’s like being invited over to someone’s home for dinner but instead of getting Grandma’s chicken you get awesome Thai food! The place is very small, only a few tables, and is owned (and fully operated) by a couple who learned all of their cooking from family in Thailand. One of the best parts for me is that each meal is prepared to your own level of heat comfort and can be customized to your tastes. The owner/waitress is lovely and warm, providing service with a smile and lots of advice on ordering if you need it. Although the Dancing Noodle does look a bit dive-y at first glance, the friendly service and awesome food will make it well worth your while!

Oh, and did I mention…I’m still reeling…it’s in Parker!

Check it out for yourself  and tell me what you think…maybe we should meet for lunch!

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