Monday, November 28, 2016

Pizza Hut / WingStreet -- 2301 N Garey Ave Pomona, CA 91767

My Meal Cost: $5.71 Health Rating A. Yelp 2.5 stars

It's the week after Thanksgiving. The extended family was at our house for Turkey dinner with all of the trimmings, which means we've been eating turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberries, yams, jello salad, etc. for days now. So I was somewhat looking forward to pizza as an alternative.

Note that the location has a sign that says that it's a Pizza Hut and WingStreet. The location is in a building that is large enough to have a decent small seating area, but it doesn't have one. The public entryway/order area is crammed into a very small area on the north side of the building.

Inside is spartan with a counter, some signage, a pepsi cooler and a bench. Note the WingStreet tile and the nicely lit WingStreet sign.

So I had decided that I'd order the same thing I've ordered at all of the pizza places I've visited on this odyssey. The usual is the smallest pizza (in this case personal pan--just like the one on south Garey) with mushrooms and sausage. I also have been ordering the smallest order of wings to compare. Since These places have not have seating and sodas were by the can or bottle, I've opted to take the meal home and drink my own Cherry Coke Zero.

The problem here is that when I asked about wings (not seeing anything on the menu or the menu boards) I was informed that they're "temporarily" not doing wings. Huh????? All of the pizza places have had wings, including those who don't have wings on their signage (Papa Johns, Pirate Pizza, Dominos, etc.). So I ended up with only a personal pan pizza, which I took home.

Obviously, Pizza Hut is catering to the delivery market and doesn't really care about drop-in traffic. No one is at the counter and you have to ring a door bell to get someone to come to the front, which takes a little time, but that was time to look at their menu, so . . .

The pizza took 12 minutes to prepare and was presented with the box open for my inspection. It looked OK and after 12 minutes of sitting on a bench I was anxious take it and leave. There was no offer of pepper flakes or Parmesan cheese, which I didn't think to ask for, so I got home and had to scrounge some up from another pizza previously ordered.

As with the Pizza Hut on south Garey, this one was a bit doughy but had good flavors and more than adequate toppings. I don't think this will move me away from the places I prefer, so I doubt I'll ever be back.

Oh, and if you're looking for something sweet to go with your Pizza, Daily Donuts is just next door.

UP NEXT:  Johnny’s Famous Hamburgers

Monday, November 21, 2016

Kentucky Fried Chicken -- 2294 N Garey Ave Pomona, CA 91767

My Meal Cost: $8.37 Health Rating A. Yelp 1.5 stars

It's Thansgiving week so it's definitely a fowl week that I have KFC as next up. The lovely Mrs. C is definitely not a KFC fan, much preferring Donahoos fried chicken (and I echo her feelings on this one). However, I rather like KFC for those times when I'm at a meeting or pot luck and someone brings it, especially original recipe.

This one, at the corner of Garey and Arrow Highway is one of the ubiquitous versions I've seen all over the world (London, Shanghai, Paris, Montreal, etc.). Nothing stands out. It's "regular." A clean and fairly nice place with a decent sized dining room, but no character.

It seems that the 1.5 stars on Yelp is mainly for a perception of bad service, I can't say that was my experience. The service was efficient, but not terribly friendly. A little too much "chatter" behind the counter, but nothing obnoxious.

In addition to the dining room, this location has a drive-thru which seems to be very popular.

Since it was a cool, wet day (the rains were threatening but the pavement outside was starting to dry out after the previous evening's deluge) it seemed like a good day for something warming and comforting. I looked at the chicken pot pie, but decided instead on the Colonel's Famous Bowl (combo #8). The young woman behind the counter asked if I wanted biscuits as they didn't come with the combo. I figured, what he heck, and got the 2 biscuits for $1.69. 

The meal was ready by the time I finished pouring my Diet Pepsi. It included the bowl which was a bed of mashed potatoes with gravy, corn, and fried chicken pieces topped with shredded cheese. It also included the drink and a chocolate chip cookie. The biscuits came in a little bag on the side. However, they gave me two packets of honey but no butter/margarine, I don't use honey but would have used the spread (sigh). However, the biscuits are always good and these didn't disappoint, even without butter.

The bowl was a bit salty and the chicken was not real fresh. This definitely quenched my "potato craving" and filled me up, but afterward there was no satisfied feeling like you get after a good meal. The cookie was good, but not unlike something you might have gotten at the grocery store. For what it was, it was OK, but, as with most things at this location, nothing special.

UP NEXT:  Pizza Hut / WingStreet

Monday, November 14, 2016

Pancakes R Us -- 2282 N Garey Ave Pomona, CA 91767

My Meal Cost: $28.41 for 2 plus tip. Health Rating A. Yelp 4 stars

Breakfast, the most important meal of the day. For myself, I rarely eat breakfast at home but on occasion I do like to go out around 10 am, after I've gotten fully awake and had a cup of coffee, to have a special breakfast. Some of  my favorite places to go include the Twisted Sage in San Dimas where you can get a great Rosemary biscuit and sausage gravy, or Norms Hanger at Brackett Field where you can watch the planes and enjoy a good old fashioned diner breakfast, or BC Cafe (originally in Pomona but now in Claremont) where the breakfast is excellent and the portions gargantuan, with the same for Flappy Jacks in Glendora. I was pleased when Mr. D's opened on Foothill as they also have a very good, hearty breakfast.

Pancakes R Us opened on Garey a few years ago replacing a failing Sizzler which had been there for decades. A group that I belong to had their lunchtime meetings there for a few months and I was singularly unimpressed with the lunch options so I really didn't consider it for breakfast, a mistake that I will now rectify.

The space has been little modified since it was a Sizzler with the exception that the salad bar has been removed and tables installed. The space is comfortable and the service was pleasant. This is a place where you pay at the cashier on the way out. I've never really understood that. What, don't they trust the wait staff to be able to handle money?

First, one of the keys to a good breakfast is a decent cup of coffee. Norms Hanger for example doesn't have good coffee which sets the wrong tone--but the airplanes (and once even a blimp taking off) make up in ambiance. Pancakes R Us has a good cup of joe. The coffee is not Starbucks, but is a step ahead of most "diner" coffee. It's served in a carafe left at your table (ala IHOP) so you don't have to worry about flagging down the waitress for a refill.

For my meal I ordered the corned beef hash breakfast with two slices of bacon, two sausage links, 2 eggs, 2 pancakes, and hashbrowns. I didn't have to worry about lunch as this kept me full until dinner.

The hash was excellent with a lot of onion and peppers (if you like a lot of onion and peppers). The sausage was mild, the eggs cooked just as I like them (over easy) and the bacon was just the right amount of crispy. The hash browns were exceptional, crispy on the outside and tender inside. While, had I thought of it I probably would have opted out of the pancakes (I actually prefer toast and can't take all the sugar of the syrup), I forgot and I was very pleased with what I ended up with. The buttermilk pancakes were light and fluffy and took in the butter and syrup, but were not dry so didn't need as much of a dousing as I worry about.

The lovely Mrs. C accompanied me on this outing and she ordered the French Toast breakfast which came with two eggs and 2 sausage links. She likes her eggs "over dead," (she hates runny eggs) which she explained to the waitress who was able to translate the message to the cooks and got it "perfect." The French Toast was thick and well made with lots of butter and a dusting of powered sugar.

While I don't think this will become my "must go" place, it will certainly be in consideration for our next breakfast outing.


Monday, November 7, 2016

Juan Pollo #44 -- 2233 N Garey Ave Pomona, CA 91767

My Meal Cost: $7.62. Health Rating A. Yelp 3 stars

Here it is the day before the elections and this week I visited another Juan Pollo in the shopping center at the south-west corner of Garey and Arrow Hwy. This center is anchored by a Dollar General Market and LA County offices, as well as a dry cleaner and a gift shop.

My visit coincided with some spucing up of the center so I had to work my way around the painters and ladders.

This location doesn't have the charm of the historic building downtown (see my post on that site here). AND, it doesn't have the rotisseries with the spinning chickens in the window, but tucked back behind the counter area where they're not really visible. So there was not the anticipation of seeing the chicken dripping its juices and in the various stages of cooking.

However, the dining room is quite large and uncrowded (they could easily fit three more tables in here and you still wouldn't feel cramped. The space was clean and had murals at the one end which made it a quite comfortable place to sit and enjoy a lunch or dinner. The lunch crowd was steady with both dine-in and take out patrons.

I'm afraid that I didn't check the blog post from my earlier visit to Juan Pollo before venturing out here and so forgot that I had ordered the lunch special. In my pre-election state I just ordered what looked like the best deal so there is not a whole lot new to say about the food. Except: At this location, the very friendly counter worker had my order ready by the time that I sat down at the table. I don't think this was a good thing as it seemed that the meal must have been sitting back there ready when I walked up. I'm not sure how long it had been sitting, but the chicken's skin was a bit greasy and limp instead of the crispy skin that I was hoping for (although the spices made it quite tasty). However, the chicken flesh itself was somewhat dry and needed the help of the salsa. This time I did order the hot salsa and it was quite spicy. Adding it to the rice may have made the fairly dry white rice a bit too spicy. Since I don't mind, it was OK, but for flavoring my rice I would actually have preferred something a little milder. Just a preference. As in my previous post, the potato salad was good. The cold creaminess a nice contrast to the chicken and the rice.

Again, not a bad experience but not a home run. I think I'd vote for it, but not enthusiastically.

UP NEXT:  Pancakes R Us