Allegedly, Dinner is Ready. The question is: since when? Dinner's Ready is a small joint that is cozy enough, with reasonable prices and a generous portion of potential. However, I truly hate the word potential. It just means that nothing is being done yet. "Don't tell me what you are going (could, would, might) to do, tell me what you have done."
I want to like this home-grown restaurant, Dinner's Ready, but I just cannot make myself. There are too many carrots in this soup. (Feel free to use that line as a gift for reading this blog.)
Violation #1-a The waitress is unable to take orders. However, she is patient when waiting for patrons to write down their menu selections on the order pads/ menus that are conveniently placed on the tables. This idea of an order pad / menu may be one of a kind. I imagine that the cost of replacing stolen pens must be astronomical. The order-taking process is annoying and devilishly lazy.
Violation #2 There are too many meat choices on the menu. This country diner offers a "pick a meat and two or three vegetables" style menu. In and of itself, this is not a bad concept. With nine meats on the menu, I knew straight away that the execution of this dinner was going to be a train wreck. Twenty five minutes later dinner was finally ready. The waitress delivered the food on 1967 cafeteria-styled plates. That is understandable, however, given the budget restraints of an independent restaurant (no points deducted).
Violation #1-b I figured out the order pad/menu deal as the food was delivered. The restaurant recycles the order pad/menus! The order pad/menu is the check! How convenient for the restaurant is that?! Genius! **
Moving the spotted order pad out of the way, I dove right in to dinner: Apricot Chicken, collard greens, field peas, and a square of cornbread. The field peas and the collard greens were dead on the money delicious. Fresh and lightly seasoned (although I detected some sugar in the collard greens), they were the only part of the meal that I enjoyed. The Apricot Chicken consisted of minute bits of chicken which were cooked for yesterday's dinner. The blob of Apricot Jelly tossed on top of the chicken did not change the bird's luck. The cornbread (Gold Metal Cornbread mix I believe) was a failure.
The front of the restaurant had display cases filled with cookies, pies, and cakes. My wife, being a baker, had to try out the competition. I knew the answer to this quiz already. Bingo! Boxed cake mixes and bucket icing! Gah!
Violation #3 Fake baking.
Violation #3 Fake baking.
The overall atmosphere is comfortable. The staff is friendly, and they are clean (sporting a 99A from the Health Department), which is fantastic news for a local country-style restaurant. I suggest some background music. May I suggest a banjo player in the corner? Right, that would be a bit too much.
Thanks for reading!