Sunday, March 20, 2011

Eat-n-Park review

Eat-n- park is my second pick for sensitive people


first of all the building seems big and roomy. The layout was ok and we were greeted and taken to our seat. We ate at around 8:00pm on a sunday night so the place wasn't too crowded.

The waitress was a “new girl” and she was doing all right so far.

She did take a sorta long time to get our drinks, but it was ok.

I ordered the rosemary chicken and had baked potato and salad.

The salad was cool and crisp I ate it while waiting for my baked potato/rosemary chicken.

The baked potato was nice and warm, not too hot and not too cold. They gave me a lot of sour cream and butter for it and it taste good. Not the best baked potato in the world, but very good.

The main course meal was pretty prompt at getting (got it the same time as the baked potato). And it tasted really good it was covered in this really nice sauce and had some tasty shrooms on top of it. I liked the sauce and the shroooms they made the chicken taste great.

The texture of the food was really good for me, a very very sensitive person to handle and I ate it with no problems.


I also noticed that they did seat people pretty close to me, yet their food smells didn't bother me and I didn't even smell their food. This is a HUGE plus to sensitive people who might lose their appetite with bad food smells from other people.

I notice that the menu has alternate foods like lower size portions, diet friendly meals, local produce, and even baby food upon request! That is very progressive!

It does seem they also put thought into the ventillation of the building. There was a raised celing right above the tables so it would keep it ventillated. And there were window alcoves aplenty with some plants in them (I think they were fake but they were a nice touch)

the bill for two people (we split the rosemary chicken) was 11.40! Not bad for two!

I do have to say I am very satisfied with eat-n-park and I would highly recommend it for most anyone. It's excellent for sensitive people and discerning families.

Buffets Inc Closes several Ryan's Locations.

Hello there everyone!

I am rarely mad at stuff like this but when it hits close to home it's tragic really.

Buffet's inc is the parent company of Ryan's Buffet, a very awesome buffet chain. I love it!

A while ago Buffets inc decided they will close down around 12 locations. In the middle of the bad economy, making approx 500 some people loose thier jobs. Those people will now have to look for work in a time where it's very hard to get a job. Smart move buffets inc (rolleyes).

Most of these locations they closed down for "underperforming" Ha! The one close to me was packed all the time and was doing really good!

But they left the one that was actually underperforming in my area that suffered due to constant construction in that area and most people don' go to that part of town anymore. Last I went to that place the activity level was very low and the place was dead during peak dinner time on a weekend!

This isn't the first time they've screwed up This blogspot page has more dirt on this situation with Buffets inc.  Here's some links from 2008 that have employee participation.

Link1
Link2

I've created a support group for those involved. all are welcome. it will NOT be moderated.

I will take the time to thank all the staff involved in making Ryan's great (and not the buffets inc staff that mucked it up!) I appreciate all the work that went into it by the crew members, the managers, and the people that truly cared about thier customers. All the best for the ones who lost thier jobs.

Also it's rumored that Buffets inc auctioned off their corporate HQ last month! Wow someone's bailing out! 

Nope! It's TRUE!!! Here's a loopnet listing for the building and here's a new article about it

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mapping sites showdown! Part 5: NAVTEQ's Map24

Hello and welcome to my review of the mapping site Map24

This review will be broken down into the positives and the negatives of the mapping site and will compare the performance of the routing engines at the end of this review.

This site is actually made by NAVTEQ the mapping data supplier to Mapquest, Bing and Yahoo Maps! This shall be a very interesting review then!

First we shall take a look at the positives of the mapping site.

The interface: The interface to map 24 is a more powerful version of the big sites. It gives you a lot of options to input your desired data. It is more aimed at power users.

It also has hotel and other POIs as well. It even has some hotel booking features!

I have to say NAVTEQ's Map24 has the best printing options of all the sites! They have a detailed print configuration page with the following options:

Print content: Map/Route paper format: USA letter/US legal/A4
page orientation: Port/land Font size/ Map print options
Route print options: show route overview/shoe map for start/show map for dest./show for way points/show route discr.
Show minimaps for cities/borders/highway junctions/stages/ferries

Also has presets as well.

Let's take a look at the negatives:

lack of bells and whistles such as street view or birds eye views.

Cannot drag to edit route but can cheat by adding “vias”


Let's take a look at the routing options!

NAVTEQ's map24 has the most routing options of ANY of the websites!

Route options: fastest,shortest with avoidances that include the following: highways, ,ferries, tolls, Trains/ferries, with transport modes that include the following: car and pedestrian, with sped settings that include the following: car,motorcycle, and truck and highway use bindings that include more, normal, less, and avoid

that is a excellent amount of routing options!


Now we shall move onto the routing engine performance!

I took my trip to MicroCenter to purchase my monitor on 9.22.10 that I am now using to write this review on. It is a good bit of a trip, but I thought it was worth it!

I sent the directions to my cellphone as a MMS message so I can take it with me since I did not have a printer at the time and I did not have a GPS unit or a phone with one. It worked and formatted decently well and was pretty easy to read.

I did choose to drag the route, as I did not want to take the back way to my destination, However I did let Map24 do the rest.

The route was : 2 hours 33 minutes | DISTANCE: 154.1 miles according to Map24 and seemed reasonable.

The timing was fairly accurate, had we not stopped at a rest area and talked to a man with his dog for a long time. (laughs)

I will present the route in more detail:

Please note: I am going to start at step 7 to avoid disclosing my current location:

7. At connection point 44B change from I-77 North onto I-70 West towards Columbus. Follow I-70 West for 70.60 mi. 129.82 mi
8. At connection point 108B change from I-70 West onto I-270 North towards US-270, Cleveland. Follow I-270 North for 19.67 mi. 149.48 mi
9. You are reaching the 1. via, I-270 North. 149.48 mi
10. Continue on I-270 West for 377 yrd. 149.70 mi
11. At connection point 22 change from I-270 West onto OH-315 South towards Columbus. Follow OH-315 South for 3.76 mi. 153.46 mi
12. Leave OH-315 South and join Bethel Rd. Continue for 968 yrd. 154.01 mi
13.You have arrived at your destination Bethel Rd. 154.01 mi

As you can see the I270 stretch is only on one step on map24! Excellent! This makes it very easy to follow. This route was very clean and very easy to understand. Now they call these connection points instead of “exits” because this mapping site is actually developed in another country. It still is not too bad for US routes! These directions formatted nicely for my MMS message!

Overall I have to give the routing engine performance for map24 a 5/5!

Overall my ratings for each category are as follows:

presentation:4/5 routing performance:5/5 printing:5/5 ease of use:4/5 routing options:5/5 website performance:5/5

Overall rating (all categories) 4/5 Recommended: yes!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mapping sites showdown! Part 4: Yahoo Maps

Hello and welcome to my review of the online mapping website Yahoo Maps.

This review will be broken down into the positives and the negatives of the mapping site and will compare the performance of the routing engines at the end of this review.


First we shall take a look at the positives of the mapping site.

Subject: The interface:First I will note that the interface for Yahoo maps is very easy to use, and does not have the bells and whistles that drag it down and it makes the site very responsive.

Yahoo maps is very fast on older hardware and requires no plugins to view it.

Printing options are very excellent with mini maps on each turn that are collapsible, as well as total distance travelled on each turn.

Yahoo maps has very accurate address inputs and processing. Uses NAVTEQ maps, which are very accurate.

Now let's take a look at the negatives:

Subject: the user experience: since yahoo lacks the bells and whistles Google maps or Bing Maps has, there are a few things I will outline:

There is no street view or birds eye view to assist you in location finding. I have even contacted them about this and they do not have a time frame that they will release such functionality. This would make them very strong again in the digital mapping arena.

Yahoo maps also does not have any social media interaction as well.

Yahoo maps does not have any routing options currently.

Now on to the routing engine performance!


I took my trip to MicroCenter to purchase my monitor that I am now using to write this review on. It is a good bit of a trip, but I thought it was worth it!

I sent the directions to my cellphone as a MMS message so I can take it with me since I did not have a printer at the time and I did not have a GPS unit or a phone with one. It worked and formatted very well and was very easy to read.

I did choose to drag the route, as I did not want to take the back way to my destination, However I did let Yahoo Maps do the rest.


The route was : 154.58 mi, 2 hr 32 min according to Yahoo Maps and seemed reasonable.

The timing was fairly accurate, had we not stopped at a rest area and talked to a man with his dog for a long time. (laughs)


I will display some of the routing information here for you to see how the routing engine performed for this trip. I will start at step 7 to avoid displaying my current location:

Take Left exit #44B/COLUMBUS onto I-70 W - go 70.81 mi
  • Take exit #108A-B/CINCINNATI/CLEVELAND onto I-270 N toward #108B/CLEVELAND/US-270 - go 12.62 mi
  • Continue on I-270 W - go 7.41 mi
  • Take exit #22/COLUMBUS onto OH-315 S toward COLUMBUS - go 3.86 mi
  • Take the BETHEL RD exit - go 0.30 mi
  • Turn Right on BETHEL RD - go 0.30 mi
  • Arrive at 747 BETHEL RD, COLUMBUS, on the Left



The routes that Ymaps chooses are very good by default. Seems very willing to use freeways. Steps were outlines pretty good. As you can see here the steps for the I270 stretch were broken down into 3 steps. Mapquest had 5 and Bing Maps had one, as well as Google Maps. As you can see it did give me a “continue to follow” prompt. Much better then the Mapquest telling me to take the current road and make more steps out of it then really needed. The directions were very clear and easy to follow and didn't overload you. Great for drivers.



Overall my ratings for each category are as follows:
presentation:3/5 routing performance:4/5 printing:5/5 ease of use:5/5 routing options:2/5 website performance:5/5



Recommended: Yes

Saturday, March 5, 2011

LongHorn SteakHouse Review!

details about longhorn visit on 11.17.10:
we went to the morgantown location again and it was pretty packed, however i did notice one thing. They strategically seated people to not be too close to eachother and placed people in booths mainly becuase there were tables in betwen the booths and this gave more space in beween people. This was an excellent move on thier part!

When we got there we were seated promptly and taken care of moderatley quick.
We took our time with the order and they seemed patient enough.
The bread they had here was still excellent.
I ordered the portabella chicken and had a house salad with ranch dressing and a side of mashed potatoes.

the chicken was very moist and cut really well even with a butter knife! It wasn't too spongy eather. seemed just right. Did not need sauce of condiments to taste yummy!
The salad was fresh, crisp and cool.
The mashed potatoes were lumpy, not what I'm used to. I'm used to inhaling them and not having to choke on lumps, however these tasted and kinda were textured like baked potatoes that were mashed pretty good. At least they were real potatoes. I easily compensated by envisioning this and handled the lumps way better then I normally would (since I am extremely sensitive!) And I ate all them.


The mushroom was stuffed with chese and some other spices and it was excellent. It was soft but not mushy, and the chese was yummy. It was really good.

As far as the service was the waitress was pretty prompt, not the most personal, but it was fairly packed, so it's kinda understandable. She was not pushy about buying this or buying that, she gave us space with our order and did not push anything on us.
I did see what looked like a manager in the dining room apologizing to another customer about thier problems and that was a good sign.

All in all it was a good visit, However I will note something, I did notice a price increase in most items, the actual increase depends on the items. That is not a very good thing to do around a recession and might alienate potential customers. I am going to drop a .5 star for this move and I shall se how long this lasts untill the bring the prices back down.
rating for this visit 4.0 stars.
-----------------------
We went for lunch at this location and the place wasn't crowded and it was nice that way. we were seated and taken care of promptly.
The waitress handed us some rolls and they were sooo good. I normally HATE bread and NEVER eat it. But those rolls sure were good. You have to definitely do something right to get me, of all people to eat bread!
we waited a kinda short while and received our steak
This place has the best steak I have ever eaten! It was very tender, even on medium-well. It was juicy and had an excellent consistency and wasn't boot leather like most steakhouses. I didn't even need to use A1 it tasted excellent without it. It was sooo juicy but not too juicy.
The loaded baked potato I had with it was excellent as well.
The atmosphere was excellent. I love the rustic feel the place had, the lighting was nice, dark, and intimate feeling. Cozy. I loved the antler chandeliers those were nice touches to the place. I also noticed neat paintings on the wall that were real and not sweat shop kind. The decor was genuine and not fake like the likes of a famous sausage chain. The mood and vibe was nice and laid back
The prices can be steep for most people, however it is to be expected of a place like this and actually is pretty good considering an omlette chain has the steak prices about the same but with much less atmosphere and much less quality. for two the total came to be 26 bucks incl tax and drinks and we gave her 5 bucks tip I think. Not too bad.
Our waitress was very friendly, laid back, and prompt. She seemed glad to have us there. We gave our complements to the chef and he seemed thrilled! We felt welcome and relaxed here.

Thursday, March 3, 2011