One Stop Shopping at the Blvd!

Boulevard Home Furnishings has it all! From high definition flat screen tv's, to sofa recliners, to statues and even a water fountain, this store also boasts its own diner! (How was that for a commercial?) It's outfitted to look (what I think looks) like a 50s or 60s type diner, complete with Coca Cola memorabilia and checkered floors scattered about. This was actually my first excursion to Boulevard Home Furnishings and after all the talk I've heard about the diner, it was decided then and there that Karyn and I would try it (it did help that we had a certificate!). I, of course, had a hamburger and opted for onion rings instead of french fries. And boy, was it a hamburger! The bun was delicious softness and tasted homemade--that's how fresh it was! The batter for the onion rings was a thing of beauty, and they were even kind enough to put a small cup of fry sauce with my order! What service! All in all, one of the best well-kept secrets of St. George!


Blvd Diner

So, I decided to blog about the BLVD Diner.

It was a while ago, but I really like the BLVD Diner! Located in Boulevard Home Furnishings, the BLVD Diner is definitely one of my favorite places. :) It's a typical diner setting. Do it yourself seating, order at the counter, and they call your number when it's ready. The cookies are divine, and the food is really good. I highly recommend the BLVD Diner for when you're looking for a couch and need a refill!

-- Karyn



I have mixed feelings about Scaldoni’s. The food is good; the portions are small. The service was okay—a little slow. It was a good thing we weren’t in a rush. Karyn and I had gift cards to go to Scaldoni’s and we gratefully took advantage to eat at one of St. George’s fine dining establishments. Our server Dave was super nice—recommending all the right dishes, saying all the right things, very accommodating. The atmosphere is one of quiet elegance: dimmed lighting, linen napkins, soft music. The menu is catered to a Mediterranean feel, with Greek and Italian dishes in abundance. I ordered a small dinner salad and the seafood pasta. The salad was amazing! Very fresh greens, great mix, great color. It came with a light vinaigrette. The main dish…this pasta was the lightest pasta I’ve ever tasted! It was a creamy white, not Alfredo. It was a hefty portion, and I took most of it home. The best part of the evening is when the busboys came along to clear your plates and also scraped the crumbs off the table with a little scraper. I know; it’s the little things. The atmosphere was what I would call a quiet elegance. The music understated. The food good—not outstanding, just good. I think Scaldoni’s is a little overpriced, and may be just a tad overrated. I give it a 7.

Scaldoni’s. I too have mixed feelings about our trip to the ‘fanciest place to eat in St. George.’ We’ve eaten there twice, and both experiences were… interesting. I have a confession. I have not had a lot of experience with gourmet restaurants. I’m more of a let’s eat at that random hole in the wall place… but I think if I had the money and means to eat at another gourmet restaurant, I would. The only reason we ended up going to Scaldoni's is because we were given 2 $50 gift certificates to go. Sadly, after the first time we used one and a half of them, and the rest of it for half of our bill the second time. I guess it was worth it... Let me tell you about the first experience. When we first came in, we were greeted by the hostess, and seated promptly. We did have to make a reservation beforehand, but it wasn’t much of a hassle. I was impressed by the quality of service. I could tell that all of the servers had a lot of experience, and I’m always happy when my server has experience in the waiting trade. :) The waiter took our order, and I decided on the surf and turf. It was pretty good. Chilean sea bass with filet mignon. I was surprised that it wasn’t hot when I got it. I like my food to be served NOT COLD… but it was alright. The service was superb, and they had little scraper things to clean our table off. Another plus was that they almost expected you to stay after the meal and chat, which we did. :) My second experience wasn't any better than the first. We were invited to their 'Special Open House Tasting' because they moved locations. I hate to insuniate pre-meditated calumny... However, I'm not afraid to say that I believed the meal for this 'Special Open House Tasting' was going to be free. I wasn't the only one either. Everyone that showed up thought that it was a free meal. It didn't help that they didn't print any prices on the 'Special Tasting Menu" they supplied us with. ANYWAYS, the food was alright, not really memorable... as evidence of me not being able to recall what I ate that night. AND I was more than a little miffed that we had to pay for it. Good thing I brought my wallet, or we would have been SOL. :S Anyway, putting that aside, overall, I would rate Scaldoni’s a 6. The food was good... a solid 8 in my book, and the service was a 10, but it was SUPER over priced (in my opinion) and my food was cold. I also was really surprised they charged everyone at that tasting. Scaldoni's... good, but I will probably never eat there again.


The Cracker Barrel

Where else can you go for the best pancakes in the world? Sure, there’s your standard Denny’s, Village Inn, and IHOP. But do any of those places give you your own little bottle of syrup? I say. Nay, nay.

Karyn and I are going
out of the norm on this critique and doing a breakfast, not dinner or lunch. Although, if you’d like breakfast for lunch or dinner, I’m sure Cracker Barrel can accommodate. :) I was first introduced to Cracker Barrel by my dear friend Travis—who had a hankering for some grits and biscuits and gravy. And seeing as Cracker Barrel was a Southern restaurant, we patronized it. My fondness for this restaurant has not waned.

I always get pancakes. I love them!
It’s such a great food that can be eaten at any time of the day! Ask Karyn. I’d prefer pancakes over a steak! But like I mentioned, this time I actually ate pancakes for breakfast! The pancakes at Cracker Barrel are what some of the old-timers (aka our grandparents) may call griddle cakes or hot cakes. They have this awesome griddle taste, cooked to a slow perfection that has just a bit of crispiness on the outside. And when it comes with its own bottle of syrup, what more could you ask for? And the portions are huge! The breakfast meal that I usually get comes with three delicious pancakes, eggs, sausage and bacon. If that’s not home cookin’, I don’t know what is!

Before you first enter the Cracker Barrel, you’re welcomed with a bunch of rocking chairs. What says comfort more than rocking chairs? The inside I could describe as nothing more than rustic charm. With old-fashioned farm tools, posters, advertisements, and memorabilia, it speaks of the South. And in t
he little souvenir shop, there’s everything from Paula Dean dishes, to John Deere tractor toys, to old-fashioned sodas and candies. It’s the perfect blast from the past! And don’t forget that each dining table is equipped with that little peg game. You know the one…it’s triangle shaped and has about 15 pegs. You’re supposed to take a peg and hop over the next one. The object is to only have one left. Yeah…can’t do it. Karyn had beginner’s luck and was a freakin’ genius! Plus, if you’re feeling kind of dumb like I do when I play that game, there’s always a gigantic sized game of checkers to be played at a designated table.

All around I give Cracker Barrel a 9! Good food, good service, great atmosphere. Just make sure you’re in the mood for some southern style cooking!

Cracker Barrel. What can I say about the CB??? If you're in to the 'old reliable' way of making food, CB is the place to go for Good Country Cookin'!!!

I have to admit to all of you that I am NOT a breakfast person. I could never get the hang of it. Am I supposed to eat a big breakfast? Is breakfast REALLY the most important meal of the day? What's with pancakes? (They don't taste like cake to me!) These questions and more beg an answer I cannot give.

However, planning an event with people who love breakfast will always result in what is called the 'breakfast meeting' which is how we found ourselves at the Cracker Barrel.

Rustic and quaint, the Cracker Barrel welcomes patrons with a warm hug of old time candy and drinks, old fashioned games, and seasonal decor ranging from cookware to clothing. You can find things at Cracker Barrel that were previously though to be lost in time, like maple candy from Vermont and Necco! :) However, beyond the land of reminiscence, is taste bud heaven.

Like I said before, I don't really like breakfast. But, I will totally eat breakfast at the Cracker barrel. My mom raised me on rice and eggs. It wasn't until I moved to the mainland that I was introduced to grits. I LOVE GRITS!!! Sweet or savory, grits are truly the chameleon of the breakfast world. Another champion of the Cracker Barrel Breakfast is the BACON. None of your namby pamby microwaved bacon here. Thick luscious slabs of bacon, cured and smoked to perfection... I'm drooling just thinking about it. :) Oh, and did I forget to mention biscuits and gravy??? I really don't like country gravy, but the country gravy at Cracker Barrel is different... Lighter, tastier... Maybe I just haven't had a GOOD country gravy, but I LOVE CB's. :)

My favorite part of our visit was the "jump all but one" peg game. I got it down to one peg my first time, and have gotten it probably 4 times since then. I even bought one for my desk that I play with when I have a hard time getting the juices flowing... :)

Overall, I rate the Cracker Barrel a 9. Great service... great food, and a great place to eat!!! :)


The Steak & Seafood Company

The Steak & Seafood Co. One of St. George’s best kept restaurant secrets. Tucked away in the East Ridge Plaza (down by Jiffy Lube, Adrians, and the Army Recruiting Place), Steak & Seafood offers delicious food in a delicious environment! I have to say this about Steak & Seafood, they have the best salad I’ve ever had! No white lettuce pieces. Carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, with a yummy honey poppyseed dressing. So delightful—and I’m a picky salad eater! This restaurant has the best tunes! I don’t know what XM radio station it is, but it’s rockin’! The only downside to Steak & Seafood is that it’s only open from dinner, between the hours of 5:30-9ish. I know, ish. But find a night that works, visit the restaurant and take your time about it! The ambiance is romantic with little tea light candles and fresh flowers on the table, a gigantic fish tank near the entrance and cool looking wall hangings. Every time I go, just like everywhere else, I always get the surf and turf. Jumbo shrimp and a steak, with seasoned vegetables and rice. I’m not a vegetable kind of girl, but their vegetables are the only ones I always eat! Steak and Seafood is a little pricey; so if you need to save up, do it! Every time I go, I am never disappointed! I give this place an all around 9.

The Steak and Seafood Company is probably one of the best kept secrets in St. George... Not a lot of people would think to find delicious gourmet food across from a mall... But, alas. It IS there... and it IS delicious! ;)

When you first see this inconspicuous restaurant... well, at least when I first saw it, I thought... somewhere along the lines of a ghetto oriental food place. I know. I was quick to judge. You would think after all my food experiences, I would lay aside the outside appearance and only think on the inner deliciousness, but I was a little uneasy going in. The first thing noticed about this restaurant was the funky art pieces and fish tank. The decor is semi French country with a Utah twist. lol. If that is a style at all. There is a REALLY cool print on the wall that is a zebra AND a penguin... see if you can find it. :D The music they play is AWESOME... like every other song is an awesome jam from the 80's and 90's... and sometimes earlier. This is definitely a place that you can come and have a conversation with someone. It's quiet, and not usually crowded...

I guess you could say I'm adventurous when it comes to food. I try not to eat the same thing twice... unless its SUPER good... I also try to not eat the same thing as anyone I'm eating with. So far at the Steak and Seafood Co., I've had chicken 2 ways and the steak. I haven't been brave enough to eat any of the seafood yet, though I'm sure it's DELICIOUS! :)

This time around, I started with the French onion soup (sorry, no pic) It has to be #1 on the best French onion soups I've ever had-- #2 being the F.O.S. at Mimi's Cafe. Along with F.O.S., I am a connoisseur of sorts of pink lemonades. The pink lemonade here is #3 after In-N-Out (#1) and Olive Garden (#2). lol.

For dinner, I had the Pecan Honey Chicken with steamed veggies and rice. Have you ever eaten something and couldn't stop??? That is how every experience has been for me at the Steak and Seafood Co. The chicken is moist and mouthwatering... the steamed veggies are PERFECTLY seasoned and cooked... and the rice... well, it isn't sticky rice... (that’s how I like it) but It will do! :)

For desert... the French silk pie is a slice of heaven. Some may find it too rich, but i like my French silk like i like my men... dark and rich! lol... jk. ;) Overall, the food is always a homerun for me here at the S&S Co.

It's pretty pricey here... it's definitely not a place to eat when your wallet is looking a little thin. SO, the final score for me is a 4 for prices, a 7.59 for ambience, and a 9 for food taste and quality. Go to Steak and Seafood Company for an upscale meal and a nice place to sit and talk.


Panda Garden

So Karyn refuses to write the review first, citing that she would have to go in and fix mine…I admit, I am a blogger virgin. It’s been a while since our last review; don’t worry, we have eaten since then! But since I’ve had to write first, the reviews have piled up. But have no fear, they will be just as awesome (with a couple of tangents thrown in)!

Ni hao! No, I wasn’t fortunate enough to go to Beijing for the 2008 Summer Olympics, but I was fortunate enough to go to Panda Garden—my favorite Chinese restaurant in St. George! There was a time when Panda Garden was frequented by yours truly at least three times a week. The guys usually know what I want to drink before I can even order! For those of you who are familiar with this restaurant, let me tell you, they’ve made some fantastic changes! Remember the big gold Buddha that used to greet you with a warm smile and a big belly? Well, he’s been replaced with a beautiful glass case full of treasures. With new tables, seats, wall covering, etc., Panda Garden is a brand new place! The food is good—my favorite is the char siu ribs. They used to come out in aluminum foil, and to my delight it was became a little game to see if I can unwrap them before burning my fingers. I know, sadistic. Now they come out on a nice white plate (see picture). I always order them. Just like I always order the sweet and sour pork, with the lo mein noodles and cheese wanton. The renovations to the restaurant even include upgrades to more modern crockery and more dishes like a teppanyaki plate. With the renovation, I give Panda Garden a 9 all around!

Panda Garden. I first visited this restaurant the second week I moved to St. George. I was living with an aunt, and she took me out to a Relief Society 'Lunch Bunch.' I remember thinking 'Why am I eating Chinese food with a bunch of old ladies?' However, the women at that lunch were HILARIOUS (if not contantly talking to me about their kids) and the food was good.

This experience was better. Company-wise it was nicer (Susi is relatively similar to me in age, and we have more in common... and she isn't constantly talking about her kids. Maybe because she doesn't have any...) and food wise... well, we're getting there. My first responsibility is to talk about ambience.

The first time I went to Panda, It was a little shocking. The walls were orange and covered in gold art pieces. There was a golden buddah at the entry and the seating was poorly laid out. This time, I was surprised and happy to see that they redecorated. Replacing the buddah is a red frog with a coin in its mouth for prosperity, instead of the orange walls, they've re-done them in a beige-y toupe, and the seating arrangements have been re-vamped with cherry wood and frosted glass art booths. Overall, i was impressed with the changes.

The food was good, and still is. I had the cheese rangoons and Japanese bento with Teri-beef. The rangoons were DELISH! I really liked the bento. The presentation was AWESOME... it came in a bento type tray. It was pretty good.

I think I have a biased opinion when it comes asian food in St. George. Coming from Hawaii, the community is such a melting pot of cultures, that I've had better. :) But it was good for St. George standards.

SO, the totals are 8's all around. :) Panda has good food, a beautiful restaurant and decent prices. Go and Enjoy!


Paradise Buffet

After months of finally talking about going to a steak and seafood buffet, Karyn and I drove down to Mesquite for some delicious dining at the Oasis. Yes, even with the absurd cost of rising gas prices, we journeyed down through the Gorge to a place that rivals the ugliness and desolation of other desert towns such as Quartzsite and Yuma, Arizona. But what's lacking in those towns, Mesquite makes up for casinos and buffets! Karyn had never eaten in Mesquite; I thought this was a travesty! One of the best things about the Oasis Paradise Buffet is the atmosphere. It's surrounded with these awesome chandeliers and mirrors that make the place look bigger than I am sure it actually is. One cute elderly couple couldn't find their seats. They wandered and wandered like they were lost in a tropical wilderness...:) Not to mention there's this tropical theme with birds of paradise flowers, greenery, and I think I even saw some parrots (maybe on our server's shirt?)..

At buffets, it's always my rule to bypass the salad bar. Seriously, why pay money to eat greens? Go for the good stuff! I am reminded of what Grace Adler (from the tv sitcom Will and Grace) tells her boyfriend Leo when they go to the Plaza for a buffet lunch: "Okay, the key to a successful brunch strategy is knowing how to work the buffet. See, they put all the cheap stuff, like scones and muffins, in front. I mean, how many of those can you have? Eight? Ten? That's like four bucks. Meanwhile, the smoked fishes and other pricey items are around the corner." It's the same with the Paradise Buffet. Go for the pricey items, aka the seafood and steak! Isn't that the whole reason why you came? However, for those that like the salad bar, the Paradise Buffet's doesn't look too bad. Plus, it's end-capped with shrimp! So, like Grace Adler, I headed straight for the pricey stuff: steak cooked to order. I also pick up some tilapia, Paradise Buffet's "famous fried chicken" and some bbq ribs. With my usual glass of milk, everything on my plate was delicious! The steak was cooked how I wanted it, with just the right amount of juiciness (although a little too seasoned for me), the fish was good (even without tartar sauce), and the chicken and ribs were enough to make me want to go back for more. However, I didn't. I don't know what it is with me, but I can usually only have one plate. I think Karyn really hates going to buffets with me! She says I eat like a bird. I thought that my plate was pretty hearty. I did try their dessert bar. Come on, you can't not go to a buffet and not have some ice cream! I even made my own cone! I tried this raspberry cheesecake that was surprisingly good. And drizzled with sauce, what's there to complain about? On atmosphere I give the Paradise Buffet a 9. The ambiance was friendly and inviting and even though we were in a casino, I couldn't hear the clankity-clank of slot machines or the atrocious smell of stale cigarettes. On food, I give them an 8. Yes, I enjoyed it, but I thought it was steak and seafood night...When we went, it was steak and shrimp night. Had there been crab, I definitely would have had more than one plate! :) All in all, a great buffet.

But, I'm going to digress a little...I'm not going to lie to you, the whole experience was capped with a couple of stops on the way home. We ventured into the Starbucks located right outside the entrance to the Paradise Buffet. I bought these cute mugs (see picture) that I hope to use for hot chocolate. We also stopped at the local Wal-Mart. I believe that each Wal-Mart is different. Karyn will beg to differ with me, but I love the Mesquite Wal-Mart! There are things there that can't be found here in St. George. Oh, and did I mention that by Wal-Mart there's a Popeye's Chicken?! I was ecstatic! That's a good place. And Karyn says there's nothing in Mesquite...

If you go to Mesquite, NV- there are two things you'll notice. First, you'll observe it's literally in the middle of nowhere. Second, you’ll become aware that the only things in Mesquite are Casino/Resorts and a Wal-Mart. Now, I’m not prejudiced against small towns, but I have to admit that I have never sampled from the culinary offerings to be found in Mesquite. True, it is only about a half hour drive from St. George, but my laziness and aversion to paying for gas keeps me away. However, I think that I’ll have to visit more often since patronizing the Paradise Buffet at the Oasis Casino.

Susi and I hardly ever go to buffets. I think it’s because of the fact that Susi is physically unable to eat more than one plate of food even if we go to a regular restaurant. Why pay for a buffet, when you can go to a restaurant and actually get your money’s worth? Well, the answer to all of our problems was hiding in Mesquite at the Oasis. Had I known that all I had to do was find a steak and seafood buffet for Susi to eat more than one plate of food, I would have been looking a little harder.

Let me start with atmosphere. The only down-side to Paradise’s atmosphere is that it is located in a casino, and therefore reeks of smoke. I am asthmatic, and allergic to smoke to boot, so I wasn’t enjoying that aspect of our visit. Nevertheless, once you get past the smell, the Paradise Buffet is delightful! It is a island/vacation-y type theme. When you walk up to the cash register, the first thing that attracts your attention is the salad bar. The salad bar is crowned with the largest chandelier I’ve ever seen! It was insanity! (the size of it) Next, you’ll see that the room is covered in mirrors. There are good and bad things about that. I was never really able to determine the size of the room; because the mirrors are on the walls, ceilings, columns... you name it they put a mirror on it. It made the room look enormous; which was probably the point… BUT I could not for the life of me find our table. I had to retrace my steps around the salad bar in order to find it… and I wasn’t the only one that was lost in there either. There was an older gentleman and his wife that were extremely lost… Anywho…

Service was… good. It was basic service you find in any buffet. Our server, Laurie was really nice and kept my drink full.

There’s a reason they call it the Paradise Buffet. Aside from the obvious attempts to make it look like a luau, the food is WONDERFUL! They have a custom order steak bar, and seafood for days… It was AWESOME!!! I have all kinds of seafood, most of which I had no idea what it was… whatever it was, it was scrumptious. Unfortunately we went on a Friday, which is shrimp day. Apparently if you go any other time they have crab legs. We will definitely need to do a re-visit so I can get me some crab.

Taken as a whole, The Paradise gets an 8.999 for food, a 10 for affordability (just $15.00) a 7 for atmosphere (I had a hard time with the smoke) and a 7 for service. Paradise Steak and Seafood Buffet is aptly named. Go and enjoy!!!