Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Perlo's Italian Grill, Rochester NY

A tasty neighborhood treat located in East Rochester, NY, Perlo's is only ten years old but feels like it is much older.  And in this case that's a good thing. Walking in, the staff greets you like long lost family, and indeed many of the patrons are on a first name basis there.  The bar was occupied by a relaxed and chatty group enjoying an evening cocktail.  It's a very welcoming establishment.

But down to the business at hand.  Famished after traveling from Chicago, an appetizer was in order.  Highly recommended, the Arancini de Riso is a fun and tasty treat.  You receive three risotto rice balls with prosciutto, peas and mozzarella topped with the house marinara.  All homemade here folks, you can taste the freshness in each bite.  Accompanying it is a basket of warm, crusty bread to mop things up with.

Entrees ordered were two of the specials.  The Crusted Tilapia was delicately sauteed and bedded over field greens..  To call the the other Ravioli would be an injustice.  It was an outrageous dish with house made Italian sausage ravioli accompanied with broiled shrimp. Served with the house marinara, the ravioli were precisely al dente and balanced the shrimp nicely.

There was plenty to take for another light meal, or not too much to finish if one so desired.  Perfect portions and nice pricing to match.  If you find yourself in the area, Perlo's (perlosrestaurant.com) sure beats the hell out of the garden of olives.  4.5/5

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Round the Clock - Schererville, IN

Just west of the intersection of routes 30 and 41 sites Round the Clock diner.  A staple in NW Indiana for decades it seemed just the place to stop for a nibble before catching a Friday night movie.  Unbeknownst to me, we arrived just in time for the senior special.  Fortunately, I have not yet qualified for that dubious honor, but be forewarned that close in parking with your special blue permit is at a premium! 

Since we were in the mood for just a sandwich, the turkey, Swiss and bacon combos seemed just right.  A club for my date and a panini for me.  Surprisingly, fresh baked rolls arrived with the menu and we also had a choice of soup or salad.  Since it was a cold evening, soups were ordered.  One cream of potato and one tomato basil.  Nice and hot with plenty of crackers, and thankfully not overly salty.  Sandwiches were delivered timely with a side of seasoned french fries.  Generous but not ridiculous portions were the order of the day, followed unexpectedly by a choice of dessert.  A slim slice of creamy cheese cake topped everything off and we were out the door with time to spare to catch the movie.  And all for about $20.  That's tough to beat!!  For a diner outside of NJ, call it 4/5.

Taste of Poland - Dyer, IN

How very interesting, a buffet with a plethora of Polish food here in NW Indiana.  Dropped by there with a group of teenage boys and another Dad and we all left quite full.  The hot buffet was quite substantial and included sausage, kraut, pierogies, and potato pancakes to name a few.  Multiple cold salads and sides rounded off one side of the buffet line, while a dessert extravaganza lined the other.  I have to say the sausage and kraut were both quite nice, although I prefer my pierogies fried rather than boiled.  Overall, it is your own fault if you left there hungry.  $12 for the buffet seemed fair considering the multiple options, and the staff was very attentive.

I suppose in some ways I came away underwhelmed, but in retrospect I think it's because of one thing.  I don't really think of Polish fare as something unique or special.  Having grown up in Buffalo, NY, we just called it food since the ingredients and cooking styles were so ingrained in us.  I'd give it 3/5 for now, but maybe 3.5 for the desserts.  I hope they stick around.