Friday, September 6, 2013


Given that the all-recliner theatre of our dreams has opened in Webster, we've spent a lot more time there, and when my sister and two of her three recently visited, we made a pilgrimage to this movie mecca and needed dinner first.  The demand from the four cousins was pizza, so we set off for Proietti's.

Our table of seven split into factions: three had pizza; three had pasta; and one (guess who!) had beans and greens.  Our server was super pleasant and gracious, and she secured her tip by bringing out a lovely plate of fresh zucchini sauteed with tomatoes ... on the house.  Couple that with the soft Italian bread, and things were off to a great start.

The two pizzas were a big hit, and one was devoured completely.  The crust was thin but still had a bit of doughy "meat" to it.  The sauce had some spark and the toppings were generous.  Solid!

My daughter had chicken french of her own making:  taking the kid's menu chicken french tenders and having them served over pasta tossed with garlic and olive oil.  She loved it.

My husband went for the wild mushroom ravioli (secretly knowing that several slices of his son's pizza would be his for the taking, too).  It was richly flavored and just plain rich.  He ate half and some pizza and was a very happy man.

My greens and beans were unbelievably good:  the broth was beyond garlicky, the beans firm, the greens lovely.  Yum!!  I'd have eaten that broth over anything, honestly.

Add in one order of fettucini alfredo for my niece, and we were full and ready to settle in to our recliners for a night of entertainment.

Proietti's offers delicious Italian food at reasonable prices just down the street from the best movie theater on earth.  Home run!


The Charbroil is decidedly and intentionally anti-hip.  It celebrates old school diner food without being retro: unapologetically offering a thick menu of comfort staples served by a friendly staff who call you "Hon" regardless of your gender or age.   Enough older patrons are greeted by name to suggest they've been eating there since they were teens, but new faces are greeted with equally big smiles.  You can have breakfast at 7 am or pm; you can have big, unadorned baked potatoes with everything from hamburgers to chicken french; you can read the day's "Pie" menu which includes such classics as blueberry, lemon meringue, and everyone's favorite pie: chocolate cake (what? whatever!).  Heck, tonight when we went, we could have ordered "Salt Potoaotes," but we didn't.

For our family, Charbroil is ideally located for a quick, no-heavy-thinking dinner after picking up the kids from any number of activities--and they love it!

My son's go-to dinner choice is chocolate silver dollar pancakes with a side of bacon.  It never disappoints and it always disappears.

My daughter lights up with joy when chicken french is on the special board.  When it's not, she defaults to chicken parmesan.  Both have a based of crispy chicken breasts served over a huge portion of pasta--the chicken is really quite good: the breasts are flattened to cook evenly.  The french comes with a lemon-scented garlicky sauce; the parmesan with a basic red sauce.  Either way, my petite princess plows through it, usually leaving just enough for breakfast the next morning and just enough room for a piece of chocolate cream pie.

If I'm looking for something lighter, I'll take the broiled haddock with lemon pepper seasoning and one of the Charbroil's old fashioned baked potatoes.  The fish is consistently well-cooked, light, flaky with a seasoning that should really be called "pepper-lemon."   Like everything, the portion seems oversized for the plate, but that's not a complaint.  The potatoes are steaming hot, moist, dense.  They bring back foil wrapped memories of midwestern meals.

The Charbroil is the kind of place we so often take for granted as we zip by on our way to the latest foodie haven.  It consistently offers good food at a good price served by nice people.  Nothing wrong with that--in fact, most times, it's just right.

Good Luck

Odd that we hadn't been to Good Luck before.  Maybe because of its bring your beards and vintage shirtwaist dresses kind of vibe, maybe because of its massive central bar.  I'm not sure.  In truth, we stopped trying that hard to be alt-anything years ago.  But, on a night when we were running over to the MAG for a movie about the Replacements, we figured, "Heck, it's right across the street, and we used to be rad. Let's do it."  We were glad we did!

Good Luck is big on sharing plates.  We ordered french fries, a salad, and fried chicken--and sat back to enjoy the mix-matched warehouse ambience while we waited.

The fries came first and were almost addictively good:  salty and crisp in a classic thinly cut "frites" style.  We kept trying to stop eating them ... and failing miserably.

Then the salad.  It had a base of crispy bibb lettuce with a bright and sparky pepperoncini vinaigrette that played perfectly off the pancetta and blue cheese.  It was accented with firm chick peas.  A great palate cleanser after the fries.

Finally, the plentiful fried chicken.  It had more of a batter than a breading crust (I prefer the latter).  The chicken itself was seasoned well and was moist in a way that suggested it had been brined in buttermilk before frying.  The portion was easily shared and disappeared as quickly as it could be eaten.  The sides were not up to the high standard set by the chicken.  The corn was a bit too soft and over-cooked while the barley/lentil salad seemed too undercooked and didn't benefit from being served chilled.  I'd have gone with a well-chilled tomato-cucumber salad or a crisp corn and black bean side to offset the chicken.

We'd definitely return to Good Luck.  Its cooler-than-you rep masks a very welcoming restaurant with a winning menu.  Yum!