Thursday, April 7, 2011

Marie Callender's

When I was in graduate school, I discovered Marie Callender's pot pies. Specifically, the Parmesan Chicken variety. That one has broccoli instead of peas, and that makes all the difference to me. I love that pot pie, and whenever I'm home alone for a week or so, I pick one up and have it for dinner one night. Jonathan doesn't really like them, and they're pretty bad for you, so I only eat about three or four a year. Anyway, more to the point... when we moved to California in 2009, we drove by a Marie Callender's Restaurant & Bakery from time to time, but we never stopped in. Because of where we're living now, we pass it about once a week, and it really looks enticing. So, with Jonathan's parents visiting, and a decent coupon in the mail, we decided to give it a try.

We went on a Saturday night, and the place was pretty crowded. We only needed to wait about two minutes for a booth, but every table that we passed was full. Coat hooks were at every booth, so that was nice. Service wasn't ideal, but it wasn't bad, either. Our coupon was 1/2 price entrees with the purchase of another entree and two beverages. And, it allowed you to use it twice at the table, so that worked out for all of us. I had the strawberry lemonade, which was pretty good. At first it tasted pretty fake, but once I got past the sweetness, it was good. And there were real bits of strawberries in it, which is always nice in my opinion. Everyone else got hot tea, and they enjoyed it.

Jonathan added the salad bar to his meal, and I think that he's glad that he did. There were some nice choices on the bar, like ham and turkey, pasta salad, and multiple soups. He ordered the meatloaf meal, which came with a small portion of mashed potatoes, plus steamed carrots and broccoli. He said that the broccoli was good. The meatloaf was different, as it had bits of grated carrot in it, giving it a strange texture. The potatoes were real and good, but not plentiful. I went with the "souper sandwich," which was a bowl of soup and a half sandwich. I chose the potato cheese soup, which was very good, though a bit too hot at the beginning. I picked the tuna sandwich, which was plain tuna with lettuce on grilled parmesan sourdough. It was a pretty good combination. I understand how they priced my meal at $10 (bowls of soup are like $7 there!), but I wasn't too satisfied in the end with the portion for the price.

Jonathan's mom went with the Trio, which I was hoping would work for me, but ultimately did not. You get a caesar salad, a choice of pot pie, and a choice of pie for dessert. The only pot pie options they have are the regular chicken (with peas) and Shepherd's (also with peas). I'm surprised that they don't have more options, since there are so many varieties in the frozen section at the grocery store, LoL. Anyway, she chose the Shepherd's pie and the cherry pie. We all had bites of the cherry pie, and it seemed that everyone else liked it. I thought it was a bit tart, as cherry pies tend to be (except when made with rainier cherries, LoL). The caesar salad was pretty light on the dressing, but the server brought out more pretty quickly. I can't remember what his dad had, despite the fact that we talked about it a couple of days later, too, LoL. I want to say that he liked it, but it has completely slipped my memory. I guess that's what happens when I don't get a chance to post more often!

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