Blogs > Eating It Up Locally!

Who wants to cook? Let’s go out to eat. See where News-Herald staff members dined and where they go to unwind in our area. You might just find a new treasure in your own neighborhood.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Yogurt Vi

I heard, by word of mouth, about this "fantastic new yogurt place." When I heard it was frozen yogurt, I was immediately intrigued.

It's called Yogurt Vi and it's located at Legacy Village just around the corner from California Pizza Kitchen. So, I toughed out the storm that hit on Wednesday to give it a shot.

The setup is great. You walk in, grab an empty cup and it's off to the races from there. You fill up your cup with as much or as little as you want. The price is based on weight. It's really a fantastic idea.

The frozen yogurt machines are along the back wall, and there were sure a lot of choices. Cheesecake and Tropical Banana were the two next to Strawberry, which is the one I chose. And if you knew me, you wouldn't be surprised.

I made my way to the toppings. Once again, there were dozens of choices. I kept it simple by going for the sliced strawberries and the crushed M&Ms. Once again, if you know me, you wouldn't be surprised. There were so many more options that I couldn't even imagine getting the same thing each time. The list of their yogurts and toppings can be found here. There is something for everyone. Fruity Pebbles did catch my attention, though. They really thought of everything.

This was my finished product. And it was delicious. It was too much for one sitting, but I hadn't eaten yet and it was my first time. I promise it won't be my last.

You can check them out on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @Yogurt_Vi.

-- Dom Anselmo |

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Danny Boy's Pizza

On a recent visit to the west side of town, I tried Danny Boy's Pizza -- and I am incredibly glad the establishment has a location in Chester Township.

Just take a look at the menu and try to tell me that you don't want to eat at least half of the items listed.

I had a difficult time narrowing down what I wanted, but ended up going with the Big Lebowski sub -- seasoned hamburger, baked beans, barbecue sauce and cheddar baked together, topped with fries, pickles, onions and mustard. But I also got to sample my second choice, which my friend ordered: the Sinatra Special sub -- layers of shaved ham, turkey, pepperoni, pizza cheese, fresh lettuce, tomatoes and onions, finished with cool mayo and sweet 'n sour dressing. My sandwich was tasty, but his was even better.

The menu also includes an array of salads, melts, pizzas, calzones, foldovers, pasta, ribs and more. Danny Boy's seems like the perfect place to get some grub if no one in your group can decide on one specific cuisine.

And I'm not the only one who thinks the restaurant is good: Danny Boy's has won several area awards in the past 10 years, according to the Our Story page on the website.

Now that my mouth is watering again, I think it's time to plan my next trip to Danny Boy's.

Danny Boy's Pizza
Danny Boy's Chesterland on Facebook
8389 Mayfield Road, Chester Township
Sunday through Thursday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (bar open late)

-- Cheryl Sadler | | @nhcheryl

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Domino's new chicken

Domino's has been advertising that the public try their new chicken -- and to sweeten the deal, they've been offering a pick-two-for-$5.99 deal. My boyfriend and I recently took them up on the offer, ordering a medium two-topping pizza and boneless wings.

I used to really dislike Domino's, eating it only when it was my sole option. But since the company changed the pizza recipe, I've enjoyed it a lot more. It's still not my favorite pizza, but I'll include it in my regular pizza-eating rotation. The two-topping pizza we ordered this time around (with pepperoni and onion) was just as good as the last time I had Domino's.

But the important part of the meal: the chicken. I was a little disappointed with the amount that we got (but then again, it was only $5.99 for that and the entire pizza, so do I really have much room to complain?). But the chicken was good. It didn't taste like mechanically separated meat paste that had been fried, but actually like fried chicken that you might prepare at home. The hot sauce that came on the side was great for dipping, and gives you the option for plain chicken or to choose your own topping.

We didn't get the wings, but now I'm tempted to take Domino's up on this deal again to see how those stack up.

I would order the boneless wings again, but probably only as a side. I don't think the amount you get would be filling enough for a whole meal, so the chicken might best serve as a side to pizza, allowing everyone to share. And the pick-two-for-$5.99 option is a pretty good deal that you might want to consider taking up.

Click here to see the Domino's menu and find a location near you.

-- Cheryl Sadler | | @nhcheryl

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Melting Pot

I recently had the pleasure of a night out with friends at The Melting Pot at Legacy Village. We actually started making the plans for the evening on Twitter several days before we went, and @MeltingPotCleve noticed and joined our conversation, offering reservation tips and telling us they were excited to have us in. Personally, that made me more excited about going there, and we were all wondering if we would meet the face behind the Twitter handle (we did, but more on that later).

I made reservations online, which was very convenient. When we arrived, we were greated very warmly and seated immediately. Our first observation was that it was very dark. The atmosphere was definitely... intimate, for lack of a better word. There was a simple blue light above our table, and it took a while for our eyes to adjust to the darkness. Our server, Jim, came to take our orders, and he was very friendly and helpful when we told him we hadn't been there before. He explained the menu, and we settled for the "Big Night Out" option.

The Big Night Out is designed for two people, but we were able to expand it for three, and is a four course meal. You start with a cheese fondue of your choice which comes with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, granny smith apples and a few different types of bread in bite-size pieces for dipping. We chose the cheddar cheese option, and our server mixed it at our table for us. He poured in a little beer, added garlic and, of course, lots of cheddar cheese, and mixed it until it was the perfect consistency. It was very good, and we were excited to try everything in the cheese--especially the apples. And while fondue is a bit intimidating if you're worried about dropping food into the cheese, don't worry! They provide you with a "search and rescue spoon" designed specifically for reconnaissance missions into the hot pot of cheese--which, by the way, is very hot and kept on a warmer in the middle of the table.

Following the cheese fondue course, we were brought salads. My Caesar salad was very good, and accented with pine nuts on top. They were probably my favorite part of what would otherwise have been expected to be a typical salad.

After the salad was the main dinner entree. There are several entree options available that consist of  an assortment of pork, steak/beef, chicken, shrimp and lobster (there is a vegetarian option). You choose a cooking style, which really means the type of oils and seasonings in which you dip your food to cook, as the meat is delivered to your table raw.

I will say this, if you are turned off by the idea of cooking your own food, or looking at raw meat while you eat, this might not be the place for you (my friends and I joked about that being a reason for the dark lighting). Our server instructed us to hold each piece of meat in the very hot, bubbling pot for at least 2 minutes. The pieces of meat are bite-size, and each diner is given three skewers to use for the process. The different varieties of meat were all very delicious, and our mojo cooking style added so much flavor. The mojo was described as "Caribbean-seasoned bouillon with a distinctive fresh-garlic flavor and a citrus flair."

I was in a hurry to try each type of meat as well as the salsa ravioli that was part of our entree. The ravioli and mole chicken were my favorites, as the chicken had a uniquely seasoned flavor of it's own. We were later informed that the current menu just rolled out last week, and our server asked us specifically what we thought about the chicken. I'd say it was one of the highlights, for sure. The entree included unlimited veggies to put in the mojo cooking style, which included red-skinned potatoes, mushrooms and broccoli. I really loved the potatoes in the mojo.

Our server also brought us several dipping sauces. We had a hard time remembering what they all were (we couldn't remember which type of raw meat was which, either!), and my friend Erica was the only one to take advantage of them. I thought the flavors of the meat and the cooking style were delicious on their own, but now I wish I had sampled some of the sauces--one of which was a curry, I believe.

We were all looking forward to dessert from the start of our meal. There are several types of chocolate fondues from which to choose, and we eventually narrowed it down to the flaming turtle-chocolate mixed with pecans and caramel. You are given fresh strawberries, cheesecake, brownie chunks, coated marshmallows, rice krispie treats, and bananas to dip into the chocolate mix. Our server surprised us with an extra dessert fondue--the bananas foster. Dessert was especially fun because both of our fondue selections were enflambee, so our server lit them both on fire as he served them to us.

Now, not being a big fan of bananas, I was a bit hesitant to try the bananas foster at first, but I thought it was unbelievably delicious. The flaming turtle was decadent, and I would have a hard time choosing one as a favorite over the other. I particularly enjoyed the strawberries in the bananas foster. The cheesecake dipped in a combination of both fondues was also amazing.

Overall, the food there was excellent. I left dinner feeling incredibly full and very satisfied. My friends and I were there for long time, as it definitely is a process to cook your own entree. Our service was very prompt, and there was always someone available to refill our beverages and ask us how we were enjoying our meal.

Which brings me to Twitter. The man behind @MeltingPotCleve stopped by our table to introduce himself and acknowledge that he talked to us on Twitter. He was incredibly friendly, and I was happy to see such a personable person was behind what I viewed as a personable Twitter account. He passed by our table several times to chat, ask us how our meal was and even refill our water. We also met one of the managers who stopped by our table twice to check on us, and another woman took our photo for their Facebook page.

I cannot stress enough what a great experience I had. The food was delicious, the staff was incredible, and the atmosphere was cozy and fun. While it was definitely a splurge (it is probably difficult to spend less than $50 per person after tip--and that is without alcohol, although they had a very nice wine list and several tasty-sounding specialty cocktails), I would love to go back. If the food hadn't won me over, I'd say the staff and the way they take advantage of social media to reach out to potential patrons and make them feel welcome really sets The Melting Pot apart. It's definitely a must-visit. And hey, be sure to give them a shout-out on Twitter or Facebook before you go!

Danielle Capriato

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