Wednesday, May 20, 2015

G's Pizzeria, May 19, 2015

I'd planned to make Thai peanut chicken last night, but when Jeannene called before leaving work, she said we'd need to go to an office supply store to get some posters made for work. I suggested just grabbing dinner out, since we were going to be out and about. As we left the copy shop, I asked where she might like to eat. A coney island? Andiamo's? Union Woodshop? Someplace cool-looking we spotted along the way?

Jeannene surprised me by responding that we should go to the third restaurant we saw, not counting fast food or pizza chains. The third restaurant we saw was Union Woodshop, but we didn't actually pass any of those three, so we decided it would be the third restaurant we actually passed. There are very few restaurants along the path we took home! We finally got to 3 and it was G's Pizzeria in Lake Orion.

We'd been to G's once, shortly after moving to Michigan. We took Boot there when he was in town for Winter Break. We had never returned, having be unimpressed with that first visit. I had wondered if we should give it another chance, but had no compelling reason to do so. I'm glad, then, that it was our "third restaurant's a charm" choice.

We couldn't remember if it was mediocre food or bad service that kept us away. I suspect, after last night, that it was slow service. I can almost remember Boot getting irate at how long everything took. G's is basically a sports bar and the service seems to reflect the fact that many of the folks going there are mostly interested in watching the game and drinking a few beers. Our waitress, while perfectly pleasant, didn't seem overly enthusiastic about her job. Our drinks were never refilled, for example.  There were also large lags between courses. Large.

The atmosphere isn't terribly inviting, either. The ceilings are entirely too high for coziness, but the space feels too cramped for such high ceilings. Tall brown curtains sort of divide the dining area from the bar area, but don't succeed at making it feel any less like a bar. The decor is a kind of haphazard mishmash of local sports memorabilia and well-worn inspirational sayings from Christian scripture. The extra-long booth in which we sat wasn't terribly comfortable and I couldn't decide if the table was sticky or just oddly textured. The main point of decoration is screens everywhere, which is to be expected in a sports bar. It seemed like kind of an odd cross between a sports bar and somebody's (really high-ceilinged) basement rec room.

All that said, I was quite happy with our (completely junk food-y) dining experience. The boneless "wings" (very tender chicken chunks) we shared for a first course were delicious. We chose the mild Buffalo sauce, which was perfectly balanced, neither boringly bland or so hot we couldn't actually taste the flavor. They were also sparingly breaded, so I could actually taste the chicken itself. What a nice change of pace from the "boneless wings" you find so many other places.

For our main courses, I chose a (huge) meatball sub with the house-made chips and Jeannene had a (quite generous) half-rack of ribs with fries. The portions are great for those of us who like to have the next day's lunch all taken care of at dinner.

My sub was terrific, aside from one side of it becoming a bit soggy from heavy saucing. That happens. I simply peeled off the soggy bread and ate it like an open-faced sandwich. The meatballs themselves were dainty in size and delicate in texture, but substantial enough to stand up to the red sauce. The melted mozzarella was just the right amount, too. The chips were fine, but nothing to write home about---I ate a couple and left the rest.

Jeannene loved her ribs. They were well-sauced and fall-off-the-bone tender. I doubt that rib snobs would approve of them, but for sports bar ribs, they were pretty great. The fries were nice and potato-y, too.

We certainly didn't need dessert, but they had a cherry turnover on the menu and I simply couldn't resist. I was all excited about the delicately flaky pastry, the warm cherry filling, the vanilla icing that would form a drizzled zigzag across the top. Well, I didn't read the menu very carefully and it turns out that their version of a cherry turnover is much more akin to a cherry calzone! It was ridiculously enormous, a fat pie of pizza dough filled with abundant amounts of cherry pie filling, baked until gorgeously browned, and served in a pool of nearly translucent glaze. We split half of it and gave up, but what we had was yummy. It wasn't what I'd hoped for, but I would order it again---if I had a couple-few more people to help eat it!

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