Sunday, August 30, 2009

Rivers Casino...

My Fellow Gamblers... ah, I mean Tattlers :)

I went to the Rivers Casino the other day and here are my thoughts:

- Those machines are tight! After an afternoon of playing, they weren't giving me any wins. Oh slot machine gods, at least play with me a little bit.

- They have video blackjack tables that are very creepy. It has a huge screen with a computerized dealer that looks at you when it's your turn. Way too surreal. Additionally, the woman dealers are in French maid outfits for you perverts :)

- The line to get a player's card was super long, however it moves really fast.

- The buffet is overpriced. Lunch is $13-ish and dinner is $25. It includes a salad bar and several stations such as American, Italian, Chinese, pizza, dessert and others. The ribs in the American section were overcooked and tasted more like beef jerky. The Mongolian section was something different and the pizza was good.

While I had a few minor issues with the buffet, the food was generally good for a buffet. I still believe it was not worth the money. If they added more seafood items on the buffet, it might be worth it.

The Post-Gazette's phantom diner, Munch, gave it a decent review. I have heard rumors that Munch is actually four different PG reporters but that is besides the point. Munch's article is here.

- I tend to travel to Las Vegas every other year and I'm used to casinos with a theme. The Rivers Casino has no theme, which was weird to me. It's not a necessary condition, however I felt it would be cool if it had a theme. By the way, I recommend the buffet at Paris in Las Vegas.

- Much like Kennywood and Sandcastle -- this is a good people watching spot. I love people watching!

In the end, I'd recommend giving the Rivers Casino a visit. I had a good time but wish Lady Luck was on my side.

Working to keep you posted...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Help a good cause...

My Fellow Tattlers,

I recieved an E-mail from a reader and must say, if you're looking for a good cause this is a great one. So come on out this Friday and enjoy yourself while lending a helping hand to a great charity.

My daughter Chelsea (16 yrs old) has organized a concert, "Face the Music,"
which will benefit Family Resources in their fight to prevent child abuse.
The concert will feature a fantastic local teenage band
"Crossing Boundaries"
with Courtney Barker as the opening act.

The concert is at 6 p.m. on Friday, August 28 at the
Family Resources retreat center in Mars.

Tickets can be purchased that night
for $10.

Additional information is available at www.familyresourcesofpa.org

It's a great cause.

Working to keep you posted...



Saturday, August 22, 2009

Farmers Market idea...

Well,

I got a bunch of positive feedback over the farmers market idea. I think we could get this done. I'll start making contacts, hopefully this idea can be reality next summer!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Farmer's Market...

My fellow Tattlers,

I recently noticed that a small farmer's market has opened up along McKnight Road at the former location of the Dunkin Donuts (near Chili's). While this is quite a small operation out of the back of a kidnapper van (no windows), I'm loving it.

This made me think. Wouldn't it be great if we had a large farmers market along McKnight Road? A perfect location would be in Ross Towne Center, which has Panera Bread and Wendy's. It could be located where the fireworks tent/ Christmas tree area usually is.

In my vision, this market would offer goods from several local farms such as Soergel's, Shenot's and others. Each would have a table or area.

I think this would be a great pet project for local leaders to undertake. It would help local residents and bring some fresh vegetables to the plate. Is this unrealistic and a pipe dream or could this be done? Just a thought.

What do you think?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Twitter to check out...

My fellow Tattlers,

For those that use Twitter, here is a good one to follow:

http://twitter.com/NorthHillsTweet

We're all in this together. By the way, many thanks to the commenter who mentioned this Tweeter in a previous post :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Chipotle vs. Qdoba...

For some reason, many people make comparisons of Qdoba and Chipotle like it is similar to the rivalries of Coke and Pepsi. I've come to the conclusion that I like both for different reasons.

Here are some of my thoughts.

Chipotle

What I Like:

- Their guacamole is much better than Qdoba's. It has much more flavor/spice while Qdoba's is all avocado and not much else.

- Chipotle uses meat derived from cage free/ free range farms. I also like how Chipotle tries to use some ingredients from local sources.

- Their tacos are delicious. Absolutely top notch.

What I Don't Care For:

- The menu is too limited. However, if you like to keep it simple -- Chipotle is the place for you.

- It tends to be very loud in the restaurant. Whether it is the open kitchen format or music playing a little to loud, it can be hard to hold a conversation in the place.

- The location seems like it would be better for lunch than dinner. For me, it's on the wrong side of McKnight Road. While I like both places, I find myself going to Qdoba more frequently because of its location.

Qdoba

What I like:

- Their menu is very large with lots of options. So, if you're indecisive, Qdoba is the place for you.

- Their taco salad is always good as well as their selection of salsas. I love the hot salsa and pico de gallo.

- It's always comfortable in the eatery. The lines are usually manageable, staff is friendly and no music is blaring.

What I don't like:

- The guacamole sucks

- Their ancho BBQ burrito leaves a lot to be desired. The grilled quesadillas could use a little work too.

- The parking lot is small and can be awkward to exit from.

My final thought is this:

If you're the type who likes a large menu with lots of frills, Qdoba is the place for you. However, if you are a meat and potatoes-type person who enjoys the basics, give Chipotle a shot. They both provide decent food quickly and are top notch when compared to other Mexican style eateries.

What do you think?

The book list...

Per my New Year's Resolution to read more books, I will update this list throughout the year. Hopefully, this could inspire some of you to read these same titles!

The changes from the last post are bold and in blue.

Book List

- "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini. A good follow-up to "The Kite Runner." This book goes even more in-depth to the effect war has on the human experience. It also gives readers a different perspective of the people of Afghanistan over the past three decades. Every woman should read this book.

- "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini. This is a FANTASTIC book. I haven't read any book this good in a very long time. It has vivd imagery and a touching story that will affect you for a long time after you're done reading it. Every man should read this book.

- "I Hate Your Guts" by Jim Norton. If you like his comedy, you'll love this book. There are definately some laugh-out-loud moments.

- "My Year Of Living Biblically" by A.J. Jacobs. This was a great sociological experiment. Though the chapters were a bit long for me, I still recommend it.

- "Are You There, Vodka? It's me, Chelsea" by Chelsea Handler. This book was very funny especially the first couple chapters. Though it loses it's gusto towards the end, I would certainly recommend this title for it's early parts. There are definitely some laugh out loud moments.

- "Too Fat To Fish" by Artie Lang. This book wasn't really my cup of tea. It is fashioned as more a biography than a book about humorous observations. Artie Lang is very funny on Stern and on the stage... so this was a big disappointment for me. However, he tells a couple sad stories which illuminates the fact the comedy comes from tradgedy.

- "What Hath God Wrought" by Daniel Walker Howe. I'm still reading this one and boy this is a long one!

- "Boom: Voice of the Sixties" by Tom Brokaw. I got this for Christmas a year ago and am still working on it. It's one of those books I enjoy reading sporadically.