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Friday, May 19, 2017

M&J Bistro - Mad Noodles




Wow, M & J Bistro. Talk about a god damned restaurant nightmare. My friend Phil warned me about this place. but I laughed in the face of destiny and scheduled a happy hour. The establishment was not equipped to handle more than 12 patrons at any one time. Our happy hour was clearly overwhelming for both the bar and the kitchen. The most disappointing part of writing this review is that they seemed like really nice people that are trying to operate a decent restaurant. However, they desperately need some help.

Four weeks after we visited M & J they have already re-branded as Mad Noodles. Even more alarming is that their market research for their re-branding project appeared to be based on a series of questions that were posited to the members of the Facebook group South Side Secrets. (I wouldn't even trust the collective members of this group to give advice on how to make potato salad.)


Who has ever heard of french fries in a bento box? What a great idea! The food at M & J really wasn't bad. I enjoyed my bento box as well as my sushi - I would have no problem stating on the record that the food was better prepared and higher quality than the offerings at Nakama right down the street. I'm quite hopeful that Mad Noodles will also have great food.

I wish the staff and owners of Mad Noodles the best of luck. However, I think it would be in their best interest to hire some type of brand and operational consultant. They are shaping up to be the next Bobby Hendrix aka Wings and Whiskey aka whatever they called it the third time before they closed.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Southern Tier Brewing




I had the pleasure of going to Southern Tier for their groundbreaking last summer. It was truly a momentous event filled with celebration and excitement. The Pittsburgh brew pub is the first location Southern Tier has opened outside of their flagship brewery in New York. Apparently the Pittsburgh market has responded well to their brand.

I actually consider Southern Tier to be one of my favorite breweries. They have one of the best pumpkin beers on the market and, in my opinion, their 2X IPA really set the standard in terms of bringing IPAs to the public. Pictured above with my sandwich is the cherry gose - a delightful cherry flavored sour beer that was available for limited time.

Unfortunately, I do not have anything positive to say about the kitchen at Southern Tier.

It emphatically states on the Southern Tier website, "We take our food as seriously as we do our beer." This statement is a bold lie. The food at Southern Tier is extremely underwhelming - particularly in comparison to their world class beer.

My grilled chicken sandwich was charred, flavorless and covered in a thick blackened crust that did not seem intentional. I barely wolfed the thing down. The salad that accompanied the sandwich consisted of simple greens with some type of vinaigrette. (Can a man get a cucumber or at least one cherry tomato?)

The other dishes on the Southern Tier menu also appear extremely uninspired. (A simple bar man's menu of sandwiches and lackluster entrees.) For a brewery that goes out of their way to serve extraordinary beer, they sure slacked on the kitchen. 



These wings actually weren't too bad! But, I'd still rather eat at a Bojangles or Fuddruckers.

Southern Tier Brewing Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato