We ate lunch at Garfield’s today in the Stroud mall for the first time and I must say it was actually a rather fun and relaxing experience.Â Eating out anywhere is a rare occasion for us, at least when we bring our 4 y/o son because he’s one ball of energy that doesn’t stop and confidingÂ our child toÂ sitting stillÂ for 45 minutes never seems to go over too well.Â Its summer, well almost,Â and often when we’re stopping to eat its during the midst of a bunch of errands and outings during which we’re all tired and the little one is crankier then usual.
So, onto recent experiences…I had never been to a Garfield’s although I’ve been to plenty of places like it – its your typical Ruby Tuesdays, TGIFridays, etc.Â chain restaurant with the objects all over the walls, a bar section and a varied menu.Â What Garfield’s has that I’ve only seen at a few other restaurants was a full cover table mat (a piece of paper) that you could draw on.Â As simple as that idea might seem it keep both kids – our 4 y/o and my husband, occupied until the food arrived.Â It took a little bit longer then usual but having something to do kept everyone distracted enough that no one seemed to mind.
The food itself was good, ever since Ruby Tuesdays took potato skins off their 3-type appetizer I’ve been looking for a replacement so I got Garfield’s mixed appetizer which included potato skins, mozzarella sticks and chicken quesadillas.Â My husband got a cheese steak which was pretty good – we’re both originally from around the Philadelphia area so nothing quite matches a “real” cheese steak but it was pretty good nonetheless.Â Our son got their Dino bites – aka chicken nuggets, fries and an apple juice.Â I liked the fact that they had the option of both chicken fingers and chicken nuggets on their kids menu – since our son is more likely to eat the latter.
We had stopped by theÂ Ruby Tuesdays on 611Â for lunch earlier in the week and I was actually quite disappointed.Â Its usually an alright place to eat, and although our waitress was nice enough to rush because we were short on time, the food definitely fell short.Â I had their 3-type appetizer(what can I say I’m on a streak), of cheese fries, chicken fingers and mozzarella sticks.Â There were no dipping sauces – which when you’re in a rush you take what you can get but I assume they just forgot – the cheese fries were hard as a rock and the cheese was in that solidified crusty state from being over cooked and the mozzarella sticks were nothing but a shell and a tad bit of cheese.Â Now we’ve stopped their plenty of times before with better results, their soup & salad bar option is usually good, my husband always likes the salad bar, but this time was sad to say the least.Â The cherry coke my husband got was probably the oddest way I’ve ever seen it served – it was topped with real cherries which was cute, but there was cherry…particles…in it.Â You couldn’t drink it without getting a mouthful of grainy pieces – I’m not sure if that was someone’s idea (good in theory just badly executed) or what but not being one to send stuff back my husband had no choice because it was really pretty inedible.Â What didn’t help the situation was thatÂ whoever prints their childrens menu hadn’t so they were photo copyingÂ them and a selection of 2 crayons didn’t exactly tide the little one over for very long so he was very restless.Â Â I definitely feel like we didn’t get our moneys worth and we’d probably choose Garfield’s over them in the future, but every restaurant has their days, that day just obviously was not theirs.Â
Moving onto less of a chain restaurant – Marita’s Cantina on Main Street in Stroudsburg has actually been surprising me.Â We had gone there a few times to meet with friends forÂ 1/2 price fajitas before it was rebuilt and it always seemed small, dark and overly crowded.Â It always seemed like we were being nickel and dimed – I hate getting charged for refills when the standard now adays is “free refills” so after being charged $1 for sour cream for my faijitas(again a standard)Â I just about had it and we kind of phased the place out.Â Flash forward to the rebuilt Marita’s and although I’ve only ever been there twice for lunch they’ve definitely elevated their standards in my book.Â There is plenty of natural light, and although the seating area has not really seemed to expand it feels roomier then in the past.Â I was really pleased with their Chicken Fajita salad – both times I’ve been there I’ve been unable to actually finish it, its a good size portion, has a really good combination of vegetables and the chicken is excellent.Â Kid wise it didn’t go over too well, they have a kids menu but nothing to keep them occupied(crayons, placemat), but I’d definitely go back for a lunch with just myself and my husband.
Sarah Street Grill – the most ‘original’ out of the restaurants mentioned so far, its tucked away off Main Street on where else – Sarah Street.Â Now that the weather is warmer the deck is open so if you’re looking to have a nice lunch outside definitely check them out.Â They’ve always had comparable prices to the above mentioned restaurants, but the quality of food is a lot better,Â more of that ‘homemade’ type feel.Â If I’mÂ in the moodÂ for a salad that’s definitely where I head to Â – their not so “big” salad is only $2.99 and is the size of a regular salad anywhere else.Â Its always fresh and you definitely can’t find a salad of that size and quality anywhere else at another restaurant (sit down or fast food) that I know of.Â Their “big” salad is even bigger(obviously) and is only $3.99Â – I will usually pair the “not so big” with something else small and its definitely filling.Â Their wraps are also really good – their Turkey ranch wrap is really good, anything off their menu is pretty good though.Â There are ‘off’ days I’m not sure if its a change in who’s the chef that day but I’d be sure to try a few different items a few different days and you’ll be sure to be pleased.Â We had an event there for lunch/dinner and it was a decent price compared to other places in the area and the food was actually better then their regular menu.Â If you’re looking to have a baby shower lunch, wedding rehersal dinner, etc. definitely check it out as an option.Â Side note – as a few months ago they have gone totally non-smoking minus an outdoor smoking area.Â Â They’re one of the few bars/restaurants in the area that I know of that have implemented that and though I’m sure they took a hit for it I’m sure they attracted some new customers too.Â If you’re looking for a place to hear local music or watch some games check them out as well.Â Oh and if you’re a sushi fan their sushi bar is open for dinner.
If you’re looking for a really nice place to have a quiet romantic dinner I’d suggest the Stone Bar Inn – the food is definitely rich and priced higher then an average dinner but its extremely tasty and beautifully done.Â We’ve only eaten there once for dinner but it was a great time and definitely a breath of fresh air.Â All the other places mentioned we’ve only been to lunch for, not dinner, so I can’t say what does/doesn’t vary later in the day but if you have places/stories you’d like to share please do!