I used a phrase in a review I posted a couple days ago that seems to have caught at least one person’s eye – referring to a restuarant as “predictably decent.” I didn’t put much thought into the phrase at the time, other than to feel like it adequately described the consistent quality of the place.
But I’ve thought about it a little more since then and I think it would be fair to say a lot of the places I eat at regularly are predictably decent. Most have good days and bad days, but they all have one thing in common – I can count on them to mostly have good days. I like something very much about any restaurant I frequent, but more than good pizza or good soup or good wings, I like that I can count on the food and service to be good.
One place I can count on to be good across the board is Parkside Grill. We ate there Friday night after I returned from Nashville. We used to eat here more frequently both before our son was born and while he was still young enough to mostly sit in a carrier. Once he got a little older, we shifted our eating out habits to places that were a little less expensive, mainly because we both had to be ready to leave if he got out of hand in the toddler way and also because we realize the impact a crying baby can have on other people paying good money to eat at a restaurant.
We ordered our favorite appetizer, the Colossal Onion Rings. This an example of what I’d call predictably decent, although they were slightly disappointing compared to how they’ve been in the past. They were good onion rings, and a couple of them might have even been accurately described as large, but there was a time when they truly were colossal – to the point that my wife and I would order a half order and still have trouble finishing them. Nowadays the individual rings are smaller and there are fewer of them. They’re still quite tasty, but it might be time for a name change to something like, “Reasonably Large Order of Onion Rings.”
For my meal, I ordered the Kickin’ Chicken. The two fried chicken breasts were quite good, although I was only able to eat one and a half since my son wanted the rest. The cheddar mashed potatoes are a favorite and did not disappoint. The steamed broccoli was good – tender and buttery. The bacon gravy is the real star of the meal, and I get it on the side so I can control how much of it I eat during the meal and have enough left over at the end to dip some of Parkside’s good bread into. We skipped dessert this time, but if we’d stayed for it I probably would have ordered my usual, the Creme Brulee.
The service at Parkside is friendly and consistent. My drink never runs empty. The manager on duty makes regular rounds and checks on all the customers throughout their meals.
I like Parkside Grill and I can recommend it as a good place to have a good meal.