Tuesday, July 24, 2012

David's Career Path #6,212

Last week I posted a Flog about my recent unimpressive dinner at Chompie’s Deli on Shea.  I’ve been an amateur restaurant critic since the days before eateries provided coloring books and crayons to shut kids up.  I’ve always wanted to turn pro, but I can’t get anyone to pay me (let alone spring for the meal).  The response to my observations is usually something like, “when I want your opinion, I’ll give it to you.”  

But, this is my Flog after all, and damn it, I’m telling it the way I see it.  Or in this case, eat it.

I have developed a very simple rating system. 

·         Mmmmmmm! mmmmahvelous, yummmmm, mmmmoooove me into another position so I can eat mmmore
·         Meh.  it was ok but would it kill management to add a little ________ (insert appropriate  noun or verb)?  
·         M-mm.   I wouldn’t bother coming back

Lest you faithful Flog-ites (both of you) think I only complain about restaurants, let me assure you that is not so.  Case in point: Jasmine Tokyo on Shea Boulevard just west of Scottsdale Road, an Asian restaurant which took over the building that formerly housed the Claim Jumper (they’ve jumped elsewhere).

A couple weeks ago, my daughter Ruth came home raving about the food … quality and quantity … at Jasmine Tokyo.  We actually recently returned from an exciting trip to Tokyo so the name evoked an instant appeal, and we have happily returned several times.

The food, served buffet style, is fabulous and plentiful – the variety is like being at a supermarket.  It’s described as Asian Fusion on their website – I just call it tasty.

The dining room is spacious and quiet enough to have a conversation using your “indoor” voice. 

Best of all, it’s a steal!   Weekday lunches are just $12.  Weekend lunches are $15 and dinner is $22.

I did a little research and found that Jasmine Tokyo is locally owned and opened in December, 2011.  The same group of owners operate Hong Kong Gourmet in Chandler.

I find myself feeling protective of this new treasure – the quantity and quality of food is so good, I don’t know how they can turn a profit at the prices they are currently charging.  My recommendation is to go there, quick!  And if you love it, spread the word.

The Flog Rating:   Mmmmmmmm!!!!!

Jasmine Tokyo Asian Buffet    7000 E Shea Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ  85254    (480) 991-0655

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Yesterday, my friends Howard and Claire drove 80 miles (round trip) to take me to dinner.  The restaurant they wanted to introduce me to was closed, so we went to Chompie’s which is conveniently located within walking distance of a hospital, a long-term care center and a cemetery.  Now, I’m not implying that a Chompie’s customer might subsequently require hospitalization, long-term care or a crypt, but as a long-time resident of Scottsdale, I can say that Chompie’s quality and value has slipped big time.
It looked promising … there was a large sign just inside the door advertising Jewish Sliders for .99 cents (regularly $6.99).  This apparently was a one-day only promotion that we had lucked into – and a popular one judging from the crowd.  While we waited to be seated, I approached the hostess and inquired about the promotion.  Interestingly, the hostess (who was standing next to the sign) said she did not know about the promotion.  Maybe it was her first day or perhaps she was a vegan trying to block out any knowledge of our fresh-baked-from-scratch mini challah roll filled with our moist lean beef brisket, real Jack cheese, our homemade potato pancake (latke) and our savory brown gravy.

When we were finally seated I watched in amazement as wave after wave of waiters & waitress emerged from the kitchen carrying trays of slider-laden plates. When our waitress took our orders, Howard ordered a chopped liver sandwich and soup and Claire, a chicken dinner.  The Jewish Sliders were still selling like medical marijuana so when the waitress told me I could order two or four, I held up two fingers, suddenly feeling like a small child who’d been asked his age.

The waitress returned to tell me they were plum out of Sliders.  Plum.  Out.  Another vegan perhaps?  Nah… she didn’t seem to have any issue with chopped liver or chicken. As more slider-serving waiters streamed past our table, she said she would check again. She was back in a nano-second to tell me they had 50 left of which I could have four. Again I requested two, and left 48 for the anxious looking folks who were yet to be seated.

Though they didn’t complain, Howard and Claire didn’t exactly wax poetic about their dinners, and after all the build-up, the Jewish Sliders were just ok (the Daily Double for $3.13 at McDonald’s is tastier and a better value).

When McDonald’s food is favorably compared to “Arizona’s Award Winning New York Deli,” it’s time for said deli to up its game.  They should start with some quality training time and not do job fairs at PETA.

And in the future, I bet Howard and Claire will make sure their restaurant of choice is open before trekking to the eastern edge of Scottsdale.