Thursday, August 21, 2008

In a Mazda, down by the river

The weather has been absolutely beautiful lately - warm during the day and cool at night. In order to take advantage of the nice weather, Jeff and I had dinner with my former manager at Trader Jack's Grille in Eastlake, located right on the Chagrin River He was laid off by the company I work for - but it's the best thing that's ever happened to him. Calling it the "Summer of Tom," he's traveled by train, motorcycle, plane, and car to over 23 states. It almost makes me wish I'd lost my job!

We met Tom and his girlfriend a little after 7:00 and the restaurant parking lot was full. Featuring a nautical theme, the inside portion of the restaurant was moderately full, but when we stepped outside onto the expansive patio/deck/outdoor bar, we could tell where all of the people were. Families, couples, and locals seemed to be enjoying the nice riverfront view and the beautiful evening. We actually had to wait to get a table and spent some time at the really nice outdoor bar. My standard fall-back drink is a vodka cranberry, and I was please to get more vodka than cranberry for $3.89.

Once we were seated, my former manager and his girlfriend decided to partake in "Wednesday seafood night." I think she had mahi mahi and he had perch. Jeff had a strip steak with a side of veggies and fries. I ordered a side salad that ended up being really huge and came with a garlicy roll. For my main meal, I ordered a white pizza. Not the most exotic food, but I do enjoy pizza. I really enjoyed my food and Tom and his girlfriend made their food disappear. Jeff later told me his meal was "ok" but he can sometimes be hard to please when it comes to steak. I can't say that there were an overwhelming number of vegetarian options, but it was nice to see that I could eat more than just a salad.

I was happy with the service and the quality of the food. I actually grew up less than a mile away from the restaurant is located (to the best of my knowledge, my father still lives nearby), and as a kid, there was never any longevity for any of the business that set up shop in that location, but Trader Jack's has been going strong for a few years now. It's nice to see a local business succeeding...especially in my hometown!

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