Archive for October, 2012

Mia, Toms River NJ

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Like most couples on their anniversary, celebrating the occasion while dining out is very common. For our anniversary  this would be one crazy dining experience.

With a “strong”suggested( as recommended on Mia website) dinner reservation for 7pm we arrive 15 minutes early, full of anticipation, hungry, and anxious to be seated. First impressions are important and the dark wood tables, subdued lighting and great furniture pieces give Mia an upscale look. While standing at the hostess station, we couldn’t help noticing that the dining room was empty, less 4 tables and with no host or staff in attendance. After a 5 minute wait and with no attention to our presence, we decided to call the restaurant in hopes that someone would come to the desk  and recognize that we were standing there. The idea worked as what turned out to be the waiter/owner rushed to respond to the ringing phone. Although we shared a laugh and thought it was kind of funny, we thought it would be a good way to get some one to notice us.

With only 4 other tables we expected service to be quick but that thought slowly faded as we waited 5 more minutes for menus and water. Again, the  waiter/owner greeted us with the menus and asked us questions such as “have we ever dined here before?” We told him that we believed we had some years back but the menu was very different and perhaps we were wrong. As it turned out, it is the same place but the menu was changed. He also told us that he believed he had the “best food in Ocean County”. I found that to be a pretty strong statement with Villa Amalfi and Il Giardenellos serving the same style food, right in his backyard. Regardless we looked over the menu and found some interesting and refreshing choices.

I chose the Veal Chop Milanese and the wife opted for the Filet Mignon. I also asked if I could have my pasta side with their house sauce that was spicy and light tomato based. My wife asked if the vegetable (broccoli) was frozen and the owner insured us that he only uses fresh vegetables, sauteed with butter and seasonings.We also ordered side salads as they do not come with the meal. I was told the Bleu cheese dressing was excellent so my wife chose that and I went with a Balsamic dressing.

At 7:55 pm, an hour and 10 minutes after being seated, our salad was served. All the time we waited we noticed no other servers but a young woman who bussed the tables and poured water. It seems the owner was the only person serving meals this evening. That would not have been a problem if one, he made it clear to us that they had a situation and two, he served us cheese, an appetizer or even our salads, while we waited. There is only so much bread a person can eat while waiting an hour for dinner.

Salads were nothing out of the norm and the Bleu cheese dressing wasn’t anything more than the bottled type you would find in any restaurant. We were expecting crumbled cheese at the very least, but instead received the basic creamy dressing. Our dinners followed shortly after and didn’t do much more to make our experience any better. My Veal Chop was so thick that it was under cooked and completely raw close to the bone. I was under the impression that the chop would be pounded thin while still on the bone, breaded and sauteed until crisp like most Milanese dishes I have eaten in the past. While it wasn’t a problem exchanging it for the Veal Cutlet Milanese, and although it was very good(sauteed not fried), I was disappointed that the cutlet weighed in about 3 ounces while the original chop was closer to 10 ounces. That in itself was okay if the price would have reflected such a difference, but alas it did not. My Rigatoni’s in the house sauce were very tasty but the sauce was too thin, didn’t stick to the pasta, and the peppers should have been diced instead of whole so as to get the most flavor and also to fit on the fork. No one wants a Fra Diavolo type sauce with whole Pepperoncini’s in it. My wife’s filet while tasty, was not tender enough to cut with a fork, which has always been a tell tale sign of a great steak. We would not have expected a “great” meal if the owner hadn’t boasted about how they had the best food in the County. Great food speaks for itself and doesn’t need the owner to brag about it.

We did however, experience some good and unexpected customer service before paying for the dinner. The owner gave us a 20% discount for the uncooked Veal dish and didn’t charge me for having the house sauce on my side pasta. That goes a long way with me as most places attempt to charge for dishes that patrons don’t care for or eat, and rarely offer a gesture like a discount for the inconvenience.

So with mixed feelings about our visit, I would have to say that I probably would give this establishment the benefit of the doubt and try Mia one more time, if only for the fact that the owner recognized the mistakes and offered to make good on them.

Regular Guy Rating * * *


1214 Rte #7 East

Toms River NJ 08753

732 929 0595


What do you believe?

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

This country is changing before our eyes and most people are ignoring it, don’t care or don’t believe it. This Presidential election is to date the most important one of mine and many others lifetime, with the chance that the next four years may either bring us back from near death or bury us for good.

With all the hype of the coming debates and election, what is everyone to believe? Americans have been force fed the same crap from both sides for too long and yet politicians continue down the same path because the majority of Americans buy into what their party is selling or they are just to stupid/lazy to do their due diligence on the candidates before them. Politicians know this all too well and play off the fact that they believe we are so busy with life and all the distractions from it, that we wont pay attention to what they are really doing. This had worked well  in the past but with groups like the  Tea party,  there has been more light shown on our politicians which is raising peoples awareness of what is really happening in our country.

I have never been one to just believe what I hear without reading into everything I can to research what is being said. I, like a lot of other people I know, get too many forwarded emails from friends and others that put information out there, most of which is old, proved false already or just plain made up nonsense. Over the past three years I have watched and or read, more programming on our countries past history, our present economic condition and also some items that portray what our country may look like in the coming years if we continue on this course. I have to say without hesitation, I went from skeptical to scared. At first I was mainly concerned with my financial situation and how it had been affected by the housing and banking disasters. Then as I read about what had happened I realized that it wasn’t so much the peoples fault as it was our so called “leaders” who created the mess and that most of them were a never held accountable for what happened. Although too many Americans lost life savings, our leaders continued to live the high life at our expense.

How many times have we heard that we all have to sacrifice more to get the federal deficit down. Why is it always the people who have to give more and the politicians  go on spending in ways that do not help alleviate the problem but continue to make it worse. How is it that our President, who consistently calls on us to sacrifice or pay our fair share, can take, between himself and his wife, more vacations at the tax payers expense, than any other President in our history. I never realized that our presidents use Air Force One to vacation, along with Secret Service at a rate of more than $200,000 an hour. This President has spent billions of taxpayers dollars on golf and vacations, while all the time standing in front of television cameras telling us how hard life is for the middle class. How can anyone believe that politicians on either side will ever change this lifestyle that they have all become accustomed to. Does anyone still wonder why a millionaire would want to be a politician?

Why are Americans so blind or stupid to realize what is happening and that we need to hold these people accountable for what they are doing. Most people are still arguing that the other party is the reason we are in this mess. Its not just one party people! Wake the hell up, do your homework and get involved. Stop playing that blame game and thinking your party can do no wrong. Those days are long gone. People need to wise up and work towards “REAL ” change.

Just recently, I watched “Monumental”, a film by Kirk Cameron, that is about the founding of this country. It is a film that everyone in this country should watch because it shows what the people on the Mayflower had to endure when they landed here and began to build America. It gives detailed history of the plan that was used to build a free nation, and although our leaders will tell you different, one nation built under God and his laws. Laws that were based on religious beliefs. Yes those same beliefs that we are now told, unless you are Muslim, that we can not show in public. Those same beliefs that many of the founding fathers wrote into the sides of state buildings that still exist today.I guess the point I am trying to make is that it worked back then when our ancestors ran from a  Kings rule to make them a free people. Without what they accomplished and believed in, we would not have the freedom we have today as Americans. The part of the film that most troubled me was when Kirk was talking with a gentleman about how our country has gone so far off the course that was given to us. He asked him if it was possible to get us back to our roots and save this country. The gentleman responded that our founding fathers had outlined how they built this country, on a “monument’,  and that it was fairly simple to fix this country if anyone truly wanted to, just by following the simple plan that originally made this country what it was. This monument, which the film was titled for, is in Plymouth Mass. stands some twenty or thirty feet high, and on which, is engraved the outline which was used to build this country. The reason I found this so troubling, was two fold. The first reason, sadly, is  that I, like most Americans, have never heard of  let alone seen a picture of this incredible monument. A monument which should  have been one of the most important pieces of our history. The second reason being, I found it scary that the people of this country have turned  their collective backs on the our leaders by continuing to allow them to take this country down a path that will surely lead us to a bad ending. We have allowed our leaders to little by little take our God given rights away from us, while all the time trying to tell us that it is for our own good. Just look at the Patriot act and some of the executive orders that our past and present Presidents have signed. Our government can at any time take our assets from us just by deeming a state of emergency. Who determines what the state of emergency is. Another attack like 911 and maybe they seize all our guns for government use or maybe they confiscate all the wheat in our farmers fields to do with what they deem best. It sounds unrealistic but we allowed this “law” because of our fear of terrorism.

Our federal government is suing the state of Arizona because they are trying to enforce a federal law pertaining to immigration. What we see in the press is Mexicans being handcuffed and placed in vans to be brought back to their country. We hear of Latinos being carded on the streets to see if they are here legally. We are told that it is wrong to do this and the federal government will put a stop to it. What you don’t read or hear about, unless you look for it, are the American citizens being raped and killed by the Mexican drug cartels and illegal aliens crossing the border. So when Arizona stands up and points to the Constitution and the laws of the land, and works to clean up the problem they are having, our federal government doesn’t assist them, they create “Fast and Furious” to try to scare the American people into believing that the guns the Cartels are using are being given to them from our gun makers here in the states.  But what really happened was our federal government was supplying the arms to the Cartels and when one of our own agents was killed it all came to light what was going on behind our backs. What is going on in this country? Our federal government who is sworn to protect us is doing just the opposite, and even worse, they aide the enemy.

I know, a great deal of you say that this is conspiracy theory stuff. That’s what always happens when a country puts their belief and blind faith in its leaders. Hitler started the same way. Scare enough people, give them what they need to survive and promise to take care of them and the people will flock like sheep to follow the leader. It’s happening right now, here, in this country. Scared, yes, I am scared. I didn’t think this could happen here but it is and we are watching as it as it does and many of us are riding the bandwagon thinking that the other half doesn’t know jack. When a government by the people for the people no longer exists as it “doesn’t” today, then it is only a matter of time before our God given rights will no longer be. Yes we have lost control of our government and our leaders know this, and depend on us to stay blind to it so “they” can control “us”. Don’t see it yet? How else then can they continue to steal from us, spend our money freely and live better lives than the common folk, while we all just keep voluntarily forking over more tax dollars to support the mess they create.

America has finally dumbed down. Just look around you. Everywhere you go the thing you see most is people, especially the young, thumbing a smart phone. Computers that were supposed to do great things for us have just become another way to distract us from the important things in life. While our country is changing it face, our people are changing their Face book page. While illegal aliens are helping to drain the heath care system, our people are tweeting that they are tired from partying all night. And while our President is taking time out of his busy golf schedule to appear on the “View” our countries strongest ally in the middle east, during a nuclear crisis, sits and waits for a meeting with him.

What do you believe? I just hope you believe its time to pay attention to what is changing around us. To put down the cell phone and read some unbiased news about what is happening in this country. To stand up and speak out about what is wrong and not worry about being politically correct. I hope you believe like I do that there’s nothing wrong with the Constitution and that this is the greatest country on earth, not in spite of it , but because of it!

What do you believe?

Just one man’s opinion

The Regular Guy