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Restaurants in Hertfordshire in general

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      14.12.2008 16:17

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      Just returned from a wonderful meal at the Toby Carvery, Watford. After a few friends had recommended it, I was really looking foward to having lunch with the family, but was concerned when I read a really bad review.Well, our experience was fabulous. The service was great and I would highly recommend the food. All the meats were cooked well - neither raw or cremated and the vegetables were not soft and soggy, but had a lovely crunch without being under cooked. Great value for money.

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      13.05.2006 23:31
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      If your meal and service are anything like ours, you won't be disappointed.

      My wife, teenage daughter and I went for a meal at Cafe Rouge on 12 May 2006, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.The service was efficient and friendly right from our telephone booking to paying the bill. I was most surprised to read Ally Pally's review which mentioned having to wait for service and to get their food, because our service was prompt and the waiter most pleasant and attentive. Far from being bland, the food was delicious, we each had 3 courses and could find fault with none of them. My wife and I both had the duck for our main course and it was extremely tasty and tender and fell off the bone - nothing overcooked or dry there. Our 3 courses plus a bottle of wine and soft drinks cost about £75 and was very good value for food and service which rose above the mundane. It would appear that things have changed dramatically at Cafe Rouge since 2003 when Ally Pally went there. I would have to say, take my advice DO go there!

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        27.07.2004 17:42
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        Right then, guys and gals, I give you fair warning that this is going to be a biggie. I?ll take it town by town, though, to make it a little easier to digest (geddit, digest? restaurants? Oh, never mind?): Hatfield: If you come to Hatfield to shop at the Galleria then on first glance you?ll appear to be spoilt for choice for restaurants, but choose wisely! McDonalds ? Gets very, very busy, especially at the weekends. It?s usually packed out inside, you might find it difficult to find a free table, or find that you have to wait for somebody else to leave. The restaurant is clean enough, but basic in the way that only McDonalds can be. If you prefer to use the drive-through service, then be warned that the speaker system is rubbish and you?ll need to speak up (if it?s working at all!) Again, its usually very busy at meal times, and you might have to wait in a queue that?s seven or eight cars long. Also, I?d warn you to ask the person who takes your money to repeat your order, as they often get it wrong due to the poor speaker system. Finally, check your order before driving away, as they invariably get it wrong? Burger King ? Again, it gets busy at peak times, but not as busy as McDonalds. The restaurant itself is the same as any Burger King anywhere, nothing to write home about! If you?re using the drive through service, then the speaker system is excellent. The computer screen provided even allows you to check your order and correct it if any mistakes have been made. If you?re in a hurry then the drive through system at Burger King will ?drive? you spare, the food might be fast but the service certainly isn?t. Unfortunately, they don?t have any bays that they can send cars to when they?re waiting for food, so if one car waits, they all wait? For however long it takes? Mama Ama
        lfi ? This is the only Italian in the Galleria and the first restaurant you come to when leaving the shopping area. The décor is a little naff, in a traditional Italian kinda way, but nice enough. The restaurant itself is clean and the serving staff are very clean and well dressed too, and the service is also absolutely excellent ? quietly attentive and extremely professional. There?s plenty of room between tables, so no squashing as many people in as you can here. The food is excellent, as is the service. Drinks orders are taken straight away, and whilst you wait for your food you?re provided with bread and a traditional dipping oil as an appetiser. However, you?ll pay for these luxuries! Whilst certainly not overpriced, the Italian is undoubtedly the most expensive restaurant in the Galleria. Still, it?s my favourite, and I have no hesitation in recommending it, and they even supply a menu outside so that you can check the prices before you go in, if you?re worried about the cost! Deep Pan Pizza ? Located between McDonald?s and Burger King, away from the rest of the restaurants at the Galleria, you?d be forgiven for overlooking Deep Pan Pizza, and that?s probably a good thing. The lighting is dreadful in the place, I think they?re going for atmospheric, but it just looks dingy. The service is appalling, I?ve often seen three or four groups of people waiting to be seated, whilst half of the tables stand empty. There are both booths and tables available in this restaurant, but as the front of the restaurant is plate glass windows, then wherever you choose to sit you?ll still feel like you?re on display to the general public. The pizzas served here are very large, but usually bland and unmemorable. Not nasty in any way, but not particularly nice either, just nondescript. Again, the salad bar is just your typical salads,
        certainly nothing to write home about. Whilst the restaurant is generally reasonably clean, it always looks a little grubby because of the subdued lighting, coupled with the dark wood that covers the back wall of the restaurant, you can feel almost like you?re eating in a power cut. I think it?s supposed to feel intimate ? it just feels dark? All in all, eating here is a pretty ordinary event. Even though the prices are reasonable - the bland food, awful lighting and dreadful service mean that I won?t be eating here again in a hurry! Fatty Arbuckles ? I?m sure the ethos in this particular restaurant involves cramming as many tables as possible into the smallest space available. Eating in Fatty Arbuckles is not a comfortable experience ? the tables are REALLY squashed together, intimate is one thing, but jiggling elbows with the person sat behind you is quite another. Not only that, but the black and red décor is incredibly dated, and none too clean, when I?ve visited. The service is slow, and although the staff are usually polite (when you can find a waiter) they?re clearly too busy to devote more than the bare minimum of time to each customer. The food is typical America ? mostly burgers ? and huge portions at that. Now, I?m not adverse to the odd burger, but I have to say that the food at Fatty?s takes bland to a new level. It?s great that they offer vegetarian burgers, but it would be nice if they tasted a little more like vegetables and less like cardboard. And the fries? Look, lets not go there, OK? Yes, portions are more than generous, and very reasonably priced for a restaurant, but the food is so tasteless that I really can?t recommend this restaurant. Give it a miss! The Airfield ? This one isn?t in the Galleria, but isn?t too far away, located on the next corner along the dual carriageway.
        The Airfield was recently given a facelift, and also an extension. It?s made a huge difference, the restaurant is now large and wonderfully light and bright. There is a special area for smokers, and if you prefer you can even order food to eat in the bar area, rather than the restaurant itself. It can get very busy at the Airfield, especially in the evenings and at weekends. However, since a new business park opened directly opposite, it now gets busy during the working week, at lunchtimes, too. In fact, they?ve had to start charging for their car park to dissuade business park workers from parking there (but this is refundable at the bar when you order). The menu is pretty good and is updated regularly. Weight Watchers points are provided on some meals, and there is always a vegetarian option available. The specials board offers a range of meals for those who aren?t tempted by the menu, and the freshly baked bread is delicious! If you wish you can complete your meal with a cold beer, cocktail or Irish Coffee. But I prefer to treat myself to one of their puddings (which are all extremely luxurious, fattening ? but entirely delicious!) The restaurant is always clean, and the staff are attentive, but not overly so. In recent years the food has been excellent, which was a necessary change as before that the quality was variable at best, undercooked chips were the norm! Although not strictly self service, you do need to order at the till quoting your table number, and buy your own drinks at the bar. If you want to bring the nippers, then there?s a beer garden outside with a small play area for the kids. Disabled access is good, they even have a special disabled toilet ? however, the smoking area is up a couple of steps, so not great for any disabled smokers amongst you! Definitely recommended, I really like the Airfield. Pizza Hut ? Located in Ha
        tfield town centre, with ample free parking right next door, the Pizza Hut is badly in need of a facelift. It?s decorated in the old style black and red, with both booths and table for seating. There is a smoking area, but unfortunately it?s located right outside the toilets, so any non-smokers who need the loo have to walk through a fog to get there. Still, the cigarette smoke should prepare you for the loos, at any rate, which are tiny and smell funny. Whilst they are (usually) clean, they have the same slightly unkempt look about them as the rest of the restaurant ? I get the feeling the owner doesn?t want to invest any more money in the place. The food is the same as Pizza Hut everywhere, and is perfectly adequate. The restaurant also offers a takeaway and delivery service, along with eating in. The service is normally fast and polite, and the restaurant itself is invariably quiet and less than crowded, even at the weekend. Welwyn Garden City: McDonalds - Located in the town centre, right outside the Howard Centre ? the main shopping centre in the town. McDonalds is tiny, always packed, has no parking anywhere nearby and no drive through service. Other than this it?s the same as McDonalds the world over. The Stanmore ? This is a Beefeater restaurant which used to be terrible, but has improved dramatically in the last year or two. It?s possible to eat in the bar or the restaurant (or even the beer garden, if you prefer). The bar food is good, similar to the food in the restaurant but less fussy ? a cheese sandwich with chips is absolutely enormous, tastes great and will set you back less than a fiver. The food in the restaurant is more upmarket, with the usual fry ups and steaks available, along with pasta and lots of chips! Vegetarian options are scarce, and often not particularly appetising. The S
        tanmore is a relatively new building, and it?s built for comfort rather than style! There is ample, free car parking right outside. Service is good but unobtrusive, just the way I like it! Ask ? This restaurant is only a couple of years old, but it?s been packed every single time I?ve been past. The tables are pretty much rammed in good and proper, there isn?t much room to manoeuvre, but the effect is more intimate than cramped ? and the stylish, modern interior is to die for, I wonder if they?d be interested in decorating my living room? Food is basically a choice of pizza or pasta. Both are very good, and so is the service. Ask is directly opposite Pizza Hut, and only a few doors along from Pizza Express, so it?s an odd place to open an Italian restaurant, but it?s doing very well for itself. The prices are reasonably expensive, and you?ll have to pay for parking if you eat here during the day. After 8pm you can park in Sainsbury?s car park for free. This is definitely my favourite restaurant in Welwyn Garden City. Pizza Hut ? Directly opposite Ask. This branch has been refurbished in recent years so is much nicer , more modern and newer than the Hatfield Pizza Hut. Without all of that black and red it?s much lighter, too. The food is the same as Pizza Hut anywhere, but as the tables in this restaurant are on different levels (you need to go up or down steps to get to most of them) eating here may be difficult for the disabled. Pizza Express ? Like Deep Pan Pizza in Hatfield, the plate glass windows at the front of Pizza Express make you feel as if you?re dining in a zoo ? and you?re the exhibit! However, they do have a cosier, more intimate eating area at the back of the restaurant which is shielded from the eyes of the public! The food is the same as you?
        ll find in Pizza Express anywhere, in my opinion it?s better than Pizza Hut, but not as good as Ask. However, the building it is housed in is nowhere near as nice as Pizza Express buildings tend to be, elsewhere. I don?t ever recall eating to the sound of Jazz in the WGC Pizza Express, either. Most importantly, though, last time I visited the staff were absolutely appalling. The waiter was surly, the food took ages, and then he short changed us by £10. My husband only realised this after we?d left the restaurant (in disgust) but when he went back the surly waiter returned the money immediately, without even checking the till? Just seemed a little suspicious to me! Pub Restaurants ? The Cork used to be the Pub to eat at in WGC, but recently the food has really gone downhill, and the service is appallingly slow. Nowadays, I?d recommend the Doctors Tunic, opposite Sainsburys. The food is fairly basic, but good, and you?ll get service with a smile. However, I would only recommend the Tunic for lunch, as in the evenings the locals have a reputation for their dislike of strangers! Stevenage: McDonalds ? Located on the leisure park, opposite the Cinema, McDonalds gets very busy at the weekends and in the evenings. The drive through has always been particularly fast and efficient when I?ve visited, however. Exchange Bar and Diner ? My favourite place to eat in Stevenage. Located on the leisure park ? again opposite the cinema ? the Exchange serves Tex Mex food. Décor is Americanised, with photos of American celebrities and film memorabilia everywhere, even hanging from the ceiling. The interior is primarily dark wood with red, gingham plastic table cloths. This gives more of an intimate atmosphere than
        the dark and dingy feeling at Deep Pan Pizza, however. I love the food at the Exchange, but then I?m a sucker for Tex Mex food anyway! There are absolutely loads of vegetarian options, along with the usual burgers and chilli (though admittedly the chilli is a little watery) . Service has always been excellent, even when the restaurant is busy. There is ample free parking directly outside, too. There are both smoking and non-smoking booths and tables available, or you can eat in the bar if you prefer. If you wish, with your meal, you can order a drink from the huge selection of cocktails and frozen cocktails on offer. Unfortunately, the restaurant is in a certain state of disrepair. Most of the tablecloths have cigarette burns or rips in them, the parquet floor is buckled directly outside the loos, which is a definite tripping hazard for clumsy people like me, and the toilets themselves are often none too clean and lacking in loo roll. Still, this somehow adds to the feeling of shabby chic at the Exchange, rather than being a problem. Fatty Arbuckles ? Unfortunately, the food is every bit as boring and bland as at the Hatfield restaurant. However, the restaurant itself is much nicer, cleaner and more modern, with less overcrowding of the tables. As Fatty?s is also located on the Leisure Park, parking is ample and free. However, I still wouldn?t recommend eating here ? get a McDonalds instead, it?s cheaper and will taste better! Aroma ? This Chinese restaurant is also located on the Leisure Park. Although reasonably expensive, Aroma provides a Chinese buffet with one set price per person, and you can eat as much as you like (but drinks are extra). I would certainly recommend Aroma if you?ve got a large party to cater for, as the restaurant is absolutely huge, and the buffet system means that e
        verybody can choose what they like. Vegetarian options are plentiful and clearly marked. The food is absolutely gorgeous, and I highly recommend Aroma if you?re a fan of Chinese food ? however, the fact that you?ve paid to eat all you want can result in the average person (meaning me) eating far too much! Despite the enormity of the restaurant, it can get really busy. However, the mostly Chinese staff are always polite ? the service is very good. The food is also always fresh and hot ? the buffet is constantly replenished. Though not a cheap night out, I love Aroma and I?d definitely recommend it! St Albans: Pizza Hut ? I tend to avoid St Albans, as I have to work there, but I have eaten in Pizza Hut. There isn?t very much to say, to be honest. This branch is pretty much the same as every branch everywhere. However, as the seating area is up a couple of stairs it would make things difficult for disabled customers. On the day I visited the salad bar was atrocious with very little to choose from, and what there was looked as if it had been sitting there for a long time. As with everywhere else in the town centre, parking is diabolical. I can?t, in all honesty, recommend eating here ? it really is nothing special. So, there you go, a ridiculously long opinion and I?ve covered hardly any towns or restaurants there at all! Still, I hope it will be useful to someone?

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          15.05.2003 07:18
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          My family and I had a meal at Café Rouge, St Albans last month and were very disappointed with it. We should have walked out after waiting 30 minutes for the waiter to come and take our order. When he did arrive he was extremely abrupt. We waited another 45 minutes for our food and the portions were very small, the meat was overcooked and dry. The chips were burnt. We asked 3 times to get a drink. To top it all we were overcharged. When we complained to the Manager, he apologised and said he would take 10% off the bill - BIG DEAL. Take my advice, don?t go there.

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            17.11.2001 18:43
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            Last night me and my friend and his girlfreind went to tgi Fridays in watford for some food and a nice drink it was a really good night that we had We sat a t a table and a nice boy come and took our order and he was called timmy I asked for a large cola and it was really good because you can get it to be filled up as many times as you like my friend had a paradise punch which had alcohol in it and his girlfreind had some lemonade because she was drinving and that is very sensible All of the girls that worked in tgi Fridays was very pretty and my friend said that I should ask a nice lady to go out one night for a drink but she said no I had philly steak wrapper which was sliced steak and roated vegetables in a bready type wrap but it was nasty and I had some chips and they were nice My friend had a jack daniels steak which was steak and a jacket potato with some roasted vegetables and a special sauce and my friend said that it was the phattest munch ever His girlfreind had a cheeseburger and chips and she said that it was really great And we shared some jalapino poppers which is cheese in a pepper covered in bread and then to be dipped in some cream stuff and they were the best in the world But I spilled some cream on my gloves and timmy told the nice lady to bring me a towel As well some people had there birthdays there and the people who worked there all clapped and sang and made them hold cakes with candles on and it was really happy to clap There was music playing all night but we did not dance because we were eating Maybe I will go there again if I get a car and a girlfreind but I will not have the philly steak wrapper

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              28.04.2001 04:46
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              my opinion on the toby carvery in watford is disgusting. Because are whole family was looking forward to going to this restaurant because every time we drive past it, it looks really full. Anyway, we sat down and ordered are food, then went up to go and get it we were quering for are food when some french guy comes out and goes what do you want and i go some fish and some beef. After that he walked out and never came back, so then another person comes out and serves us all. When we were all sat down to are meals the starter came. so my mum went first and took a pice of chicken and when she bit into it she found that inside it was roar it was all red. After that we had chefs coming out of the kitchen going to the bar and getting a drink then taking it back into the kitchen drinking it on the way. The the water started taking all of the plates before everyone was finished. After the meal are family had words and we filled out a comment form. If i was any one thinking of going to that place please think again it is disgusting.

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                14.03.2001 20:09
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                There are many good restaurants in St Albans, here's just a few of my favourites: Taste of Raj ------------ Great little Indian restaurant. I've been here many times and never had a bad meal. All dishes I've tried have been good. Portions are large. Staff friendly. Price: c. £15/head Suppatra House -------------- Thai restaurant. Also consistently good. Excellent range and quality of starters. Of the main courses I'd recommend the stir-fried duck with cashews, or the Thai green curry. Drinks a bit pricey. Price: c. £25/head Verdi's Trattoria ----------------- Family run Italian. There are two branches, I've only been to the one in Clarence Road. Largely a pasta and pizza place, with a few fish/meat dishes. The foccacia is an excellent cheap starter (share one between two if you go for this). All main courses I've had have been good. Price: c. £20/head Zizzi's ------- Pizza/pasta place, part of the 'Ask' restaurant chain. Very popular, buzzy atmosphere. Modern venue. Can be rather too child-friendly for my liking Price: c. £20/head St.Michael's Manor ------------------ A place for special occasions (unless you're loaded). Drinks are served in the lounge before you go through for your meal. I do believe you get what you pay for here - the food is excellently prepared and presented. After your meal you can return to the lounge for tea/coffee. Price: c. £50/head This is just a small selection of the many restaurants in St Albans. To find out about many more, check out this excellent web site maintained by a couple of St Albans residents(I'm not one of them): http://www.eswatson.demon.co.uk/restau1.htm

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                  05.11.2000 00:32
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                  I have visited this pub/restaurant in Stevenage many times, mainly because of having my daughter along, it is a great place for children and the staff don’t make you feel bad if the child starts having a major tantrum in the middle of the meal, because she has now decided that she doesn’t want that sausage anywhere near her! The restaurant is laid out very well; it is clean and has a lot of room to maneuver prams around it. Most of them have an excellent indoor play soft area for kids of any age; there is also a separate section for toddlers to play in safetly. There is great choice of meals on the menu and they also have daily specials, it is very varied and you can either have a full 3-course meal or a light snack. They also offer a set children’s meal, which comes with a main meal and an ice cream for pudding, which they get the chance to make up themselves, they also get a drink and two tokens to use in the sweet machines. The only disadvantages to going to this restaurant are during peak times it is very busy and you often have to wait for a table. Having said that though if you want to go out for a meal with all the family then this is the place to go.

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