O'ANNE AND O'DAVE RESTAURANT AND HOTEL RATINGS (* means we rated on Yelp)
How we rate restaurants and hotels: General total score :
We walk in with zero points and an open mind.
If an aspect is not remarkable, it gets zero points.
If any aspect is remarkable, it gets one point, either way.
Add up the points.
Simple.
- = we will not return
0 = We won't return unless we are desperate
1 = We will return if in the area
2 = We will go out of our way to return
3 = We plan entire trips to return

Back to the Travel Index


Chili's Grill & Bar - casual family
1855 41st Ave, Capitola, CA 95010 / 831.462.1813

Our very first Chili's. My notes say "Yum, yum, yum." We were on the way home from a trip to the Mystery Spot and the Boardwalk, my grandson's first ocean trip. As you all know I usually write more so I was a) impressed or b) very tired. Wish we had one in our town~~~

Food  

+2

Atmosphere  
Service

Prices

Total

+2


Chili's Grill & Bar - casual family *
2801 Countryside Dr, Turlock, CA 95380 / 209.632.6588
Food  

-1

Atmosphere  
Service

-2

Prices

Total

-3

We fell in love with Chili's a few visits ago, but we were in another city. We made reservations for the Turlock branch and could not wait for their really great food, a half hour away for us. We were seated immediately, in front of a foyer full of people, but that's when the trouble began. I ended up having to go to the bar to get my own drink because the waitress had no idea what kind of scotch they had. That's cool, but the ensuing wait became the ridiculous side of stupid. We finally asked a busboy (our waitress seemed to go out of her way to avoid our table, you could SEE her glance at us from the corner of her eye) for the manager to tell him we were approaching an hour's wait. He said he would check, disappeared for a lengthy time, and finally returned with our dinners on the standard huge tray. Well, my enchilada's tortilla was too hard to cut. My daughter was ok with her meal, my husband's steak was dry and tough.

The following is word for word. My husband managed to flag down the manager, said, "We both know this food has been sitting for a long time," to which the manager said a quick, expressionless, "I'm so sorry," turned on his heels and walked away! No offer to replace, or fix or anything. We finally did see our waitress, she asked how everything was, I said with a very unhappy face, "Horrible" to which she smiled and said, "Great!" I was stunned. I repeated "Horrible" a tad louder, and finally got her to realize what I had actually said. My daughter is stunned, I am stunned. She talks with the manager, flustered, about what they can do about the bill, returns and says they aren't going to charge us for the cornbread. My husband replied, "Good, we never got it." Finally they did take off my enchilada, but not my husband's steak, and we paid and left promptly. Not a word out of anyone, even the waitress as we passed by her, we did not exist, she looked right past us. No worries, they have someone else to fill our table immediately.

I would dare anyone from this location to apologize in any proper manner for this kind of meal or wait for our food. There was absolutely not one soul that demonstrated they cared during that meal. (I never heard from ANYONE)


Christopher's Ristorante - semi formal family * GONE as of June 2016!!!!!
160 South Washington Street, Sonora, Ca 95370 - 209/533/2600 - website

In searching for new places to eat, this establishment was highly recommended, finally made it to try this place ourselves. It is a darker, black tablecloth with candles, store front appearance, almost as if they removed the Woolworth's and put in some tables. Not bad, just different, an interesting cross between formal and totally not. Nine plus tables, excellent service, wine and beer, good portions, hot food (!). We were glad we called for a reserve as the place was full by the time we left. Delicious and different appetizers, several salads, standard as well as unusual Italian dishes including manicotti. David had veal marsala, Jena had the stuffed portabella, I had salmon. All three dishes were superb. Dinner was $93 for four including one child and before dessert (the BEST Creme Brulee bar none) so it was a tad steep, but worth it.

Christopher moved to the City Hotel in Columbia, what a disappointment. See the rating here.

Food  

+1

Atmosphere  
Service

+1

Prices

Total

+2


City Hotel Restaurant - semi formal family *
22768 Main Street, Columbia CA 95310 - 209.532.5964 - website

We had eaten at Christopher's place in Sonora, it was truly a return visit type of place, especially for the Creme Brulee. We mourned when the building was suddenly Korean. We think. Then we heard he had moved to Columbia, and we finally had the oppotunity to go. The blonde who answered the phone was odd, a little light headed if you know what I mean. Anyway, off we go with great expectations because of our previous experience and the fact he is now or still advertised as a five star establishment. It was, in a word, horrible. If any of the aspects had occured on one visit, it would have been tolerable.

We had seven o'clock reservations, and were not seated for almost fifteen minutes in the very tasteful, gold town style dining room that had less than half occupancy. The servers are hard to flag down, careless and unobservant. In a finer dining room, we should not have to point out we have a child with us in order to obtain a child's menu. They had to take one of our menus for another table because they did not print up enough? They were out of the listed moscato wine, so the waitress told us her bottle labeled "California White Wine," was "very similar." Hello? A wine course would be in order for the servers, that was simply jaw dropping. That dry wine was as far from Moscato as we are to getting Reagan back as president again. We finally get some bread, hard as heck. We are finally asked what we would like to eat, but the waitress has to come back because she forgot what we ordered, then she forgot I had ordered a salad as well, which was mostly lettuce stems, some carrot shavings and two tiny pieces of tomato with a bare minimum of tasteless dressing. At 8:05, I inquired after our dinners, which thankfully arrived a few minutes later. My husband's "Spaghetti Pomodoro" tasted like it came out of a Chef Boyardee can, but there was plenty of it. My daughter's "Fresh Penne pasta with smoked chicken" had an extremely odd, bitter taste, and she had to hunt for some very tiny pieces of chicken. My "Lasagna al Forno" was actually extremely good despite the cheese top had been burnt. Thank goodness my grandson's chicken tenders were decent. We ordered creme brulee to go when our food was delivered, hoping to save another hour's wait time. So, we were there an hour and a half, eating for less than twenty minutes. $97 for meals we did not eat or enjoy. However, the creme brulee was stupendous, the only reason for two stars.

We are never going to make a scene in a restaurant. The staff should be trained well enough to recognize uneaten food, and a refusal for to-go containers represents a problem, and the authority to quickly and quietly offer some sort of recompense on the spot.

Food  

-1

Atmosphere  
Service

-1

Prices

-1

Total

-3


Foothills Cafe - casual cafe *
636 West Stockton Ave., Sonora CA 209.694.7088
7 - 2 pm, closed Mondays

A true neighborhood cafe, filled with locals. Old, old, needs a remodel but that would probably ruin the place. 12 tables, a three page menu filled to the brim. The tea was horrible only because of the water (note to self: bring your own tea) but the food was superb. Home cooked here. Fifteen omelets, 12 burgers, 7 salads, 15 sandwiches. Thick, old fashioned coffee cups. We had the cali burger and the patty melt, and have to be back for the portobello burger and the I Love Pesto sandwich. Mexican dishes, daily specials, old fashioned service, breakfast burritos, garlic fries. Outdoor bathrooms (I think this was a Dairy Queen a long time ago?) and 1/3 pound burgers. Yup. Going back.

Food  

+1

Atmosphere  
Service

+1

Prices

+1

Total

+3


Gilligan's Bar & Grill - casual family/sports bar
987 Eisenhower Blvd, Harrisburg, PA 17111 / 717.939.9575

This would be a mainstay if we lived in the area. A huge nine page menu from salads and sandwiches to prime rib and the best steaks, long list of seafood, extensive bar (they have Drambuie!) not to mention pool tables, a complete sports bar, bustling waiters, tall and standard eating tables, separate dining room, on and on. Prices generally range from $10 to $31 for the porterhouse. Adam was the best, even if he wouldn't agree to an arranged marriage with my daughter (Adam, you might have truly missed out) and I have two grumbles. The menu lied, the chef's salad feeds three, not one, but the crab cake was to die for. Secondly, the blond manager (?) jumped on us for the water I brought in (we walked, I have a medical condition that requires constant water) and I truly didn't think she was going to allow me to keep it. Her attitude was the problem, but at least it ended well.

Food    
Menu +1
Atmosphere  
Service

+1

Prices  
Total

+2


Gus's Steakhouse - casual family *
1183 Mono Way, Sonora, CA 95370 - 209.532.519

We pass this small itsy bitsy building every time we shop at Sonora Safeway and always say we have to try that place. Finally we did, and wow. It is a bustling place, with what can be a long wait, so thank goodness there is a bar, and a cool bar at that. Filled with lots of local posters and interesting people, AND they have Drambuie. The dining room next door is old Greek style, large round leather booths and larger family tables. The smell when you walk in is enough to make your taste buds scream for attention.

The menu is just ridiculous. THEN they handed us the early bird special menu. Two dinners for $20, I kid you not. Thinking this was going to be the cheap special? Nah. Salmon and hamburger steak, the dill sauce was yummy, I could not finish my meal that includes salad or soup, the plastic plates (barely discernible as such until you hoist the plate) don't diminish the classic style, the service was very good (waving at Brittany) and you best save room for the desserts that include bread pudding. $32 with my Drambuie. The minestrone? We have traveled hundreds of miles for soup that good. Goodness. And reserve time to go through the huge menu, too, it is going to take a while.

One detriment, it was very noisy but David can take out his hearing aids, too. Heh, heh.

Food   +1
Menu +1
Atmosphere  
Service

Prices +1
Total

+3


Ike's Quarter Cafe - casual family *
401 Commercial St, Nevada City, CA 95959 - 530.265.6138 -
Website
Walk into another world, almost, Very eclectic, very Mardi Gras, very sensory, delightfully so. Extensive menu, friendly girls, delicious eggs scrambles, ham breakfast, they even serve a catfish! Bustling crowd, looks like we were very lucky to not have to wait. An outdoor patio that invites you to sit and enjoy life. Their slogan is "Magic in Your belly" but we think they should add, "If you leave hungry, it's your own fault." $8-$16 July 2017

Food  

+1

Atmosphere +1
Service

Prices

 

Total

+2


Jeb's Hill Country Cooking - casual family
729 Mono Way, Sonora, CA 95370 / 209.724.9930

I had high hopes for this one. Large roomy place, many booths, typical woodsy atmosphere, friendly people. Standard upscale Denny's menu. (We do NOT eat at Denny's) The senior breakfast for $7.50 sounds good. They even have salmon and fish and chips, spareribs and salads. It was ok, something went wrong but I didn't write it down. I do remember we all thought we might not have found a favorite haunt after all. We need to go back and try it again. With so few really reliable places, this still could work out.

Food  

Atmosphere  
Service

Prices

1

Total

+1


J R Tacos - very casual Mex
437 West Main Street, Merced CA95343 / 209.384.2923

We finally returned. The first time was during a farmers market a long time ago. We tried the taco sampler which included a taco, huarache, empanada, rice and beans. I wasn't thrilled with empanada, too messy, but I will order the other two again. We asked for warm chips, as in fresher, and they smiling obliged, but when they were delived towards the end of the meal, they were so over done we couldn't break them less eat them. The music was just up my alley, just a tad too loud, even for the cook. Oh, and we never got rice and beans.

Ok, on the way out the door I asked about the rice and beans. She looked at me like a deer in the headlights. I nodded, as if to say, "Yes?" and she said, "Oh, I just charged you for the tacos." told her that was the food I was really interested in trying, she shrugged a, "Sorry." We left, shaking our heads. Home, I check the menu, it doesn't include the price of horchatas so I called. $2.54 or something close. Two tacos at $2.35 and two horchata doth not add up to $26. We argued for about ten minutes while she re-added our order, came up with $26. There was further dispute on what she charged us. THEN we went into the menu where she said the rice and beans are INSIDE the hurache (spelled incorrectly on their menu) and the empanada. Ok, none of those things had rice. The huarache did have been beans. The point is, over just a few dollars, we had to ARGUE about the overcharge or lack of food, depending onyour point of view, and she kept handing story after story until I hung up. We will not be back.  Then there was an offer in my mailbox, and an explanation that the cooks forgot about the rice and beans. There was also an offer to come back and get, and I quote, a "little discount." Are you kidding??

Maybe she needs to be instructed as to the menu and what dishes include what instead of arguing with the customers.

Food  

1

Atmosphere  
Service

-1

Arguing

-1

Total

-1


Little Cottage Cafe - casual local
22975 Joaquin Gully, Twain Harte, CA 95383 / 209.586.1402

Small wood siding cottage looking place, thus the name, very little parking, but we had high hopes. The menu is good, from bagels and croissants to omeletes, scrambles, eight lunch sandwiches, salad, kid's meals, soup, large mocha/latte selection. Even scones and cookies. There were four of us, and we were squished in our seating as the isn't a great deal of room. It would be perfect for one or two visitors. Not too friendly, and ok food, all meals are under $10 but not by much. We didn't hurry back, and rarely see it open now.


Miner's Inn - casual woodsy upscale Denny's
5159 Highway 140, Mariposa, CA 95338 / 209.586.1402

Seriously, it was almost laughable. The day after Thanksgiving and not a single place to eat available in Mariposa, everything was so crowded, all restaurants packed to the brim except for this place. Should have been our first clue. These are turning out to be my famous last words.
Horrible service due to a waitress called in sick BUT you do what you need to do, and that does not include slowing down when serving or seating people. You get your boss to wait tables if needed but you don't neglect your clients or you get ratings like this one. We had to get our own silverware and dinner menu. The waitress spent the entire time apologizing. And past all that, husband's eggs were ordered whites only, received whites and yolks. We said no thank you to more eggs, asked for the bill reduction, got a huge bill and a plate of whites only cooked ever so quickly so the insides were still raw. Seriously? The sausage was horrific. Hamburger with way too many spices. Couldn't eat it. Then it was determined we had the wrong bill ($26), no kidding, I never ordered two milks. I asked if I could be so bold as to ask if the senior discount had been applied, and sure enough, nope.  The second bill was $17.30. The THIRD bill arrived for 15 and change.
Someone has GOT to train service people that food left untouched indicates a problem. Take a moment and find out what the problem was. Fix it.


Mi Pueblo - casual local
126 S Washington St, Sonora, CA 95370 209.532.3640

We have been here several times. The service is odd. Seating is great, dog friendly outdoor tables next to the creek, booths inside where noise is abundant. The bar is well, minimal. If you want a specific drink, you will probably have to educate who ever is tending bar and hope they have what you are seeking while you dodge the bar flies and the pool table. Standard Mexican menu, good rellenos, weak guac, the chips are good sometimes, we do go back from time to time.

Food  

Atmosphere  
Service

Prices

Total

0


Neighbor's Pub and Grub- casual local *
21051 Crystal Falls Sr, Sonora, CA 95370 - 209.532.3663

We pass this place twice a month, and keep thinking, "We should try that place." One day we did, and the rest is history.

The owner hand makes everything, everything is fresh, fresh. It's a comfy place with one pool table (I slaughtered my 27 year old daughter who kept saying, " I didn't know you played, Mom!!") three tv's where we painfully watched the debates along with other locals, and owner, all of whom groaned with us. The menu is diverse, I am going though it one item at a time. I have a stomach issue, and can be limited on my food, making me the pickiest critic you will ever know. Fifty percent of the nation has stomach issues, so when I walk into a place that has only tomato sauces and no Alfredo, you are going to lose a star. Anyway, I digress. His lasgagna is really really good, a bit rich for me, but really, really, really good.

We have been there three, four or five times, each time the food has been very good, the price very reasonable, the owner and staff extremely friendly. Beer and wine only, killer peach cobbler. Dogs are allowed on the small front patio, the menu takes some real time to study, the ranch dressing and house salad is just yummy, It's one of those hidden secrets. Wait, wait, this place is terrible, Don't go. Really, Honest. We don't want him to get TOO bizzie, heh heh . . . .

Food  

+1

Atmosphere  
Service

+1

Prices

+1

Total

+3


Negri's Original Occidental - semi-casual local *
3700 Bohemian Hwy, Occidental, CA 95465  707.874.0301
Website

This has been a 'must go' stop for years as it is rumored to be not only the highlight of the area but prestigous as well. We finally made it while in the area for a family funeral and sad event. Not as fancy asI expected, whihc was a relief, actually. Very comfy place, Sarah improved our mood and evening by a mile. The menu is extensive, three seafood dishes, five salads, two steaks, one pork, five chicken, pizza and eight pastas. The salad is small, and this is a good thing. It follows the minestrone, mild but excellent, and includes hot things on the side I don't touch and a vinegary bean mixture that you need to add to the salad, oh yum. David's polenta with bolognese sauce and meatballs was excellent, my lasagna was good, with a heavy and strong marinara, but not as flavorful as I would have preferred. The killer was the side dish, mushrooms. Honestly, plate lickable. We ordered more to go and I think there will be some fighting over who gets to it first. We left with most of our dinner in a to-go bag as it was so much food we could not begin to have finished it. $70 with two drinks, prices are from $8 to $26.  One negative aspect, they lost our reservations for a Saturday night made over a week before. It wasn't too crowded, thank goodness. We have to go back as Sarah assures us the marsala is also to die for.

Food  

+1

 
Atmosphere    
Service

+1

 
Prices

 

 
Total

+2

 

Papa's New Roost - casual local *
20049 Hwy 108, Sonora, CA 95370 - 209.536.0100

What a disappointment. We were really looking forward to a standard breakfast place and this looked so promising. Good location, good menu selection, clean, pretty, good parking, good recommendations. The first time we went, my eggs came browned. I am sorry, it ruins the flavor of them, period. Uneatable. They were replaced, but the meal is rather tainted by then, the appetite is sketchy. I ate elsewhere after my husband finished his meal. Do they ALWAYS over cook the food? (Shiver.)

The second time was much worse. Friday morning, the eggs were browned and rubbery, the hash browns were so black, so burnt I could peel the top off them, and tried to eat the small layer inside. The toast had black edges. When the waitress came back to ask how things were (over half way through my husband's meal of browned egg whites, sausage, burnt hash browns), I had eaten the inside of my toast and half the tough sausage) this was the conversation:
Me: Do you want the truth?
Waitress: Sure
Me: Pretty much burnt, the eggs are rubber.
Waitress: Well, the sausage isn't burnt, is it?

It got worse from there. To top it all off, walking away, the other waitress asked her what was wrong. Her replies, repeating our complaints were loud enough everyone, including for us as she was walking AWAY from us, to hear. Manners? None. She did apologize at the cash register and give us 10% off the bill, which I thought was funny seeing I ate 10 percent of my meal, not ninety. Hope "Papa" knows how low the food and service gets!

Visit   #1 #2
Food  

-1

-1
Atmosphere    
Service

-1
Prices

+1

+1
Total

+1

-1

Rice Bowl Express - family owned, casual *
1900 McHenry Ave, Escalon, CA 95320 - 209.838.8228 (In Vineyard Square)
Like so many small, family owned places, this is another quiet little jewel. Sunny, light cafe. Standard items and plenty of choices, we had pot stickers, garlic chicken, fried rce, curry vegies, egg foo young, paid $33 for all of it and had four more meals from it. The most respectful people own the place and keep it as clean as a whistle. More food that we could eat, and all of it yummy. It was our own fault the bill was high because we ordered way more than we could ever eat. Just yum.
Food  

+1

Atmosphere  
Service

+1

Prices

Total

+2


Salida's Kountry Kitchen - local casual family *
4702 Broadway, Salida, CA 95368 / 209.543.0483
Open Mon - Sat 6 - 2, Sun 7 - 2, breakfast and lunch
From the looks of things, it was crowded, this is an excellent place to eat. It also came recommended from one of our daughters. Two rooms, about 12 tables. Home cooked standard breakfasts, chicken fried steaks, linguica, omelettes, burgers, philly cheese sandwich, soup, chili, beans, salad. Smaller portions for kids. Good quick service, good food, I suspect it would be reliable food. We have been twice now, very happy with it and would return any time we are in the area.

June 2017: Third (or fourth?) visit was disappointing. It wasn't crowded (it was when we left) and our food was, well, overdone or under done. Very disappointing on our fourth or fifth visit, which surprised the heck out of us. See my earlier positive rants. Sunday morning 11:30, not busy, many tables open (they were full when we left) but the food was sad. My scrambled eggs were chopped into a thousand little pieces, David's were browned and burnt. My sausage was underdone to where I left it, David's ham was burnt and tough and dry. The hash browns were barely done, chewy, hard to eat, the pancake yucky. The service great (we did not complain, we were on a schedule) and the toast was thick and yummy. We will be back if we are in the area (won't go out of our way due to this last trip) but maybe after they get a new cook? Oh, and they have a Chicken Fried Steak Challenge. Looks like you have to eat the entire thing, it's HUGE, in order to get our picture on the wall. How fun. Good luck, guys.

 
Visit   1 3
Food  

+1

-1
Atmosphere    
Service

+1

+1
Prices

 
Total

+2

0

South Pine Cafe - artsy casual *
110 S Pine St, Nevada City, CA 95959 - (530) 265-0260
A long tunnel of tables surrounded by bustling locals, a visible kitchen of the left, sunny tables on the raised back platform. Art covering the walls, smells that make you hungrier. An unusual, eclectic menu including potato boats, lobster Benedict and scrambles all the way down to biscuits and gravy. Do not look for boring here. Even a nut burger as they cater to the weird or vegan. Wide variety of juices, even a barley "vodka" and wine. My breakfast burrito, sans the salsa, was far too big to eat in one sitting, the potatoes are as good as I have ever tasted, including my own! David tried the Mexican scramble, which was just a tiniest bit hot for him, his caramel latte was heavenly. We made a note to try the "smoldering pine burger" next time, which he ordered the following morning. I stuck to the breakfast burrito because I could not bear to not have it again. Thank you, Marielle! $5 - $14 June 2017

Food  

+1

Atmosphere  
Service

+1

Prices

 

Total

+2


Squeeze Burger - upscale burger joint *
13791 Mono Way, Sonora, CA 95370 - 209.533.1700
Our first visit, didn't know what to expect. I love the way the Woods Creek Cafe chefs let the cheddar sizzle on the grill around my burgers, so this was a pleasant surprise. What wasn't so nice was the grease. Way too much food for me to eat, good fries, and a tad steep. $25 for two burgers and fries and one drink. If I knew the grease had been diminished, I would go back. 2016
Food  

+1

Grease   -1
Atmosphere  
Service

+1

Prices

-1

Total

0


Thai Cuisine 2 - family cafe style *
770 E Yosemite Ave, Merced - 209.726.0334
We have another, standard but yummy Thai place in town, so I was a bit skeptical. Oh my goodness. The yellow curry chicken? The satay? The egg rolls are yummy. $52 for three people is a tad higher than elsewhere. About 15 tables and always, always full, a full 'sports' bar, extensive menu. That says something right there. We WILL be back. May 2017
Food  

+1

Atmosphere
Service

Prices

Total

1


Three Forks - stylish deli coffee house *
211 Commerical Street, Nevada City, CA 95959 - 530.470.8333 -
Website
This came highly recommended. It was super busy with the locals, a delightful combination of hippies and upper yuppies. My tea was standard, no big deal. David's hot chocolate was so thick that he had to throw it out. Pricey, too. What was worse was the service. We asked for it to go, got it in ceramic cups. Changing it all over to to-go was extremely time consuming, we must have been there twenty minutes after we ordered. I had to specifically go back for the water we asked for. Sad. Oh, the cookies were super good. We should try it again. June 2017
Food  

Atmosphere
Service

-1

Prices

Total

-1


 

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