Sunday, September 4, 2011

Please Help Find This Gypsy, etc.

Today I want to do a few different things: help a neighbor in need, give my readers a tip on where NOT to eat, and waste several kilobytes on vintage office equipment. (This blog is nothing if not broad in its coverage.)

It seems a gypsy has gone missing from a home in my area. Apparently he was seen with a black dog, and one of them is wearing a red collar.

Please watch out for these two and speak up if you see anything, because I think it’s sad for a family to be without their gypsy, and wherever he is, he’s probably scared and lonely.

Friday night, Momma and I went out for Italian. We’d never eaten at Ligori’s on Hill Field Road in Layton, Utah, so we decided to try them. She didn’t think the place looked too promising, but I said they deserved a chance. They probably won’t get another one.

On entering the place, we were quickly seated by a cute hostess, a tiny woman about 20 years old with a huge smile and way too much energy. She oozed perkiness, and we thought that a good sign.

If you’re looking for a family-friendly place, this one certainly fits the bill, which is my nice way of saying they should rename it “Ligori’s Kooky Italian Romper Room.” We’ve found Chuck E. Cheese’s to have better ambiance at times. Seated near us were at least three large parties, each with multiple toddlers who definitely did not use their inside voices.

That would have been okay if the food quality and service were up to par. When the waitress—a cheerful teenage redhead—took our drink orders, we said we weren’t quite ready to order our food. So she went away for about 10 minutes to let us decide. We settled on fried mozzarella sticks for an appetizer (Why do they call it that? We were already plenty hungry; that’s why we went to a restaurant.) and a three-pasta combo to share for our entrée. They brought out our “salads” first, and then the cheese sticks right before the entrée.

Here is what passes for salad there:

There was nothing wrong with this bowl of chopped iceberg lettuce. Trouble is, that’s all it was. Restaurant owners, listen up. Salad, by definition, is a mixture of at least two or three different items, maybe with a little variety of colors and textures. Ligori’s first course doesn’t qualify. At least the ranch dressing was pretty good, and I like that they brought it in a separate little bowl.

Edit: After reading this post, Celeste pointed out something I'd forgotten. She said, "To be fair, there was a slice of tomato on top of the lettuce when they brought it out." So I stand corrected. But I still say a bowl of lettuce and bite of tomato do not a salad make. ~

The pasta was likewise unimpressive. Rigatoni with meatballs, lasagna, and fettuccini Alfredo with chicken. There was nothing particularly wrong with any of it, but nothing to make us say, “I’m really glad we ate that!” The sauces could have come straight from a Ragu jar. I filled up on bread.

Somewhere along the way, the waitress forgot about us again, and we had to flag her down to refill our drinks. To her credit, she was friendly and she tried hard, but she seemed inexperienced, in need of some training.

With tax and a (modest) tip added to the bill and five dollars removed by a coupon, we got out of there for just over 30 bucks, not bad these days for a sit-down dinner for two, but not great, considering we eat better at Olive Garden, Noodles & Co., or even Fazoli’s.

Finally, in case the above critique is not trivial enough, let me show you the most aptly named stapler I've ever seen:

Here is Old Smashy II. I don't know where he came from, but he appeared in my office a few weeks ago with his name painted across his back. I never met his predecessor. He appears to be about 30 years old and is still going strong, putting to shame those flimsy plastic staplers they sell today. I like Smashy because he reminds me that in our disposable world, there’s still room for something with substance, experience, and a bit more weight than necessary, plus a somewhat grouchy disposition. (We might as well call him Wilford Brimley.)

Love my blog but want more cowbell? Wish I would fall into an abyss, or at least throw my laptop in? Feel I should have chosen 12 pt. Arial instead of 14 pt. Verdana? Comment below! I’m not a mind reader.


  1. Well, it's nice to know that Weapons seems to get the good stuff. That stapler is awesome! As for Ligori's, remember, you're in Utah - land of basketti for Italian (and be sure to pronounce it Eye-tal-yun), and for those that are bold enough to try more exotic cuisine, go for sweet & sour at an Asian place.

    If you truly want good Italian food, go to La Ferrovia in Ogden. According to those that have been there, it is the closest thing to 'true' Italian food around.

    Again, remember, this is Utah. We are not exactly a bastion of gustatory culture.

  2. Thanks for the tip, Wayne. We'll check out La Ferrovia. And of course I pronounce it EYE-tal-yun. How else would it be?

  3. Jessie swears she told us about it last month and I believe her. She wanted credit and I want to post my first comment.

  4. Jessie may have seen the sign too, but it was up some time ago. I originally posted that picture on my Facebook wall about a year ago, right after I took it. If she spotted and remembered it, that tells us she is observant and she knows funny when she sees it. Thanks for the comment, pg.