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Maize

a
arepo Feb 1, 2013 08:53 PM

As promised, here is my review of this wonderful new find (thanks Jan!)

I have been mourning the loss of my favorite Gilmore's (R.I.P.) but for all sad things a good thing comes along and takes its place -- that place for me is Maize. It even is on a quaint small town street similar to that of Gilmore's though it is not upscale in interior design.
Our group totally flipped for it and we are one fussy bunch of foodies.

The minuses first: At least a 45 minute travel for us.
The noise level when filled is deafening, and shouting is the only route to go. No wonder that wait person (Bob is his name) shouts with all his enthusiasm -- he doesn't want to repeat the specials because you didn't hear him the first time. (ha!)
Actually, he was the ONLY wait person in the entire place FOR ALL TABLES! That's pretty daunting and he obviously loves his work.

The time factor for some may be a big turn off -- we arrived at 6:30 and departed 9:30, but we didn't mind the long wait one iota. We got to schmooze with our close friends, drink wine and spend more quality time together is all.

Now the good stuff:
I really don't want to start detailing what everyone had but suffice to say EVERYTHING was superb and creatively designed. That chef is talented and really has a sophisticated palate.
My fluke was the best dish I ever had.
Don't be turned off by the olive oil ice cream -- it is deadly good -- I kid you not.

We all agreed that for $120 a couple, we intend to go back again... and again ... and ...

One more time: Thanks Jan!!
:-)

  1. j
    JanR Feb 2, 2013 04:47 AM

    You're very welcome. Btw, I really miss Gilmore's too. I enjoy the leisurely pace at Maize, however a friend of mine and his SO joined us there one night and did not feel the same. He won't return. In any case, glad you liked it.

    1. Bacchus101 Feb 2, 2013 05:11 AM

      Thanks for the feedback. Sounds almost exactly as what I recall and validation for me that I have no reason to revisit. With the shouting, extremely slow service and with a $120 per couple price tag I will make my selection from other venues of more acclaim. Thus leaving space for those like you and Jan who think it is great! Please to hear you had a great evening in ???; never can remember the name of that town.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Bacchus101
        j
        JanR Feb 2, 2013 05:47 AM

        Perkasie.

        1. re: JanR
          Bacchus101 Feb 2, 2013 05:52 AM

          Exactly, thank you. The first word that always comes to mind is purgatory but I quickly reject that. A lovely little town it is, indeed.

          1. re: Bacchus101
            g
            givemecarbs Feb 4, 2013 11:36 AM

            Ha ha ha ha ha Bacchus! I have to tell my friend John about that purgatory! He lives in that general area and will get a big kick out of it!

      2. bucksguy14 Feb 2, 2013 06:27 AM

        The noise level is unlike any other place I've been - last night Matyson, a few weeks ago Melograno, both of which are loud, but tolerable - and it's the primary reason I'll never go back. It's simply not a place that anyone who uses hearing aids, as I do, can tolerate. Those are amplifiers in our ears!

        That said, the food is definitely very good, and yes, the wait is long. If you look into the open kitchen for a few minutes, you'll understand why - it's understaffed and dominated by one person, an easily rectifiable condition.

        If you can tolerate the noise and the slow service, the food will definitely reward you.

        7 Replies
        1. re: bucksguy14
          a
          arepo Feb 2, 2013 07:46 AM

          Actually, the secret is to dine at 5 pm so that only by the time you leave will it start getting noisy. We got there at 6:30 and there was nary a noise to be heard for a good hour or more.
          By 8 the joint was jumping.
          I'm patiently waiting for them to have coined so much bread that they decide to find a place closer to me -- maybe in the recently upcoming Conshohocken area. Now that would be nice!

          1. re: arepo
            bucksguy14 Feb 4, 2013 06:12 AM

            Why should I be restricted to early dining in order to enjoy peace and quiet in a good restaurant when we prefer 7-8pm reservations? I certainly don't have that issue in Europe! The other thing that's different, and better, in European restaurants is that lack of background music, which just exacerbates the problem here.

            1. re: bucksguy14
              Bacchus101 Feb 4, 2013 06:50 AM

              With you on this one, bucks.

              1. re: Bacchus101
                c
                cwdonald Feb 4, 2013 08:16 AM

                With due respect to both you (and no disrespect to anyone with any hearing loss(, a restaurant can choose to create the atmosphere it wants to. If that is not the experience you want, of course you can frequent other establishments. Dining in Europe is certainly a completely different experience than a lot of dining in the US (or Asia for that matter... ). Hustle and bustle, noise level and music give some people the feeling of energy and excitement.. and others it gives a headache. Given how a restaurant chooses to create its environment if its not what you want when you want, its not the restaurants fault. Vote with your feet.

                1. re: cwdonald
                  bucksguy14 Feb 4, 2013 08:35 AM

                  I do, cs, I do. There's noise, and then there's NOISE! The latter is when my feet cast my vote.

                  1. re: cwdonald
                    Bacchus101 Feb 4, 2013 10:05 AM

                    With due respect, cw you are stating the obvious in regard to the fact that we can" frequent other establishments". Also your "excitement vs. headache notation: quite right. My purpose for pointing out what I perceive as loud and slow is so others may be alerted to those things being a possible negative and can include these elements, if they choose to, in their decision to invest time and money in a particular establishment. Regarding Maize even those who love the place have noted these issues but value other aspects(food) more or are willing to tolerate that which I will not. While it sounds like bucksguy is interested enough in the food to try to find a time which softens the noise problem: I was a little less than impressed with the food there thus as you suggest, I have voted by pointing my GPS toward other locations.

                2. re: bucksguy14
                  a
                  arepo Feb 4, 2013 10:29 AM

                  Bucksguy said:"Why should I be restricted to early dining in order to enjoy peace and quiet in a good restaurant when we prefer 7-8pm reservations?"

                  You shouldn't bucksguy. So Maize is definitely not for you.

                  But there are those out there who are mostly interested in experiencing innovative and creatively designed food for their palates and are willing to compromise.
                  And for those, the noise factor can be tolerated or, like me who doesn't like din, the option for dining early.
                  It fits ... for me ... not for everyone.

            2. sal_acid Feb 2, 2013 08:59 AM

              Big noise is a big killer for me. What's OK to me in a sports bar isn't at a sit down place.

              3 Replies
              1. re: sal_acid
                a
                arepo Feb 2, 2013 09:01 AM

                Agreed Sal.
                Go at 5.

                1. re: arepo
                  famdoc Feb 4, 2013 07:55 AM

                  Or, go at 8:30. Half the tables are cleared by 9, so it quiets down.

                  I must take exception to the statement that service is slow. I would argue that it is not just a semantic exception: I would say the pace of the meal is leisurely. As I said in the other thread about Maize, this is a place to go with friends and good wine. The time passes very quickly when you're with a group of like-minded people, enjoying conversation, food and wine.

                  1. re: famdoc
                    bucksguy14 Feb 4, 2013 08:38 AM

                    Thanks famdoc. That's information that's valuable since we like to dine around 7-8, a little later may be worth a try for Maize's food.

              2. j
                JanR Feb 16, 2013 05:49 AM

                We have been to Maize several times, but never for Valentines Day. That can be a disappointing night to dine out. Thursday night at Maize was wonderful! Of corse they were booked solid, but there was no wait and the pace was as leisurely as ever. While this was a bit uncomfortable a few months back with an impatient friend, it was perfect for a romantic evening. The food was great, particularly a scallop dish with grapefruit and pistachios and (my husband's favorite there) the pork belly.

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