Friday, September 23, 2011

Bowie Restaurant Project: (17) Uno Chicago Grill

Uno Chicago Grill is now closed.

For an explanation of the Bowie Restaurant Project, look here.

For a list of all the Bowie Restaurant Project reviews, look here.

Uno Chicago Grill, 4001 Town Center Blvd

Most Recent Foursquare Check-in: 9/9/2011
Total Foursquare Check-ins: 1
Pre-Foursquare Visits: A couple
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

It's an Uno Chicago Grill. By which I mean Pizzeria Uno (the chain's former name). It's a Chicago-based deep-dish pizza restaurant from the 1940s which franchised heavily in the 1980s and 1990s, and then changed its name in an effort to sell people things other than pizza. I have somewhat of a soft spot for it because of the Ann Arbor location, which is located near campus, and which I visited fairly frequently twenty-some years ago.

The fact that it's a convenient location for college-age kids to have a not-too-fancy, not-too-casual night out probably says something, but I'm not sure what.

I had met Christina at this location before for lunch. The ten-minute guarantee on some of their lunches (including, I think, pizzas) is handy. Our most recent trip there, however, was in a much larger group. On short notice, I was putting together a Friday night dinner for nine adults and seven children (the oldest of whom is 3). I called a local, family-owned restaurant and had to convince the woman who answered the phone to be willing to take a Friday night reservation -- only to learn they only had two high chairs.

Definitely a family-friendly restaurant
(Disclaimer: the people pictured do not constitute a family)
Uno's was happy to take the reservation -- although, as it turns out, they only had five high chairs. I managed to talk them into borrowing two from a nearby restaurant. All in all, they did very well with the gathering. I have a bias to believe that a local establishment has a natural advantage over a national chain, but here the chain acquitted itself very well. The back-to-school discount we got since one of our party was a teacher was a definite plus.

The food was not as good as I remember it from college days. To preserve my memories, I'm going to decide it's due to a decline in the chain over the years, rather than the unrefined palate of college students. Nothing was bad, but nothing stood out as wonderful either.

Still, it's a solid destination. The kid-friendliness earns them a total of 3 stars.

Bowie Restaurant News

By the way, I've changed the link at the top of the post to point to a more straightforward list of links to all the reviews, rather than a reverse-chronological set of blog entries. If you prefer the latter, you can always click on the tag "bowierestaurantproject" at the bottom of any of the posts.
The former KFC location

I had previously reduced the count of Bowie restaurants to 79. Investigation has determined that the KFC in Bowie Plaza has closed, so the number is down to 78. The three unlisted restaurants (two new, one mysteriously omitted) will be added either when the new guide comes out, or when I run through all listed restaurants.

One of the 78 is the "Muffin Man Caribbean Cafe" in Hilltop Plaza, next to the Chesapeake Grille. The guide says it is "Opening 2010", but it has shown no signs of life. Now comes word that it's going to be opening in November (2011). I hope to review it soon afterwards.

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