Saturday, December 29, 2012

World Heritage: 2012 in Review

I visited two World Heritage Sites this year, both in the same afternoon, earlier this month. Left, you see me at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, and to the right, you see a picture I took in the Forbidden City.

Looking at this year, I said, "I can rent a car on my free afternoon and drive to Canterbury, and then see how many of Beijing's six world heritage sites I can cram into a 4-day trip." Well, I decided against renting a car (instead opting for the non-World Heritage enjoyment of Cambridge), and I could cram in two of the World Heritage Sites in Beijing into my free afternoon.

So my total is 56 out of 962, or 5.8%, which is back where it was at the end of last year (actually slightly better, but rounding makes that disappear). In 2013, I don't know if I'll make it two sites, which is what I need to keep pace with the addition of new sites. (I have not visited any of the 2013 nominees.) But I'll certainly see what I can do!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bowie Restaurant Project: (61) Bob Evans

As seen from Crain Highway
For an explanation of the Bowie Restaurant Project, look here.

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

Bob Evans, 4308 Crain Hwy.
Most Recent Foursquare Check-in: 12/8/2012
Total Foursquare Check-ins: 1
Pre-Foursquare Visits: December 21, 1997
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Christina's comment on her entree was, "It was worth the wait."  I think that said as much about the painfully slow service as about the tastiness of the food. The other local restaurant it reminded us of the most was Friendly's (in Crofton), but the food was definitely better here. The service was not.

Down on the Farm
The kids' meals were free as a result of a December promotion. When I tracked down the waitress at the cash register to pay our bill, however, the only way she could figure out how to handle it was to ring it up as two separate checks, with one adult and one kid on the check. Oh, and be warned, the meal is free (about $3 value), but the drink (about $1.25) isn't. Not an awful deal, but not fantastic. The kids generally enjoy the opportunity to eat pancakes, so they were happy.

The only other time I had been here was before a Redskins-Eagles game in 1997, hence my ability to note the exact date. Oh, and the picture? Well, it seemed like this place merited about that much effort.

So how do I give it a 2-star rating? Well, IHOP got a 2.5-star rating, but it's open 24 hours, which means something in a city with no diner. Bob Evans is open 6AM-10PM, so it doesn't earn that extra 1/2 star.

Bowie Restaurant News

Lima's Chicken is open! I stopped by to pick up a menu, and the place smelled delicious. It looks like they have a really interesting menu, too.

When I peek in the still-blacked-out windows of Freestyle Fish 'n' Chicken in Bowie Plaza, I see a restaurant that looks almost ready to go, including a "Grand Opening" banner. So I should have two new places to review soon.

Here's a money-saving tip. Chesapeake Grille is offering a deal for the holidays where you can buy a $100 gift card and get a $20 gift card free. While I'm sure it would be great to give someone a $100 gift card and keep the $20 one for yourself, this deal can be handy even if you're not in a giving mood. If you know you'll be spending more than $120 there in the coming year (and we certainly plan to), go ahead and take advantage of the deal for yourself, and you've just saved $20 at the cost of committing your money a little bit early. Similarly, California Tortilla is offering a deal where you can get a free entree coupon with a $25 gift card purchase. I went ahead and grabbed both for myself at lunch today.