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Restaurant Reviews

Italian Delight

Vote = 5.0Vote = 5.0Vote = 5.0Vote = 5.0Vote = 5.0

On Sunday, June 26, 2016, my daughter and I had lunch at the Italian Delight, 640 Warrior Drive, Suite 117, Stephens City, Virginia. The location is in the Warrior Center at this address, along with several other businesses and the Asian Restaurant in Suite 101.

Hours are Sunday-Thursday, 10:30 AM-10:00 PM; Friday-Saturday, 10:30 AM-11:00 PM. The phone is (540) 869-1600. The Web site is http://www.italiandelight.biz/, and dine in, take-out, and delivery services are available.

The Italian Delight has a patio out front with four tables with umbrellas. The entrance is at the side of the building and has a vestibule with a refrigerated display case of bottled drinks. Inside, the fairly small room has a counter on the left and three booths to the right along the front windows.

Further back on the right, benches along the wall have tables and two booths are on the left back here. A TV screen is on the wall behind the counter; another is on the back wall, and a third TV is toward the front. Pictures of scenes in Italy decorate the walls. Some of the kitchen is visible through an opening in the wall behind the counter.

Menu categories are Specials, Appetizers, Soups, Salads, New York Style Pizza, Sicilian Pizza, Specialty Pizzas, Stephens City’s Best Thin Crust Pizza, Hoagies, Hot Subs, Philly Steak Subs, Wraps, and Chicken Subs.

Also, Fatboys, Calzone & Stromboli, Buffalo Wings, Kids’ Menu, Dessert, Entrées, Gluten Free, and Beverages. Lunch Specials are offered from 11:30 AM-3:00 PM every day, and are listed on a separate small menu.

Our server was Jackie, who brought us small rolls and marinara sauce for dipping to start with. My daughter ordered Onion Rings from the Appetizer Menu, an Eggplant Parmigiana Sub with Oven Melted Mozzarella Cheese from the Hot Subs Menu, and Cannoli from the Dessert Menu.

My choice was Eggplant Parmigiana without spaghetti or pasta from the Entrées Menu. It came with a tossed salad; I had ordered blue cheese dressing, which came in a plastic package. Our orders were served on large oval ceramic platters which hadn’t been heated. The eggplant had been peeled, and was topped with melted cheese and marinara sauce.

The Italian Delight is one of several restaurants in the area owned and operated by the Lanzetta family, including Donato’s, Italian Touch Pizza, and The Millwood Seafood and Steak. The food was good and I rate it as a Keeper.

Perry Crabill


China House

Vote = 3.0Vote = 3.0Vote = 3.0Vote = 3.0Vote = 3.0

On Sunday, May 5, 2016, my daughter and I had lunch at the China House, 368 Fairfax Pike, east of Stephens City, Virginia, on Route 277. It is located next to Goodwill in an older shopping center with a large Food Lion anchor store.

Hours are Monday-Thursday, 11:00 AM-10:00 PM; Friday-Saturday, 11:00 AM-10:30 PM; Sunday, 12:00 PM-9:30 PM. The phone number is (540) 868-1858. Takeout is available, along with delivery up to six miles and on-line ordering. The Web site is www.chinahousestephenscity.com.

The entrance has no vestibule, and opens into a single small room. Seating is via three booths along each side wall, with a couple of tables in the center. In the rear is a service counter with menus displayed on the back wall. A Coke machine is along the wall here to your right.

There are hanging lights over the counter and elsewhere around the room. A dark carpet was on the floor, and the ceiling tile was a light color. Front windows allow light from the outside. I heard no music, nor do I remember seeing a TV screen or Oriental decorations.

The menu was an 11x17-inch sheet printed on both sides. The categories were Appetizer, Soup, Chow Mein, Fried Rice, Lo Mein or Mei Fun, Egg Foo Young, and Pork.

Also, Chicken, Beef, Shrimp, Vegetable, Healthy Sections, Side Order, House Specialties, Dinner Special, and Lunch Special. Neither beverages nor desserts were listed.

We had Shrimp Toast from the Appetizer Menu, and we both ordered dinner from the Shrimp Menu. My daughter chose Shrimp with Lobster Sauce, and I had Shrimp with Cashew Nuts.

Each order came with a bowl of white rice. I ordered hot tea, and was pleased to have it served in a heated metal teapot. The tea leaves were loose in the pot, but settled to the bottom of the glass teacup.

Our table had a bottle of Kikkoman Soy Sauce with just a little residue on the bottom. The bottle on an adjacent table was in the same condition.

Soy sauce appeared to be among the unlabeled plastic tubes of condiments in a dish; I consider that an unsatisfactory arrangement; opening them can be messy.

Both of our servings had an adequate number of fairly large shrimp, and mine had a goodly number of cashews. The vegetables included baby corn, diced carrots and celery.

There were also pieces of what may have been tofu. The sauce appeared to be soy. It was good food, but so large a serving that I took more than half of it and all of the rice home.

I was turned off by the empty soy sauce bottles and the plastic tube method of dispensing condiments, but I did appreciate tea being served in a pot. The ladies’ restroom was out of order, and a sign directed users to the men’s.

We saw very little of our server, although we were the only patrons during most of our visit. I rate China House as merely OK, and am not likely to be back. It’s a little better but no worse than the typical shopping center Chinese restaurant.

Perry Crabill


Granny's Pancake Cottage

Vote = 3.0Vote = 3.0Vote = 3.0Vote = 3.0Vote = 3.0

On Sunday, May 29, 2016, my daughter and I had lunch at Granny’s Pancake Cottage at 5460 Main Street in Stephens City, Virginia. It’s a diner type of operation located one block south of the town’s single traffic light, on the southeast corner of Main and Green Streets.

It has its own off-street parking lot on Green Street, and although it has a Main Street address, the entrance is also on Green Street. Granny’s is open every day; hours are Sunday, 7:00 AM-3:00 PM; Monday-Saturday, 6:00 AM-8:00 PM. The phone number is (540) 508-2434.

Eat-in and take-out services are available. Outside seating is provided on a concrete patio along the Main Street side of the building. The double-door entry has no vestibule and opens into a single small room.

Windows are on the front and to your right as you enter. Three booths seating four are along the right wall with a larger booth in the back, all looking out on Main Street.

An L-shaped counter to the back on your left has three stools facing each leg of the L. A high-rise round table with two stools is in the front, and three additional round tables with stools are in the back.

The white floor and ceiling, along with the lights in the ceiling give the place a bright and airy ambience, despite the apparent age of the building. There was no music system, but a large TV screen was on the left front wall between the doors to the two restrooms. A smaller TV screen was on the back wall.

The menu is printed on a double-sided laminated 11x14-inch sheet. The menu’s Breakfast side categories include Rise & Shine Platters, Gary’s Bowls, Omelets, Cakes & French Toast, Breakfast Sides, and Beverages.

The Lunch & Dinner side categories offer Appetizers, Sandwiches, Soup & Salad, Fried Chicken, Dinners, Fish or Shrimp with Fries, Sliders, and Appetizer Samples.

My daughter ordered Meat the Cakes, three pancakes with sausage, plus a side order of bacon. My choice was a Western Omelet, with cheddar cheese, home fries, and white toast. I have never become accustomed to eating fried potatoes at breakfast, and gave them to my daughter.

My daughter liked her food. My omelet was merely OK, and not the best one I had ever eaten. I had to ask for ketchup because there was no bottle on the table. I was given a plastic squeeze bottle that gave me very watery ketchup until it was firmly shaken.

I believe that ketchup should be served in its original bottles and not repackaged in this manner. I was curious about this place, and now that I know what it’s like, I may not be back.

Our waitress said that Granny’s Pancake Cottage is associated with Granny’s on Route 7, Berryville Pike, a few miles east of Winchester, but is more family oriented and does not serve alcoholic beverages. The menus are otherwise the same.

It opened about a year ago. Previous eateries at this location were Granny’s II, Stephens City Diner, Sean’s All American Restaurant, and Anthony’s Pizza III. From the age of the building I suspect there may have been other such operations here even earlier.

Perry Crabill


Del Rio Mexican Restaurant

Vote = 4.0Vote = 4.0Vote = 4.0Vote = 4.0Vote = 4.0

On Thursday, May 19, 2016 I had dinner at the Del Rio Mexican Restaurant at 356 Fairfax Pike, east of Stephens City, Virginia, on Route 277. It is located in an older shopping center with a large Food Lion anchor store, which originally had a Marshall’s Department Store, still vacant.

Hours are Monday-Thursday, 11:00 AM-11:00 PM; Friday & Saturday, 11:00 AM-1:00 AM; Sunday, 12:00 Noon-11:00 PM. The phone number is (540) 868-0111, and carry out service is available.

A large concrete patio along the front of the restaurant has a black wrought iron fence, four metal tables and a metal bench, and was not occupied at that hour. The front entry has no vestibule, but opens into a small cross hall affording some protection against drafts. There are two rooms; the bar room is on your left, and the dining room on the right was my objective.

Seating here is by a couple of tables for two along the window in front, tables for four along the right and left walls, tables for two down the center, and a large table seating eight across the rear. This was the only occupied table, and had a mixed group quietly conducting a meeting.

The dining room is well lighted; the side walls are decorated with stylized pictures of Mexican scenes, instead of the original serapes, sombreros, and maracas remembered from my previous visit.

The floor has large, light-colored squares and the ceiling has dark acoustic tile. There was no TV screen, and the only music I heard seeped in from the bar area, along with typical bar conversational noises.

The eight-page menu includes Appetizers; Brunch and Lunch, both served from 11:00 AM-3:00 PM; Burritos & Enchiladas; Chimichangas, Flautas & Quesadillas; Fajitas & Parrillada, House Specialties, Combination Dinners, Vegetarian Dinners, Side Orders, Chicken Favorites, Salads, Kid’s Meals, and Beverages. The latter do not include Cokes bottled in Mexico.

My server was Wendy, who immediately brought me the traditional corn chips and salsa while I looked over the menu. I chose from House Specialties, ordering Cochinita Pibil, marinated pork topped with green tomatillo sauce and cheese sauce, served with lettuce, guacamole, tomato, rice, refried beans, and a choice of corn or flour tortillas.

The order came quickly, before I was finished with the chips and salsa, and was served on a large oval heated platter. My three corn tortillas were folded and wrapped in heavy foil, and quite hot.

The food was very good, and the only reason I wouldn’t order this on my next visit is that there are so many other choices to try. The serving was large enough that needed a go-box to take somewhat more than half of it home.

I had dined here more than five years ago, and found that it is now under new management. The dining room has recently been completely redecorated, and a new menu adopted with a wider range of selections and slightly higher prices. The Del Rio is very definitely on my list of keepers.

I surveyed the well-populated bar area as I was leaving. High rise tables and chairs are along the left and back walls, in the center, and up front. The bar itself is along the right wall with perhaps eight seats.

There are four TV screens; one each on the left and back wall, and two behind the bar. A wall-mounted electronic juke box on the left wall was playing and contributing to the rather high general noise level because of the number of people.

Anonymous Reviewer


Del Rio Mexican Restaurant

Vote = 3.0Vote = 3.0Vote = 3.0Vote = 3.0Vote = 3.0

Average Mexican restaurant. Nothing fancy here. Ok food and service.

Anonymous Reviewer


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