Mai Thai Restaurant in Florence, KY Review

Mai Thai has been around for a few years and is one of our favorite places to go eat which I felt meant it deserved a shout out.

They have a mixture of sushi and Thai food that will satisfy most everyone.

For us it is perfect because I love sushi and boyfriend likes Thai food, so both of us leave happy.

We kind of stumbled onto Mai Thai.  We were looking for something to eat, and decided on Long John’s Silver which I hadn’t been to in a long time.  I drove to where I last knew it was.  I was surprised to see a Thai and Sushi restaurant there, but we both like that type of food, so we decided to try it.  That was the best thing we could have done.  We now even have one of their VIP cards which I proudly carry. 🙂

1.) Location ***** (5 stars)

For those who have lived in Florence, KY for several years, Mai Thai is located in the old Long John’s Silver restaurant building off of 42.  It is located on 42 where there isn’t as much traffic as other spots, but still a high traffic area.

It is generally very easy access as well as exit.  If you wanted, you could also use the connected parking lot to get to Ewing Blvd.

I will say that it seems if you are on 42 headed towards Main Street, that Mai Thai is easy to see.  From the other direction, I could see to where it would sneak up on you.  To help you out, it is right across from the Wild Wood Inn.

The Location receives 5 stars from us.

2.) Parking **** (4 stars)

What can I say; it used to be an old Long John’s Silver building.  There is plenty of parking for the size building up front and along the side.  There is also parking in back in and across in the other paring lots.

With my big Honda Pilot, I don’t have any troubles navigating their parking lot even though it is a tad small.

Parking receives 4 stars from us.

3.) Greeting ***** (5 stars)

Each time we go to Mai Thai, we are always greeted almost immediately.  The hostess/waitress always asks how many people are in your party and then surveys the dining area before seating you.

I think there was maybe one time that we had to wait when there were open tables, but we arrived behind a few other couples and had to wait a minute before being seated.

And once we arrived, every single table was in use.  The greeter immediately acknowledged us and told us that it would be about 15 minutes.  We only waited about 8 minutes.

Overall, they are very good about getting you seated.

The Greeting receives 5 stars from us.

4.) Atmosphere ***** (5 stars)

The dining area of the restaurant is very small, but it has a lot of atmosphere.  They completely redid the inside of the restaurant, so you would never guess that it was an old Long John’s Silver.  The outside has been redone as well.

There are booths as well as tables and chairs.  If you want to sit in a booth, get there early because those are the first to go and they usually have a good number of diners.

Mai Thai has a tiny bar area, but one is available.  We’ve never sat there, so I can’t comment on it other than it is small. They do also have a sushi bar that you can sit at.  We never do, but you can.

There is one TV between the bar and the sushi bar.  The sound isn’t on, but it gives you something to look at when boyfriend goes to the bathroom.

They have done a great job of decorating.  It’s not over the top, but at the same time makes you feel at home.  It is always fairly quiet in there as compared to most restaurants.  A person who voice carries is very well heard by everyone, so please beware.

The Atmosphere receives 5 stars from us.

5.) Menu **** (4 stars)

I usually use the sushi menu.  It is very well done.  It has the items listed in price order.  They only have a couple of hand rolls available, but have a list of other sushi items.  The only thing that I would like is a picture for each item, but I’m new to sushi.  I’m generally willing to try an item.

The Thai menu is well organized and easy to follow.  Boyfriend never has a problem finding what he likes. There are a lot of selections to choose from.

I imagine someone who is unfamiliar with Thai food or Sushi in general might be overwhelmed, but you can just ask for some assistance.

The Menu receives 4 stars from us.

6.) Timeliness **** (4 stars)

Timeliness has improved from when they first opened.  We waited quite awhile the first time we were there.  They were packed and it seemed like the kitchen was overwhelmed.  I actually received my sushi first before boyfriend received his Thai food.

Now though, the timeliness is much better and the wait time seems very appropriate considering they are coordinating a Thai order with a sushi order.  They do fairly well at this.  I do usually receive my hand roll first, but I’m OK with that.  Boyfriends’ food usually follows right behind.

Overall, they could be a tad better in the coordination, but at least we aren’t waiting forever for both of us to receive food.

Timeliness receives 4 stars from us.

7.) Presentation/Taste **** (4 stars)

The sushi is presented very well. Hand rolls are brought with the Hand Roll holder. The sushi is always organized very nicely on the plate.  They have a cute little pitcher for the soy sauce that you pour into a cute dipping bowl.  They always bring chopsticks, but you also have a fork if needed.

The Thai food seems to come with two plates: one for the rice and one for the Thai food.  Boyfriend always takes a portion of his Thai food and places it on the rice plate.

The food always looks very delicious and makes you want to dive right in.

So far, the sushi crab something or other (I’ll have to update with the actual name the next time we go) is the only one that I really didn’t like.  There was something with the sauce that made it taste weird to me.  I can be strange about tastes though.  It certainly wasn’t inedible; it just wasn’t something that was my preference.

Their house salad with ginger dressing is not my favorite and I prefer the restaurant on Mall Road more.  Mai Thai’s salad dressing is not very thick, so it may just be a preference thing.

Presentation and Taste receives 4 stars from us.

8.) Employees ***** (5 stars)

Mai Thai’s employees are always working!  When we first went there, there were just a couple of waitresses and they were very busy.  The waitresses never stopped moving and sometimes had trouble taking care of people and bussing tables.

Given their success with their awesome restaurant, they have gotten them help.  Now there is a busser as well as additional waitresses. We never have to wait for anything.  They do group waitressing to a certain degree. You have a primary waitress, but anyone will help you with refilling your drink or removing dirty dishes.

The waitresses do talk fairly quietly, but I’m fine with that.  Better than having them yell at me. 🙂

Their Employees receive 5 stars from us.

9.) Cleanliness of Restaurant ***** (5 stars)

When we first went there, it was nothing to see tables not bussed.  This is no longer true.  They have a busser to take care of the tables.  They have redone their decorations and it all looks nice there.  The outside has been redone as well.

Cleanliness of Restaurant receives 5 stars from us.

10.) Bathrooms

I can’t really comment on the bathrooms because I have never used them and I don’t remember what boyfriend said about them.  He uses them all the time, so they must be ok.

Overall:
I love this restaurant and just in general enjoy going there.  The atmosphere is very nice for 2 adults, but we have also seen kids there.

The wait staff is very friendly and the food tastes great.  I’ve been eating their sushi and have never gotten ill from it.  I do prefer their sushi over a restaurant on Mall Road and boyfriend is just happy to have a nice Thai restaurant in Florence to go to.

I highly recommend this restaurant. 🙂

The Mai Thai restaurant receives 4 1/2 stars from us.

Red Robin in Florence, KY Review

Well, boyfriend and I finally got a chance to go to the “new” Red Robin restaurant where we live.  Red Robin is a part of a restaurant chain.

I had eaten there once before at another location in Mason, OH.  I liked my experience at the one in Mason, OH, so I was determined to try the new one at some point.

Oh and, this review received a really high rating.  Overall, we are generally pretty harsh on restaurants, so that should tell you how well Red Robin in Florence, KY impressed us.

1. Location **** (4 stars):

Red Robin in Florence, KY is at the corner of a busy road and an even busier road, but is very easy to get into as long as you aren’t headed southwest on Houston Road. The location is great for getting into people’s eyesight, but bad due to traffic.

You can opt to turn at a light or around the corner is an entrance without a light which is the one we used.  We were almost hit in the back end by someone turning left off of Houston Road that tried to rush across traffic.  Even though I was driving this got boyfriend aggravated at the chick who couldn’t wait.  Of course she was coming from the direction that I said was difficult to turn into Red Robin.  So I will give her a break as I know what she was trying to do.

Due to the difficulty of turning into the location from the one direction, the “danger” in getting people from the other direction to slow down to let you turn, and the busy corner location, I give the Location 4 stars.  Having a light to use on the other road kept the location with a high rating.

2. Parking ***** (5 Stars):

There is plenty of parking available.  If there isn’t enough room in the parking lot next to Red Robin, there is plenty of unused parking spots available in the K-Mart parking lot.
The parking spots aren’t too narrow, but they aren’t wide either.  My big SUV fit in the parking spot with a little less than a foot on either side.  I park in the back, so spacing generally does not phase me too much.

Navigating the parking lot was easy and wide enough for my vehicle to fit.

There really weren’t any detractors here, so I give Parking 5 stars.

3. Greeting **** (4 stars):

The greeting…oh the greeting.  One of my pet peeves.  So, we walk up to the door behind a family of four.  A woman is holding the inner doors open for us.

Here’s where my pet peeve kicks in…she asks the family before admitting them how many are in their party.  They state four and she let’s them proceed inside.  I notice before we get the same treatment that the family of four has to repeat this information to the hostess inside.

OK, so why ask?  Do YOU really need that information?  Will you not allow them in, if they give the incorrect information?  I just thought it was a total waste of time.  This was a night where they were busy, but not overly busy.  So, what do you do when you are busy?

Anyway, she asks us the same question and we answer two and are allowed inside. We wait behind the family while the hostesses figure out where to put them.  A second hostess sees us and the woman who let us in states that we have two in our party.  The second hostess seats us without any further ado.

Due to the door opener being my pet peeve and having to repeat myself for no reason other than to get into the restaurant, I give the Greeting 4 stars.

4. Atmosphere *** (3 stars):

The atmosphere is definitely kid-oriented.  The first thing I noticed when we walked in were the balloons, kid toy machines, and a TV in the floor.

It is extremely noisy in the restaurant.  I could barely hear boyfriend and we found ourselves every now and then asking for a repeat of what was said.  When I say noisy…I mean noisy.  It’s noisy in there…get it? 😉

The place is very brightly colored with a couple of TVs available for viewing.  It basically looks like happiness threw up in the restaurant.  I will admit, it made me smile kind of like Disney World does.  Heck, they even had a mascot walking around the restaurant.  I purposely avoided eye contact because I never know what to say to the mascots; unless of course they are Donald Duck of course.  Meanwhile, boyfriend is in shock at the noise. Have I mentioned it was noisy?

We were seated in a booth which is a plus, but a drawback is that the table and seats were really close to each other.  Also, my seat was angled it seemed.  I felt as though I was in a trick seat and was going to be thrown to the floor. 🙂  I think actually, I scooted over closer to the wall and that most people were sitting on the edge since the wall is imposing.

Either people were lying on a Thursday or there really were that many birthday parties, but there was a lot of clapping and singing going on.  In the 45 minute span we were there, there were four songs sang.  The nice thing was that they didn’t just sing the same song over and over.  They had at least three variations.

Due to the noise and the tightness of the tables, I give Red Robin 3 stars on Atmosphere.  It was seriously really noisy in there.  Do NOT visit if you have  a hint of a headache.

5. Menu **** (4 stars):

The menu is a huge single poster given to you by the hostess.  It is double sided and extremely busy.  Obviously they have a lot of burgers (since that’s their specialty), but I did notice other things as well.

We both picked out burgers.  I wanted the mushroom burger and boyfriend got a Bleu Burger.  Since I’m not a huge fan of thick cut fries, I tried looking around for a different side.  I turned the menu over and over, and flipped it upside down trying to find the sides.  I was thinking, surely they have something other than bottomless fries and Parmesan thick cut fries like coleslaw, mashed potatoes, fried mushrooms, or onion rings (not put on a tree like the appetizer).  Nope, I checked with the server.

When you order, you will be asked how done you like your burger. It is nice that a restaurant that specializes in burgers takes it to the next level and grills to order.  This is a nice plus.

With the exception of finding the sides, the menu was easy to follow.  It was just busy. So, due to these reasons, I give the Menu 4 stars.

6. Timeliness ***** (5 stars):

From the time we ordered to when we received our food, was about the time it would take to grill a hamburger.  The restaurant, while not swamped, was rather busy.  We were very pleased with the results.

7. Presentation/Taste ***** (5 stars):

The presentation of our burgers was in a basket with the fries.  Half of the burger was wrapped, so that you could hold it without getting drippings all over you.  This was a really huge plus for me.  I hate getting my fingers and fries dripped on from a sandwich.

My mushroom burger was pretty good tasting. It needed just a tad more salt in the mushrooms as they made the whole sandwich a tad bland.  I put on a tad of ketchup and was perfectly happy.

Boyfriend liked the taste of his bleu burger, but stated that there was just a bit too many topping on his burger.  He would have liked a tad less, but stated that the flavor was good.

The Parmesan fries aren’t worth the extra money.  They were OK, but were basically just the regular fries with Parmesan sprinkled on them and it was not plentiful by any means.  But you know what, fries are fries, so even though I tried the Parmesan fries and don’t think they were worth the extra money, the fries tasted fine with ketchup.

Boyfriend likes thick cut fries and after finishing them, he was asked if he would like some more (they were bottomless).  He told me that he could have had more fries, but didn’t need them

Overall, we both really enjoyed our meals and since this is our biggest deciding factor on going back, we decided that we would return.  Presentation and Taste receive 5 stars from us.

8. Employees ***** (5 stars):

Door Opener:
Worst employee of the bunch and that was just because I had to answer a question of how many were in my party to get in the door.  Even though I truly think this job is not needed, she was pleasant.

Hostesses:
The hostesses took just a bit to figure out where to seat people, but it wasn’t overly long.  They also recognized that in general, a two person party with a man and a woman would want a booth and seated us appropriately.  The hostess was very pleasant.

Server:
This is where Red Robin rocked for our experience.  Our server was awesome.  He waited until we completely sat down and go shifted over before approaching us.  With a smile he asked if we would like to place a drink order.  At the shake of our heads, he listed off the available drinks and for tea he even included the option of sweet tea.

He immediately went to retrieve our drinks and brought them to our table in less than 3 minutes.  He asked if we would like more time to look over the menu and at our yes, he let us be.  We dropped our menus and he was at our side asking for our order.  He very pleasantly explained the side item options to us and finished with I will get that right in.

Before our burgers came out, he retrieved another sweet tea with asked for lemon for me.  I was about half way through my current glass.  He brought our burgers right to us when they were up and asked if we needed anything else before leaving us to eat.

During our meal, he refilled boyfriends’ water just as it got to half way.  When boyfriend completed his fries, our server was right there asking if boyfriend would like some more.  He asked if he could clear boyfriends basket when boyfriend said no to the extra fries.

He did bring the check prior to my finishing, but boyfriend was finished, so it didn’t bother me too much.  When we paid, he was very quick about processing our check and returning.  Before he left, he made us feel welcome to sit for a bit before leaving by telling us that he was available if we needed anything else.

The way it sounds is that he was standing around staring at us and waiting to pounce as we made our way through the meal.  That was not the case.  I saw him at several other tables giving them the same treatment that we were receiving.  Truly this server is awesome!!!!  He received a 20% tip from us.

Other employees:
One of our pet peeves is employees standing around chatting and shooting the breeze while customers suffer.  That is certainly NOT the case at Red Robin.  Every employee stayed busy.  If they weren’t giving the awesome treatment to their customers, they were singing and clapping to the birthday people.  If they weren’t doing that, they were not to be seen.  Since I could see where they were due to where we were sitting, they even stayed busy in the employee area.

Overall, Red Robin knows how to treat their customers and how to keep their many employees busy.  They receive 5 stars for Employees.

9. Cleanliness of Restaurant ***** (5 stars):

The restaurant is very new, and still very clean.  The floors were clean though, so they must clean up as customers leave.  We did see one ledge that might get dusty over time.  For that only time will tell.

They receive 5 stars for Cleanliness of Restaurant.

10. Bathrooms **** (4 stars):

I’m going off of boyfriends’ experience here as I neglected to use the facilities while at Red Robin.  Boyfriend said that the restaurant is definitely geared towards kids as everything in the bathroom was low.  While I like that they are taking care of the kiddie-winkies, it would be nice as an adult to have things at a normal height.

Boyfriend did say the bathroom was clean, and forgive me guys, but if the men’s room is clean, that’s saying something. 😉

For this they receive 4 stars in Bathrooms.

Overall:
I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone who is looking for a well cooked burger and wants very good service.

This restaurant receives 4 1/2 stars from us.