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Well it's totally cheesy and I bet some of the higher-brow locals wish it weren't there, but playing a round at the put put is silly and fun. They stay open late (the thing I imagine the local gentry would't like - the floodlights which you can see for miles around) and the young kids they hire could care less, so seems like you can play both courses (an unauthorized buy-one-get-one-free scheme; not that we did that because we got there so close to closing-time, and the teenage attendants seemed anxious to go home and make out; or rather, in fact some of them didn't bother to wait for closing time. but whatever; you know those hormones at that age).
Of course there's lots of world class REAL golf all around this area, Nemacolin and Seven Springs being the best known.
Updated Oct 1, 2005
Address: right on rt 711 east, you can't miss it
We were staying in the Laurel Highlands for a few days and had been looking forward to an evening at Maggie's Vegetarian. In fact we had been looking forward to it a lot -- after a week of scrounging for good vegetarian options at some of the area's 'regular' restaurants -- and planned our trip for Saturday night. You see signboards for the place on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and we had eaten at the branch in Pittsburgh.
So, we got there at what we thought was a pretty reasonable hour for Saturday dinner - 7:30.
There was one other couple there, and two people behind the counter. We were ignored for a good 15 minutes and were talking about leaving, when one of the women behind the counter finally asked if we had reservations. That seemed kind of bizarre, since the place was nearly empty.
We did not have reservations, so she then said the restaurant was about to close and we could order from their deli counter for carryout, but that Saturday night is only a buffet and requires reservations, and anyway they had already put up the buffet for the night. We should have gotten there about 5, she said!
We were NOT impressed with the level of customer service at this place. And, a closing time of 8 pm on a Saturday night seems kind of freakish for anyplace, country or not. The food we carried away was good, but not great, and it was a big production just getting it. (You have to choose among a variety of pre-prepared dishes, and then have to specify the quantity you want, and so on). And, it was quite expensive.
We had found the same things (high prices unmerited by poor service and a somewhat shabby atmosphere) at the branch in Pittsburgh. So going to Maggie's again, either one of their locations, isn't high on our list of things to do.
Favorite Dish: buffalo potatoes
Updated Oct 1, 2005
Address: 1262 Route 711
There's a sign at the drive saying "fine dining" which, when I first saw it, I thought was totally corny and maybe a bit pretentious. But in fact it's true.
[Pretentious is when you're pretending to be something you're not. But Lesley's is a terrific restaurant with terrific food and atmosphere. And what a wine list!]
It's in a barn that has been converted into a real inn. It reminded me of places I've visited in England. It's full of antiques, and she uses white table cloths, and mismatched antique silver and china. Charming.
Favorite Dish: The wine! haha
I had salmon and my husband had a kind of ravioli.
Well, it was our anniversary, so we splurged.
Updated Oct 1, 2005
Address: 10 Mountain View Road Donegal, PA 15628
Phone: (800) 392-7773
There is a trailer park as soon as you get off the PA Turnpike exit, going east on 711. You can use the laundry facilities in their club house. The club house attendants are really nice and helpful, and you can buy laundry detergent there, too.
The warning is this:
We were there on Sunday. At noon, an itinerant preacher showed up in his van, with a little girl who must have been his daughter. And then a whole bunch of locals showed up, too.
Then, they LOCKED ALL THE DOORS!
I was locked IN, doing the laundry, and my partner, who had gone for a walk outside, was locked OUT.
They had not put up signs, had made no advance announcements of any kind, and unless the local fire marshall's a holy roller, too, he'd have hit the roof. But yes, this gay homosexual from the sinful big city got himself locked inside an ad-hoc church service.
Well I didn't want to appear disrespectful of the proceedings, so even though the laundry was done, I waited about 45 minutes to get out of there! And in that whole time of waiting, listening to the poor guy's meandering sermon, I didn't pick up a single spiritual nugget of gold or one revelation of astonishing value - believe me, I listened and tried! - so when there was finally a break for prayer, between sermon and the next hymn, when most of the flock had its eyes shut or downcast toward the floor, I finally slipped out of there.
So watch out.
Written Sep 30, 2005