Youngstown, Ohio        Date of Visit  12/24/11         
No Known Website

With a recent and fabulous visit to Phil the Fire in Beachwood, I learned that a new Southern style restaurant had opened in Youngstown in a now defunct Italian eatery. The concept of soul food might be a great replacement, there are all sorts of Italian options but this would be different. Not much has changed except for the paint and the name on the sign…okay, nothing has changed except the paint and the name on the sign. Made me kinda nostalgic for the old crew of Armando’s. Turns out I had a lot of time to reflect and ponder and muse and well, you get the idea.



This Lump of Horror Sums Up How Monteen's Feels About Their Customers

Let me just start out being upfront. There is nothing Southern or Soul about Monteen's. The staff is not friendly or welcoming, the diners appear anxious and uncomfortable (others appeared to be-I definitely was) but if the food is great, who cares. Go ahead and care. Monteen's was a disappointment on every level.

The best thing I tried were the ribs which were mediocre at best. If you can’t do something to stand out from Chili’s or Applebee’s or the McRib don’t bother. The mechanized but efficient service offered at the national chains will put a quick end to place who’s service is atrocious which is better than Monteen's. Long, seriously long spans where no employee has been on the floor but you can hear them either laughing it up or fighting in the kitchen. Servers that seem to work hard to make you feel like an imposition and then stand physically up against you and glare down as you complete the check. She’s lucky my Mom was buying…I would have written “find another line of work” on the tip line.

Soup or Pickles...You Don't Have to Choose

Not As Bad As Everything Else...Still

No Salvation in the Chicken

Every Bit As Good As The Mashed Potatoes

Then there is the food. I can sum it up in one side dish. Mashed potatoes. FREAKING INSTANT MASHED POTATOES!!! From a soul food restaurant that is lazy, sinful and unforgivable. Add that to dry chicken, mac and cheese that tastes like a couple of weeks too many in and out of the fridge, corn bread muffins that look like Jiffy but taste like nothing, lifeless fried okra…. I can’t go on. Feeling sad. The soup was so sour I started to wonder what "flavor" they were trying to hide. After ordering most places have learned there is wisdom in offering something to keep people occupied so they don’t realize how long you actually spend sitting there in most restaurants.  At Monteen's we got to sit and exchange nervous sideways glances and embarrassed painful grins with the three other occupied tables as everyone was trying to gauge when we were going to get to eat or if there was chance of grassroots revolution. There really isn’t anything else to say. Monteen’s shouldn’t be around for long so if you are keen on disappointment hurry on down. All I can say is upon it’s death I know where it’s soul is headed. It's probably already there cause is sure ain’t in the restaurant.


How Many Days Ago Did They Make This???

Cotton Mouth Anyone?

Best Offering of the Night, Still Not Good

What Box Did These Come In?



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