Here's a general update. Been to a couple of new places and had additional visits to some semi-new.
Beachmee's - on Carsonia Ave, just outside Mt. Penn. This is kindof a neat place, not fancy, but clean. The food is pretty good and reasonably priced. The Shrimp Jammers app was outstanding. Service was not very good, and we were lucky we got in early as they didn't really have a non-smoking section. Worth trying it again, but it won't replace any of my regulars.
Charlie Browns's Steakhouse - Wyomissing. This is a chain, and a pretty good one that has gotten moderately good reviews here on Chowhound. The service was fantastic and the prices were excellent. The food varied - great crab dip, mediocre FO soup, good steak. It's an affordable alternative to the expesive steakhouses, but obviously not as good.
Muddbuggs - just N of Reading. Can't say enough about this place. Fantastic food, nice variety, and great service every time.
Speckled Hen - Reading. Had a 2 lousy experiences here lately. This had been my fav, so I'll give it another shot before demoting them. They've gotten quite popular, perhaps to popular for their current staffing.
On one occasion I'll give them a partial pass since we did not have reservations. However, they forgot to unlock the doors until 4:50 (we arrived at 4:30 - opening time), then gave us a table as long as we didn't mind being slightly rushed so it could be ready for a reservation at 6. No big deal, since we were really just there for fish n chips. No-one came to our table until 5:15, so we just left.
On a second occasion, we did have reservations, but the service was lousy, and the food not so good. My wife's Fish N chips were 2 skimpy overcooked pieces. My strip steak was well done and cold (I asked for medium). It took forever for anyone to check on us, then she had the gaul to argue about it. This was as close as we've gotten in a long time to leaving no tip at all, but since part of the problem in the kitchen, I left a small one.
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