Charlie Brown's Steak House

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marcbla
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2005/12/28 16:08:23 (permalink)

Charlie Brown's Steak House

Anybody have the background on this chain? They have replaced a Western Sizzlin Steak House in Danville P.A. as well as two former Chi Chi's locations in Reading and Williamsport P.A.
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    TJ Jackson
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    RE: Charlie Brown's Steak House 2005/12/28 16:48:06 (permalink)
    should be interesting to see if this thread is moved to FFF or Prime Cuts
    #2
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Charlie Brown's Steak House 2005/12/28 16:52:22 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by marcbla

    Anybody have the background on this chain? They have replaced a Western Sizzlin Steak House in Danville P.A. as well as two former Chi Chi's locations in Reading and Williamsport P.A.

    I don't remember a Western Sizzlin' Steak House in Danville. I remember one at Buckhorn, though. But I've never heard of Charlie Brown's Steak House.
    #3
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Charlie Brown's Steak House 2005/12/28 16:53:51 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by TJ Jackson

    should be interesting to see if this thread is moved to FFF or Prime Cuts

    What in the world would make you think such a thing might happen?
    #4
    TJ Jackson
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    RE: Charlie Brown's Steak House 2005/12/28 17:16:54 (permalink)
    well, this ain't news :-) and it is in the news forum :-)
    #5
    Billfish
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    RE: Charlie Brown's Steak House 2005/12/28 17:25:18 (permalink)
    I think they have been around for a long time in central and South Jersey.Never heard anything spectacularly good or bad about them.
    #6
    ken8038
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    RE: Charlie Brown's Steak House 2005/12/28 19:14:11 (permalink)
    Yes, there are several in the north/central Jersey area. I've been to a few. No better or worse than a zillion other moderately upscale small chains. One big difference from a lot of chains is that the service/food/attitude seems to vary from location to location. The one in Montclair (or maybe it's Upper Montclair) NJ has a great rep, it seems to be run like a local place. One or two others I've been to seemed sub par. --Ken
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    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Charlie Brown's Steak House 2005/12/28 19:32:21 (permalink)
    Well, TJ it's a chain.
    #8
    Tedbear
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    RE: Charlie Brown's Steak House 2005/12/28 19:51:22 (permalink)
    Yes, it's a chain. The food at all of the Charlie Brown's restaurants that I have patronized has been consistently mediocre. While I have eaten at several of their locations, at the behest of friends, I would not willingly choose this place.

    On the other hand, if you like places like Applebee's, Houlihan's, Fridays, Ruby Tuesday, and other places of that ilk, you may like Charlie Brown's. Personally, I can think of many, many restaurants that are preferable to this chain operation where the food is produced by people who are clearly not chefs in the real sense.

    Mediocre is the most complimentary word that I can use to describe their food.
    #9
    ScreenBear
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    RE: Charlie Brown's Steak House 2005/12/28 19:59:05 (permalink)
    Charlie Brown's is a steak house chain that started in about 1968. I'm not sure if it was in N.J., but they're ubiquitous here.

    It's not great, and it's not bad. In that respect, it is consistent. The service is good, the salad bar is above average insofar as freshness is concerned. Salad bar comes with most entrees. I think if you go online you can see the menu.

    Many folks are enamored of their prime rib. The decor is Early Rummage shop...you know, bicycle wheels hanging, pictures on the wall of relatives know one ever knew, etc.

    Bottom line: It'll do in a rush, as an alternative. We go when we're not in the mood to cook, want a change from our favorite Italian restaurant, or just don't feel like traveling far.

    The quality of steak is solid, but by no means akin to the better steakhouses. Yet, they keep the price down, and oftentimes, after a surprisingly good meal, I remark that I couldn't have bought the steak at the butcher shop for that little. Guess it's the old volume thing.

    We have about 4 within driving distance, and I think one is particularly better than the others. Hope that helps.
    The Bear
    #10
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Charlie Brown's Steak House 2005/12/28 20:09:09 (permalink)
    There's also a chain of Charlie Brown Steakhouses in California, apparently unconnected to the one in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
    #11
    marcbla
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    RE: Charlie Brown's Steak House 2005/12/29 23:05:16 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

    quote:
    Originally posted by marcbla

    Anybody have the background on this chain? They have replaced a Western Sizzlin Steak House in Danville P.A. as well as two former Chi Chi's locations in Reading and Williamsport P.A.

    I don't remember a Western Sizzlin' Steak House in Danville. I remember one at Buckhorn, though. But I've never heard of Charlie Brown's Steak House.
    yes you are correct it is at the columbia mall exit
    #12
    marcbla
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    RE: Charlie Brown's Steak House 2005/12/29 23:08:54 (permalink)
    can't I post here without getting my stones busted?
    #13
    marcbla
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    RE: Charlie Brown's Steak House 2005/12/29 23:12:41 (permalink)
    Wouldn't it be news if the chi chi's were all becoming charlie browns? Yes, I could Google charlie browns but then i wouldn't get first hand info from people on this site would I? Seems like some of you are getting i little overly protective of this site!
    #14
    marcbla
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    RE: Charlie Brown's Steak House 2005/12/29 23:14:50 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by TJ Jackson

    well, this ain't news :-) and it is in the news forum :-)
    well, it's news to me TJ!!!!!
    #15
    roossy90
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    RE: Charlie Brown's Steak House 2005/12/29 23:25:32 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by marcbla

    can't I post here without getting my stones busted?


    Apparently not....
    #16
    TJ Jackson
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    RE: Charlie Brown's Steak House 2006/01/01 22:33:37 (permalink)
    In the same sense that a Chili's opens at the former site of an Applebee's, it is news.

    If you call that news.
    #17
    jesskidden
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    RE: Charlie Brown's Steak House 2006/01/02 06:46:40 (permalink)
    Screenbear said: "The decor is Early Rummage shop...you know, bicycle wheels hanging, pictures on the wall of relatives know one ever knew, etc."

    Not the relatively new one in East Windsor, NJ. Tho' you can't tell from the photo of the exterior on the website, the inside is done in a very tasteful, 1940's-era nightclub "moderne" style- lots of curves. (Perhaps the architect stopped for lunch at the Americana Diner and swiped the idea, figuring that what folks 'round here like).

    I did say that the decor was "tasteful"- can't say the same for the food. The staff, however, is very friendly- there was a large group of giggling waitresses around the "hostess podium" and, in the lounge, they were laughing and watching sports on TV. Very friendly with each other, gee, one hated to disturb them....
    #18
    Tedbear
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    RE: Charlie Brown's Steak House 2006/01/02 07:30:59 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by jesskidden

    Screenbear said: "The decor is Early Rummage shop...you know, bicycle wheels hanging, pictures on the wall of relatives know one ever knew, etc."

    Not the relatively new one in East Windsor, NJ. Tho' you can't tell from the photo of the exterior on the website, the inside is done in a very tasteful, 1940's-era nightclub "moderne" style- lots of curves. (Perhaps the architect stopped for lunch at the Americana Diner and swiped the idea, figuring that what folks 'round here like).

    I did say that the decor was "tasteful"- can't say the same for the food. The staff, however, is very friendly- there was a large group of giggling waitresses around the "hostess podium" and, in the lounge, they were laughing and watching sports on TV. Very friendly with each other, gee, one hated to disturb them....



    As you observed, the decor does tend to vary a bit from one of their locations to another. What doesn't vary very much is the food. Essentially, I consider the food to be one very small notch above what you would get in Houlihan's, Ruby Tuesday, Applebee's, Fridays, The Office (another NJ-based chain) etc. While it is a smaller chain than most of the aformentioned places, it is still a chain, with the inevitable standardization and mediocrity that characterizes most chain operations.

    The wait staff appear to have been schooled in friendliness (you know--kneeling down at the table in order to be more "down-to-earth"--literally), and are usually pleasant even if they have no clue about what they are serving. For example, I asked the waitress at a Charlie Brown's to describe what was in a certain pastry. Her response, after listing two ingredients was, "...and it's like--baked ". Imagine that! A pastry that is baked! Wow, that is a revelation! Then again, she never said that it was baked. She said that it was..."like baked". And that, of course, could be some new culinary technique with which I am not familiar, as all of my cook books list the period of time for baking pastries and other desserts, and make no reference to "like baking".

    (I should also add that her response to my question was uttered as if she was asking a question, just as so many other teen and 20 something types tend to do when making a statement. So, maybe she was asking me, rather than telling me--"and it's like baked ?? Perhaps I should have clarified the issue for her.)

    The food preparation at these places is usually performed by people who have no culinary training--and it shows. The wait staff have no clue as to food in general. All of this being said, if you have no diners in your neighborhood, a Charlie Brown's restaurant could be a lunch/dinner stand-in for a diner, as long as you don't mind that much of the food has been prepared in an off-premises commissary and then merely reheated in a microwave.
    #19
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