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Marie Callender's

Marie Callenderís has been a favorite restaurant of mine since I was a child and Iím happy to report that not much has changed. On a recent trip to Southern California, my family dined at the Marie Callenderís located at 21211 Hawthorne Boulevard in Torrance.

The first thing we saw upon entering Marie Callenderís Restaurant was the bakery case, filled with mouthwatering pies. One would think this would be enough of a reminder to save room for dessert. Marie Callender started selling pies to other restaurants in the 1940ís, and her son Don opened the first Marie Callenderís Restaurant in 1964. Few restaurants today can rival Marieís wonderful pies.

We were seated promptly in a comfortable booth. The dťcor was pleasant with many interesting accents, like an old clock case that hung on the wall above our table. Denise was our server and she was very friendly and helpful. We took our time deciding on the menu. I can never decide if I want to go with an old favorite, like the Grilled Ham Stack, or try something new.

This time I decided to do both. I ordered Fish & Chips with a cup of Creamy Potato Cheese soup on the side. My soup arrived promptly and was just as tasty as I remember. My husband ordered Chili and Cornbread (another family favorite) and my Dad ordered Salmon.

The childrenís menu at Marie Callenderís includes most of the typical childrenís menu items: Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Macaroni & Cheese, Chicken Fingers, Hamburger and more. They also offer a variety of grown-up style meals like Lasagna, Salad Bar and a Jr. Turkey Dinner. My boys both opted for a hamburger.

Denise brought us fresh cornbread right away. While we waited for our entrees and munched on the delicious, hot cornbread spread with honey butter, our kids enjoyed the kidís menu/placemat activities. Our younger son colored the pictures while our older son found almost all of the ďhidden picturesĒ. The placemats entertained them so well, they were still coloring on them when the food arrived.

The first thing we noticed was the size of the kidsí hamburgers. They were huge. We could easily have ordered one and split it; and it came plain, without condiments or ďsaladĒ, just the way our kids, and probably most kids like it. Add to this the pile of crisp French fries, and the kids had a feast.

I enjoyed the Fish & Chips and found the coleslaw, something I donít usually like, to be very tasty. The fish was a bit dry, but the batter was crispy, just the way I like it. The Salmon was a little dry as well, but Dad said it was otherwise well prepared and had good flavor. My husband found the Chili to be delicious, but I think he could have done with more of it. He helped me finish my Fish & Chips and ate some of the kidsí hamburgers as well.

When Denise returned to take our dessert order, we were all full. Sadly, we didnít even have room to share a piece of one of Marieís famous pies. The kidsí meals included chocolate chip cookies for dessert, so we all had a bite of those.

Overall our meal at Marie Callenderís was excellent, with tasty, well-prepared food that was served promptly and with a smile in a relaxed and quiet atmosphere. I highly recommend Marie Callenderís as a family restaurant that represents high quality and a great value. And with over 160 restaurants throughout the Western United States and Mexico, youíre sure to find one near your hotel or travel destination. Just visit Marie Callenderís online to find the one closest to you. You can also purchase Marie Callenderís Gift Cards online for a great gift!

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