Caroline (kittytech) wrote,


To me, one of the most annoying things about restaurants, whether they
be dine out or dine in, is having to rely on someone else to read the
menu to me. Many places are starting to put online menus onto their web
sites, and this is great, except when the main web page is inaccessible,
so even though the menu may be available, it's nearly impossible to get
to it. I don't mind going out somewhere so much if I'm with someone who
can read the menu, but often times, having to have someone who actually
works at the restaurant read to me can be problematic. They're busy, and
I get that, so most of the time, they just don't really have the time to
go through the menu. So, for me, one of the most common questions I get
is, "Well, what are you hungry for?". I don't have a clue! I'm hungry,
and I want to know what's there so I can decide what sounds good. I may
end up wanting about 30 different items, but I want to know what they
all are so that I can have a good reason to be indecisive.

This is where Twitter is proving to be such a cool thing. Some days
Twitter drives me to distraction. Some people that I follow do nothing
but complain. Others tweet over and over about sports, which bore me to
tears. Some people are only on Twitter, (at least it seems to me), to
pick fights and start arguments with others. And, of course, they can do
what they want; it's their Twitter account. Yet, sometimes Twitter can
be so entertaining, and it can be a goldmine for tips and tricks. I got
one such tip last Friday morning, just before leaving for work.
Unfortunately, I don't have access to the twitter names right now to
quote my actual source exactly, but I'll do my best. The tip came from
the people who run the Tech Access Weekly Podcast, Erin and Rodney
Edgar. In addition to the podcast, they've also started releasing a
daily tip. These tips range anywhere from iPhone tips to JAWS how-to's,
to this extremely helpful tip that I'm working my way up to writing
about. The week before they actually released this tip, they sent out a
teaser telling us to expect it. I forgot about it until Friday when it
came to my Twitter.

The tip is this. There is a web site called All Menus. I played with it for a
bit, and I'm very impressed. When you open the page, you're taken to a
list of top cities. I've accessed this site both from work and from
home, and it appears that at least part of this list is generated by
your IP address. At home, my top city is listed as Fargo, and here at
work, since I'm part of the Kansas City domain, Kansas City was the top
City result. You can either pick one of these top cities or you can
search by state and then city to get exactly what you're looking for.
You can also create an account, and I suspect that creating an account
would take you to your preferred location right away. Unfortunately,
I've tried signing up, and the form fields aren't labeled, so I can't
tell what information they're asking for in the form. If anyone ever
figures it out, or if you're able to read the screen and tell me, please
feel free to leave a comment here with the field order.

The site is still completely useable without signing up for an account
though, which is what I did. I chose to look at the restaurants that
offered delivery, but you can also choose dine-out options too. I got a
lot of results for Dominos, Pizza Hut, and Wingzone, which are the three
very common delivery places in my particular area. I've lived in my
neighborhood for almost two years now, and I thought I'd come across all
the delivery places. I was really surprised to come across a place
called Nine Dragons. It's primarily a Chinese place, but they also have
pizzas, subs, and even burgers and other sandwiches. I called them
yesterday because I really couldn't believe that a place with such an
incredible menu actually offered delivery and was told that they most
certainly did deliver.

When I order Chinese food, I usually order from a place a couple of
blocks from my apartment. They've always had very fast delivery, the
food is hot, and I've always gotten what I ordered. My biggest problem
with them is that often times their breaded chicken offerings are
extremely hard. Breading is fine, but not when there's more breading
than there is meat, and it's tough to chew it. Lately I've been going
for the unbreaded meats, if only for the reason that I've found that
with very few exceptions, the beef, chicken, and pork from Chinese
restaurants is some of the most tender meat I've ever come across.
Unfortunately, the place where I normally order from is currently not
listed on All Menus, and I find it difficult to ask the person on the
phone to explain things to me because of the language barrier.

So, when I came across Nine Dragons, I decided to give it a try. The
menu is incredible, with so many truly fabulous-sounding things. I
decided to get myself enough food for a couple of meals, including my
lunch for work today. I figured that I'd try something with chicken and
something with beef. One meal has chicken, broccoli, and carrots, while
the beef one has beef and mushrooms. I asked to have both meals extra
spicy, and I went with no onions in either dish since onions are evil. I
also, for the first time ever, decided to try fried rice, again because
they make it to order, and I was able to customize it. I went with the
mushroom fried rice, again with no onion. For lunch today, I got myself
a chicken breast sub that has pickles and a Cuban sauce. It sounded
interesting, so I'm looking forward to trying that in a little while.

After placing my order, I was told that it would arrive within 45
minutes to an hour. They were there within a half hour. The food was
hot, and the delivery person was very helpful. The food ... Well, the
food is pretty much beyond description. The fried rice is extremely
flavorful, and, in fact, is probably the best rice I've ever tasted. I
sampled some of the chicken and the beef. Again, I was extremely
impressed. They'd made everything extra spicy as I requested, and they
didn't hold back either like some places do. The carrots and broccoli
were steamed, so they still had crunch, and the meat just melted in my
mouth. I can honestly say that I don't think I've ever had such awesome
service from a delivery place or such incredible food! They will
definitely be getting my business again, and at some point I'd like to
try their pizza or burgers or whatever. Just Wow! If last night's
service is any indication of what they're like, they just got a 10 out
of 5 from me.

Unfortunately, it appears that you can only access All Menus from the
US. I wanted to see if masterofmusings could access the
sign-up form with a newer version of JAWS, since I'm only using version
10 here at work, and he couldn't even see the same page that I had, so I
suspect that it saw his IP address and won't let him in. But, if you're
in an area where this site will work, you can not only have a very nice
accessible menu, but, like me, you just might learn about a new place.
Why not give it a try!

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