Saturday after doing Conservatively Speaking on WCRN AM 830 and a home show with DaWife we stopped by Dario’s Restorante on River Street Fitchburg a new restaurant that occupies the spot the French Marceau Diner & Variety did for decades.

KODAK Digital Still Camera Years ago this was an area of factories where the French & Greeks from the neighborhood worked with the Italians who came from the other end of town.

Today it’s a much tougher neighborhood than when location at the Corner of River Street & Sheldon street was an intersection point for Greektown, Cleghorn (the French Canadian Section) and Main Street. Most people who come to the street do so for the DQ ice cream stand less than a block away or to visit one of the half-dozen used car dealers in tKODAK Digital Still Camerahe small area.

But when you walk inside you will find an oasis amid an area past its prime. You will find two rooms a back area next to the parking with a mix of tables and wooden booths with a counter station and a Front area with a mixture of booth and a front area with a series of old-fashioned diner stools facing a classic soda dispenser and bar.

Now ambiance is always nice but when it comes down to it what matters is the food. The menu is not large but with more than enough variety to satisfy the hungry diner.

We started with an appetizer called Garlic Twists

The twists were delicious but just as good if not better were the greens that a person might mistake as a garnish but that came sprinkled with cheese and an oil/butter. It was almost a mini side salad that really complimented the twists & Marinara dip.

As it was lunchtime and my wife would be working in a few hours she decided to go with the steak sub.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

While I wanting to try from the dinner menu ordered the classic chicken parmigiana.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Now while the still images wets the appetite I think the video conveys things even better.

The side Salad with the steak was a surprise. The wife gave me a taste of the veggies and they were of a very high quality.

The pasta was baked rather than boiled, it had a good flavor. The Chicken Breast was a big as it looked and & I found it delicious. The only critique if any would be I’d have liked a bit more tomato sauce.

There were some good dessert selections but my wife did not have the time and after that prodigious chicken breast I had not the capacity for it.

Our meal came to $33 and was more than satisfied for my money.

Now there are a few drawbacks. The Restaurant is only open till 9 PM Mon-Thursday. Till 10 PM Friday & Saturday. (Closed on Sunday) Furthermore the amount of parking available is less that one might desire. The place is not open on Sundays

My verdict?

If Fitchburg is going to come back, we need to reward places like this willing to take a chance on the city and its neighborhood, particularly when they provide a high quality product for a reasonable price.

Dario’s a a good place, it deserves your patronage.

Welcome to IowaBy John Ruberry

The world was poised to stop nearly two hours ago when Hillary Clinton was supposed to announce on social media that she is running for president again. Perhaps she is trying to emulate Barack Obama’s well-known tardiness.

Now I am hearing the announcement will coming later this afternoon. The plan after that, or so I hear, is that the former secretary of state will travel to Iowa to hobnob in the Hawkeye State, the site of the first caucuses in 2016.

And Iowa, as it was in 2008, could be a stumbling block for Clinton. The Hillary apparatus blamed her third place finish on the lack of a ground-level network from Bill Clinton’s first run for the presidency in 1992. Native son Tom Harkin also ran and essentially swept the caucuses and went on to be ignored by voters everywhere else. The candidates who bested her in ’08, Barack Obama and John Edwards, were complete nobodies in 1992–and future president was less than a year out of law school in the winter of ’92. Yes, Obama was from neighboring Illinois, but HRC was born in Chicago and grew up two suburbs west of where I live in Park Ridge, Illinois.

Perhaps Hillary was the problem.

Retail politics, that is, up close campaigning with small groups of people, is what distinguishes the Iowa Caucuses from most other presidential contests. And Hillary Clinton sucks at it. This morning the NationalJournal’s Ron Fournier remarked on CNN that Iowans “have some doubts about her ability and her willingness to do the kind of retail politics that you have there.”

Guttenberg, Iowa
Blogger at Guttenberg, IA

Meanwhile potential candidates Jim Webb, a former Virginia senator, and Martin O’Malley, a former Maryland governor–if they decide to run–will be able to more effectively rub shoulders with Hawkeye State Democrats. But can they raise money?

And does Hillary Clinton even like Iowa? According to John Heilemann and Mark Halperin’s Game Change, she doesn’t. Of the Iowa Caucuses system, she said, “This is so stupid.” She even complained about Iowa’s hotels and looked for reasons to stay elsewhere during the campaign.

In the beginning of the 1962 film The Music Man, which was set 50 years earlier, Harold Hill asks an Iowa passerby where he can find a decent inn, “Try the Palmer House in Chicago,” he snapped back.

Will Hillary accept that advice?

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Two years ago, back in the days when I used to still get the odd instalanche, after the spectacle of watching the Morning Joe team fawn over Hillary Clinton as Egypt Burned I got into a discussion with old friend Doug Matacoins concerning Hillary at which time I asked the following question:

After 45 minutes of dissembling and dodging Doug finally walked away with the question unanswered. Seven months later the subject came up on Meet the Press and Andrea Mitchel who has been a reporter since I was five years old brought up the subject and had this to say:

She’ll also have to show what she achieved as secretary of state. Yes, Benghazi will be raised over and over again. But she has to show some real accomplishments. And that is completely up in the air. We’ll see what John Kerry is doing, we see what negotiations are in play in Iran. We don’t know how that’s going to turn out.

And lets remember what MSNBC host we are talking about here…:

Yet one year after Hillary Clinton left the office of Secretary of State, Andrea Mitchell when discussing that record on Meet the Press while easily naming Benghazi as a problem declared Mrs. Clinton’s accomplishments were up in the air? THIS IS Andrea Freaking Mitchell! She probably supports Mrs. Clinton for president stronger than I support the Boston Red Sox.

But she still had no ability to name a Hillary accomplishment. Fast forward two months later and Bill Kristol produced of the greatest moments in the History of Morning Joe And a seminal moment for the few viewers MSNBC has:

Picture being a member of the MSNBC partisan audience base sitting there at home watching. You’ve always taken the question of Hillary’s qualifications and accomplishments as a given. Suddenly you’re confronted with Bill Kristol’s direct question. A question so simple you’re tempted to laugh, instead you sit there in tongue-tied disbelief unable to answer yourself and watching the best and brightest of MSNBC fail to provide an answer for you. 

But even as Ed Morrissey and the folks at Ace’s site marveled Byron York reminded us that Clinton herself had no answer that day.

Clinton promised to provide “a lot of particulars” in her upcoming memoir, due in June. But those last few words are likely to be the book’s message: She restored American leadership. Without any landmark achievement, she will claim credit — along with the president, of course — for restoring America’s place in the world. It’s a vague and highly debatable argument. And in the end, at the “Women in the World” gathering, Clinton seemed to rely mostly on the Obama administration’s domestic accomplishments — or at least her version of them — to shore up the case for her performance as Secretary of State. That is pretty much a non sequitur.

Fast forward to yesterday, I guest hosted Conservatively Speaking on WCRN and with Hillary’s announcement scheduled for Sunday remembered my exchange with Doug and his tweet at the time and repeated my question to Doug:

and when he still declined to answer

I offered the question to the Audience of WCRN a 50,000 Watt radio station that reaches every single state in New England and offered a free e-book to every person who could name an actual accomplishment.  Surely I could get at least one answer in a population that routinely sends Democrats to just about every elected national office.

Yet the closest thing to a non-joke answer was the declaration that she brought back the pantsuit.

It’s now Sunday and by the time you read this Hillary Clinton will have officially begin her second run for the Oval office.

I expect in the media we will hear much of the rollout, of the style, of how she presents herself and what her chances are.  I can only guess what the media will say but I suspect that absent a blunder so huge it can’t be ignored, the rollout will be reported positively.

But what I can say with almost absolute certainty is that the question I first asked two years ago and have repeated ever since will remain unanswered:

What accomplishment(s) if any can Hillary Clinton point to as secretary of state that qualify her to be the leader of the free world?

That so few Americans are asking this question and so many are willing to support her without an answer, particular from the media is a national disgrace.

Update:  This is no coincidence

Media Matters: Contested Primary Would Be Bad for Hillary

Well of course they would.  A primary opponent would have a vested interest in asking such a question

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