Several years ago, we came across this place en route to another restaurant, and we’ve returned several times. Like some of the other restaurants under the same ownership (e.g., J. Gardellas), this has a great pub atmosphere and offers cordial, intimate settings.
The restaurant is divided into three sections. The bar and the dining area form a large “L,” with the dining room the smaller part. Both are filled with dark wood - columns, floors, booths, tables, and the bar itself, along with other interesting detail and decor. Off the bar, several openings connect to what we called the “porch” that held around ten tables of varying sizes. But the wood is gone; the floor is tiled, we sat on wicker chairs (too low for me), and windows are everywhere; the inside wall is old exterior brick, painted yellow. So it’s a nice, bright, sunny place to dine but totally lacks the ambiance of the rest of the roadhouse. And it’s loud, as it is really just one big room with nothing to divide one party from another. It’s all in what you’re looking for - and next time we’ll request to be seated in one of the other two areas. (Think about the “porch” at the Cottage Bar - seating of last resort.)
There were fourteen appetizers ($6.00 - $9.00) and they didn’t hold many surprises. One of the more interesting-sounding was Bang Thai Shrimp: shrimp lightly breaded and flash fried, Thai chili sauce, shredded lettuce, and chow main noodles. It was a superb dish; the chili sauce was very zestful and the addition of the noodles made a great textural combination. When we found ourselves with a few left over, we realized they served about a dozen of them - not the usual appetizer offering (earlier this week we received six at San Chez). However, we had to ask for small plates on which to eat them.
The rest of the menu consisted of soups, six salads, four wraps, six burgers, twelve sandwiches, and eight house specialties. Other than the specialties and the dinner menu, prices generally were below $10.00. Menus are online and the lunch menu varied slightly from the menu we saw today.
We both selected from the house specials, the first being Maple Bourbon ribs. This was a half rack, slow cooked, served with Maple Bourbon barbecue sauce (hence the name :). They were good and the meat pulled easily off the bone without resorting to eating with one’s hands. But they were a bit charred on the bottom. They were served with french fries and cole slaw, both fine but nothing extraordinary.
We’ve had recent discussions regarding the difficulty of finding well-prepared eggs. Is it because we are used to how we prepare them at home and it’s never the same? Can an omelette be made with the eggs actually tasting good and not overdone, or they are just there to contain the added ingredients? Is it such a small space between underdone and overdone that only a top chef can achieve perfection? Weighty egg questions...
So our second dish had to be the Chorizo Omelette: three eggs, chorizo sausage, black beans, corn, peppers, onions, and Colby Jack cheese. It was served with salsa, sour cream, and fried red skin potatoes. The ingredients were a savory treat, particularly with the added salsa. The eggs? Slightly overdone and no flavor. Egg issue to be continued...
Service was perfect - friendly and attentive - and our bill came in under $40.00. It’s worth the short ride to enjoy this charming pub.