This is a joint we have been wanting to go to for quite a while. It has a reputation for very good food and a nice selection of craft beers. It’s not a very big place with the seating consisting of a few tables along the wall, a large bar and 3 very big tables in the center. Long and slender, like you would find in a banquet hall. It is an attractive place; all industrial chic with exposed duct work, dark walls, slate and black iron pipe fittings in the men’s room.
We had the bar to ourselves and had the most delightful server. Efficient, professional and attentive, and very knowledgeable of the menu. After much reassurance from the aforementioned server, that he would not get any onion Pat selected baked rigatoni. A pasta dish with butternut squash,kale and both house made mozzarella and focaccia, all for $10.
At time of service our waitress told Pat that they made a special sauce, just for him, sans onion. I went off menu and ordered their special for $11. That was fried perch with waffle. Served with baked beans, young curly kale and Sirachi butter. Odd ain’t it. This particular dish did not hit on all cylinders for me. I do admire their cojones for doing it though. I think restaurants should push the envelope; as far as they can. In this case I think it could have used a few adjustments. They used, what appeared to be black beans for the baked beans. Not the most attractive choice. That might be why it was buried under the kale. They also could have cooked the beans a mite longer and reduced the cayenne, especially with the Sirachi butter ; which was excellent,as was the perch. As for the waffle it was a wee bit dry. Actually I thought the whole dish was on the arid side. I am surprised they didn’t add some sort of syrup. Possibly a gastrique . I think a little sweet and sour would have fit in well. But; that is just my opinion. This was just one dish and a special at that. I will definitely be back first chance I get. I want to try their chicken pozole and the blue gill and grits. They both sound like a bunch of lip smackin’ fun.
I was really looking forward to our excursion to the Patriots Table. The menu seemed extensive and the reviews were rather diverse. They almost seemed to break on age groups. Older folks liked it , younger folks did not. One fellow even decided not to go in when he saw the condition of the parking lot (it had been re-patched many times). I guess he didn’t stray too far from Carmel or the immediate downtown area. The place is spacious all dark wood even some that appeared to be old barn beams.The patriotic theme and the military memorabilia was an excellent choice and a nice change of pace from the more usual modern “clutter”.
They offer a senior menu, with smaller portions at lower prices. Their regular menu has pretty good prices to begin with. Since Pat and I qualify as legitimate seniors we ordered off the senior menu. Pat chose the 7 inch personal pizza, with two toppings for about five dollars. The crust was definitely of the premade frozen variety. However the sauce and toppings were generously applied and the pie was nice and crisp. Overall Pat thought it was a pretty good job. I opted for the calf’s liver. A plate lunch featuring liver and onions with gravy, mashed potatoes with more gravy, country-style green beans and coleslaw. All for around six bucks. I won’t quibble about the age of the cow that sacrificed its organ for my lunch, however I can definitely say the liver was overcooked, and the onions were far from caramelized. The gravy on the liver was a brown mix gravy, a pretty good mix though. I think a good mix beats a bad scratch gravy every time; if for no other reason than consistency. Mashed potatoes were instant and the gravy was a tasteless white gravy mix. Why the difference I have no idea. The green beans were typical canned cooked down with bacon pieces, tasty but common.For some reason some lady walked over (an employee, not a total stranger) while I was chewing asking about my liver (my luncheon liver not my beer soaked personal one) and furthermore commented that their country green beans were the best in the world.She was raised in the country and she knew what she was talking about. After I had swallowed was able to speak again the only thing I could think to say was “I haven’t eaten all the green beans in the world so I really couldn’t say”. At that point Pat intervened and they had a pleasant little chat about country living as a child. The only reason I mention this is I had the impression that if I told her that I thought the beans sucked she would argue with me.Adjacent to the dining room they have an ice cream parlor that serves 27 different varieties; they also make their own cobbler. But we were too full to even think about dessert. You see even though my lunch was mediocre I could still clean my plate; that’s what a pro does.As for the coleslaw it was pretty good, they make their own dressing it was just a little sweet for me to eat it all.
Before I sign off I would like to mention a few peeves of mine about eating out. Servers: when inquiring about your tables please do not ask “how’s everything tasting?”; And always assume the customer wants change back. Asking if they want change is like pandering for a tip.and customers: if you don’t want change tell your server that, it’ll save them an extra trip. Also 10% is no longer the minimum tip.
So to sum it up if you like average food in large quantities cheap and want sitdown service then this is your kind of place.