One of the things I enjoy most about my city is that there is so much diversity in restaurants. What I don’t like is how many chain restaurants there are. So, in an effort to support local eateries, I decided to post my restaurant reviews.
My very first review is of a much-beloved establishment: the Slippery Noodle Inn. Known as a great place to listen to live music, it also has a diverse food menu and even more diverse beer selection, with many brews on draught. It’s really nice to go to a place that actually cares to pour more than domestics and fake Irish red beer.
The Noodle has a really fun bar at the entry with a bartender who actually knows his stuff. He was affable and entertaining even though the place was quite crowded for a Wednesday. However, the atmosphere- and knowledge- stops there. The atrium has sticky formica tables and cheap brass chairs on dark blue indoor/outdoor carpet. All of the glass makes it very loud, a fact that is not helped by the extremely noisy server’s stand. Seriously, they were dropping plates into bins so loudly that I couldn’t hear the person right next to me. This happened not just once but throughout the evening.
Only four of us were eating, so we ordered drinks and dinner quickly. A kitchen helper- not our server- brought out a large tray of food and set it on a tray stand across the aisle next to our table. It sat there so long that we wondered whose it was…then realized it was ours. We continued to talk, and the food just sat there. It was almost 10 minutes before it was served. By that time, the toppings on the nachos had soaked the chips and the cheese had become one sheet of cheddar. This pattern was repeated with two other tables, though their waits were only 3 minutes or so.
I had the steak salad, which promised tender steak and bleu cheese on top of a garden salad. The bleu cheese was satisfactory, but the “steak??? was shaved beef that had been soaked in a teriyaki-like sauce that was not complimentary to the earthy tang of the cheese. The meat was not seared to create delicious fond, but appeared to be simmered in the sauce; it was so cloyingly sweet that I couldn’t finish it.
The other dining guests had hamburgers and the aforementioned congealed nachos. The flavors in the nachos were actually very good. Bar nachos aren’t supposed to be authentic- and these weren’t either- but they were flavorful. The hamburger was also passable, but the home fries were spongy, fried potato discs that clearly revealed that the fry oil was old. Fried foods are the stuff of bars- using stale grease is not excusable.
The servers were attractive young women in sportsbar-esque tight t-shirts and low cut jeans, except for the aforementioned male bartender. Our server was not familiar with two of the three dishes that were ordered.
I’ll still go to the Noodle to meet friends for a beer- it’s a downtown establishment that attracts a diverse crowd of music lovers and the post-work crowd. But I’ll sit in the front bar and not eat, thank you.
Atmosphere: [rate 3]
Beer Selection: [rate 4]
Wine Selection: Not rated
Food: [rate 0]
Service: [rate 1]