Friday, November 27, 2009

Making The Grade At Alexandris Restaurant

At a recent breakfast with one of my faithful readers and her husband, the suggestion was made that I ought to check out another one of Wadsworth's old stalwarts, Alexandris Restaurant right on the downtown square. I had eaten there many, many years ago when I was still in high school, but for some reason, it had fallen off of the radar until the moment when my breakfast companions suggested it.

The restaurant is located at 146 Main Street, Wadsworth, OH, 44281 and can be reached at 330-336-0203. I searched for a website and couldn't find an official one, although the restaurant is mentioned on a number of other related website (Urbanspoon, etc.).

I approached the front of the restaurant at around 1 P.M. As I prepared to take the photo of the front of the restaurant,

a woman carrying a carry-out container walked out of Alexandris and out of frame. At that moment I snapped the photo only to discover that she had only been delivering an order to the store next door. As I lowered my camera, she approached me.

"What are you doing?"
"I'm taking a picture."
"Why?" (Her voice began to escalate.)
"Because I wanted to."
"Is there something wrong?"

I knew I couldn't tell her the real reason why I was here as that could potentially compromise the anonymity of my visit and the quality of the food I would receive. I decided to play it cool and try and diffuse the situation.

"No, nothing is wrong. I just wanted a picture, that's all."

Seemingly placated by my words, I followed her in through the front door and promptly asked for a table for one person. She seated me at a table near the back of the restaurant and went back about her business, oblivious to the fact that I continued to discreetly take additional photos. The seating arrangements at Alexandris can be broken up into tables, booths, and the ever popular lunch counter. Here was a shot of the lunch counter:

To the left of the lunch counter is a small salad bar containing the ingredients for a green, leafy salad with all of the trimmings or a variety of homemade non-green salads such as pasta salad, macaroni salad, potato salad, and cole slaw.

I normally try and photograph the entire menu, especially for a restaurant that doesn't already publish theirs on a website, but unfortunately, there were FOUR menus to choose from today and I decided that it would be just too much. Here were some of the menu choices I had from which to choose.

The regular Breakfast Specials:

The regular Lunch Specials:

And the regular lunch and dinner menu:

I failed to take photos of the regular breakfast menu and the daily specials which were written on a dry erase board by the entrance to the restaurant. Clearly there is a lot of choice at Alexandris Restaurant.

Today I was in the mood for a sandwich and despite the fact that my server suggested I try the Triple Decker, when I saw that they offered a Patty Melt, I was immediately drawn towards that choice instead. With most of the sandwiches offered on the menu, it was only a $0.50 surcharge to add a bowl of soup, too. My server assured me that both soups today, Lentil soup and Creamy Chicken Noodle soup, were made from scratch in the kitchen. My choice of Lentil soup was greeted with approval as my server noted that "too few people order that, but it is really very good."

A few minutes later, my soup arrived:

The soup was actually very good and the lentils were nice and soft. In addition to the lentils, ham, carrots, celery, onion, and a good bit of black pepper made their way into this bowl. While I would order this soup again just the way it was, as I continued to eat it, I began to notice that it was missing something. The first flavor that popped into my head was rosemary. The second was thyme. I don't know that it needed both, but it definitely needed something herbaceous. A second tier of flavor, if you will.

After finishing my bowl of soup (which is a great deal for $0.50 extra), my sandwich and onion rings arrived:

Served with grilled rye bread, two kinds of American cheese (white and yellow) and grilled onions, the Patty Melt was slightly better than average. The bread and the cheese were fine, but unfortunately, the grilled onions still had a bit too much crunch to them and the 1/2 pound burger, which I had asked to be cooked medium, came out something more like this:

While the burger wasn't dry, it certainly wasn't medium either. Closer to a shade over medium well. I'm guessing that the grilled onions were started at the same time as the burger and only after the onions cooked long enough were they both removed at the same time.

My side of onion rings didn't fare much better:

The moment I tried to bite into these, the onion on the inside immediately released from the outer coating and I got a mouthful of cooked onion sans coating. I suspected that these were fried from frozen and when I asked my server about it, she freely admitted it. "Gee, we don't have time to do everything from scratch, you know?" This seemed a little strange given that they made so many of their other items from scratch and yet failed to see why doing fresh onion rings would make that much of a difference.

I finished up the remainder of my lunch and took my check up to the front of the restaurant where the woman who had first confronted me outside was standing behind the cash register.

"How was everything?" she quipped.
"Oh, just fine," I quietly answered.

Apparently she had been fortuitous enough to catch me snapping a photograph of the outside of her restaurant, but hadn't managed to catch me in the act of taking a dozen more once I sat down. I thought about telling her that I would be writing about her restaurant on my food blog (since I had already paid the check and comps weren't possible at that point), but then thought better of it. Of the many places I have reviewed so far, few have gotten that privilege and those that did had normally caught me in the act of taking pictures and asked enough specific questions about what I was doing that I had to come clean.

I'm torn about Alexandris Restaurant. The Patty Melt platter was $5.95. The additional bowl of soup was only $0.50 more. That makes for a check that is easy on the wallet. However, an excellent bowl of soup mixed with an overcooked burger and mediocre onion rings makes me think that while there was nice potential for a good meal, they definitely have room for improvement. While Alexandris Restaurant isn't someplace I would recommend to people who are looking for a destination dining type of spot, if you happen to be in Wadsworth, it's worth checking out.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails