Mike's Penn Ave Grille
599 East State Street
Salem, Ohio 44460
December 26, 2009
Since Erik and I have been together we always have a whirlwind Christmas week of traveling from Columbus, to Cincinnati, back to Columbus for a quick pit stop of picking up gifts, and then on to the small town of Salem, Ohio. While this results in a fairly boring trek across the great state of Ohio, it's so wonderful to get to see each family and have some different experiences in small town America.
Once the whole crew made it to Salem we decided we needed a place to relax and catch up. Mike's Penn Ave Grille is a long time favorite of my parents-in law, so that's where it was decided to go!
We were hungry from our drive and immediately put in and order for drinks and appetizers. We opted for the sauerkraut balls. A number of family members had never heard of such things, and being a favorite of ours at Barley's, we just had to show everyone what they were missing. These balls came with a generous 8 to an order, were perfectly fried, and had a very nice spicy kick to them and to the dipping sauce they were served with. Always enjoying a good spiciness to my food, I was pleased.
As for the entrees, most came with a side salad. For the salad I chose to go with their homemade dressing of a Gorgonzola vinaigrette, which was outstanding. This was a very good salad with big croutons that seemed to be homemade, real bacon bits, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, and chopped eggs. Definitely my kind of salad. I liked the dressing so much that I may have to attempt a version myself at home.
Chef Paul Prudhohomme's Magic Seasoning Blends which I had never heard of, but now recognize after going to the website! I just might have to buy some to try out myself.
My nephew chose 12 hot wings and in his opinion they were definitely not hot enough. However, he did inform us that he has had the second hottest sauce at a various wing joint where he had to sign a waiver before trying them! He thought that may interfere with his preferences :) However, I would have to agree that the wings were not very hot and were definitely overcooked and I have yet to try anything that required me to sign a waiver! These were definitely not a favorite for my nephew, the wing connoisseur, or me!
Overall Rating: 3 buckeyes (I'd say a lot of the food is good, but some of it is definitely hit or miss. Definitely go with the steaks and salads, but other options seem to be more of a gamble).