Last week a friend and I finally had the time to grab lunch at the new Ale House Columbia. We arrived around 1PM and were pleasantly surprised there was not wait, although as expected the parking lot was insane! There really isn’t enough space for everyone, and I am sure at night this is a problem. We got lucky because someone was pulling out so we took the spot and didn’t have to walk very far on the chilly day.
We were seated and attended to pretty quick, although the person taking our drink order would not ultimately be our server. We then heard about the daily specials and took some time to look through the menu. I must say it’s pretty extensive! I really can’t wait to go back and try more options. I had a really hard time deciding on what to get, but in the end was pretty happy with my choice. Our server was very attentive, never letting our glasses go too low and constantly checking to see if everything tasted good. We also had a visit from a member of the management team (my guess the social media person) because I tweeted that I was having lunch there.
I started with the French Onion Soup, which uses the 3Lions Ale and Sherry to make the broth! Wow the flavor was phenomenal! I could taste the sherry, but it wasn’t over powering. It was topped with a toasted crouton, swiss cheese and onion straws (a nice added touch). It was really warm and gooey, the perfect thing for a cold December day.
Next up was the main course. I had a really hard time deciding, but ultimately chose something a bit lighter since I had the soup and went with the Grilled Salmon BLT (minus the T, I don’t love tomatoes on my sandwiches). The sandwich was served with seasoned fries. To be honest the fries were just ok, they were lightly seasoned with pepper and sea salt so nothing too exciting. I did like how they are skin on potatoes. The salmon was cooked well, the perfect amount of flakiness for the fish. I liked the maple smoked bacon, but felt the fresh herbed aioli was a little too much. If I got the sandwich again I would likely as for the aioli on the side so I can control the amount. I typically have half the sandwich as is then take a part the second half, which is exactly what I did.
Out of 5 stars I definitely give it an overall 4 for now…and I look forward to going back to try some of the extensive libations they offer and some more of the food that sounded so tasty. I am particularly looking forward to the braised short ribs and fish tacos.
Did you try any new restaurants recently? How was it? Should I go too?