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Restaurant Review: Olde Main Brewing Co. & Restaurant October 1, 2006

Posted by Sarah in Ames Restaurants.
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Olde Main is a favorite of mine. My husband and I had our rehearsal dinner there and their environment is pretty nice. Also, I’m pretty impatient when I’m hungry, and you hardly ever have to wait to be seated there.

What They Offer

Olde Main boasts “handcrafted food” (I’m not sure what that means… isn’t most food handcrafted?), seasonal menus, an executive board room, a featured chef’s table, fresh brewed beer and root beer, a casual atmosphere, a private dining area for parties, carry out, and full lunch and dinner service. They also have delicious Black Angus Beef and Seafood. They also have a Sunday brunch where you can have as much of their delicious prime rib as you want. I will say that on Sundays their desserts and

They are open daily at 11 am and the pub is open until 2 am. They are located on Main Street and there is free parking behind the restaurant. Their restaurant is non-smoking, although I believe you can smoke in the pub (not that I smoke). Check out their decent looking website to learn a little more.

Ambiance

The restaurant has a open design with wood floors and stylish decor. Each area of the restaurant has a different feel. If you are seated near the bar there are big screen TVs with sports or TV shows on them. You could go there to watch “The Big Game” if you wanted to. Another area is away from the TVs and has booths and tables and is nice. There are two other sections that are more dimly lit and private. One has booths only and the other has tables only. The private party section is upstairs and is decently sized, though rectangular in shape.

My one complaint about the ambiance is that they have music inside their walls. If you happen to get stuck sitting next to a speaker that is hidden inside the wall, you will be forced to listen to the music being piped out of it. Sometimes I think that the music is too loud, especially if you are trying to have a conversation while sitting right next to the embedded speaker.

Service

Usually, I get pretty good service at Olde Main. As with most places, servers can be hit or miss. One time my friend ordered a beer and the waiter never brought it and forgot some other things that my friends had ordered. However, the experience I am blogging about was very good in the service area. Our waiter was great. Very friendly and honest about the menu items. I think his name was Alex. He got our drinks quickly and even apologized about only having Seafood Bisque soup (I was feeling sick and really wanted soup, but seafood bisque was NOT what I wanted). He did a nice job keeping our drinks refilled and checking to make sure everything was okay. My meat was a bit undercooked and he quickly took it back and had it cooked a little longer. He was very prompt and attentive to my five other friends and I. It took about 1/2 an hour from the time that we ordered before we got our food.

Food

I ordered one of my favorite items, the Mediterranean Salad. I apologize that I don’t have a picture of it, but next time I get it, I will take one. I always order this salad with beef. This salad comes on a huge plate with romaine lettuce, kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, tangy marinated onions, artichoke hearts and plenty of feta cheese. The beef on top came well-seasoned and warm. On first bite, I realized that my meat was really rare. I like my meat about medium rare, so as I said earlier, I sent it back and it came back medium rare and delicious. (Although my husband loved the rare piece I gave him!)

The salad comes with a tangy, vinaigrette and Mediterranean spices. It is sweet and clings to the artichokes in just the right way. I feel like some people might complain that the salad has too many salty ingredients, but I think it is an excellent balance with the tangy-sweet dressing. This is a salad I will order again and again. It is filling and tasty.

However, some meals at Olde Main are hit or miss. My friend ordered the vegetarian calzone and did not like it. It was filled with eggplant, mushrooms and other veggies. Among my friends, we have this rule that mates get first rights to their other half’s leftovers. This dish was passed from my friend, to her boyfriend, and then to our other friend that is the least picky eater I know. He is known to eat just about anything and is affectionately called “the trash compactor” because he can just keep putting food in and not get full. He can eat all of this food and still maintain his slim physique. Even he did not like this calzone. His main complaint was that it was served on a pool of runny marinara that soaks quickly into the dough and makes it soggy and slimy. It did not look or sound very appetizing (although he did finish, so it was at least edible).

For desert, I ordered the Peach Crepes. These are excellent. You get two decent sized crepes stuffed full of warm peach filling. These are then drizzled with a fantastic caramel sauce. I added a scoop of vanilla ice cream for 50 cents. They were great. My friend ordered the angel food cake with berries and deemed it, okay. It was good, but not the best thing she ever had.

Paying, Price, Portion Size

The tickets were delivered to our table by our waiter in the little leather booklets complete with a pen. It did not take too long for our waiter to run our credit card and return it to us, although it will depend on your waiter and how busy they are. I have had it take awhile to get my ticket back at Olde Main.

My salad was $7.95 + $3.95 for the added steak (you can add steak, chicken, shrimp or almond crusted duck). My peach crepes were $3.99. Sometimes Olde Main can be a little expensive but it is usually worth it.

The portion sizes at Olde Main are usually pretty good. You usually get more than you can eat, unless you are a hefty eater. However, they don’t give you a ridiculous amount of food. I was able to eat all of my salad and 1/2 my dessert.

Summary

Overall, Olde Main is a great place to go for a nice dinner or Sunday brunch. A good choice for a place to take a date, too. It can be a little hit or miss in some areas, but overall, definitely a good place to eat.

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