The Main Dish [4/5]
4 (80%) 1 vote

The Main Dish
I was tipped off to The Main Dish by Pamela, a reader who has recommended several other wonderful spots. They have recently been updated by Restaurant Impossible and will be featured in the episode that airs next week, on July 18th.

Walking in, knowing about the makeover and having watched more than my share of TLC’s home makeover shows, the decor changes were easy to spot. White dishes were glued to posts that separated the walkway from the eating areas. A lovely green and white wall paper was featured above the chair rail and set off by long black drapes around each window. Images of eating utensils were stenciled on the fluorescent light fixtures. All quick, low cost decor solutions but ones that were admittedly effective. (And certainly beat the rows of clocks on a lime green wall that I watched one poor homeowner have installed in her kitchen.) I was especially taken with the calm color of the wallpaper.

As for the menu changes, I’ll have to watch the show to see what (if anything) was tweaked as this was our first trip in. The Main Dish features a daily menu comprised of classic American favorites with a few surprises. On the Saturday we stopped in, the hubby opted for a cheeseburger and I went with fish and chips (!) something that is rare to see outside of dedicated seafood restaurants. The staff was perfectly happy to let me swap out the included coleslaw for a side of ginger carrots.

It was only as we were ordering, when our server asked what dressing we would like on our salads that we realized our meal included them. I’m not sure if we just missed a line on the menu or if it was simply assumed, but should you choose to check them out, make note, meals include salads.

Once we had ordered our meals, we sat and soaked in the decor and the sunlight which came streaming through the windows. Our salads came up quickly, topped with a balsamic vinaigrette for me and a blue cheese for the hubby.

The Main Dish
The salads were fairly standard fare, a petite bowl of iceburg lettuce topped with tomatoes, croutons, shredded cheese and a ring of onion. The lettuce was surprisingly fresh though both the cheese and the croutons looked as though they came from a bag. The tomatoes were flavorful but ran to the mushy side. My vinaigrette was strong and tasty, lending flavor to the salad.

Mid salad our server appeared with a basket of thick, bready, lightly sweet rolls.

The Main Dish
A few minutes later, still mid salad, our entrees appeared. Given the generous size of our plates, this led to some awkward side salad eating (I was really digging the dressing!) before I gave up and focused on my meal.

The Main Dish clearly believes in making sure that no one leaves hungry. Between the salads, the rolls, and the ginormous entrees I easily had 2-3 meals worth of food. Generous portions often come coupled with a laissez-faire attitude toward aesthetics which is why I was especially taken with how nicely presented the food was. The hubby’s burger was sprinkled with a tomato garnish, my fish was nestled on top of my chips, even the salads had been nicely pulled together.

I began my meal (shown at the top of the post) with the ginger carrots. The carrots were clearly fresh and hand chopped. They had been cooked until melt in your mouth tender and featured a lightly sweet and mild ginger flavor.

The fries were the “natural cut” style–skinny but with the skin left on–and had been cooked to a lovely golden brown exterior and perfectly salted. My fish was coated with a thick panko breading. I had no complaints about the neutral flavor and crunchy, crumbly texture but I will admit that when I saw the dish listed as “Fish and Chips” I had been hoping for the thin flaky coating of the fish and chip shops I grew up with. The fish itself was tender and moist with only the slightest hint of a “fishy” flavor. Combined with the breading, it had a satisfying flavor. Paired with the lightly yellow homemade tartar sauce, which was tangy and sprinkled through with bits of sweet pickles, it was delicious.

The Main Dish
My husband enjoyed his burger proclaiming it “very tasty”.

The Main Dish offers a sweet spot to sit and stay a while. The servers are anxious to please and food is fresh and well seasoned. The salads were fairly standard but the entrees and sides were pleasingly presented and well executed. This is a spot that I will happily return to.

Total for the meal: $26.38 (Includes two meals and two drinks)

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