O'Charley's - A roll is a roll but a potato is a meal!
Aug 8, 2001
Pros: Friendly atmosphere and good taters :)
Cons: It was a little noisy but I didn't mind, like being at home
The Bottom Line: good service and good food - can't be beat
So, how did it look? Entering the restaurant the surroundings are similar to TGIF/Applebys decorations with the walls covered in 'theme'. Being the Carolinas of course the theme here was racing. The waiting area is small, 2 benches and a couple of chairs but the wait time was only about 15 minutes and this was around 7 pm.
After we were seated, our waitress was quick to show up to take our drink orders. I, of course, was undecided so we bantered with Elisse for a few minutes. She returned promptly with our drinks and took our food order. I can only speak from personal experience about my food and drink:
Did I say food? Grilled chicken breast and smashed potatoes. The chicken was sauteed lightly in garlic & onion and had those great grill lines on it. It was tender, flaky, juicy with no garlic or onion flavor. Smashed potatoes - ah, even the sound of this makes my mouth water again - smashed potatoes are made with REAL potatoes and smashed by hand. Flavored with chipped beef, bacon, sour cream, butter, chives, salt and pepper ~ I was in love.
It came with two side dishes - choice of salad, cole slaw, applesauce, baked potato or veggie medley. The salad was served in a plate-sized bowl, no whimpy snack bowl here, iceberg and romaine lettuce (crisp), red cabbage (a lot & crunchy) and carrot slivers (a lot of them too).
And they had drinks :) The Tequila Sunrise was perfection. Not always the easiest drink to make I guess because I have really received some bad ones.
How did the prices stand up? Cost for this bad boy a mere $9.96 plus drinks. I didn't pick up the check so I don't know the total bill but from the prices I saw on the menu, everything was standardly priced.
Menu Stuff (additional info: http://www.ocharleys.com/menu.htm) Their entrees covered most food groups - beef, chicken, seafood with a wide array of choices in each category. They had some Mexican fare and a good selection of your basic appetizers (skins, wings, cheese thingys, etc.) as well as soup and salad.
Hey, what is that in that basket? They served some huge puffy rolls but I seldom eat bread. I did, however, taste them (by force, I might add). They had a touch of honey flavor to them and were warm and soft, major requirements for rolls in my book. I wrapped the babies up and took them along for the ride back to Columbus and, yes, I did eat them. Well, it was a 10 hour drive, I didn't have anything else to do but think.
Other perks that made the meal a good experience The waitress, Elisse, however made the dining experience really enjoyable. It's a tough occupation that I sure wouldn't want, but she seemed to like it. O'Charley's has locations in several states (see: http://www.ocharleys.com/location.htm) and thankfully one in good old Columbus, Ohio, so I plan to make another trip for those smashed potatoes. All in all a delicious experience.