We were invited to evaluate O’Charley’s new menu focused on their love of Southern cuisine. Over the course of appetizers, entrees and desserts we were thoroughly impressed at the breast all of the offerings at this restaurant gives to their visitors.
The meal started out with a round of drinks; I took a local approach and picked up the latest Great Lakes seasonal, Conway’s Irish Ale while the wife picked up a Perfect Patron Margarita. We rapidly were served our appetizers – O’Charley’s own take on fried green tomatoes ($5.99) and crab cakes.I had never had the chance to taste a crab cake before today but was absolutely impressed with the juiciness and succulent array of flavors that were present in the appetizer. The subtle sweetness of crab was spiced up through a bit of black pepper and blended with a small amount of breading to create something masterful.
Two of these crab cakes are pegged at $11.99 but are worth much more to set things off right. The fried green tomatoes added a bit of crispness with a batter that sets off the juiciness of the green tomatoes The breading was crisp, but light and airy while the tomatoes were picked at the peak of freshness giving one a snap with each bite. The Tennessee Chow-Chow Relish was a welcome inclusion as it magnified and intensified the flavors present in the breading and tomatoes as well as provided one with an entirely different set of flavors.
We moved then into the entree side of things and had a number of highlights. The Nashville hot chicken that the company is currently promoting comes in massive piece, in a sandwich ($9.99) or a dish format. The hot chicken sandwich is a massive filet of the chicken with O’Charley’s inimitable take on the hot chicken flavoring, providing a zing and mouth warming intensity that is cooled off through the inclusion of their creamy coleslaw. The bun is toasted to perfection giving one a fresh crunch that is hard to beat. We were treated to the O’Charley’s 6 ounce fillet topped by a bacon & BBQ glaze. The stake is some of the most succulent meat that we have ever had cooked to a medium rare and needing only the lightest of cuts to separate it into pieces. The richness of this entree is supplemented through the smashed potatoes which have a delightful texture and a fair amount of bacon on top of the side.
The California Chicken Salad ($10.49) is gargantuan with multiple times more accouterments than even lettuce – a full chicken breast is placed on top of a bed of mandarin oranges, walnuts and feta cheese. A creamy, large shelled mac and cheese give individuals protection against the heat present at the main portion of the Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich. We were particularly surprised at the size of the Fresh Grilled Atlantic Salmon ($14.99) which tied together a substantive portion of seasoned salmon with a rice that contains just enough in the way of seasoning to keep things fresh and invigorating. The cedar infused the salmon with a toasty finish; the style in which the fish is prepared make this into a must-have dinner.
To finish the desert we were given a sampling of the variety of pies ($3.99) that have O’Charley’s offers, a list which includes country apple, peach, southern pecan, French silk and ooey gooey caramel pie. One will be astonished at the blend of tart and sweet that is present in the apple pie, while this sweet and savory dichotomy works fantastically with the peach pie. The French silk pie is great if one wants a crisp and creamier experience; the milk chocolate shavings links together flaky and crunchy into a delectable duo.
O’Charley’s also offers a Wednesday special in which one is given a free slice of pie to go. O’Charley’s as a bold new set of dishes the supplement a solid beginning and ending to a meal. The restaurant would be perfect to attend for a wide swath of friends, family and others of all ages. O’Charley’s is owned by Covelli Enterprises. The company presents customers with a fair amount of additional dishes to better reach the population of Northeast Ohio and northern Pennsylvania, so visiting a O’Charley’s location in the area is essential to have these unique offerings.