Sunday, Jun 17, 2018
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PEACH WEEKENDER | BILL OF FARE

Al Smith's Place builds on breakfast

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    Country omelet at Al Smith’s Place.

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    Country omelet at Al Smith’s Place.

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    The grilled reuben at Al Smith’s Place.

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    Liver and onions at Al Smith’s Place.

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    Meatloaf Dinner at Al Smith’s Place.

Al Smith’s Place, on Executive Parkway in the busy Secor Road-Central Avenue area is big on breakfast, but that’s not all.

Plan on taking your time to look over a sizable menu that ranges from Great Beginnings to soups, salads, sandwiches and burgers, a children’s menu, House Specialties, and Mama’s Down Home Cookin’ with dinner options.

But the breakfast menu — actually, menus — may require even more time. There are Breakfast Specialties ranging from the Pulled Pork Benny Skillet, Chicken ’n’ Waffle, and Piglet French Toast, to the Skillet Favorites with four choices, including Stacy’s Skillet with home fries topped with cheddar, bacon, sausage, ham, sauteed onions, mushrooms, sausage gravy, and two eggs; Omelet Delights, Sausage Gravy Delights, the House Skillet, a Gyro plate with house-made gyro meat grilled and served on top of home fries finished with sausage gravy, feta cheese, and choice of two eggs served with toast or biscuit; and Cakes N’ Such with Belgian waffles, pancakes, and French toast. Another section of the menu offers a Kid’s Gallery and Back to Basics with oatmeal and traditional plates of eggs, meat, and pancakes.

Al Smith’s Place

★★★½

Address: 3550 Executive Pkwy.

Phone: 419-531-0600

Category: Casual.

Menu: American. Hours: 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday

Wheelchair access: Yes.

Average Price: $$

Credit Cards: MC, V, D.

Website: alsmithsplacetoledo.com

Patrons are also handed a Build Your Own Breakfast menu; guests choose four items from a list of 16, for $7.  And then there’s the Breakfast Specials menu that includes Croissant French Toast ($5.50) and the  BLT Benny ($8) with poached eggs on spinach and tomatoes on an English muffin, finished with hollandaise sauce and diced bacon bits plus a side of home fries ($8), and the Al Monte, Al Smith’s version of a Monte Cristo and a Croque Madame ($8).

The Country Omelet ($7) was chosen on our first breakfast visit. It filled a large plate, made with three eggs, ham, sauteed green peppers, onions, and choice of cheese, served with a side of sausage gravy, and the choice of having home fries inside the omelet or out; I’m not sure why anyone would want them inside, competing with all the other delicious flavors.

On a lunch visit the Grilled Reuben was a tasty choice. It was packed with plenty of moist slices of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Thousand Island dressing on grilled rye, with fries; the menu notes it’s a top seller. ($7.50).

A friend chose the Chicken Walnut Salad (full, $8.25, half, $6.50). She said it was easy to see why the menu described it as “absolutely the No. 1 best-selling salad”; it would be her first choice on future visits. The single scoop of salad, a mix of chicken, walnuts, and red grapes with a light mayo dressing, set on a bed of crisp, cold iceberg lettuce and garnished with grapes, raisins, a pineapple ring, wedge of tomato, and half a hard-boiled egg.

Thankfully there were no raw onions that so often overpower a chicken salad, and no mayo glop to wade through. She found herself picking through the lettuce looking for every bit of the chicken salad. Her only quibble was that the tomato and egg seemed incompatible with the rest of the plate; she’d rather see a few strawberries or chunks of melon instead.

Another friend ordered the Liver and Onions (full, $7.95, half, $6.50), saying she doesn’t often see it on menus. The liver was beautifully cooked and had almost no toughness, she said, and the carrots and broccoli were not at all mushy. The mashed potatoes were a bit cold, but they were made with real potatoes, not flakes. The gravy had good flavor, she said. 

We ordered a slice of delicious homemade blueberry pie (3.50) for dessert; the only complaint was that the crust was cold. 

The menu reports that the Meatloaf Dinner (full, $8.50, half, $7) is a house favorite. It’s described as slow-cooked with pepper and onion and house seasonings, topped with homemade beef gravy, served with our choice, mashed potatoes, a large side salad, and the vegetable of the day, sliced cabbage and carrots. This dish was our only disappointment on a dinner visit, because the meatloaf was bland; perhaps more of the house seasonings were needed. But the generous slice of Lemon Meringue Pie ($3.79) ordered for dessert made up for it.

Contact Bill of Fare at: fare@theblade.com.

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