The last place you might think about taking kids out to eat is a brewery. But Ram Restaurant and Brewery actually does a nice job making it fun for little ones. To start with, all February long, kids meals are $1. That includes normal kids menu items like burgers and pasta and a scoop of ice cream for dessert. Ram offers healthier alternative sides to french fries, like steamed vegetables and mashed potatoes. And if they haven't spoiled your child enough, after the meal, your children can pick a prize out of a giant football toy box. It's usually a plastic fish or a top. We use this as leverage and say they only get the special treat if they eat all their broccoli. It works. No bribes necessary to get you to eat your meal.
Their hamburgers are probably the best in town. Try the Gorgonzola burger for $10. It's covered in onions, blue cheese and A1 steak sauce. The beef patty melts in your mouth and the juices tend to dribble onto your shirt if you're not careful. This time I got the fireside beans on the side. My only complaint, there wasn't enough. Eat this burger slowly, savor every bite, because when you're all done, you'll wish you had another. Maybe the thing to do is order a side of bread to soak up some of the sauce leftover on the plate when the burgers in your belly. Although the place is busy, I've never had to wait for a table. It's a big restaurant with a bar section and patio dining. The service can be spotty at times but they're properly staffed and the food is consistently prepared. During the day, they play a mix of classic rock music which may be a bit loud but it goes well with the atmosphere. We arrived late, after 8pm, this night and we stayed late enough to see Ram convert into a popular nighttime attraction. The music shifted quickly.
When we arrived they were playing "Tell me lies" by Fleetwood Mac. By the time we left The Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" was thumping through the sound system. Somewhere in there, I think they played Chaka Khan. Other songs from that era that I haven't been able to get out of my head since this visit include Salt-n-Pepa "Push It" and Tone Loc, "Funky Cold Medina."
515 12th Street
Salem, OR 97301
As I turned my Buffalo chicken sandwich vertically to take a bite, the Gorgonzola cheese and Pico de Gallo, slid out the back and landed all over my fries. This was good because I didn't want to waste any of this delicious topping and I knew it would go well with the thick cut steak fries. When I saw that this sandwich was made with Frank's hot sauce, I had to order one for lunch. The $9 sandwich hit the spot as I dined with my family outdoors above Pringle creek on a sunny afternoon. The Ram Restaurant and Brewery on 12th Street near the intersection of Mission Street is one of Salem's better restaurants. There is a good selection of food to choose from for both lunch and dinner. One of my favorites is the Chicken Penne Primavera which is a tube pasta with large bites of chicken breast and vegetables, mixed in a garlic cream sauce. On this visit my wife got the pasta, unfortunately it was cold and she wasn't as satisfied as I was with my meal. This was unusual for service at The Ram, the servers are well trained and efficient and the food quality has never disappointed us before. The atmosphere and an order of the Colossal Sizzling Bread Pudding for dessert, made up for the cold pasta and The Ram remains close to the top of my list for places to eat in Salem. One other thing, they don't advertise it much, but kids eat free on Sunday.