The Best Little Roadhouse

The thought of dining outside at night in Salem Oregon in the fall doesn't seem like such a great idea. But, I didn't hear any complaints from the dozens of costumers eating under the covered patio at The Best Little Roadhouse on Commercial Street South. Gas heaters and a fireplace kept us warm on a chilly night. I ordered Smoked Tri Tip Steak for $14.75 with a ceasar salad and a baked potato. They have a choice between two BBQ sauces, hickory smoked and watermelon barbecue. Figuring it was already adventurous to be eating outside I took a risk and ordered the watermelon barbecue. Although the sauce was good, it didn't make up for the lack of flavor on the tri tip. I tried the steak without the sauce, with the sauce and with a lot of the sauce and found it to be very bland. Tri tip is one of my favorite cuts and very few times in my life was I not satisfied with it. On my gas barbecue at home, I can make a tri tip that is way better than this one. The rest of the meal was really tasty. The large salad was covered in parmesan cheese, baked potato, cooked just right and the bread soft and warm. The servers did a great job getting the order right and getting it quickly. Even during a crowded dinner rush, tables were cleaned quickly and the manager had time to speak with customers at their tables. This is a very popular steakhouse and bar in south Salem, so I'm assuming either I ordered the wrong thing or the atmosphere makes up the difference for most customers. If your interested in one of my my tri tip recipes, send me an email at


jeff said...

Nice place - try the onion strings. Yum.

Anonymous said...

Try the pork chops next time, they are delicious! Oh and always ask for the watermelon barbecue sauce, it's the best. I wish they would bottle it!

Anonymous said...

I have tried this place four or five times. Out of all those visits, only once was really good.

That is way too low of a score for me to keep trying it.

But it always seems busy, so maybe other people really like what they serve. I don't think it's worth the $$$

KandN said...

We've gone about 3 times and haven't figured out which item brings in all the visitors. The beef we've tried hasn't been that flavorful, but they're very generous with the cheese and the bacon. I don't think I've ever been offered cheese and bacon on a green salad AND a baked potato.

Anonymous said...

We live just down the street and really want to like this place.

However, I cannot recommend the steak. It is expensive and you get poor quality cuts and preparation.

The chicken is good. Their salads are good.

I don't get why they always are packed and there is a wait to get it.

It always seems like we spend a lot there as well.

Anyway, avoid the steak, but it is fun to people watch.

guy who loves to eat said...

I tried the tri tip and my girlfirend had the new york steak. The tri tip was very dissappointing. The yeast rolls are the only attraction to this place. The bill came in at over fifty dollars which is pretty high for a dissapointing meal.
I recommend that if you go and try the roadhouse or the best little roadhouse oreder a steak. Then the next friday go to JOSEY'S FAMILY RESTRUANT on the corner of pine and broadway they have the best new york steak that I have had in salem. Just go early because they only serve dinner on friday night and only stay open till 8pm. Also tell the tall guy (the owner) that you went to the roadhouse and give him your comparison.

Anonymous said...

This place isn't bad. It's nice to sit outside in the fall and winter. I think the best 'bang' for your buck is getting one of their salads otherwise it's way too much food to it. Their yeast rolls with honey butter are definitely tops :)

Anonymous said...

Bland Bland Bland. Throwing shredded american cheese and bacon on everything doesn't neccesarily make it good. My Tri Tip sandwich had
no flavor whatsoever, and the fries were limp.

Anonymous said...

Very average food, yet somehow expensive!

Anonymous said...

Are you KIDDING ME? I'll tell you why everyone goes:
-FABULOUS salads
-Wonderful Buffalo Wings
-Great Prime Rib
-Yummy Chicken Fingers
-The Ribs
-They have awesome prime rib and seafood specials almost all the time. My husband had the Prime Rib and King Crab and has been craving it ever since.
-The prices are NOT EXPENSIVE.

(I'm poor and we go almost every week!)

Anonymous said...

This is one of my favorite restaurants!!! I love steak so the petite fillet mignon is what i order when i can and it is always perfect! The rolls are the best rolls of any restaurant i've been too and their loaded garlic mash potatoes are simply divine. I love this place!