Back in June when I wrote my post about The Depot Restaurant, in Albany. I did an online search for more info. I happened across a diner's claim that another Albany establishment was actually home to the best fish and chips in the valley. We'd never heard of nor noticed Riley's Bar and Grill on any of our outings to Albany. Now nearly six months later, we were ready to find the place and check out that claim. Well . . at least I had planned on ordering the fish and chips, but the offerings on their menu made it tough to order them. Especially for N, once he read that they're also known for their ribs.
This Saturday we had the perfect opportunity - N had an afternoon concert at Linn Benton Community College. After the audience left and all the instruments were tucked back into their cases, we rechecked the address and drove downtown for an early dinner.
There are parts of downtown Albany that seem to always be under construction. (Hmm, maybe Salem is like that, too.) And that's the case in the area around Riley's. We walked into the large bar and billiard section first and then found our way into the restaurant. We sat down in a cushy, attractively upholstered booth across from the bar and were immediately greeted by one of the family members (mother of the owner) who work there. She began to talk to us like we too were members of the family - one of the things I love about small towns. We enjoyed her story about how she fixed all the TVs one day - now that she's learned about the need to hit the reset button after the power goes out.
Both N and I, ordered a River Dog beer brewed by Calapooia Brewery. So smooth, balanced and delicious! I ordered the Pulled Pork Dinner - pulled pork served over warm rice with mango salsa with criss-cut fries and coleslaw. N ordered Smoked Pork Ribs. He chose the same sides as I did. The fries were fresh, hot, crisp and not overly greasy. The coleslaw was also fresh, made with just enough dressing. My pulled pork was tender, but I had hoped for a bit more of a smokey flavor and little more zing in the salsa. N proclaimed his ribs very tasty. He was nice and shared a couple of bites. We'll be back to eat those again! And now I see they offer some good coupons on their website. (The coupons are good, but you really don't need them because their prices are very reasonable.~N)
They've put a lot of work into the old building. I loved looking around at the stenciling on the crown molding, the photographs of old billiard halls and the carved detail on the bar. I gleaned, from our ongoing conversation, that they rent their spacious upstairs out for parties. I asked if there was some history behind the UK style phone booth and the owner's mother said that her nephew (he works in the kitchen) made it. One more visit and we may learn the history of the rest of the family.
124 Broadalbin St SW
Albany, OR 97321