Annette's Westgate Cafe


After eating a less than memorable breakfast (unless you count the weak coffee) at Annette's Westgate Cafe 2 years ago, N and I decided we should give it a another try - this time for dinner, after donating blood on Wednesday.
Annette's appeared busy, with all of the parking spots in front of the cafe filled. Before we got out of our car we noticed sheets of plastic enclosing an area that seemed to be an outside waiting space. We were surprised they would be busy enough to have people waiting at 6:30 PM on a Wednesday. As we walked closer, we saw it was a smoking area made for the adjoining Annette's bar. We were both relieved and yet curious as to whether the smoke filled air captured by the plastic sheeting would be even more toxic for the servers.
We walked into the restaurant and were greeted by the friendly hostess/waitress. She gave us a choice of tables along the back wall. Out of the approximately 20 tables, 8 were filled. Seemed normal for a late evening on a Wednesday.
While our waitress brought our water and took our orders, a musician was doing a sound check. I asked the young woman who brought my iced tea if they have live music every night. "Just on Wednesdays and Saturdays", she replied.
Our salads appeared quickly. I liked the addition of cucumber slices, grape tomatoes, red onion, and carrots to the green salad, as well as the dressing on the side, but I wish there was less iceberg lettuce and more romaine and spinach. Oh, and I'd rather the cheese and bacon were an option instead of added automatically.
N and I both ordered an 8 oz prime rib. I asked for garlic mashers and N a loaded twice baked potato. Our plates looked well put together and the side of vegetables was generous. The vegetables were nicely seasoned and cooked just right (not mushy). Our prime rib had a smokey flavor that we felt detracted rather than enhanced the prime rib. Plus it was a bit chewier than we like.
The live music was a nice surprise and the service was just right. Wanting to stay and just enjoy the music and the moment, I talked N into sharing a piece of chocolate cream pie.
On the drive home, we decided that if we go again we'd give their burgers a shot.

10 comments:

Salem Man said...

Isn't it funny how during the 2007 session they were trying to pass a bill to allow dogs into restaurants at the same time that smokers were being pushed outside. Sounds like an interesting place, I'll have to give it a try.

KandN said...

As much as I love the dogs I know, I'm not sure a restaurant is the place for them. I'm picturing a Golden Retriever laying on the floor by his owner's chair, getting up unexpectedly under the feet of a server with a full tray.

It IS an interesting place. The servers were excellent and the building has quite a history.

Anonymous said...

The place was known for their breakfasts but they have fallen off over the years. I still pop in for a burger at lunch. They are Juicey and they will still cook them medium Rare.

Brian

Anonymous said...

I was there Valentines evening. My partner and couldn't have had a nicer experience if we tried. The help, the food, the live music, the white linens and roses all added to the experience. The owner should be commended for having all the right elements. Good for him or her..we'll be back. Thanks

Lewetagk said...

I have to agree this is a great spot to eat. If you go there try their ribs. they come lacking sauce the way they should be and so tender they fall off the bone. We will be there again tonight or forth time GREAT spot in West Salem

Anonymous said...

GREAT FOOD AND PRICES-GREAT SERVICE-AS FOR THE DOG THING LOL! I LOVE DOGS-THEY SHOULD BE ALLOWED AS LONG AS THEY ARE WELL TRAINED THE FRENCH SEE NO PROBLEM-RESERVE THE RIGHT TO ASK PET OWNERS/PET TO LEAVE IF PET IS OUT OF CONTROL MAYBE HAVE A WEIGHT LIMIT AS WELL MAX 30 POUNDS??

Anonymous said...

I went there for the 1st time yesterday w/ 2 friends. We have all lived in West Salem for years. I am embarrassed to say I had never tried this place until now. I'm so glad I did. This place does everything right. It's clean, the menu has a lot of variety and the service is good and friendly. The food looked so nice when it arrived at our table. I wished I had a camera b/c the presentation was so nice it should have been in a magazine. I also like the fact that breakfast and lunch are served all day. My friends wanted breakfast (10 a.m.) but I was in the mood for lunch since I had been up since 6 a.m. They also have a handful of breakfast specials daily from 6 a.m. to 8a.m. (I think) for 5 bucks. I look forward to more meals in the future at this great place.

Chuck Bradey said...

Despite some rather scathing reviews on another site, I found little to fault here. My server (yet another Jessica) was pleasant and efficient. I ordered a Reuben Sandwich with crisp fries. I issued my usual request that the sour kraut be well drained, which was respected, after a fashion. The place was clean and warmly inviting, although a little dark. The hot water in the Men's Room was hot and immediate. This may seem like an unusual thing to mention, but I have had an unusually frequent spate of incidents, of late, in which the choices were cold and colder. I wonder if the Health Department monitors such things. I gave Annette's an "I like it" rating. If it has gone downhill, as has been suggested by others, elsewhere, it must have really been something before. (Mercifully there were no dogs present. There was, however, a lady with a baby who looked remarkably like a Shar-Pei. Just kidding! )

Anonymous said...

My extended family are regulars at Annettes for breakfast. However, my husband and I had a very disappointing meal there this morning. I decided to "branch out" and got the "Traditional" breakfast, rather than my usual scramble or oatmeal (which is FABULOUS). My scrambled eggs were tepid and had no flavor--may as well have been powdered. Again, the loaded hashbrowns had no flavor--I kept eating more, expecting them to get better, but they just didn't. Even the biscuit was blah... My husband ordered a breakfast with blueberry pancakes. He specifically asked whether the blueberries were cooked in the pancakes or just served on top. He was assured that they were "both inside and on top of" the cakes. Nope. Just non-descript pancakes with blueberies on top. Plus, this was served (along with his eggs) on a plastic tray, which just seemed to add to the overall "yuckiness" of his breakfast. The server was very nice, and knocked $5 off for the pancakes, but overall the breakfast was far less-than-average in taste, and way above-average in cost. Don't know if they just had a bad cook, or if they are going downhill, but I doubt we will be eating there again for breakfast.

Anonymous said...

Dinner at Annettes is always excellent. Just don't go much after 7 pm unless you enjoy serenade of the vacuum cleaner during your meal.