With the addition of one restaurant, the dining scene in Salem has been revitalized. I hate to use the word "hope," since that word has kind of already been taken, but Word of Mouth Neighborhood Bistro brings that feeling back to customers all over town. The small restaurant on 17th St. near State St. quietly opened up at the end of 2008 and has since gained a reputation for having high quality food at reasonable prices in a customer friendly atmosphere. We discovered this place during the snow storm when our power was out and we were looking for a warm place to spend some time and have a bite. The owners took us in, even though we were there after closing and fed us a warm bowl of their wonderful clam chowder, a stack of pancakes and their homemade veggie burger. Everything was exceptional including the service and atmosphere. Large windows around all sides of the dining room bring in plenty of natural lighting and a view of the NE neighborhood. On another visit, this weekend, I watched through those windows as people from all over the neighborhood walked in for a bite to eat. And plenty of people are finding out about Word of Mouth. Every table was full, with people waiting to be seated. I ordered the Signature Corned Beef Hash for $7.95 served with two eggs and toasted sourdough bread from Cascade Baking Co. Unbelievably good and fresh and not at all greasy. Even the strawberry jam, that I assume was for the toast, was mouth watering. My wife ordered the Heavenly Veggie Hash for $7.50 and described it as "lite and delicious." The owners of Word of Mouth, Steve and Becky Mucha have put in many years working at and owning restaurants in Salem, including owning Busick's in the early 90's, The Brick and The Pointe Downtown. For the last seven years, they made their home on Catalina Island in Southern California where they continued to manage restaurants at an island resort. The couple is very hardworking and can be found at the restaurant seven days a week. If I still haven't convinced you to try this place let me throw this at you. If you get there before 8am, on some days, they have a $2.95 breakfast special. The one that they have this morning (01-20-09) is 2 eggs, 2 bacon and 2 creme brulee French toast for $2.95. If you want to get on their mailing list to hear the daily special, click here and sign up. I got up early one morning when the special was Vegetarian Eggs Benedict. Sorry about the camera phone shot it doesn't do the food justice. Even that morning and that early I noticed that people are finding out about this place. Normally, I would say give a restaurant a couple of months, before going in, so they can work out all the kinks but Word of Mouth is run very well with a full staff of servers and the food has been consistently well prepared on each of my visits.
140 17th St. NE