Word of Mouth Neighborhood Bistro

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.

503-930-4285
140 17th St. NE



15 comments:

Anonymous said...

We ate there this weekend and it was fantastic!! I ordered the Chicken Fried Steak and it was probably the best I have ever had. The gravy was delicious, with a lot of flavor and the chicken fried steak was tender and not overcooked. My husband had the King of the Hill hash and said it was great. We excited to find a new place to eat with great food, a beautiful atmosphere and friendly staff!

Jodi B said...

Love this place! Everything that I have had from here has been great. We have taken to eating here for lunch weekly and I have noticed a steady build up in customers. We were there today and by 12:15 the place was full! A really nice place with great food.
We can't wait until it is open in the evenings!

mama2dylan said...

A friend and I ate there for the 1st time on Saturday. My friend ordered the Crème Brulee French Toast served w/ 2 eggs and 2 strips of bacon for $7.95. Oh, how I wished I had ordered that. It was divine. I had the Designer Omelet served with baby red breakfast potatoes and 10 grain whole wheat thick cut toast. You choose what goes into this one. Begin with a standard cheese omelet for 6.95 and add items for .50 each. Including: mushrooms, tomatoes, caramelized onions, roasted bell peppers, bacon, sausage, ham, zucchini, broccoli, or spinach. My friend's coffee came in a huge mug like they serve at Cafe 22 West. I had OJ. The greeting and service were excellent. The food was also delicious. I will return again. In fact I find myself recommending them by "word of mouth" frequently.

Anonymous said...

Coolest restaurant to open in Salem in a long time. Nice space.

jeff said...

Went there twice last weekend - first for take-out breakfast and then back for lunch. All in the party were extremely pleased with their meals. Those Signature Burgers are terrific!

Anonymous said...

Went there today for the first time, it was good but there are pros and cons to the place. My grandma and I went there together we both ordered the french toast which she just loved. I however thought it was a little on the sweet side. Parking is not easy and today it was really cold in there. We also had a long wait for our bill after we finished our meal. But both of us agreed we would be back!

KandN said...

(I emailed our photos to the "photo your food" slideshow.)
Just returned from our first meal at WOM. The coffee was excellent, the bread was delicious, the special was delightfully out of the ordinary, and the service was wonderful.
I hear they offer desserts now, too. :>)

Scott Sadler - Former Owner, Arbor Cafe said...

Steve and Becky are doing it right. Service, atmosphere, quality fresh food with FLAVOR, and reasonably priced. Local is the theme here, including my favorite Tico's coffee. Breakfast is great, and I think they have the best burgers in town. I cannot wait to try them for dinner. I encourage supporting ALL of your local dining places and start by welcoming them to Salem!

Anonymous said...

We ate here this morning -- fabulous breakfast. I ordered the "Best of Both Worlds" hash, which is half prime rib-potato hash next to veggie hash. It came with two poached eggs, that were cooked exactly how I ordered them, and thick slices of whole wheat toast from Cascade Bakery. My son had blueberry pancakes and what has to be the world's best hot chocolate -- smothered in mini marshmallows, topped with whipped cream, and sprinkled with chocolate chips . . . YUM! The service was very good: attentive, but not intrusive. The only semi-negative thing I can say is that the coffee was a bit mild for my taste; I prefer a stronger brew. Otherwise a great experience, and we will go back, for sure.

mama2dylan said...

I finally got to WOM for the Eggs Benedict vegetarian style. Snap peas, broccoli, zucchini, spinach, artichoke hearts and mushrooms on an English muffin with two poached eggs and hollandaise sauce red potatoes on the side. I got there before 8 a.m. so I was able to take advantage of the special for $2.95. I thought they were good, but I saw no artichoke hearts in my order and the veggies were bland, needed some seasoning to perk them up, maybe the addition of some roasted red bell peppers would have been nice for added color and flavor since everything was green.

KandN said...

N and I each worshiped a plate of the panko encrusted halibut fish and chips tonight. I must've been the noisiest diner ever - "mmm, mmm, mmm" EVERYTHING was delicious and done to perfection! We have a new favorite f&c place. :>)

Anonymous said...

i love their food. i do however wish they would offer their creme brule french toast just once for their breakfast special. i really want to try it after all the good things i hear about it, but i cannot afford to buy a new dish if i do not like it. i think if they offered it for a special, they might get even more customers if it lives up to what all has been written up about it!

'laina said...

Anony- sign up for their emails, they just advertised the creme brulee french toast for super cheap as their breakfast special, yesterday morning. That way you'll know in advance when it will be cheaper. :)

I just had WOM for the first time a few days ago. I was jones'n for clam chowder, and oddly enough ordered the vegetable barley. The tomato broth was tasty, it had lots of veggies, and it was chock full of barley. The side of sourdough bread (from Cascade Bakery) that it came with was OUTSTANDING- I'm a total bread freak so this made my day. They panini'd the bread and I think swiped it with some butter, it was crispy/ crunchy and perfect for dunking in the soup. A+ for the soup, A++ for the bread. C+ for having to wait well over 20 minutes for a bowl of soup "to go", on my lunch break from work.

Decided to go back today and try the special: "Fried Tomato, Mozzarella and Pancetta Sandwich- Fried beefsteak tomatoes (in olive oil & cornmeal), fresh buffalo mozzarella, fresh made pesto and pancetta on grilled sourdough bread. Served with your choice of soup or salad. $7.95."... A+++++. Man this was SO good. The cornmeal on the tomatoes, and sourdough bread were super crunchy; the mozzarella was fantastic and fresh; the panchetta was superb (less salty/greasy than regular bacon); and the pesto just wrapped it all up in a nice little bow, so to speak. I called in the order "to go" around 10AM to try and avoid the wait. Told them I'd be there at 12:15. I was, and it wasn't made or ready to go until 12:25, which sucked cuz it didn't give me much time to eat, again, but the food was ridiculously good so I'll forgive them. ;)

Anyone know if they're always this busy? I'd like to try and take the family in sometime, but would rather do it when it's not so hectic. And parking- ok to park around back??

Anonymous said...

I'm a little confused why you would call in your order at 10am for a 12:15 pickup??

I always get my food to go and I call about 15 minutes before I pick it up and I think the longest I ever had to wait was 5 minutes, maybe.

The next time you go, I suggest you just call 15 to 20 minutes before you plan to be there and you should have no problem.

I get a secret little thrill out of seeing everyone that's waiting for a table watch me walk in and then walk out with my food a couple minutes later, teehee.

Anonymous said...

I ate there when it first opened. The food was awful to say the least, and expensive. No return visit planned.