What's one of my favorite activities I look forward to every summer? Lunching around town with friends. What a great summertime treat!
First I enjoyed a leisurely lunch with Jonathon at Prudence Uncorked and then a few days later began to meet up with work pals for once a week lunches around downtown, south and Keizer. I failed at taking pictures of every lunch, but we never failed to have a great time.
(Now closed) When Jonathon and I went for our lunch, we noted that only one employee was tending the seating, menus, water, taking and delivering of orders both inside and out (whew!). While James did an excellent job, I decided to give Prudence Uncorked a call before showing up with a crew of 5 who would be ordering cocktails along with lunch. Jonathon proclaimed his tuna sandwich one of the best he'd ever eaten, during my first visit and Linda Y. loved her portabella mushroom dish. Linda G. enjoyed her wrap, except for the bits of chicken that were overly blackened. The cocktails were also a big hit
(Now closed) Next on the list? Outdoor dining at La Capitale Brasserie. The sidewalk tables, cocktails and delicious entrees were a success with everyone, as well as the people watching to be had at the corner of High and State. We ended up seeing a past school parent we all knew who had just returned from a humanitarian trip to Haiti.
(Now closed) The following week we dined at Willamette Noodle Co., who also provides a nice outdoor dining spot. Finally I had an opportunity to try their popular cheesy potato bacon soup. And what a lovely cup of deliciousness it was! Another thumbs up on lunches and cocktails from all.
We met for our fourth lunch at Thompson's Brew Pub. My hope was to eat outside again, but the temperature was too cool. Our food was tasty. Three of us shared a pitcher of one of their seasonal brews and Linda G. had a delicious cocktail named "Sweet Tea Smash". Funny thing, I ordered the same cocktail a week later at Boon's and it just didn't measure up to the first.
The following week, we had our fifth fun lunch at La Margarita Express on Chemekata. I ended up having to text @AmberPadilla to find out the name of the drink in a bowl she introduced the happy hour group to, Consuela, as well as one of her favorite entrees--Huraches. My brain was a total blank!
(Now closed) We made reservations for our last lunch at Caruso's Italian Cafe in Keizer. I've been wanting to try their lunch special. Unfortunately, the patio was closed due to the cooler temperatures that afternoon, so we settled for a table inside. Linda Y. said that her Halibut alla Piccata was the best entree she'd had all summer.
Overall, the service we received during our lunches was good, the best was at La Capitale and Prudence Uncorked. Our best deals were a tie between La Margarita Express and Willamette Noodle Co.. Although, it's tough to compare, because sometimes I ordered one drink and sometimes two. At each restaurant there were moments when we had to wait awhile to catch the wait staff's eye. Never did we feel rushed, even though we were a group taking up valuable "real estate" for a long period of time. I was pleased Salem has so many places (that serve cocktails) to choose from for a leisurely lunch. If summer was a little longer we would've made our way to La Margarita, Word of Mouth, Jonathan's, Alessandro's, Wild Pear or Tuff Ranch.
Maybe next summer.