~Review by Chuck Bradley
It seems OSW is a place that engenders strong opinions pro or con. Folks are either charmed by the funky datedness or completely offended by it. I see no noticeable change in its décor from when my brother celebrated his 40th birthday here in 1994. But you’ll notice it’s the rare comment that derides the food or berates the value.
She who must be obeyed and I had an early dinner here tonight. Having read the ’07 review and subsequent posts, my senses were honed to notice things previously observed. The place is old. You either like it/or can live with it or you don't/can’t. It was dark, but not dingy nor dirty. I find the eclectic hodge-podge of furnishings interesting. The bed frame benches are examples of creative ingenuity and when you looked at them, for the first time, I’ll bet you smiled. Come on, admit it!
We arrived about 4:30 PM and were immediately seated. Pleasant classic music played softly in the background. By 5:00 PM the place was hutched! They accept reservations, but only for parties of 6 or more.
Carol ordered ½ Lasagna and ½ Spaghetti with meatless sauce ala carte. I had the Calzone Dinner, which included Hot-From-The-Oven Bread, Soup (I chose Cream of Portabella Mushroom) or Salad and Dessert (I selected Cream Brule) and a glass of Gabbiano DOCG Italian Chianti. My Soup was excellent. Carol loved her Lasagna but thought the Spaghetti was lacking. (Of course it was lacking! She ordered meatless sauce!) My Calzone was delicious, and huge! Its sauce was wonderful. The bread (Half a small loaf) was served with soft garlic butter, and was replaced the moment it was gone. The wine was alright, but to tell you the truth, I’d have been just as happy with a glass of Carlo Rossi Paisano. I’m not a dessert guy usually. I only ordered Cream Brule because I knew Carol would be all over it. When it arrived, her eyes sparkled. When I pushed it across the table to her, she gave me that big smile of hers. That was worth the price of admission right there!
Others have commented that the time between order and presentation is excessive. When meals are created one at a time, Golden Arches turn-around time is just too much to expect. This is not the kind of food which should be hurried in its preparation or enjoyment.
Our server, Sarah, was cheerful and proficient. She was serving more tables than any one person should have to, but never missed a beat.
We think OSW offers more bang for the buck than most places. It is what it is and shouldn’t be expected to be anything else. We like it.
920 Commercial ST SE
Salem, OR 97302