Brown's Towne Lounge

A group of us met at Brown's Towne Lounge on a Thursday night.  A friend was singing that night, backed by the piano and on a couple of numbers, a trombone.  We pushed several tables together to accommodate our large group and settled in to enjoy the music.

Arriving around 5:00pm ensured we could order off of the happy hour menu, with all well drinks on special.  Several of us ordered well drinks and found them strong.  Our table ordered the sweet potato fries and tater tots, both tasty and hot.  As we all arrived at different times, we each placed our dinner orders at different times, which the waiter had no problem with.

A couple of us ordered the Chicken Strips.  I think they were called the Tahitian Chicken Strips and they were good, although slightly over-fried.  They came with two side sauces, both of which made the dish: a sweet chili sauce and a Thai coconut type sauce.  Without these, the dish would have been bland and boring.  I would suggest asking for these sauces when ordering the sweet potato fries as well!

Other dishes ordered at our table included the BLT, which was praised and one of the pita pockets, which didn't stay together and ended up needing a fork to eat.

The atmosphere at Brown's Towne Lounge is interesting.  It brings in a broad range of customers and you are never quite sure who you will see while you are there.  The prices on the menu are good and the portions are healthy, with an individual being able to eat for under $10.00.  The service is sometimes hit or miss.  On this evening, it took our lovely singing star over 40 minutes to get her salad.  By the time she received it, she had about 10  minutes before she had to be on stage.  However, the rest of the evening, the service was much better.

The biggest complaint around our table was the way the cigarette smoke came right through the front door as smokers came and went (which they did a lot!).  At times, the smell was overwhelming and the air so cold.  This actually prevents some of our group from frequenting Brown's Towne. 

I really appreciate that Brown's Towne Lounge spotlights local musicians.  A local place that promotes local people.  That's good for Salem!

Brown's Towne Lounge
189 Liberty St NE Ste 112,  
Salem, OR 97301
(503) 391-9977 


Anonymous said...

Amber, Thanks for this informative review! -P

Chuck Bradley said...

Amber, Good review!

I had lunch there some months ago. My server recommended their special; roast beef sliders with cheddar cheese and horseradish and a cup of bacon-cheddar cheese-potato soup. The sliders were good. I thought tomato slices would have made them better. The soup was Yum!

Amber said...

Thank you Anonymous and Chuck!

Anonymous said...

Brown's town is at a bit of a transition point I think. They opened primarily as a bar with good food, and sometimes that is why service can be a bit spotty. Usually there is a cook and a bartender working and that is it, so if it is busy you have to go to the bar to order. With all the good press on their food, drinks, and science pub more of a restaurant crowd is coming in and I guess they will have to decided if they want to be more of a restaurant. I like the place as a bar with good food.

Anonymous said...

I recently went into Browne's during the lunch hour, looking forward to one of their infamous Wagyu (local grass fed beef) burgers. Ihave had these a couple times in the past and had always been impressed. It had been a while since I had been in last and I noticed the price of the Wagyu burger had gone up from $10.95 to $13.95. The bartender actually seemed very apologetic about the price increase and indicated very few had been ordered since the price change. Since I had enjoyed this particular burger before in this establishment, I actually had no problem with the new $13.95 price at first. I placed my order and noticed the four other occupied tables already had been served food. Normally Browne's service is extremely fast when it's that slow, but that day it took almost a half an hour to receive my food. The cook that day didn't even start my order until another person came in 10 minutes later and placed a food order. Maybe a new cook? When my burger did arrive, I noticed the side of fries looked like the "bottom of the bag" (very few longer than 2 inches, some as small as an inch long). The bun was no longer the fresh baked looking bun I had previously enjoyed there, it was obviously a store bought variety. Then I took a bite of the Wagyu and immediatly realized the burger was badly freezer burned. It was a very distinctive "old meat" taste, like it had sat in the freezer for a year or more. Another customer, at a table next to mine had ordered the cheaper 1/4 lb burger with bacon and I heard him tell his wife there was only a half slice of bacon on his burger. I can tell you I will never order the Wagyu again. It seems as if Browne's is trying to cut costs and raise prices at the same time. This is never a good sign. I must say, the bartender and the owners are always very nice and I have always been pleased with their service. But no more Wagyu for me.

Anonymous said...

While I have always been pleased with the excellent customer service at Browne's, the past few times that I have ordered food there I have been very disappointed. A few months ago I visited Browne's for lunch and opted for the Greek Ziki Salad with steak. I have had it in the past and found it very tasty, as well as a work of art on the plate. However, the last time I had this particular salad, it was not the same and sadly, I was very disappointed. When it arrived at the table, the first thing I noticed was that the greens looked like they had been diced with a dull pastry cutter. I couldn't even distinguish what type of greens were used because they were finely chopped and had a visibly crushed appearance. There were only 4 very small, edible chunks of steak on the salad and one tough, gristley piece that was mostly inedible. The steak was overcooked and obviously reheated. At $11 for this salad I expected some freshly cooked steak,not leftovers. There were two almost paper thin tomato wedges, 2 pepperocinis, a few croutons and a few onion slices. At the very bottom of the salad, I found some finely crumbled feta cheese. What I found most odd of all, was the huge pile of Kalamata olives piled to one side. There must have been atleast a dozen of them. Their juice totally overpowered the salad and almost ruined it all together. Then there was the dressing. In the past, I remember it being very tasty. his time, when I dipped my fork into it and tasted it, I realized it was nothing more than plain yogurt. I could not detect any taste of herbs or even salt or pepper. It was nothing more than plain yogurt. Although once I mixed the dressing into the salad, it really didn't matter because of the excessive amount of Kalamata olives completely over powered everything. I'm sorry, but I won't be ordering it again.