Macleay Country Inn

In June 2007, I commented on Salem Man's review of Macleay Country Inn. I was positive N and I had eaten there (Markum Inn, maybe?) until a Sunday drive one day last year took us by the real deal. (I really should go back and delete that comment.) Since that drive, I've had it on my mental list of places to eat. Then last week an opportunity arose to meet a friend for lunch at the inn.

The Macleay Country Inn is situated in a picturesque setting, on a neatly trimmed and tended lot, next to a tricky railroad track crossing and the Macleay Country Store. Across the top of the inn's sign it reads, "1976", but the building gives the impression that it's been around much longer. Which goes to show that they did a nice job of matching the style of the 1916 country store.

My friend Shirley and I both arrived several minutes before the agreed upon 11:30 am. We decided to browse the neighboring store to pass the few minutes left before the inn opened. The store shelves have everything from old collectibles and t-shirts to a few shelves of drug store items. There's a small dining room table in the back where they sell ready made pizza, and two other small areas with more collectibles and old furniture.

At 11:31 am we walked into the restaurant at the same time as a small group of men. They disappeared into a second dining area and we found a freshly washed table by the window in what must be considered the bar. The inside of the inn (in our area) was dark, despite the big, beautiful overhead light fixture. Probably a result of the dark carpet, walls, tables and chairs. Our waitress was pleasant, but not friendly--though she did warm up to us eventually.

Shirley and I browsed the menu for several minutes. Hmm, burger, salad or sandwich?? We finally decided to split a grilled turkey and Swiss cheese sandwich on sourdough bread. We agreed on coleslaw for the included side and then we ordered individual house salads to start.

When I read on the menu that the inn makes their own salad dressing, my hopes for a salad with fresh ingredients automatically went up. Unfortunately, their iceberg lettuce had that telltale preservative flavor. I thought, "why bother?". Why waste the effort of making salad dressing from scratch if you're not putting it on fresh greens? It didn't help that the salad was topped off with 3-4 rather big flowerettes of broccoli and mushrooms that smelled a day or two past their fresh date. {sigh}
Shirley added, "The honey mustard salad dressing saved the salad for me -really very tasty but would have been better on baby spinach. The side of coleslaw was bland, but I'd go back for the sandwich anytime!!"

Ah, but the sandwich! The sandwich saved the afternoon! Not only was the turkey breast not pressed meat, but it was thick sliced. No way could either of us have eaten one sandwich by ourselves. I'm so glad we opted to share. It's a good thing the bread was sturdy enough to hold up to the rest of the sandwich. As it was, it became a two napkin adventure.

I hear their steaks are good? Maybe I'll put dinner on my mental to do list, but I'll pass on the salad and the coleslaw.

Macleay Country Inn
8362 Macleay Road SE
Salem Oregon


Chuck Bradley said...

When but a lad, at mother’s knee,
My mother counseled soberly:
“'Tis better that no slander slips
or spoken censures leave your lips.
Even truths can still be sins.
So speak no ill of County Inns.”

Oh alright! She really didn’t say that!

What she said was: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

Think I’ll take her advice on this one. :~D

PS: Nice review KandN.

Anonymous said...