I haven't eaten in the building, where The Best Little Roadhouse restaurant now resides, since it was the pizza parlor Dr. Munchies and I was in little league. This place's parking lot is normally so packed with cars, I pass right by. Today I really wanted to go out and eat a decent steak. After checking with my mom, I found The Best Little Roadhouse was going to be my best bet for a steak within my budget. And so this is how I found myself circling the block to find a parking spot of my own at this bustling Salem grill.
Inside the place was loud with customers. It reminded me of a Great American Restaurant chain called Sweetwater, right down to the rusty color scheme. We were seated somewhat quickly in the back where it was less noisy and crowded. Once my boyfriend and I were seated, we experienced some of the best customer service I've ever had. Our waiter was prompt, attentive and friendly. The other wait staff were just as nice and professional. I ordered the Gilgamesh Mamba, a beer brewed with black tea and my boyfriend ordered a fruity cocktail we think was the Best Little Roadhouse Punch, though the name escapes us both as I write this review. Both drinks were delicious! I recommend the Mamba to those who like a lighter slightly sweet beer.
My side salad was nice even though I'm not a huge fan of Kraft salad dressing. My boyfriend ordered a tortilla soup that tasted very enchilada-esque and yummy. Their delicious sweet rolls are complementary with the meal, even though the menu states otherwise. Our steaks and baked potatoes came out a perfect amount of time after our soup and salads were finished, which is not something that happens at family restaurants consistently. I ordered the 8oz Prime Rib and he ordered 12oz Sirloin. The steaks tasted great! One criticism, from both of us, was that the cuts of meat had quite a bit of fat on them and both of us are picky about fat. Mine came with an au jus and a horseradish sauce, which went well with the Prime Rib. Even the small amount of whole green beans that came with each steak were crisp and tasty. More delicious green beans would have been nice.
I was very surprised at the great experience. It wasn't at all what I expected after listening to co-workers and family who have eaten here. Not that I ever heard any bad reviews, just mediocre. For those interested in prices, both steaks were around $16 a piece. I'm so glad I gave The Best Little Roadhouse a try. And thank you to Paul, our wonderful waiter!
The Best Little Roadhouse
1145 Commercial Street Southeast Salem, OR 97302
Mon-Thu, Sun 11am–11pm