Monday, July 16, 2012

Downey's House

Yup. Took the photo through the car windshield as we were leaving. Too tired to get back out and try to get a good angle of the front.
Last weekend we tried another new to us, non-chain restaurant in Robinson: Downey's House on Steubenville Pike/Rte 60. It's in the same parking lot area as Fuji Sushi, but not in the same building. It's to the left of Fuji Sushi and Fox's Pizza, and in front of the building with the Chinese place & Sassy Sensations.

According to their website, they opened in May 2008. That explains why it seems to us that they have always been there; we bought our home in Robinson in summer 2008. Their website also says that the owners are from Carnegie, which is where I lived before moving to Robinson, and that they worked at The Main Hotel/Restaurant and Red Bull Inn. Given that both my parents grew up in Carnegie and my grandparents lived in Carnegie for 50+ years, I'm pretty familiar with Red Bull Inn and The Main, having dined at both with my grandparents when I was growing up. SP once worked in Carnegie and he and his co-workers would sometimes go to The Main for lunch. Sadly, that establishment is now closed.
Dragons Milk Beer
It was nearly 8 pm when we entered through the bar entrance. We were seated at a table in the bar area next to a window. Fortunately, there wasn't any smoking in the bar area. It looked like there is a dining room right next to the bar area but that it might have been closed for a private party. Downey's House is a restaurant/bar, they have live music, there's lots of TVs in the bar (tuned into the Pirates game Saturday night). It was clean. Spacious but not too spacious. There is a deck out in the back area. We didn't want to eat outside, but we drove past on our way home. We didn't see much because the area is enclosed by a fence, but it looked like it might be a nice place to hang out. It sounded like there was live music on the deck. There is a whole schedule of events and specials on their website.

I was a little concerned because several reviewers on Urbanspoon said the service was horrible. We did not experience horrible service at all. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Before we were even completely out of the car, an employee came out to hold the door open for us. We were seated right away and were asked which table we wanted. Our drink orders were taken right away. Our server arrived soon after our drink orders were taken and she did not get annoyed when SP asked what was on tap (he couldn't really see the list on the board). He was very excited to hear that they had Dragons Milk Beer on tap. I have no idea what that means, or what kind of beer it is, other than it's a dark beer, and pretty pricey. He ordered it and very much enjoyed it. I'm not sure a craft beer person would be so excited about the other options since even I recognized them (Sam Adams, Yuengling, Blue Moon, etc., probably about ten total on tap).

I stuck with fresh brewed iced tea - and yes, they get lots of points for the fresh brewed part!

On to the food.
Chicken Bacon Cheddar Rolls
A lot of people raved about the homemade rolls, so I had to try one. I really wanted to try the pepperoni rolls, that takes me back to my childhood when my mom would buy me pepperoni rolls from Bethel Bakery for my lunch, but SP doesn't eat pepperoni. We agreed on the Chicken-Bacon-Cheddar Rolls with Ranch Dipping Sauce. We asked for regular ranch instead of garlic ranch.
The portion was huge - nine of these rolls! They were delicious. The dough is so tasty. Lots of cheese but not so much cheese that they get greasy. Lots of bacon, no skimping there. Chicken, too. So good. We would totally get these again. An order of rolls would be enough for my meal.
We each ordered a sandwich. SP chose chicken salad on toasted marble rye. All sandwiches have a choice of fries or cole slaw or, for $1 extra, onion straws. He got the onion straws.
It was a very finely chopped chicken salad, the way I like it. Teeny pieces of egg and celery. Just enough mayo to hold it together. Two pickle slices on the side. He said it was delicious.
I stuck with the chicken-bacon-cheddar theme and ordered the BBQ Bacon Chicken Sandwich with cole slaw.
I wanted to compare this sandwich with the one I almost always order at Bocktown. Chicken breast, bacon, onion straws, cheddar, BBQ, on a bun. Both are huge. This one has regular bacon, Bocktown uses peppered bacon. Both bacons are good. To me, it would just depend on my mood. Both places have very tasty onion straws. Both have tasty BBQ. They are equally delicious. Although Downey's House serves their BBQ on the side, so I was able to dip as I ate, whereas Bocktown puts it on the sandwich, which makes for a messy sandwich for me. I didn't need to use 3-4 napkins as I always do at Bocktown!
Overall, we had a very good experience at Downey's House. Everyone was very friendly and helpful and cheerful. Our service was great. Our food was good, especially those rolls. There are also spinach rolls, Italian rolls, and Greek rolls - they all sound tasty. There are several salad options and an 'On the Lighter Side' section as well as pizzas, pastas, and some entrees, but I didn't look closely at those sections of the menu.

We were pleasantly surprised and would go back in the future. It's a nice addition to our list of non-chain options in Robinson.

Plus, they have Funnel Cake Fries for dessert. So, yes, we will be back!

Downey's House on Urbanspoon

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