WTGW 2/19/20: Clearview Inn, Bath

Standard

So when we first heard the name of the place Jason picked for tonight – as we were in the car en route to the Clearview Inn – those of us who had heard the name of the place before may have started to contemplate whether or not they were slightly underdressed.

And by “those of us,” I may just be referring to myself. Whatevs.

But by all indications, the Clearview Inn I had heard of in passing had always been labeled as a steakhouse. And not that that label automatically makes a place fancy – hello, Outback Steakhouse – but typically a place where you can order a pretty decent cut of steak isn’t also the same place you’re likely to be welcomed walking into the joint in a hoodie and easily locating our WTGW staples of greasy bar food and cheap draft beer. 

Although Cassi was quick to point out that Clearview does have a pub area, and that area was thought to be more casual than what you would put on the barometer of a typical steakhouse. So like the sports bar version of an Outback Steakhouse, as opposed to someplace like RED or Fleming’s. OK, now we’re talking. 

Turns out we were all a little bit correct. Because while I have a feeling Clearview could’ve been fancy in it’s heyday … that day was probably well before any of us was born. 

Like take for example the strange little stage area at the end of the bar and just to the left of our table – which I thought I had taken a photo of but probably skipped in an attempt to stay somewhat inconspicuous (because we’re so good at that on  regular basis anyway, I know) – where I half expected a Sinatra impersonator to wander out with a martini in hand and start entertaining the crowd. 

Speaking of which, the crowd – and surprisingly it was crowded, particularly at the bar proper – was, well, almost as interesting as the atmosphere. There were obviously a lot of regulars there for an evening meal or nightcap. But there were also some random, out of place folks giving off a bit of an “I’m in town on business” vibe. But considering we aren’t exactly in an area known for businesses or hotels of any kind, that was somewhat weird.

Also weird: the music selection. In a span of about the first 20 minutes we heard everything from 70s rock to rap to – no joke – Somewhere Over the Rainbow. 

For real, where are we?

I don’t think our server could really answer that question, since he wasn’t much help with …. well … any question we asked him.

Take this lovely exchange, for example:
Shane: what wing flavors do you have?
Server: well, um, I don’t know, I guess whatever is listed? But like what are you looking for? Because we probably have it. Just ask me.

It’s like we opened up a dictionary to the definition of “helpful,” I know. 

WHAT WE ORDERED

Despite the steering otherwise of the server, we did stick to the menu items for our meal choices. 

Apparently the steakhouse vibe got to Ted, because he decided to be all fancy and order the seared ahi tuna for an app. 

Meanwhile the rest of the table got two orders of the smallest portion of calamari known to man. For $11. Each.

That seems a bit excessive, no? I mean, unless there’s a worldwide shortage on calamari that we’re unaware of, $11 for this portion seems a tad unreasonable. 

Perhaps to offset that disappointment, and also because someone at the table had to order either a burger or wings, Shane got not one, not two, but three orders of the Garlic Parm wings.

Cassi got a side salad – which we later discovered was basically just lettuce with a few cherry tomatoes, so we’ve clearly hit the opposite end of the fancy spectrum – and the panko crusted chicken tenders. 

Jason got the Po Boy sandwich.

I got the diablo chicken sandwich with a sweet potato.

Ted got the steak sandwich, also with a sweet potato.

After dinner, the server – in all his infinite salesmanship – tried to sell us on the desserts by telling us the best way to enjoy them was by combining like three of them together.

Um, OK. 

While the rest of us abstained from dessert, Cassi and Jason did get the cobbler. 

THE VERDICT

The calamari, while tasty, was not exactly $11-for-a-portion-that-barely-feeds-one-of-us delicious. The sauce was maybe the best part, it had some spice to it. But we really savored each bite like it was the last portion of food we might ever see.  

Meanwhile, Ted was quite happy with his fancy tuna app. He said he’s never had it with the sesame crust before, but that was a nice touch. 

However, it didn’t compare to his steak sandwich, which he claimed was “one of the best he’s ever had.” 

Sounds impressive, right? Well, until he countered with the fact that he’s only probably had one other steak sandwich on all of our WTGW outings … which makes that statement more than a little less impressive. Let’s just call this the asterisk with the tiny print that indicates “results may be skewed.”   

I asked him on a scale of one to the-fries-he-loved-at-Barrel Lodge, what’s the verdict then?

He didn’t quite answer that, except to say the steak was really good and there just happened to be bread. So do with that what you will, I guess. 

When asked, Jason said the cobbler was “just awful.” But we all quickly caught on that that was just for our benefit so we didn’t feel bad that we didn’t also order it.

Translation: it was pretty spectacular.

What a good friend. I mean, he also said the same thing about the beer that Healthy Shane couldn’t drink. Way to take one for the team. 

Our bill was close to $70, but almost half of that was alcohol, so you know, we’re obviously pretty proud of that fact.

Despite all of my pokes at our server, I will have to say that at least he was super attentive. A little spacey, sure, but he did get us what we needed when we asked, and was honest when he didn’t know the answer or didn’t care enough to go ask someone else. He also was very punctual with drink refills. Maybe too much so, as I think we all had one or two more rounds than we had intended (see above comment about our bill) … but hey, what are Wednesday nights for, right? 

Picked by: Jason
Next pick: Shane

WTGW 10/16/13: Gasoline Alley, Bath

Standard

OK, so admittedly I kinda suck at this whole posting thing. Two weeks in and I’m already almost a week late in talking about our last adventure. I mean, I know you were all at the edge of your seat in breathless anticipation and all.

Anyway.

Our latest WTGW takes us to Gasoline Alley in Bath. This is one of those places that if you didn’t know it existed, you would probably drive right past. I think we discovered it in an online search for “fall clambakes” – which I guess they have, although not on a night when we were there. All of the reviews warned that this place gets jam packed on any given night, and they definitely weren’t lying – although it probably has something to do with the place being about as big as a Winnebago inside. Seriously. These photos were taken from our table (which was right next to the front door):

Look to the right

Look to the right

And to the left

And to the left

And there you have it, you’ve pretty much seen the entire restaurant. I wish I was kidding. I think there are corner delis in NYC that are more spacious than this place. And less busy on the decorating spectrum. I have to believe the owners of GA went to the Applebee’s design school of “throw whatever you can find at the wall and see if it sticks … literally.” Wow.

On that same note, it’s worth mentioning that in order to get to the restroom you have to walk through the restaurant’s storage room. Which felt evasive. And just plain weird. Like “hey, can you pick me up another fork and some napkins on your way back from the restroom? Don’t forget to wash your hands …” Interesting.

But regardless, we still managed to have fun. Here Ted tries out the fried zucchini planks:

Ted missed his calling as a member of KISS

Ted missed his calling as a member of KISS

I’m not sure why Shane is backing away from what looks to be a delicious piece of bacon.

Seriously, who doesn't take bacon when it's offered to them?

Seriously, who doesn’t take bacon when it’s offered to them?

FunWednesday10-16-13 006 FunWednesday10-16-13 005

And then we discovered the one thing at tiny little Gasoline Alley that is actually larger than life … the desserts. Holy hell.

No, that's not an entire cake on each plate.

No, that’s not an entire cake on each plate.

And of course while one slice of that chocolate monstrousity could’ve fed our entire table – or, hell, half the tiny restaurant – the boys had to order their own pieces. I went with the key lime, which was a disappointment only when compared to the chocolate slice of heaven on their plates.

FunWednesday10-16-13 011

These two pictures say so much about each of our personalities

Note the beer with the cake. We’re classy like that.

Those two pictures honestly say so much about each of our personalities.

So probably fueled by 69 ounces of beer and about 10 pounds of sugar in that cake, the boys decided that the best way to finish off the entire experience would be to eat the last two saurkraut balls left over from our appetizer. Because nothing goes with cake and beer better than cold, deep fried kraut. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves when it comes to that experience.

FunWednesday10-16-13 012 FunWednesday10-16-13 013 FunWednesday10-16-13 014 FunWednesday10-16-13 015 FunWednesday10-16-13 016

Uh huh.

So I think the lesson we learned here is that the food is decent, but the place is a little claustrophobic. And apparently makes you do crazy things. Next time we’ll call in a take out order. For cake.

CAPSULE
Picked by: Amanda
Drink selection:
 Eh. Nothing too impressive.
Food: Good. And I’m not just easily swayed by the desserts.
Service: OK.
Overall: Not sure we’ll go back, just because of the atmosphere. But I would definitely consider a takeout order.

Next pick – Ted

Gasoline Alley on Urbanspoon