I have heard little things here and there about the Local but haven’t personally been in ages, so I thought it was a good time to follow up and see what’s going on-- so I met my friend Suzanne up there for lunch. I like that they now offer a seasonal menu of offerings, although most of the dishes seem like they might be better suited for dinner—they seemed to be larger things.
We decided to at least get an appetizer to share from the seasonal menu—so we started with the fried zucchini ($8.50). Hmm… we were kind of torn about this one. The first thing we both notice was it needed salt, which we promptly added. I liked the breading quite a bit on the pieces that were crunchier. Unfortunately, many of the slices of zucchini were a little too big and thin and got really soft before you could get to eat them (and some were a lot less breaded than others). I really liked the remoulade that was served alongside—it had a bit of heat but also some nice chunks of green onion I’m guessing…and some herbs. Great slightly hot, slightly tangy, flavor. Overall, we liked them, but they could be improved with a dusting of salt out of the fryer and if they were maybe cut in a different shape that didn’t get quite so soft so quick.
For my lunch, I ordered the chicken Panini ($10). I can’t say that I really liked it that much, other then the bread. I liked the way the bread was nice and crusty and had a good flavor. It was supposed to have grilled chicken, bacon, tomato, fennel, asiago cheese and mayo. But it was pretty dry. You could barely taste cheese and certainly no mayo. Honestly it was mostly like a chicken and bacon sandwich. I did like that the chicken breast was sliced into smaller pieces, but it seemed like several ingredients were missing or in short supply. I finally asked for a side of ranch (their dressings are housemade, and housemade ranch makes me very happy) just to get a little moisture (and some extra flavor) into it. I had the tater tots on the side and they were very good tots. Nice and crispy.
Suzanne ordered the pork tenderloin ($9.50), which was a way better way to go. The breading was much like that on the zucchini and is very tasty. The pork is the right amount of thick vs. thin keeping it nice and tender. They use a “special sauce” in place of the common mayo and I like it—enough to give it a little moisture without making it soggy. I have had the tenderloin before and have enjoyed it and this was no different.
The complaint I have heard fairly frequently is about the service though—and our experience was not great. It started out good because they weren’t too crowded when we got there. But as lunch progressed, our server seemed a bit in the weeds (she appeared to have all the outside tables). And I think the kitchen was too.
Even though it wasn’t a stellar meal for me, I am intrigued to try some of the seasonal menu items for dinner (they have skate!). At some point I need to get back up there with hubby and give it another go. I like what they seem to be trying to do with changing things up by the season, and using lots of local ingredients. I just have yet to have a top to bottom great experience.
The Local Eatery & Pub
14655 Gray Road