Friday, November 09, 2012

My review of Aubrey's in Cleveland,Tennessee

Hubby and I hit Aubrey's in Cleveland, Tennessee for dinner tonight. They offer call ahead seating but this was a spur-of-the moment decision so we forgot to use it. It was a Friday night but we got there about 4:30 p.m. so we were okay without dialing ahead. Had we waited, the story would have been different.

The hostess was very nice. My back has been killing me lately and I was delighted that she was able to seat us at a booth. Three cheers to Aubrey's hostess for being willing to accommodate that.

When dining at Aubrey's, the entree choice is always difficult. From the pulled pork, to the Hawaiian marinated steak skewers and salads, there's something for everyone. Aubrey's makes it helpful for people who have never been by posting a full menu and prices online. Too bad all restaurants don't do that. But then again, that's one of the touches that sets this Knoxville based restaurant chain apart. Another reason is the delicious food.

Hubby and I opted for the pulled pork. This usually comes with a fist sized pile of pulled pork on texas toast with two sides and tonight was no exception. I opted for the potato soup and Aubrey's Parmesan spinach (to die for). Hubby asked for his pork with toast on the side, french fries and the Parmesan spinach. We both ordered the iced teas.

Before the meal, the server brings a sweet bread with a side of a honey and margarine mixture on the side. The server called the mixture "honey butter" but it tastes like margarine to me. I always request the unflavored variety and even though it still tastes like margarine, it works together pretty well. 

Along with this our server delivered the iced teas and my soup. I was a little surprised that it came out so early but wasn't in a mood to complain. There were discernable chunks of potato and what appeared to be thoroughly cooked onion. A sprinking of cheese garnished the top. I'm going to guess that the soup cup was about 6 ounces. It looked and tasted good but could have been warmer when it arrived.

Our entrees arrived shortly. The pulled pork was steaming when the server brought it out. However; the Parmesan spinach dish just sat there. It was just about room temp and the flavor was just as exciting. We signaled the server and he came right over and whisked the spinach dish to the kitchen. From where we were sitting, we could watch him talk to the chef and we saw the chef fill new ramekins. These were just as hot as the pulled pork had been and tasted delicious.

The Parmesan spinach at Aubrey's has to be my favorite side dish. They use local ingredients when possible and it shows. The side dish is a combination of Parmesan cheese and spinach in a creme sauce. The result is so good that even my anti-veggie husband likes it. It's think enough that the side dish could be used as a dip but, it tastes so good that you don't want to share.

Our ticket price was $27 for two meals, the iced teas and tax. Drink prices are always ridiculous at restaurants nowadays and never on the menu. We paid $2.30 for each iced tea at Aubrey's. I shouldn't complain because it does seem to be in line with everyone else.

Aubrey's is a casual upscale kind of place that is competitively priced with other restaurants in its class. I would compare it favorably to Puleo's or Calhoun's in Knoxville. It's part of Aubrey's Restaurant Group which includes Stefano's, Bistro by the Tracks, Sunspot and Barley's. Menu and other details are online. Once you try these restaurants, you'll want to go back. At least that's the way I feel about the Aubrey's in Cleveland, Tennessee anyway.

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