On Thursday, the Ale Houses have a "Blackened Chicken and Shrimp Wedge Salad" for $5.99, so I headed to Hollywood for a cheap lunch. I was running early today so it was peak lunch hour when I got there. I prefer the ale house when it's empty as the crowd can be very Flanaginsish. I got the requisite "High Top or Booth"; why would anyone want to sit at a high top if there was anything else available?
They have big wooden booths here.
Hollywood Ale House Booths
They've gotten some bigger, better TVs since my last visit. I got to watch the Heat lose to the Timberwolves again on replay.
Ale House View from Table
The servers here seem angry that they have to be working. Or maybe she was angry that she had to serve 1 guy having the lunch special? Ice tea please.
Ale House Ice Tea
The glass is big enough that you don't have to worry about getting a refill. The menus are on the table; I keep forgetting this. I waited for someone to bring me a menu until I remembered. No need really. I just ordered the salad.
You can get it with any dressing you want. The blue cheese dressing came out right way and sat on the table while I waited.
Ale House Blue Cheese Dressing
They play a lot of 70s music here; in many ways the place is stuck in the 70s. "Stay with Me", Billy Joel, Santana. "Shake, Shake, Shake" mxied in. Memories.
The salad took longer than I expected. 13 minutes. At first glance, it looked like a good deal for $5.99.
Ale House Wedge Salad pre Dressing
5 shrimp and 1/2 chicken breast I'd say, which was fine. I didn't expect a big bowl of salad for the price. The tub of dressing added a few hundred calories.
Ale House Wedge Salad
When I was half done, I realized that it was a substantial lunch. The shrimp were small and didn't really fit in, but the chicken was quite good; kind of juicy and not dried out like the chicken I've been getting lately.
Ale House Wedge Salad
I didn't leave hungry. Under $10. Can't beat it.
The Ale house is a place where you can get a big plate of food at a good price generally; the specials are crazy good deals. The salads are a particularly good value.
The Miller Ale Houses all have the same layout, but this one is a little bit nicer than the one in Fort Lauderdale. When it's empty, it seems like a pretty nice place. It draws a very blue collar crowd, so when it's crowded it has a different feel.
Because of the elements, I opted to sit in a booth. Everything is wood in here, like an outback or the way everything was in the 90s. They have a lot of TVs, and they play good music; The Hollies, David Bowie and Chicago (before they sucked). And they have private label salt and pepper grinders.
Ale House Setup
They don't have a lunch menu; they have 2 specials each day; but they have a very extensive menu. A few things caught my eye, but I had to remember where I was. I almost ordered the Jambalaya, but that dish lends itself to hackery. I spotted the Miller's Seafood Lobster & Clam bake. I wasn't sure what it was going to look like, but it had a lot of good stuff in it for $18.95. I also ordered an Iced Tea, which was delivered without any lemon. What is wrong with restaurants in South Florida? Is it really that difficult to ask your customers if they want lemon or lime with their Tea? The good thing about asking for it is that they usually bring you 3 or 4 slices rather than 1 skinny one for a massive glass.
My server was trying hard, but it took a long time to get things. I had to wait a few minutes to ask for lemon, and then a few more minutes to get it. When the food came out, it looked pretty interesting
Ale House Boil
There was a lobster tail, 3 snow crab legs (1 claw), 5 shrimp, some mussels, clams, corn on the cobb and a few whole red potatoes, as well as a small container of New England Clam Chowder. My server said she'd get me more napkins and crackers; until I realized she said "cracker" for the lobster and crab. Again, it took her a few minutes to bring the cracker, during which time I realized that I didn't have a spoon for the soup.
They didn't split the lobster tail, or slice the potatoes, and there is no sausage. This wasn't your classic crab boil or clam bake. There was also zero seasoning throughout; the shrimp, potatoes and corn had no flavor; virtually everything had to be dipped or rolled in butter. The mussels were dry and clams a bit overdone. The lobster and crab weren't overdone, however, and the potatoes were somehow cooked enough (usually they're sliced because they take a lot longer to cook than the seafood). They probably cooked things separately and then threw it together.
The Clam Chowder was a little salty but it was better than some other versions I've had down here. Very thick with more potatoes than clams.
With all of my crabbing, this was better than I expected at a place like the Ale House; better to have everything just steamed or boiled and let the drawn butter take care of the flavor than have it soaking in some poorly constructed broth. You'd pay at least $25 for this at most places.