You’ll yearn for nice weather at this Old Market anchor—it’s in the hub of Old Market’s best shops and restaurants—because it will allow you to grab a seat on a loading dock converted to a spacious shaded terrace. Given the Midwest’s three seasons of fickle weather, it’s fortunately fun inside, too, with private alcoves, wooden booths and traditional seating with red-checked tablecloths. Red-and-green trim work, tin signs and vintage touches—like a salad bar built into the back of Model T—add character to this high-ceilinged brick warehouse.
The menu offers a lineup of Italian-American comfort foods: lasagna, fried clams, meatball sandwiches, burgers, toasted ravioli and pizzas. There are plenty of combos and pastas with a choice of almost a dozen sauces. Among them: beer cheese, red clam, pesto cream and Hot Naked, with basil, olive oil, butter and garlic. Toppers include meats and seafood—even chicken livers. We were satisfied with a combo of cheese ravioli with classic red sauce and eggplant Parmesan. The salad bar, despite its intriguing set-up, was thin on fresh vegetables and didn’t look overly enticing. Lunch portions are manageable enough in size that you may have room for a dessert to share. We greedily passed around a gooey chocolate chip pocket cookie that oozed chocolate and was served warm with ice cream.
The place is geared toward families; it provides coloring pages, a kids-eat-free night on Mondays, and endless combinations of sodas with the addition of flavors like vanilla and cherry. Someone was making balloon animals during our Saturday visit. Meals generally run $5 to $12, and that seems entirely reasonable to us.