Hotel food has a bad rap. Let's be honest: unless you're staying at some four or five-star establishment with upscale restaurants and posh lounges, the food is usually not very good and hotel guests are left with no other options than to roam the streets in search of nourishment.
But guests at the Holiday Inn French Quarter in Perrysburg are lucky. The hotel has an edible gold mine sitting in its front lobby. A trip across the lobby to the in-house restaurant is like winning the hotel food jackpot.
J. Patrick's Restaurant & Bar gets it right. On our two visits, we found unusually good hotel food, reasonable prices, and phenomenal service.
The menu boasts many homemade goods, including grown-up mac and cheese ($14) with penne noodles, gouda cheese sauce, bacon, onions, and peas; and Jays chicken ($16), a panko pan seared chicken breast in mushroom, spinach, and bourbon cream sauce.
On our first visit, we stopped by for dinner on a Tuesday night. Other than a few families staying at the hotel, the place was rather empty, but the atmosphere was still warm and inviting.
We started our meal with fresh sliced potato chips ($3). The thinly sliced chips, deep-fried to a crisp and topped with a dusting of spicy Parmesan cheese seasoning, could give the major brands a run for their money. We definitely couldn't eat just one.
For our entrees, we ordered the New York strip steak ($18) well done with a side of wild rice. The grilled 10-ounce steak was lean and juicy, but lacked seasoning. We also ordered salmon with artichokes and tomatoes ($18). We nixed the artichoke hearts and grape tomato medley, opting for the wild rice instead. The salmon came broiled, and like the steak, it was bland. Our server offered up several sauces for dipping, including a garlic and herb mix and the restaurant's signature sauce, bourbon and mustard glaze. A few sprinkles of the old faithfuls, salt and and pepper, did the trick.
Dessert was by far our favorite part of the meal. The chocolate brownie, topped with a scoop of Toft's vanilla ice cream and whipped cream put our meal over the top. The brownie was thick and fudgy with tiny bits of chocolate chunks. While it was served cold, the brownie was still soft and moist.
The cheesecake featured thick, stiff filling, piled high on a graham-cracker crust and topped with fruit preserves.
During a second visit, we brought the kids along to get their thoughts.
The cheeseburger ($4.89) was a hit. The beef patty was thick and of high quality, but like the other grilled foods, it lacked seasoning. We were able to mask the blandness with cheese and condiments. The shoestring fries were dry and overcooked, so we swapped them out for a bowl of fresh melons: cantaloupe, honey dew, and watermelon.
The Yuengling tempura-battered fish and chips ($15) was average. The haddock filets where thick and had a crunchy coating. The batter was like a protective shelter for the fish, making it somewhat overwhelming.
Last but not least is the bourbon mustard-glazed pork chop ($17). The 8-ounce, bone-in, center cut chop was thick, juicy, and polished with the bourbon mustard, a sweet and tangy glaze with just a hint of mustard taste. The sauce would go well on just about any kind of meat. The pork chop came with steamed vegetables.
During both visits, our servers had lots of personality. They were enthusiastic, friendly and they both knew the menu well. In addition, they were accommodating and attentive, refreshing our drinks before we ever realized they were almost empty.
J. PATRICK'S RESTAURANT
Address: 10630 Fremont Pike, Perrysburg (inside the Holiday Inn French Quarter)
Hours: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. Reservations are accepted.
Wheelchair access: Yes.
Average Price: $$
Credit Cards: AE, Dis, MC, V.
Web site: hifq.com
Contact of Bill of Fare at firstname.lastname@example.org.