Restaurant Review – Miller’s Ale House

            I never thought I’d write this about a bar/restaurant, but the Miller’s Ale House in Mount Laurel, NJ reminded me of the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans. The bare, plain exterior appeared rather pedestrian. When I walked in a lavish interior that I’ll be telling the grand kids about greeted me.

            Miller’s Ale House had the most exquisite dining room I’ve ever seen at a bar/restaurant. A gilded tint settled over the entire area. I’m not sure what material comprised the countertop on the bar. It was very smooth and decorated with what I would describe as gold bubbles.

            I think the ratio of big screen televisions to beers on tap close to 1:1. I applaud the management for figuring out this formula. Due to the size of the room this guaranteed all patrons an unobstructed view of at least one screen. With the state of modern Philadelphia sports franchises, they also guaranteed an appropriate amount of alcohol on hand for fans.

            A lot of places get a little tacky or go into overdrive when it comes to things they hang on the walls. The décor at Miller’s Ale House avoided this trap. They displayed numerous photos of famous sports figures. While ubiquitous, they arranged them in such a way that didn’t seem cluttered. Uniforms of Philadelphia sports legends Tug McGraw and Bobby Clarke hung on display, as well. As Miller’s Ale House has establishments located throughout the country, I liked the way they made this one fit in with the local community.

            The other decorations that caught my attention were the petrified fish located throughout the building. I noticed a swordfish, a shark, and a barracuda among others. They may have been engaging in some subliminal advertising here. It put me in the mood for some seafood.

            I ordered an iced tea and the Seafood Medley. The menu described it as, “Shrimp, Scallops, Clams, Mussels, Calamari, Scallions and Tomatoes Sautéed in Garlic Sherry Butter Sauce over Linguini.” The superb quality of this meal surprised me. I’ve eaten in New Orleans, Myrtle Beach, and Atlantic City among other shore areas. This Miller’s Ale House had the freshest tasting seafood I can ever remember having. I can’t believe I’m writing this about a bar/restaurant in suburban South Jersey!

            At first I thought the pasta tasted a little plain. Then I realized that’s the way linguini is supposed to taste. While the meal contained a good dose of garlic, the preparer didn’t drown it in sauce. This allowed me to savor the true flavor of the seafood and pasta. Due to the quality of the seafood, the chef made a wise decision here.  

            Based on the portion and quality I thought the meal reasonably priced at $13.99. The iced tea came in a glass with the diameter close to that of a telephone pole. For these reasons I felt like I got great value for what I spent.

            I found the customer focus at Miller’s Ale House exceptional. The staff conducted themselves very professionally. My server was friendly, prompt and courteous. At one point the manager came over to ask me if I needed anything. It showed me that this establishment values good customer service as much as I do.  

            As always when I visit a new place to eat, I evaluated the men’s room prior to dining. (As I’ve written before: “If the bathrooms are filthy, just what does the kitchen look like?”) Not only were the facilities clean I found them state-of-the-art. From the hands free faucets to the Dyson Air Dryer, this place applied cutting edge modern sanitation methods.

            The only criticism I can offer involved the Miller’s Ale House web site. It displayed the calorie counts for everything on the menu. I knew pasta was rich in calories, but I didn’t realize just how many it contained. Now I don’t have an excuse not to go jogging today. Granted, I can’t blame the restaurant for that one.

            I enjoyed my trip to Miller’s Ale House. The restaurant served good food, had great service, and at reasonable prices. The décor made the place more inviting as well. The Philadelphia sports memorabilia made the environment more “homey.” All these elements combined to make my time there fun and enjoyable.

         

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