Lisa Eats: Coles

source: Cole's facebook page

What criteria do you have when choosing a restaurant? Obviously good food and good service will make or break them but what about a good atmosphere? Or being comfortable? These things are at the top of the list when deciding on a restaurant.

You can check off yes to each one of those questions when you are talking about Coles Restaurant and Bar, which makes it a fantastic place to dine or to just have a drink. Located on Elmwood Ave at the cross section of Elmwood and Forest, the bar is filled with college pennants and flags lining the wall to make this the perfect bar for the college crowd.

Like most restaurants the hostess greets you and takes you to your seat. The server comes and asks about a drink and then later food and serves you with grace. Coles, however, follows the same procedure but displays a welcoming context as well as helpful service.  The servers are very knowledgeable about what is on the menu and helpful in which meals to select. Coles serves American cuisine from hamburgers to salads to stake. They also have seasonal menus, which will have specific foods in season for delicious dishes. For the fall, the Hot Cider Pumpkin soup is a festive way to start off a dinner, especially on a chilly day.  Even though the flavor wasn’t overwhelming my taste buds, the light pumpkin flavor and texture of this creamy soup won me over.

While almost all of the food at Coles is delicious, the Banana Pepper Parmesan sandwich was outstanding. It consists of breaded stuffed banana peppers topped with marinara and mozzarella and served on toasted garlic French bread. Since banana peppers are hot and spicy, the marinara and mozzarella was a great contrast to cooling down the spiciness and heat that builds on your tongue while eating.

Another fantastic and recommended dish is the Buffalo Chicken wrap. It servers sliced chicken fingers with celery, carrots, lettuce and bleu cheese wrapped in a flour tortilla with fries. This is a traditional dish most restaurants serve; however, the addition of celery and carrots inside the wrap, which are normally served on the side, make this dish stand out.

The service was extremely impressive. A good server will know when someone did not touch the drink all dinner. Kevin, the server who took care of me, kindly noticed and asked me if there was something wrong with the martini I ordered. I said that it was a bit strong but it was no big deal. He offered to bring me another drink so I do not waste my money. It was unbelievable that a server was paying that much attention to what I ordered. Having that quality in servers makes the restaurant that much more outstanding.

In order to enjoy a meal, you must be comfortable, correct? Coles has a nice sports bar atmosphere, where you’ll feel like you are always in the mist of watching college sports. Each television monitor screened sporting events, which lately has been football.

Coles also serves specials at the bar and the draft beer list is constantly changing. According to their website, they rotate their taps to bring in new and exciting beers. Throughout the year, they offer numerous brewing competitions, beer tastings, wine tastings and other fun events (such as partaking in the recent past restaurant week 2011).

Looking for a great restaurant with amazing food at good prices? Coles on Elmwood is where you should go.  Seasonal seating outside is available as well as two rooms for dining. Enjoy!

One thought on “Lisa Eats: Coles

  1. Cole’s always has been and always will be an Elmwood mainstay, and there’s no disputing its tap list is top notch, but more than 50% of the time i’ve gone there, for years, i’ve had extremely underwhelming service. my fault for continuing to return, i guess.

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