December 9, 2009

I thought it was about time I headed back downtown for some food. The lucky winner the other night was Cally’s. Located right in the center of downtown, this restaurant has been part of Harrisonburg since 1998. That may not seem like too long ago but think of it this way: In 1998 the average price of gas was 99 cents. Woah! Oh, the things Cally’s must have seen!!

So, if Cally’s has managed to stick around for 11 years one should assume that it’s a noteworthy place. Eh, not so much. Given the spike in restaurants downtown I’d say you would be better of elsewhere. For awhile Cally’s has had an impressive brewery and their website states that their brewmaster Eric Plowman and assistant Tim Brady (Tom Brady’s brother!?) won the Virginia Beer Cup for their own Scottish Ale.  They also won the Blue Ribbon for their Nut Brown Ale at the Microfestivus Beer Festival in Roanoke. I had no idea either of those competitions existed, but I would now like to go to one.

Well, I didn’t come for the beer. I came for the food. I started off with an appetizer of Cally’s Nachos. For $10, the chips come topped with Texas red chili, pinto beans, cheddar jack cheese, jalepeno peppers, scallions, crema fresca, tomato sauce, and black bean salsa. The portion was pretty large and the chili has delicious. When it comes to a tower of nachos though, I hate when only the top is covered with condiments while the chips underneath you might as well be eating straight from a bag. Call me crazy!

I will say though that the chips that managed to have all the ingredients were delicious. It was nice to have something hot from the oven because throughout my whole dinner I was freezing. Cally’s is two floors and their downstairs dining is open with high ceilings and large windows. Nothing too cozy about it.

To keep myself warm I ordered the Santa Fe burger for dinner. My medium angus beef was topped with grilled onions, bacon, whiskey BBQ sauce, pepperjack cheese and chipotle mayo.

The burger was also served with a side pickle. You know how I feel about pickles. The fries were mediocre. Kind of soft. The burger itself was cooked just the way I like it, although I think most people who order medium are expecting a little less pink.

My issue with this burger was not the burger but rather the bun. It was somewhat dry and when taking my first bite of the burger all I got was a big hunk of bread. I like when the burger to bread ratio is close to even. Yes, I know, call me crazy again!

All in all I left Cally’s stuffed but still had some complaints. I should mention however, their brunch is much better than their dinner. It’s served every Sunday from 10- 1:45 (why not 2??).


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