Paula's On Main
1732 West Main Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46808-3355
-no known website-
Thursday, May 27, 2010
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALLEN L!
This was our second visit to Paula's - though it's been nearly 2 years since we were there previously.
Let me begin by giving the staff of Paula's 2 thumbs up for their exceptional customer service that was exemplified by their willingness to accommodate our desire to eat outside despite the outdoor area not being set up. From out of winter storage, they pulled a table, 4 chairs, and a cloth table cloth in the matter of minutes and presto - we were dining alfresco. . . . and with the very diverse neighborhood - it was practically like dinner theater! Don't mind the urban trash blowing around the sidewalk, mere scenery to the act playing on the Main Street Stage (so to speak).
Martinis at the bar -
Let me start with hats off to Shawna, the bartender, who made us several sinfully delicious martinis! A rarity in the Fort Wayne metro area is a lengthy martini menu - look no further than Paula's on Main - it's an entire menu page . . . see for yourself! The extensive menu comes at a grand price, $9 each.
Our first round was at the bar where we were seated next to the nicest lady. We were simply waiting for our outdoor seating to be assembled so we weren't there long.
Our first round (left to right):
Adams L's Raspberry Truffle
Allen L's Sandbar Lounge (AKA "the couch" as the birthday girl kept referring to it)
Wells L's Caribbean
Later during dinner - Allen L ordered up a second "couch" and I got a Malibu.
Unexpected is probably the best way to describe it. It was delicious. It came with sea salt baked on the top and was served with garlic and chive (or something like that) butter. Together, the bread and butter tasted a lot like garlic bread. The salty flavor was excellent while we were eating outdoors in the 85 degree temp.
We ordered Bruschetta (who's shocked?!?). At Paula's, the bruschetta appetizer is made up of 2 different types - there were 3 slices of each type (how perfect for the 3 of us). Here is a picture of the more traditional type (the other type was eaten too quickly to get a photo).
Our dinners came with a salad, so of course, when given the choice, we chose the Greek salad. Although it was very dressing heavy, it was fantastic. It was served cold, fresh, and popping with all things Greek (feta, cucumbers, tomatoes, Kalamata Olives) - YUM!!!!!! It was a pretty large salad and was quite filling. Because the dinner was paced so perfectly, we were able to thoroughly enjoy the appetizer, then the salad, some social time and time to digest, followed by dinner, and then dessert. Unlike most other restaurants that bring out the appetizer and salad 2 minutes before the entree and then everything is piled up on your table - not at Paula's!
During our previous visit, Allen L ordered Fish & Chips ($17.99) which she has raved about nearly daily for almost 2 years! I just couldn't pass up "the most delicious, flaky, awesomely breaded, fantastic fish & chips on the planet" (just a mere quote from Allen L . . . or something to that effect). Let's just say that Allen L may have actually understated just how amazing this entree tasted - how soon can I go back for more?!?!
Adams L chose a combo dinner entree. It had one crab cake (check out the HUGE lumps of crab meat in there), two grilled scallops, and an almond encrusted walleye fillet. She thoroughly enjoyed each component of the meal. Adams L ate half of each item and took the rest home to enjoy for lunch the following day. She chose the opposite side option as Allen L - a mixed veggie (notice the snap peas on the plate . . . an interesting combo of veggies that isn't often seen).
Allen L ordered one of the two specials - a thick, fillet of Wahoo (feel free to insert the Yahooooooo commercial theme song). It was amazing! Allen L was a rookie Wahoo consumer, but will for sure be a repeat eater of this exceptionally prepared entree. Although I didn't try it, the other "L's" said it was totally "unfishy" (that's always a winner for me). The large piece of fish was presented on a bed of cream corn - a plus in enhancing the flavor. Allen L took the other side option which was a type of cajun pasta - DELICIOUS!
As if the service and hospitality could get any better, it did. Out comes our amazing server, Laura (a honorary 4th "L" for the evening) with a candle, lighter, and amazing piece of key lime pie - this pie was not your normal boring thin defrosted gross key lime pie that is served in so many restaurants - no WAY! At Paula's, it was homemade lime infused whip cream on top of an amazingly thick layer of key lime goodness - WOW! Happy Birthday Allen L!!!!! (Photo note: that's the profile you're looking at - how tall is that thing!)
A little more about the service -
Outstanding, attentive, responsive, and genuine are just some of the adjectives I would use to describe the service that surpassed all of our expectations. Despite us being the only customers outdoors and a restaurant packed with customers, our water glasses were never empty, we never had to ask for anything - Laura anticipated our every need, and the pacing of the meal was perfect! Thanks Laura for going above and beyond to make our outing a fabulous evening!
We all went to scope out the restrooms at different times, and once we each returned to the table, independently said the same thing - "wow, that restroom really smells great!" Allen L kept talking about the decor which was old hats which seemed odd, until I saw it for myself. I felt as if I had walked into a child's play room where old trunks containing dress up clothes (or hats as this case may be) were all over. It wasn't tacky despite how it may sound while reading this. It was certainly different.
I would be remiss if I didn't say that the restaurant got crowded during the evening BUT there was something different about the clientele at Paual's than at other so called "high end" restaurants we have been to such as Chops, Chappelles, or Catablu Grill. The difference was that every single customer was dressed similarly - business casual/city chic evening. I've commented on other posts about how some of the restaurants we have visited have been forced to modify their formality due to the inappropriately informal area population. From the outside, or heck, even from the inside, Paula's on Main does not appear to be all that swanky and it isn't, but the menu price ($18-$25 entrees) reflects a higher standard that I was pleased to see reflected in the evening's diners.
If you have not tried Paula's or if it has been awhile since you were last there - go, go today! This is a restaurant with exceptional seafood, friendly service, and a relaxed upscale social environment. Put this on the top of your "to enjoy" list! You won't be disappointed!
Until the next bite -
Paula's On Main