2898 East Dupont Rd.
Fort Wayne, IN 46825
At the bar:
I arrived about 15 minutes prior to the other "elles" so I took the opportunity to sit at the bar, enjoy a martini, and study the menu. Tracy was the bartender on duty, but I would have never known that was her name - she did nothing to make me feel welcome or as a valued customer! I gave the bartender a warm smile and a cheerful "hello" and got a "just a sec" and her index finger. Really!!!! She went over to a guy behind me and introduced herself and said "I'll be taking care of you tonight." Really! So far in the 7 minutes I had been sitting at the bar I didn't feel taken care of. Eventually she got back to me and I asked for a Martini menu. After leaving unexpectedly with another server, she returned a few minutes later with a martini menu and I as able to order a Trolley Tropitini. I closed my tab and seriously hoped things were going to improve since I had driven a considerable distance and chosen this restaurant for our Girls' Night Out. Here is a pix of my martini in front of their martini menu.
Once Allen L came, she and I were seated at a table and the entire evening made a 180 degree turn around. Our server, Amy, was fantastic. She was attentive and polite. She was fun to talk with and patient with our need to have the many sides repeated. She was extremely knowledgeable about bar and menu items and took time to answer all of our questions. She kept the diet coke flowing for both Allen L and myself. I was so pleased that the entire evening was not going to suck as badly as my first 20 minutes at the bar had.
Allen L and I ordered a fantastic martini called Desperate Housewife - it was a carmel and white chocolate concoction - YUM! At only $7, totally worth it!
Adams L ordered a Strawberry Lemondrop. It was a subtle, light, fresh martini that could have been improved with a strawberry garnish.
We were given a weekly specials menu as well as their regular menu. While we were waiting on the tardy Adams L, Allen L and I ordered a hot wing chicken dip. It was served hot and complimented with a variety of colored tortilla chips, celery, and sesame flat bread sticks. The menu said this appetizer was back by popular demand. . . I see why. So delicious! A definite MUST TRY!
When Allen L arrived, she ordered the crab cakes. They were unlike any other crab cakes that we have ever eaten! They were extremely spicy and there was absolutely no sign of lump crab meat. You should definitely NOT order this!
All readers know there are 2 soups that Allen L truly loves - French Onion and Lobster Bisque. She was conflicted when she learned that the Trolley Bar had both on their regular menu. She ordered the Lobster Bisque with a level of enthusiasm paralleled only by a winning the lottery. When the soup arrived, her joy turned quickly to extreme disappointment. To quote Allen L, "this is the worst lobster bisque I have ever had." She described it as a pureed clam chowder without any flavor.
The Main Course:
Adams L ordered the Seafood Sampler off of the appetizer menu as her entree. It was served needing a full explanation of what everything was. See for yourself - it was a bit complicated. Despite all of that, Adams L said the Tuna (although sushi grade, she chose to have it prepared well done) and the Walleye were some of the best she has ever eaten.
Allen L had gone back and forth on what to order since she found several items tantalizing. She settled on an 8 ounce Prime Rib with a Blue Cheese sauce on top. She chose asparagus as her side (notice that she was served 3 stalks of asparagus - definitely no over indulging portion sizes at the Trolley Bar). She enjoyed it, but believes as many others, steaks are better and less expensive at numerous other area restaurants. (editor's note: my dad has been saying that exact thing for at least 10 years)
I did not have nearly the trouble deciding what to order as the other Elles. I selected an item from the weekly specials menu called "Lil' Emeril". It was a 6 ounce blue cheese stuffed fillet. It had a Port wine reduction that tasted a little like Heinz gravy in a jar. I chose hondo potatoes as my side. The owner has connections with the Dominican and brings local cuisine to the Trolley Bar. Hondo is a Dominican word for mushrooms. These potatoes were in a white wine sauce. It was a heavy dish, but it was very different from sides being served at other eateries. The steak was prepared very well and I enjoyed it, but a similar steak called "The Twins" at Baker Street is in a completely different stratosphere.
Allen L ordered a Creme Brulee sampler. Its small size and variety were unique, but Allen L said it wasn't real Creme Brulee. She said it tasted like canned pudding. Allen L said, "It was definitely not worth the calories."
Adams L ordered a quadruple chocolate mouse pie. It was a generously sized serving of multilayer chocolate goodness. It was rich and had an unique mix of textures. It's definitely something to share - a bit much for one person to tackle alone.
I bowed to pressure from the other girls who seemed pretty interested in the mini key lime cheesecake pie thing. I'm not really sure what it was because it wasn't cheesecake nor pie. It was a round droplet of a little key lime substance drowning in an ocean of whip cream (notice the pix, can you see anything but whip cream?). The other elles loved it. I'm not a huge key lime fan, but it was pretty good. If you like key lime, want something small, and desire something light then this is the dessert for you!
If you haven't been to the Trolley Bar before, then you're in for confusion. It's a mix of several different styles. The tables are covered with linens which are also then covered with paper. The bar area is quite urban chic, but areas of the restaurant are basic and unremarkable. It is apparent the owners do not want you to linger because the chairs are the most awkward things I have ever sat in. It is a step above a folding chair but it rocks. Who has rocking folding chairs at an upscale restaurant where entrees are in $18-$28 dollars???
Something straight out of the Jetsons. There is a video screen in the middle of the mirror which plays commercials. I have to say, it was a little over the top. What exactly was the point? Is the Trolley Bar hurting so badly that they have to hold a fundraiser in the restroom in order to buy toilet paper and soap? Odd! Take it from a person working in the marketing field - if commercials in the restroom is the avenue you are going to pursue, perhaps you should consider advertising some of your own products, services, and specials.
I won't choose the Trolley Bar again, but I will let you decide for yourself.
Until the next bite -
2898 East Dupont Rd.