The big wooden beams that hold up the Village Inn in Sylvania are appropriate metaphors for the restaurant's niche: solid, dependable bar food in an unassuming atmosphere that's big on comfort and low on pretense.
Billed as Sylvania's "original roadhouse" at 4984 Holland-Sylvania Rd., the 72-year-old V.I. attracts families, after-work beer drinkers, motorcycle enthusiasts, elderly folks, softball players chilling out after a game, golfers knocking down a post-round pizza, young adults out for the night, and the lunch, breakfast, and dinner crowds.
Live music is featured on weekend nights and the patio includes an outdoor grill, a covered area that seems more aimed for the drinking crowd, and plenty of room to let loose and relax.
Address: 4984 Holland-Sylvania, Rd., Sylvania, OH
Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday; 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday; 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday
Wheelchair access: Yes
Average Price: $$
Credit Cards: AE, Dis, MC, V
Web site: www.viroadhouse.com
For example, we tried the 14-ounce strip steak ($14.99) and it was a decent cut of meat, flavored a bit too heavily with salt. No doubt it didn't match up with the more expensive options at renowned local steak houses, but theirs aren't 15 bucks either.
The sweet potato fries were a bit over done, but the regular fries that came with my dinner partner's half slab of ribs ($12.99) were addictive. The ribs featured a homemade barbecue sauce that was sweet and a little zingy. A side of mac and cheese was hot and creamy and about as comforting as mom's.
A calzone ($9.49) came stuffed with big jalapeno peppers and Italian sausage that formed a powerful one-two taste combination. We weren't drinking, but this big doughy concoction was heavy on the hot spices and begged for a beer to wash it down.
The food is good, but it's also what you would expect, and hyperbole wouldn't do it justice because expectations should be measured.
Lunch featured one of the Village Inn's burgers that I spruced up with swiss cheese and sauteed mushrooms and onions ($8.29). The meat was served on a big fresh kaiser bun and potato chips were on the side.
A house tossed salad ($3.99) was a big, fresh pile of lettuce with carrots, celery, broccoli (nice touch) cucumbers, red onions, and croutons, which allowed you to get your green on in a most excellent and healthy fashion. If you're a salad person this is highly recommended.
We also ordered the Po Boy of the month ($9.99), which was pulled pork, smothered in cheese and finished with barbecue sauce. It took two hands to handle this monster, but it was worth the effort.
The restaurant's menu is loaded with other bar food options ranging from nachos to chicken wings, pizza, various sandwiches, and other larger entrees.
The Village Inn also serves breakfast beginning at 7 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 8 a.m. on Sundays.
The restaurant is owned by the T-Town Boys, a local business group that also owns or operates Nick & Jimmy's Bar and Grill and Basin St. Grille.
Contact Bill of Fare at firstname.lastname@example.org.