The Fifth Quarter – Charleston, WV
The Fifth Quarter was my grandparents’ “special occasion” restaurant while I was growing up. All the biggest events were celebrated here with a juicy prime rib served with the little cup of yummy meat juice (yes, I know that’s not the proper name, it’s au jus…let me have some fun) all served on a stainless steel plate. I still love prime rib and I still think the cups of meat juice should be much, much bigger. I slosh my bite of meat in the juice and try to sop up as much as possible before stuffing it in my mouth, trying not to drip too badly on the table and my clothing. yum!
This is a great place to come if you are on a low-carb diet: you can get meat and veggies. If you choose to pay the additional $2.49, you can enjoy all you want from the attractive salad bar. I did not choose to pay the salad bar upcharge since I did not want to make my meal any more over $10 than absolutely necessary.
Right off, the cilantro chicken caught my attention because I love the flavor of cilantro. I was envisioning a breast of chicken with a bright green cilantro sauce smothering the top of the meat. I ordered broccoli as my side and a Casear salad. I would receive all these components for $8.99. Not terribly expensive, but I made a fatal error when I ordered the diet soda which cost me $2.25 – yikes! The inside of the restaurant is a…
We interrupt this restaurant review to bring you a message from our reviewer about soda prices in restaurants: THEY ARE GETTING RIDICULOUS!!!!!!! I am seriously going to stop ordering sodas for lunch. The soda prices are rarely printed in the menu (props to Sohos for admitting upfront that they will rip you off on drinks) and most places now are charging at least $1.50. I am through participating in this travesty. I vow that beginning August 1, 2008 I will no longer order Diet Coke (or that other inferior brand especially) if the price is over $1.50 (with free refills, of course). I will ask the server what the price is. If it is above $1.50, I will ask for a glass of water OR I will bring my own soda to the restaurant. Why not? I am already taking pictures of all my food, how much more embarrassing can it be to pull a Diet Coke out of my purse at the same time? Daniel can attest to my adherance to the new policy.
Back to our regularly scheduled review already in progress.
…felt like we had been waiting forever. Daniel blamed it on the party arriving in two waves, but I think it was just that our server wasn’t being attentive enough, plain and simple. I think he was playing hide & seek, which is exactly what I advised him NOT to do in my rant on lunch hour practices. Anyway, I finally got to put my order in for that chicken.
The Caesar salad was pretty large and had a nice, tangy dressing – not creamy, though. The croutons joined the salad too long ago and had become soft. Eeeewww. I picked them off. I had barely finished the salad when the meals came to the table. I was instantly disappointed in the appearance of my dish. The chicken and broccoli looked delicious, but it came with a ramekin of what mysteriously resembled: salsa. I dumped it out onto the plate and began picking through it with my fork, searching for the cilantro. I managed to identify three tiny specks of cilantro….not even close to the bright green, cilantro-rich sauce I had imagined I would receive. Oh well, I must persevere. I combined bites of broccoli with bites of chicken and the salsa (c’mon, let’s call it what it really is…it’s NOT a cilantro sauce, it’s ordinary salsa that happens to include cilantro near the end of the ingredient list). But you know, it was a delicious, tangy, healthful meal. I really enjoyed it.
I just had to sample a small slice of the yummy brown bread served up on the mini cutting board. i slathered butter all over it, too. It was fantastic.
If it hadn’t been for the slow service at first, the overall expensive nature of the lunch menu, and the raping of my wallet with the outrageous soda price, this would have been a completely enjoyable meal. If….
THREE FORKSDan says…
Disclaimer – I have an old coworker who is a manager, but I will pull no punches.
When people suggest the Fifth Quarter I groan and when my boss’ boss suggested it for our loosely organized monthly investment club aka The Redneck Investment Club I said, “Sounds great.” She is a great boss, I know she has read this blog and I don’t care if she finds out that I think this place is sub par. For those would don’t know, the Fifth Quarter is a fancy….Shoney’s. That’s right! The big salad bar in the middle screams Shoney’s. It was owned by Shoney’s until they closed the chain about eight years ago and this location was allowed to keep the name. During a flight home for the holidays while I was in college, I sat next to the president of Lee’s Famous Recipe (owned by Shoney’s) and he gave me several free meals to Fifth Quarter. It was good then, but so was Steak and Ale. Another fine establishment closed prior to the health revolution of Emeril and Paula Dean.
This restaurant still smells of cigarette smoke, especially the room they seat you in if you are having a group party. The fixtures, tables, chair and decor are all tired and boring. The only thing keeping this place afloat seems to be the fact that conferences at the Civic Center only give people a hour for lunch and all the other sit down restaurants in the mall (less the Chop House) are at the other end.
The food is ok. I ordered the prime rib sandwich and steak for $7.95. It is a round french dip. The au jus was like beef liquor in which you could take your sandwich for a swim. The prime rib was served well – a mortal sin. It was put on a sesame seed bun. I didn’t order a Big Mac or a Whopper. The steak fries were some frozen preseasoned potatoes that came to the table luke warm.
If you want a good beef sandwich you need to drive about 431 miles to Olean, NY and order a Beef on Wick at the Beef and Barrel. The medium to rare beef will melt in your mouth. At that point you will know in your heart that cows are meant to be food, and vegetarians mean more sandwiches for the rest of us.
Go to the Fifth Quarter only if you are outranked or under court order. Sorry Dave.