We all have our favorite local restaurant that makes us feel warm and at home, mine is MADE. Located at 1990 Main Street across from the Hollywood 20 at the corner of Main Street and 301 is an all American restaurant with a modern twist. On this surprisingly rainy summer evening, it’s the place I choose to nourish my body after realizing I haven’t had a bite to eat all day and it’s almost 6pm.
I walk up to MADE to see a familiar face, Chef / Partner Mark Woodruff doing some work at one of the covered outdoor dining tables. I’ve never been to the restaurant when he isn’t there. We speak for a few minutes and I walk inside and head to the long bar where several people are sitting enjoying conversation, cocktails and food. It’s still happy hour, that means complimentary appetizers if seated at the bar between 4pm – 7pm, in addition beer, wine and specialty drink happy hour pricing.
Alice is a new face behind the bar, she takes my drink order, “I’ll have the M.A.D.E. Mule, please.” This drink sounds unique, 44 Huckleberry Vodka, Gosskinger Ginger Beer, Fresh Lemon and Lime Juice, served in a cold copper cup. I don’t recall having had huckleberry vodka before, so Alice give me a taste in a shot glass. Surprisingly, it is as smooth as my cocktail, yet my M.A.D.E Mule has a kick from the ginger beer and I love it.
Deciding what to eat is a challenge for me because there are so many amazing things on the menu like the duck wings, mac-n-cheese, cheese tots and pork empanadas. The good thing about the complimentary apps, is they usually include tastings of dishes on the menu. I order the Kitchen Soup, today it is chili seared tenderloin with roasted vegetable and potato in a jalapeño pesto broth. The soup is divine, tastes like a light version of beef stew. I ask Alice to wrap up half of it so I can save room for my dinner.
As I wait for my dinner, I admire the big American flag painted on the wall in front of me behind the bar. The man next to me says he comes in once a week for the gourmet burger. I ask Woodruff if he gets many regulars coming in alone. He counts at least five on his hand that he can recall. This place is a great find for a Table For One. There are two televisions at each end of the bar and a big glass window that faces Main Street for those that want to lose themselves in the hustle and bustle in the streets.
My dinner looks so good. I went with the Walnut Stuffed Airline Chicken. I asked Woodruff, “Have you had chicken served on the airlines before? It doesn’t make me want to order it in a restaurant,” he explained, “Airline chicken is the breast with the leg still attached and skin.” After biting into the chicken on my plate, I will never think of Airline chicken the same. It is so tender with just the right crunch from the skin, stuffed with dried fruit and quinoa served with pickled kale and roasted reds with fresh herbs. This is a dish I will order again.
I would have loved to order Woodruff’s infamous creme brulee, but I already at too much. Alice hands me an envelope that says The Damage, a nice touch for concealing the bill. I am happy, my belly is full and I had a really nice time eating comfort food while the rain continues to fall outside. The free WiFi connection allowed me to get some work done and now I can go home and relax for the rest of the evening. If you haven’t been to MADE, you must come to this Modern American restaurant that puts a gourmet twist on your favorite comfort foods. Take a look at their menu at http://maderestaurant.com.
*Photographs by Dayle Hoffmann