Food: Twists on the textbook diner

. December 1, 2014.

by Chris Watson

Calling a restaurant American Table skews bold.  After all, America is a big diverse place with lots of different tables. Taking on the mantle of traditional family restaurant is equally ambitious, but owners Ben and Morena Ahmetaj are undaunted by the task.   American Table, located in Perrysburg near the intersection of Dixie Highway and Eckel Junction, wears both garments well.

Located in the old Cafe Marie’s facility (now Scrambler Marie), American Table is a textbook diner.  Standard formica-style tables, vinyl-covered chairs and restaurant booths all seem unremarkable.  However, like the owners, much lies hidden behind the unassuming decor.  Besides being a restaurant owner, Morena is a professional Canto Singer who was trained in Albania.  Likewise, Ben studied Hotel and Hospitality management in his native Montenegro.  After coming to America, he honed his skills at Sparks (a high-end steakhouse in New York), and learned French and Continental Dining at Le Chantilly’s in Manhattan.

This training and international flair becomes evident from the beginning of the meal with the soups:  Chicken Rosemary (cup $1.99), Ham & Bean, and a Broccoli Cheddar.  The Chicken Rosemary was made with pastina and served as a slightly untraditional chicken noodle.  The Broccoli Cheddar was light and creamy, with large chunks of broccoli.  The Ham & Bean soup used a vegetable stock as its base, instead of the traditional ham stock.

For dinner we tried two sandwiches: a Stacked Corned Beef ($5.79) with hand-carved meat and a thick slice of cheese, and the Philly Steak ($5.99), which carried all the usual grilled toppings.  The star of the two sandwich plates were the French fries (side order $1.99) which were hot, plentiful, and crispy.

We tried the lasagna ($7.99) which we found a bit sloppy.  Sloppy is good, however, since it normally indicates scratch made.  This was true of American Table’s lasagna.  The sauce was a bit sweet, but the overall dish was cheesy and an ample portion.  They offer a vegetarian variety as well.

Nothing denotes “diner” like fried chicken (4 piece dinner  $8.29).  The chicken was good, but the sides were stellar.  Real mashed potatoes were one of the favorites of the night along with a grilled vegetable medley that was light, boldly flavored, and cooked to a perfect texture.

The rest of the menu casts a wide net of choices, including a Spinach Pie ($8.29), a Veal Parmigiana ($8.99), Gyro ($6.29), Beef Kabob ($10.00), Fried Scallops (8.99) and a variety of other traditional family-dining favorites.  There are nine items on the kids menu, ranging in price from $3.29 to $4.99.  American Table also has a full-service breakfast menu.

In the end, this is simply a good restaurant—nothing too out-of-the-box, with very little actually coming from a box.  Its wide variety of scratch-made dishes and perennial favorites elevate American Table to more than just a family restaurant; it can easily be a family favorite.

American Table is at 580 Craig Drive #1, Perrysburg. 7am-9pm Monday-Saturday,  7am-3pm Sunday. 



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