Old Rail is a brewpub located in the heart of Old Mandeville, right on the edge of the Tammany Trace, which makes it a good weekend biking destination. It’s got a nice big bar, upscale bar food, and lots of television screens, making it a good game day destination.
First, the beer. Old Rail only serves its own house-brewed beer, so if you’re looking for a Bud Light, keep moving. I ordered a Rusted Rail Ale, and Fang got an Echo Sierra Bravo ESB. Both were delicious. I actually preferred the ESB, and Fang was kind enough to swap with me. Who says chivalry is dead? I’m looking forward to trying a Cow Catcher Milk Stout next time.
Next, the food. There were a lot of interesting looking things on the menu. We both ordered soups from the daily specials. The roasted garlic and brie soup was delicious, creamy and flavorful. I didn’t care for the winter squash and apple soup, but Fang liked it. I ordered the seafood cakes appetizer with a side of smashed potatoes, instead of an entrée. The seafood cakes are made with shrimp and crab, and served with remoulade sauce and chopped pickled green tomatoes, a nice combination. Fang said his burger was pretty good, and the fries were quite good. Unfortunately, the seafood cakes and potatoes were served lukewarm. I hate when that happens. All in all, the food was pretty good, but not great.
Our waiter was friendly and efficient. The décor is industrial, and the atmosphere somewhat cold and sterile. I’m well aware that soft lighting is a woman’s best friend, but it was pretty dark in there at dinnertime, making it really hard to read the menus. It would be helpful if the menus were printed with more contrast, rather than on brown paper with darker brown print.
Old Rail has a lot of things going for it. I’m looking forward to catching a Saints game there, and trying out some more of their tasty beer and interesting menu items.