O’Mara’s in Berkley is a place that Omar and I have been meaning to go. It has been a Berkley icon for many years and has consistently good reviews. The opportunity had just never presented itself. Luckily, we seem to go to lunch a lot at work, and we decided to celebrate our owner/ceo’s birthday there.
The place was more than accommodating to the large group of almost 20 people. They had our table ready, water all around and more than happy to give us all separate bills. The waitress was friendly, attentive and knowledgeable. The lunch menu was vast, with an array of salads, sandwiches and even main courses, with interesting items such as Salmon in a beggars wallet: Atlantic salmon filet wrapped in thinly sliced potatoes and leeks, topped with a jumbo prawn and house horseradish marmalade sauce. I saw this served on the way out and it looked delicious.
I opted for soup and salad, which is a go-to selection of mine. Partly because when I see French Onion Soup on a menu, I can’t refuse, and it is a great indicator on how good the rest of the menu is going to be. I ordered the soup paired with a Maurice Salad. A Maurice Salad is something I don’t get very often as most restaurants don’t typically have as an option. Maurice Salad originated at Hudson’s and I can remember it on the menu when I was a child. A Maurice Salad has sweet pickles hidden amongst a bed of mixed greens, hard-boiled eggs, roasted turkey, sweet ham and tangy Swiss cheese, all drenched in a creamy mayo-based dressing with vinegar, dijon mustard, and other super secret stuff. O’Mara’s dressing had what seemed like chunks of blue cheese, which doesn’t belong and I am allergic too. Otherwise, very good. The salad however needed more sweet pickles. Its funny, I usually hate sweet pickles, but they just fit and need ample supply of in a good Maurice. The turkey, ham and cheese were plentiful.
The French Onion Soup was very good. A beefy, onion infused broth with caramelized onions, baguette toast and melted Gruyere cheese (that is an awesome swiss cheese if you didn’t know).
Everyone else had nothing but good things to say about their food.
One most important thing to mention is their bread. Warm, chewy rolls, covered in poppy seeds. So good, you simply cannot get enough of it. The waitress even commented “I will bring you all more bread, we know its very popular” and it is!!
I am excited to take Omar back and go there for dinner. I think the great reviews are deserved and look forward to writing our own! If you are in the Berkley area I recommend you stop in!!