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Sep 24, 2006 10:19 PM

Birmingham, AL--Review of Silvertron since Reopening

Silvertron Restaurant in Forest Park used to serve good (but not great) american fare for many, many years before the unfortunate and still unknown death of the owner back in March. It closed for a period of time and just reopened at the end of August with some minor updates to the interior and many promises that a lot of the menu classics remained. However, the 3 times I have been there since the reopening have been uneven at best and my last experience was downright awful.

The first time was at the beginning of September on a Friday night. I had 5 friends with me and had to wait about 30 minutes for a table. We were expecting to wait and happily went to the bar to have a cocktail. The bartender took about 15 minutes to fix our drinks----2 beers, 1 vodka/soda, and 1 martini. He wasn't slammed but just moved at a snail's pace. Also, when he shook the martini in the shaker, he gave it exactly 2 shakes and then poured it. I like my martinis to be ice cold and those mediocre shakes at best would produce a tepid martini. We were seated and the service wasn't bad but wasn't great either. My blackened chicken salad tasted about the same as before, but there's really not too much you can do to mess that up unless you forget to cook the chicken (see last visit below). They no longer have the champagne vinagrette and I choose the basalmic vinagrette instead. It was very tart and tasted mostly like vinegar. For dessert, I had the cannoli where they poured a shot of amaretto over it. It was too much and overpowered the delicate richness of the cannoli. They should have folded the amaretto into the filling instead.

The second visit was for Pasta Night on Monday nights where all pasta dishes are $9.95. This time, the server was great. Our drinks, salads, and dishes came at lightning speed. The pasta dishes, however, were okay, not great (sensing a trend????). I ordered the marinara and meatballs expecting spaghetti. It ended up being shells with meatballs, which is a weird pasta for this dish. It was lukewarm and okay. The meatballs and sauce were nothing special.

The last visit was this past Friday evening. They were busy but not too packed. Our table of 8 got seated right away. However, the service and food were awful. The server was very inattentive , indifferent, and inexperienced. Our drinks took 15 minutes to arrive, and he only refilled my tea b/c I was at the end. We ordered chicken fingers and cheese sticks as appetizers and he just plopped these two big plates in the middle of the table and left w/out bringing plates. I again ordered the blackened chicken salad (one of the few truly healthy dining options on the menu). It came out between 5-10 minutes after the rest of my party had been served. When it finally arrived, I started cutting up the chicken before I dressed it w/the vinagrette. I noticed that some pieces were really tough and sawed into it w/my knife. As I continued cutting, I noticed that I couldn't cut thru the rest of the chicken and looked down (I was talking as I was cutting) and thought I had come upon some tough gristle. Upon a closer inspection, the chicken was actually raw. I felt it with my finger and the chicken was cold. After locating our waiter several minutes later, I told him about it and he apologized and took it away and promised to bring me back a new COOKED one. After 25 minutes, I still did not have my salad and the rest of my party was almost done w/their meal. Our waiter NEVER came back to our table during this time---not to check on how the rest of the meals were, refill drinks, NOTHING. By this time, the restaurant wasn't slammed (not that it was even during the peak 7-9 dinner rush) and I saw other waiters attentively serving their tables. I told the waiter not to bring me a new salad after all. We closed out and left. By this time, we had been there from 7-9 pm. The manager never came over to apologize or anything and he passed by our table several times. In fact he was the one who brought out the rest of our party's meals and he was brusque at best. Not very personal and definitely not hospitable.

I know any reopening needs to have some time to work out the kinks and to run smoothly. However, most of my friends and I live in the neighborhood and were loyal to Silvertron for this reason. We won't be going back anytime soon.

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  1. Silvertron has always been one of my favorite Bham lunch spots, lovely location, nice atmosphere. I now live out of state, so I don't get to eat there often anymore--I was really looking forward to this visit over Thanksgiving as a treat and tonight I ate at Silvertron for the first time since the reopening. It was astonishingly BAD. We dined with a group of 6, so I got to sample a number of dishes--all terrible. Chicken parmesan was a chicken breast covered in ketchup, I kid you not. Utterly disgusting. A few different pastas were actually flavorless. The desserts were frozen through and bland when you were finally able to break a chunk off. Orders were messed up in mild but annoying ways. Service was cheerful but unsure, as if drink refills at the beginning of the meal were something that even needed discussion.

    I really loved this restaurant, but the food is now so very horrible that I simply can't risk going back again. I'm really down about the demise of this great little local place.

    2 Replies
    1. re: hailnero

      Oh no, not again!!! I don't know why it's been so hard for the new owners of Silvertron to get it right. Silvertron is good food but I can't imagine it's necessarily all that hard. I heard that the original recipes were included in the sale of the restaurant. Why mess w/a good thing?

      The restaurant has been packed when I've drive by the past couple of weeks. Word will travel fast if it is bad like the last incarnation and people won't be forgiving at all.

      1. re: gyp7318

        Yeah it just reopened again, I think this is the 2nd owner since the shooting...hopefuly they will get things back on track soon...I haven't been back since this most recent change.

        Sorry your experience was not enjoyable...there are too many other quality options in Bham, they will either step up or close down.

        Thanks for your report.