Ok, so I gave it yet another shot. The alternatives in this town are few if fast food is not your thing, and it isn't my thing. We ate at the bar. The starter salads and wine choices were good, but we were presented with awful house made bread. I got the 'flatbread' for my entree. I think they forgot the 'bread' part. It basically looked and tasted like a bad, overwrought pizza topping with sausage that looked like rabbit pellets. The cheeses tasted like the shredded, bagged variety you get at a grocery store. Greasy, greasy, greasy. I looked underneath, and it became evident that there was some type of thin, bready layer that was completely overwhelmed and otherwise soaked with the effluent from the cheese, which had otherwise overrun everything. When I see flatbread on a menu I expect a crisp, distinguishable toasted round or square of dough that is topped adequately but with edges that allow you to pick up the pieces with the fingers and that is not soaked through with liquid or grease from the other ingredients. Laughably, after I feigned approval to the server, he indicated that they were going to keep it on the menu year round. My partner had the overpriced pork loin ($29. In Altoona, PA?). It was average and was accompanied by the usual mountain of starch this place is known for, in this case potatoes. We had a steak sandwich on another occasion that was literally served with an entire loaf of french bread.
There were four gentlemen next to me who ordered the 'famous' Altoona Hotel Pizza. Danger Will Robinson. A mile-thick piece of focaccia or whatever with, you guessed it, melted bagged cheese.
The worst bit is that we were told the chef is being replaced by the one from the U.S. Hotel restaurant in Hollidaysburg. See my review on that place if you want to see where the cuisine at the Altoona Hotel is headed. If there were a rating between poor and average, I would have given that. In fairness, attentive server, nice atmosphere.
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