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“Good food, fun atmosphere, perfect for a pre-concert dinner!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Ale House Columbia

The Ale House Columbia
6480 Dobbin Center Way, Columbia, MD
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Ranked #15 of 220 restaurants in Columbia
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night
Millersville, Maryland
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Good food, fun atmosphere, perfect for a pre-concert dinner!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

My husband and I picked The Ale House for our pre-concert meal after reading reviews on tripadvisor and we're glad we did. We were looking for a casual place with some good appetizers and sandwiches and a couple of cocktails as well. My husband enjoyed his choice of wheat beer and I thought my bartender-invented mixed drink was delicious. The location is in a shopping center/strip mall type of area, but it didn't in any way take away from the ambiance of the place. Luckily we had made reservations b/c about 15 minutes after we arrived for our early dinner, the place started to fill up.

For an appetizer we chose the Tex Mex Rolls - they were delicious! There were four rolls in the serving and I was secretly wishing they had given us six because they were so delicious. The accompanying sauce was delicious as well. Next time we'll get those and I also want to try the pretzels, but since I knew we wanted dessert, we stuck to just one appetizer this time.

My husband ordered the Ale House burger and he was glad he did! It was cooked perfectly to his taste and he said he really enjoyed the flavor combinations. The fries were also tasty and perfectly cooked. I ordered the Pescado, which is tacos made with fresh blackened mahi mahi, avocado and a delicious sauce. As a warning, the sauce was quite spicy to me (though I am a bit of a spice wimp), so I brushed a little off just to lighten it up a bit. The flavor was fantastic and the mahi was cooked to perfection. I should mention that our waiter recommended this to me and I'm glad he did! It was three small/medium sized tacos but very filling.

We couldn't leave without trying the desserts. We chose the skillet cookie and the apple crisp. Both were amazing - my husband raved about the apple crisp while I was thoroughly enjoying the warm, chocolate chunk filled cookie covered in ice cream and chocolate ganache. Perfect ending to dinner. Thank goodness we had a long walk to the concert venue after parking because we were do full (and I guess it's probably good we didn't get those extra tex mex rolls:).

I highly recommend the Ale House for a fun dinner out. I look forward to our next visit!

  • Visited June 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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60 reviews from our community

79% Recommend
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
ellicott city
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Food good, ambiance good, all else bad”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013

I've been here 3 times now. The first time the waitress was really bad. She forgot to bring our appetizer and never really came back to check on us after food came. I got the lobster mac and cheese and, for $14 it could have been better. The second time the service was ok, definitely not great. I got the buffalo chicken flat bread and it was really good...highly recommend it. The third time was the absolute worst and I will not go back again. My husband and I were seated and promptly forgotten about. We had to ask for someone to take our order. When the waitress did come she was less than enthusiastic .. Did not introduce herself, apologize for the wait or tell us the specials. She brought me Pinot Grigio when I asked for Pinot noir and seemed upset with mefor the mistake. Now for the dinner..I ordered the beef short rib which was delicious but for $19 I would have expected it to come with more than mashed potatoes. No other side accompanied it. Come on..one short rib and a little potatoes for 19 bucks? This ain't Ruth's Chris guys. Overall, this place has a great decor and lots of beers and TVs so a good sports bar but that's it. Service is average to lousy, food is overpriced.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Ellicott City, Maryland
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“A Most Enjoyable Option”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

There are plenty of dining choices in the Columbia area but my first visit to the recently opened Columbia Ale House proved very enjoyable. The choice was spontaneous and it proved to be a good one. I am familiar with some of the creative people behind this venture and I was not disappointed.

I went solo and sat at the bar, behind which is a dazzling array of taps offering dozens of drafts. I intended to order a salad but after observing what a few folks nearby were eating I opted for a juicy burger with all the trimmings, washed down with a Boulevard Brewery draft. It was the perfect pairing at the end of a busy day.

One thing that truly impressed me was that the manager approached and cheerfully inquired whether I was enjoying myself and encouraged me to let him know if there was anything he could do for me. Then he thanked me for visiting.

I will definitely give the Ale House another try, and maybe then I'll have that salad.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ellicott City, Maryland
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Good "Upscale" Bar Food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

We decided to try the Ale House after getting a good review from a friend. Wen on a Sunday evening and it looked to be about 50% full, but we were told wait would be about 10 minutes. Ended up waiting about 30 seconds till another hostess came back and seated us. The decor is all new and has a clean modern look. A complete redo from the restaurant that was there before. Music was a little loud but not overly so, seemed to be playing mostly 90's alt rock which we kinda liked. We were seated near the bar but it wasn't too loud to have a conversation.

We checked out the beer and drink list and it looked quite interesting. They really do focus on ales, as well as other full flavored and/or hoppy beers like porters and stouts. I would have liked to maybe have a few more choices of lagers, hefeweizens, etc. Also an interesting selection of large bottle rare beers, some of which are quite expensive. I liked that for drafts they have a number of different sizes available, although I think the prices may be a little higher because of it. My wife tried their pineapple chili margarita as she is not a beer fan and she really enjoyed it, it had a nice mix of sweet and spicy. Our server was very nice and enthusiastic, he described the menu and made some recommendations on his favorite dishes.

We decided to share some appetizers, so we tried the diavolo mussels which were in a nice tomato based broth with sausage slices. They were a nice sized portion plenty for 2 people. We also tried the pulled pork sliders and the fish tacos. The sliders were quite good, and were a nice size. Rich barbecue sauce with a hit of vinegar and very tender pork. Also had some slaw and fried onion straws. They didn't come with a side but if you added one you would have a nice sized meal. We were very impressed with the fish tacos, they looked a little small but were really stuffed with fish, probably could have used a slightly larger tortilla. The fish was sauteed nicely and had a little bit of spice, they also had slaw and an avocado slice.

Overall we enjoyed the Ale House and would try it again, prices might run a little high, but not out of line with similar restaurants in the area.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Columbia, Maryland
Top Contributor
111 reviews 111 reviews
80 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Sunday lunch”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

I took my wife to lunch on a Sunday in early April. The place is newly renovated and the interior is nice. There are plenty of TVs to watch sports on. I ordered a burger and fries. It was a standard pub burger. The food was good and the atmosphere was nice. In my opinion, it was a little more expensive than it should have been (10-20% more) but maybe I'm just cheap. I still recommend it.

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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