We have visited this restaurant twice since it opened. The first visit was on Valentine's Day (Thursday) and we anticipated a crowd so we had 6:45 pm reservations. Happy hour ends at 7pm so we thought that even with a wait, we could get the discount on our glasses of wine. We did have to wait but were seated in the bar by 6:55 pm. We asked our server to go ahead and place our wine order. She said she thought it was too late. We urged her to please try since it was not quite 7pm. She went to the bar and returned with bad news. The discount is not huge and we can certainly afford to pay full price but this "policy" of not accepting a 6:59pm order for happy hour started us off on the wrong foot for our first visit. It always amazes me that restaurants don't realize that little things really make a difference. The couple of dollars they saved is nothing compared to the money we could spend there in the years to come.
In addition to two glasses of the house red wine ($5/ glass) we ordered the salmon BLT ($12) and a mushroom swiss burger ($10). The wine was served in the largest wine glass I have ever seen and it tasted fine. The salmon, while farm raised, had a tasty cajun spice on it and was fine. It was served on "wheatberry toast" which was soggy and did not look tasty to me. I cannot imagine how anyone could actually eat this like a sandwich as mine would have fallen apart. I did not eat the bread. Since it is a BLT, it also came with lettuce (nice greens), tomato and bacon. My side was sweet potato fries which were adequate but I have had much better. My husband said his hamburger was good. He ordered broccoli as his side and it was crisp and tasty. Our server was average but disappointed us by not "going to bat" for us when placing our wine order.
Three weeks later, we decided to return to Aubrey's on a Wednesday night. This time my husband ordered the Pizza Rockefeller ($9) and I again ordered the salmon BLT. He was not thrilled with the pizza. My salmon was the same as before. For some reason, this time our server brought bread and a spread (butter?) to our table. I took a small bite (without the spread) and regretted it immediately. Cardboard is the closest taste I can use to describe it. I suppose people who liberally put spreads on everything might be able to "doctor it up" to their taste--but good bread can stand alone and this bread did not hold up. Wednesday night was not very busy, most of the customers were families with small children. Our server was adequate.
While we were eating, the people at the booth behind me left. A young woman on the staff came over to wipe off their table and in doing so, she banged into the seat back several times. She seemed oblivious about how she was disturbing my meal.
Oak Ridge needed a new restaurant, as the weekend crowds at this one show. Aubrey's just isn't it for us. For the money, we can have delicious meals cooked with fresh ingredients at our local non-chain restaurants or make the drive to Knoxville.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.