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“charming patio, slow service, bland food”
Review of Up Your Alley Chophouse - CLOSED

Up Your Alley Chophouse
Cuisines: Seafood, Steakhouse
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Aiken, South Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
157 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“charming patio, slow service, bland food”
Reviewed October 29, 2013

I was drawn in by the obvious effort to source food locally, and the modest prices, but the overall experience was disappointing. Two of the three lunch entrees were adequate, although my tuna melt had an excessive amount of mayo and was topped by a slice of processed cheese. The third order (a burger at $11.50) was dry and not very tasty, and the "caramelized onions" were decidedly not caramelized - in fact, limp and visually unappealing. Sandwiches were only available on white bread (Texas toast seemed to figure prominently) or white kaiser rolls.
Although the restaurant was quiet when we arrived, our food took a long time to arrive, considering its nature. Our server was pleasant but should have chased the food up or spoken to us during our wait.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank BostonGCC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

60 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Charleston, South Carolina
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“An excellent lunch downtown.”
Reviewed October 25, 2013

Having tired of seemingly endless corporate restaurants around Aiken, at the suggestion of my Father, we decided to try Up Your Alley. I never ate at the previous restaurant on this site, so I really didn't know what to expect.

We were warmly greeted upon entering and saw that the restaurant has a truly local feel with original artwork featuring equestrian subjects and sites around town. One could easily call this place the "Polo Club" and it would make sense. All it would need would be a few crossed mallets and some English tack mounted on the walls to complete the theme. It is a fairly large restaurant, but it is broken up into smaller dining areas that make the place feel more intimate. I especially was impressed by the layout of the "L" shaped bar that is divided between the main dining area and one that looks more like a traditional drinking space. It is a good design that would allow people to migrate to a bar space for quiet eating or one for a drinking crowd. There is also an expansive outdoor courtyard that would be enjoyable in nice weather.

The lunch menu is a welcome relief from the typical offerings because each selection had an interesting twist. The prices are also very reasonable for the ambiance and location downtown. For lunch, my Father and I chose the Roast Beef au jus (what I call a French Dip) sandwich and my partner had a Pimento cheese, bacon, fried green tomato sandwich that was declared most delicious. Dad and I loved the Roast Beef that was tender, moist, and flavorful. It was also prepared with brie which provided that interesting twist.

I must say that we also had an excellent server by the name of Destiny. She was knowledgeable of the offerings off menu, made sure we were pleased with our meal, prompt, and had a good sense of humor (a required skill when dining with my Dad...lol).

I am surprised at a few of the previous reviews because our experience was one that reflected a kitchen that was hitting its stride now. I understand that we had met one of the partners of the business...the person who seated us and that another is the chef. When owners are on site and in the kitchen, that is usually a good sign. I also know that often it can take a little time for all the elements of a restaurant to come together well. For that reason, we typically, don't visit a new restaurant in Charleston during its opening month. With limited finances, we try to make sure our "dining out dollars" are well spent. Perhaps that is why I have grown to love TripAdvisor as a way to limit bad experiences.

As we exited, I looked over their dinner menu posted outside and thought that they had very reasonable prices, especially if the quality of food matched what we had at lunch.

On our next visit to Aiken, I would love to give that dinner menu a try.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Cadetgray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aiken, South Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
65 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Needs To Improve Food Quality ASAP!!”
Reviewed October 14, 2013

Went second week after opening and the food was POOR! My pork chop was overcooked and I needed ketchup to get it down since it was so dry. My wife's fish dish was bland and definitely needed something to spice it up. Our server was a nice young lady and did a fine job. For this restaurant to succeed, the owners need to carefully evaluate their kitchen staff.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Pharmaretiree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aiken, South Carolina, United States
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“New place in a very historic location”
Reviewed October 14, 2013

The decorations are a big improvement over the old Up your Alley which had been closed for several years. Went there based on recommendations of friends. Must have caught them on an off night. Never had any interaction with a front end manager or would have given them a few tips. Service was only adequate and the food was average.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Frank J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aiken, South Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
14 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Pretty Bad”
Reviewed October 4, 2013

Great Renovation but service is lost and kitchen doesn't follow the menu.. A fish taco is not: fried fish on a lump of tartar sauce on a cold flour tortilla. Friends tell me they had same experience.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Greycat11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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