It's finally nice outside, so one of the best feelings is enjoying a tasty meal outside in the sun.
And that's exactly what I did at Pearce's Pub and Grill in Oswego recently.
Pearce's, the restaurant and bar located at Fox Bend Golf Course, closed for a time in 2017, reopening in April under new management. According to the restaurant's website, they are now serving, "eclectic American fare that is sure to please."
Having visited Pearce's for lunch, dinner and brunch many times before, the same atmosphere of Pearce's remains after its reopening: it's a spot to stop for a drink and discuss how the nine holes you just played went, and a local spot for the family to gather for a meal. Several other features still remain, including brunch and live entertainment.
On the day in question, it was - thankfully - hot and sunny enough to sit out on the patio. It wasn't too crowded, as we arrived shortly after the restaurant opened for the day. As a result, my guest and I were lucky enough to be able to turn our chairs towards the sun to catch some rays, which is pretty much how we spent the entire meal. Because it was so nice outside, we decided to enjoy something light for lunch.
My guest kept it simple, and ordered a Ceasar salad, with a glass of raspberry iced tea. According to her, her salad was light and filling, with a delicious dressing, and her raspberry iced tea was the cool and crisp drink that she needed on the warm day.
For my meal, I ordered the mahi tacos; three tacos made with mahi, mango salsa, lettuce, and teriyake sauce. I'm a big fan of fish tacos, so I was excited to try a new offering. I'm glad to say that I was not let down. My mahi was cooked well; hot and flaky with a good sear. The lettuce was fresh and crisp, and the tortillas were - I'm not exactly sure what kind of tortillas they were, but they were light and airy, not too stiff or flat.
I appreciated that Pearce's doubles up on the tortillas for the tacos, as they were pretty stuffed to the brim, and I am not known for being a neat person when I eat.
While there were many delicious standouts in my tacos, I think it was a tie between the teriyake sauce and the mango salsa for the standout of the dish. When I eat tacos, I don't ever really expect to find teriyake sauce, as I typically associate it with Asian-style dishes. But the teriyake sauce added a good balance of sweetness with a touch of spice to the dish, and went well with the mahi and mango salsa.
Speaking of the mango salsa, It was a great addition to the dish, brightening up the tacos with a taste of fruit. The mangos were large enough to have one with every bite of my tacos and not overwhelm the rest of the tacos. Also, the sweetness went well with the spicy peppers in the salsa.
My tacos came with chips and salsa as a side, and again I was pleased by what I found. The chips were perfectly crunchy - the type of crunchy where you hear it through your whole head, and the salsa was light and flavorful. I'm the odd person who doesn't like chunky salsa to go with my chips, so I was happy that the salsa was not too chunky and didn't overwhelm the spice in the tacos.
I'd also like to take a moment to praise our waitress. On a very hot Saturday morning, she was unfailingly polite and helpful to us, giving us enough time to decide on a meal and to converse. She was incredibly attentive without hovering, and was wonderful throughout the meal.
The cost of our meal was reasonable for a recently reopened restaurant, a complex dish like my mahi tacos, and two beverages each - about $30 in total.
Pearce's Pub and Grill is on a fresh path after its reopening, but to Oswego residents who have frequented the restaurant in years past, the core atmosphere remains the same. I'm excited to go back at night, to try out the dinner options, and hear some live music.
• The Mystery Diner is a newsroom employee at the Record Newspapers. The diner’s identity is not revealed to restaurant staff before or during the meal. The Mystery Diner visits a restaurant and then reports on the experience. The Mystery Diner is not intended to be a restaurant critic but does highlight the parts of a dining experience that he/she can recommend.