Oler’s Bar & Grill: Beauty on the Inside

. May 1, 2016.
Food-Fight-Olers13-tostizza

Oler’s Bar & Grill

708 Lima Ave. | Findlay | 419-423-2846
Hours: 11am-11pm Monday-Thursday |
Friday-Saturday 11am-12am | Sunday 11am-10pm
FB under keywords “Oler’s Bar and Grill” | Olersbarandgrill.com
Takeout and extensive catering options available

Oler’s Bar & Grill is one of those places in Findlay that if you haven’t been there you could almost be embarrassed. It’s a not-so-well-kept secret that Oler’s serves some of the best Tex Mex food and margaritas around.

Embrace the outside of the building, the reward awaits inside.

“When I originally got the place in 1981, I had plans to work on the outside of the building,” Co-Owner Bob Oler said of the exterior of the restaurant. “But it was like a drawing card. Everybody liked it that way and we just left it, and so we’re delightfully tacky.”

As of May, this “delightfully tacky” restaurant beloved by Findlay, will celebrate 35 years – and they’ve done some renovating to boot. When the carryout that used to be attached to Oler’s closed, Oler and Co-Owner Debbie Cooper jumped at the opportunity for added space. Opened in December, the addition can seat 84 people, bringing the restaurant’s full capacity to 170. It includes a large bar area, table seating, a new entrance, flat screen TVs, and along a window area, bar stools that once resided inside long-time downtown eatery Miller’s Luncheonette. 

Oler said they will soon begin building a deck by the glass garage-style door near the bar that can be opened in pleasant weather. Other recent upgrades include a new website (olersbarandgrill.com) and the addition of eight delicious new signature sauces, made in-house, that can be added to any entree at no additional charge. One of the things Oler is most proud of is the cleanliness of the restaurant’s kitchen.

A Look Inside

I’ll have to come clean here and admit that when my family and I paid a visit, this was only my second time at Oler’s. (I know…) Walking in the new entrance, I immediately noticed the pleasant natural light streaming in through the garage door and windows; the addition is impressive.

As we wound through a few eating areas to our table in the older section, I took in the fun atmosphere – from the colorful Mexican decor, to the black-and-red-tiled floors, to the tabletops with ads, and the people occupying just about every table, happily eating away.

Tex Mex at its Best

Oler’s menu is extensive, including sections for several appetizers, sandwiches, specialties, burgers, Foods of New Mexico which boast “It’s all about the chile,” soups, specialty salads, Gringo’s Corner for those who may not be big into Mexican food, Delightfully Combo’D, A La Carte, sides and extras, Signature Sauces, a kids menu, and desserts. 

Taking the advice of a friend who is a native Findlayite and seasoned Oler’s veteran, I ordered an original Oler’s creation – the Tostizza. It’s a flour tortilla fried crispy, topped with a layer of refritos (refried beans), seasoned ground beef, crisp lettuce, tomatoes, onions, another flour tortilla with mild salsa, melted Cheddar Jack cheeses and garnished with black ripe olives.

Delicious! The crispy, fried shell added a nice texture and I enjoyed with each bite a creaminess that contrasted with the crisp shell and cold, fresh lettuce and tomatoes. 

My husband ordered the Fajita Salad, which is a flour tortilla bowl filled with iceberg lettuce salad mix, Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese, homemade croutons, tomato wedge, and a hard-boiled egg. He chose steak over chicken in the salad and enjoyed that, when he’d eaten enough of the salad, he was down to the crunchy tortilla and mixed it with the veggies.

Taking a Chance

This was a valiant night of eating for the kids. Not just one, but BOTH actually ordered Mexican food as opposed to chicken fingers and fries! Gimme some of that!

My 10-year-old son ordered two flour tacos with beef, lettuce, and onion, and a side of Spanish rice. He even put the rice in his tacos and proclaimed several times, “Oh, this is soooo good.” He was also a big fan of the complimentary chips and salsa we received as an appetizer. 

My 7-year-old daughter ate a flour taco of chicken, lettuce and cheese with a side of Spanish rice. She munched on her taco happily, but the Spanish rice was a little spicy for her. The key here, is she actually tried it!

Oler’s kids menu is a great value – only $3.99 for an entree, side, drink and dessert. The kids both ordered fried ice cream to wrap up their meals, and lucky me, my daughter shared a bite with Mom. Mmmm…such fried, refreshing goodness – a novel way to end an enjoyable meal.

 

The Short Course

Kid-friendly: Yes
To avoid wait: Busiest between 12-1:30pm and 6-9pm. Consider making a reservation or come at an off-time. Reservation are limited.
Noise level: Busiest between 12-1:30pm and 6-9pm. Consider making a reservation or come at an off-time. Reservation are limited.
Bathroom amenities: Clean and adequate
High chairs? Yes, and booster seats
Got milk? Yes
Kids’ menu? Nice variety and a great value. Main dish with a side, drink, and dessert for $3.99.
Food allergy concerns? Owner Bob Oler said they will do whatever they can to meet your dietary needs – no salt or to use gluten-free corn tortillas, for example. Let your server know.