Sunday, January 30, 2011

Kitchen Nightmares type experience

I wonder how many people have the same reaction I do when they make plans to go out to a restaurant they have never visited. I do a search to see if the place has their menu online. I want to see if they have food that will interest me and simply puts, sounds good.

Actually, the main thing I am looking for is that they serve meat. I am not big on seafood and I rather politely turn down an invitation rather than go to a place that serves only seafood. Just not my thing.

I got together with some friends last night to take a friend out to dinner for his birthday. Someone suggested we go to Stubbys Pub & Grub. I was aware of that place. They served BBQ and had a pretty good beer menu. So I check out the menu and focused on the entrees. I likes me some ribs so I knew I could fall back on that but the trio of sausage, short ribs, and pork belly sounded really good. I knew walking into the place what I would be having to eat.

Or so I thought.

As we congregated around the bar before taking sitting at our table, one of the wait staff came by to tell us to basically ignore the entrees page of the menu. What? You are a place that serves BBQ but you don't have any BBQ to serve?

When we sat down, we had our waitress clarify that hey were not serving any entrees. At least not any of the good entrees. The BBQ meatloaf was available but the good meat entrees were off the menu. I felt like ripping the page out of the menu and handing it to her. We were basically left with bar food for dinner. Now I like bar food but when I going out to eat with friends and am expecting more of a sit down meal, bar food isn't going to cut it.

At this point I felt like I was in an episode of Kitchen Nightmares. The signs were all over the place. There were 5 people working behind the bar. A cute girl at the hostess stand who didn't appear to do anything beside greet people. A waitress who couldn't remember what kind of salad dressings they had- which should seem pretty damn easy, and a menu where a good chunk of the items are not available.

The food itself was just ok. We started with nachos on the recommendation of the waitress. Kind of a plate of chips stuck together with cheese and sour cream heaped on top. There was an avocado on top that was supposed to be cut into slices but wasn't cut all the way through. The dish was made to look pretty but wasn't special.

For my dinner, I went with the BBQ meatloaf which was ordinary. The garlic mash potatoes were nothing to brag about, kinda bland. The onion strings that came on top were cold and worthless.

The best thing about the meal was something they had little do with. The beer. Though I found the Dogfish Head Chicory Stout to be blah, the Sand Creek Oscar's Chocolate Stout was very good. I also enjoyed the Victory Prima Pils.

The only way I would go back to Stubbys if someone is going to pay me to eat there or if we are going just for beer. With plenty of restaurants of this type in Milwaukee, the food needs to stand out. Better yet, they should be serving the food that is on the menu or get rid of the menu.

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