I keep randomly hearing about this place from different people recommending different things (and all warning me about the smoke). I finally got around to checking it out with my friend wibia for lunch the other day (hubby cannot tolerate smoke at all). So some people told me about the pizza, some the wings with blue cheese, and others just the place in general. So I tried to hit as many highlights as possible.
I thought it was awesome that they had fresh, homemade fried mushrooms on the menu (I love them so, but so rarely are they actually made fresh) so we shared a half order of them with blue cheese on the side (see, getting to try the blue cheese too) ($3.75). I liked them. It is a beer batter, and while not as sort of puffy as I normally sort of think of when I order something beer battered, it was tasty—there was some decent seasoning in there. They were really super hot though (as in, temperature). Wowza. The blue cheese was good—the sauce part was lighter than a lot of them (more sour cream in the ratio perhaps) and there were some nice chunks of blue cheese in it. Kind of hard to dip the mushrooms into though, because of all the hunks of cheese—you sort of had to scoop some on top of the mushroom.
A couple of people have also mentioned their pizza to me when I go on one of my frequent pizza kicks—so I thought I needed to try it. Besides, it isn’t far from my house; I could probably add it to the carry out rotation if I wanted. I got the small (as in personal sized) pizza with mushrooms and red onions (my standard combo, especially with thin crust pizza) (about $4.75). Ehhh, I don’t know—the toppings were good and they put the right amount on there, but the crust was really pretty soggy. It was really honestly hard to tell if this could be a good pizza because the middle was so soft. The flavors were fine—there was nothing that was putting me off the rest of it, just nothing that wowed me about it either. To be fair, hubby did heat up the rest of it later in the toaster oven and got it nice and crisp and thought it was pretty good (although like I said, he subscribes to the theory that there is no bad pizza, only better pizza).
Wibia had a special club sandwich, only made with a fried pork tenderloin patty in place of the ham (nice idea huh?). I always find club sandwiches kind of goofy because they are so big, and I just tried a bit of the tenderloin part—it was very good. Not too thin, not too fat, and still decently moist. It was the same batter as was on the mushrooms as well. I think we agreed that fried stuff is probably the way to go here—they do a nice job with it. I think a regular pork tenderloin would probably be a better bet, and easier to eat, but the club was an interesting take on it.
I have to say, I was a little intimidated to walk in the place just because I had no idea what to expect—there are all these vertical blinds sort of haphazardly covering the window, and honestly, it didn’t look like a place that I would think, “hey! Let’s go there!” But as soon as someone mentions to me that something might be good to eat, I am willing to go just about anywhere. I would hate to think I am missing out on something. And actually when you walked in, it is a pretty normal place—a bar in the back and a bunch of booth in the front. The server was really nice and attentive and she refilled our drinks whenever she noticed they were low. The downside of this place is definitely the smoking. Everyone in there was smoking except for us. I did have the good sense to at least sit at the table next to the open front door, but it still was the worst part of the experience. But I guess as of June 1st, pretty much all bars will be smoke free so if you are thinking about giving this place a try, I would just wait til then. Although, I would be interested to see if their business changes after the smoking ban passes. Anyhow, who has been there? What do you like to eat there?
Keystone Sports Review
5602 North Keystone Avenue