That’s right, it’s time for a re-review of the hands down best find we’ve come across in all our WTGW adventures.

So I have to admit I was a tiny bit disappointed that we arrived after dark this time and therefore didn’t get a chance to sample some of the stellar entertainment that we witnessed last time at the motel next door. There weren’t even many cars in the motel parking lot this time around. The holidays must be their off season.

Muskateer’s, on the other hand, was hopping. The parking lot was full, and when we walked in we quickly realized 7:00 was apparently well past the prime time to get a seat in the bar area, because the place was packed. There were still tables in the dining area, though, so we were seated there. Full disclosure: despite the fact that really all that separates the dining area and the bar is some air and a bend in the wall, it makes a huge difference. I think all of us realized that the moment we were seated. It just didn’t have the same “fun” feeling in that area. And it’s not like it’s a whole different world – there are still a million TVs with sports on to watch, the walls are just as jam packed with sports and area memorabilia (again with the Applebee’s School of Interior Restaurant Design), the lighting is just as dim … but the atmosphere is just, well, different.

For one thing, the wait staff for the dining room can’t compare to the bartender we had the last time we were there. Hands down, that guy was just “on” – from knowing the extensive draft list from memory to getting our somewhat convaluded orders straight without writing them down to checking in on us at the right times while still managing the patrons at the bar – he was just all over a great server. With a great attitude. And maybe it’s an unfair comparison, and we’re giving this girl we had on Friday too tall of an order to fill, but she just wasn’t what we were expecting. We knew this from the very beginning, when Ted inquired about the draft list, and she looked puzzled before rattling off about half the number of taps we remember them having the last time we were there. Yikes.

That being said, our return trip to Muskateers did provide one thing for which we may forever be grateful: it introduced us to McKenzie’s Hard Cider. And oh my word, we may never be the same again. Amanda, Shane and I ordered it on a whim – after hearing the words “hard cider” in a sea of “seasonal Christmas Ales” during the list of taps our waitress provided. It turns out that this particular one was their Seasonal Reserve, which is like hard cider with a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg. Or in other words, apple pie in a glass. Or in other words, delicious.

Thank you Muskateer’s.

The rest of the meal was relatively uneventful. Since we were having the same drink, Amanda, Shane and I decided to keep the theme and all ordered the garlic parm wings – which were still as filling and delicious as the last time we were there. Shane also ordered a burger – because of course he did – which was very appropriately named the “Hellofvamess.” And that it was, with pretty much everything they cold find in the kitchen included on it (cheese, two or three varieties – check, bacon – check, cole salw – check, mayo and other condiments – check, sunny side up egg – check). I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone cut a burger into eighths and eat it with a fork, but that’s what my lovely husband did this evening. He’s dainty like that. Ted ordered a burger, which was one of two that had jalepenos and may or may not have been the same one he ordered the last time , but who can tell when you ask them to leave off the cheese? Ha.

All in all, even though this visit wasn’t exactly the glowing “ahh-haa” moment of our first time at Muskateer’s – it didn’t completely revolt us for future visits either. We’ll be back, for sure. I think this may become one of those “staples” where we’ll end up on a random night if we can’t think of anywhere else we want to head out to. Maybe we’ll even become regulars. But I still refuse to go to an after party at the scary motel. No sir.