There’s just something about that bar/restaurant wedged into a strip plaza between a flower shop and a “checks cashed here” storefront, tucked back from the main road behind a couple of chain fast food joints, that screams “welcome on in, random stranger, I’m sure you’re going to love it here.”
No? Really? Oh, well … OK then. Carry on.
As Shane announced the name of this week’s destination, Ted and I both nodded our heads, since I think this has been on everyone’s list of “maybe” places since about the beginning of Fun Wednesdays. We’ve driven past it approximately 1,000 times, and I think we’ve all uttered the sentence “well I was going to pick the Stowaway Pub, but then I saw this place instead …” at some point in time or another. And somehow we just never made it inside.
Well now is finally your time, Stowaway Pub.
The first thing we noticed on entry was that the place is super small on the inside. Which, I mean, it’s in a strip plaza so it’s not like we expected the place to open into a room the size of a Costco or anything, but still. There were a few high tops near the door, and about 4-5 booths along the wall, and then seats at the bar.
So, good thing we aren’t claustrophobic.
We at first veered toward a high top at the front of the bar, but then collectively realized that it probably wouldn’t hold all of our food. Because, well, us. I mean, come on. At least we heed our lessons and learn from them.
Another lesson we’ve learned … it makes total sense to order ALL. THE. APPS. as soon as we sit down, and before ordering a full meal.
I know, we just ooze brilliance in this group.
Shane had heard/read somewhere that the onion rings were the bomb, so he definitely wanted those. Cassi followed suit and also got an order for herself. And then add to that an order of J-Bombs (which is really just a fancy way to say “jalepeno popper,” it seems) for me and Shane. Who needs healthy cholesterol levels and good, strong arteries?
The onion rings were definitely a good choice. They were lightly breaded, which I believe is onion ring code for not retaining pockets of grease and cake-like pieces of batter as onion rings can often be known to do. Our biggest gripe seemed to be that they only give you like 5-6 rings in the basket. For like $5. Um. OK. I mean, I realize I’m no math wizard or anything, but when you’re looking at about $1 an onion ring I kind of start to scrutinize a tad more.
Cassi – well, I finished my first basket, now what am i going to do?
Sadly the J-Bombs were a dull consolation prize. But we did offer.
Ted ordered calamari – because after Shane’s perpetual year of research in how different places prepare the dish (and by that I really mean ordering it everywhere just because it was on the menu), Ted pointed out that we actually haven’t had it for a while.
And guess what? We’ll have to wait a little longer, because the server returned to the table a few minutes after we put in the order to let us know that they were all out. Bummer.
Ted was so upset that he ended up passing on the appetizer course of the evening altogether. Well, and also because he already decided that he was getting an order of wings with his meal.
If you’ve read this blog before, you’ll recognize this move as what we’d like to call moderation.
The economical nonsense of the onion rings carried over into our burger selection, as Cassi speculated aloud whether to get the 1/4 lb burger or the 1/2 lb. I reasoned that for $1.50 more you’re better to off to just get the larger one. I mean, really. Double the size for $1.50 more? That seems to be a no-brainer.
Ted: Impressive sales pitch.
I mean, I am in marketing after all.
But it worked, as I got the half pound mushroom Swiss burger, while Cassi got the half pound Stowaway burger.
The burgers ended up being really good. They use fresh, large patties, that seemed to be well seasoned and not over-loaded on toppings. Well, unless you consider grease a topping, in which case they kind of out did themselves on that front. We’re not talking Shane’s wings creating an oil slick on the table kind of greasy, but let’s just say it was enough that Cassi had the unfortunate luck of another week dealing with a mushy bottom.
We really should trademark these things.
While us girls were over here enjoying our giant burgers, the guys decided to get all dainty on us and order mini-burgers. Or, as places now like to call them, sliders. Which I’ve always thought just makes them sound somewhat gross, but whatever, clearly it’s only me that feels this way because it now seems to be industry standard to speak about a meal as if it’s taking a joyride right down your throat.
See? You’re thinking about it now, and I’m not all that crazy.
Anyway, sliders are on special at Stowaway Pub on Wednesday nights, $1.00 each with seemingly no limit. Of course Shane interrogated the server with his usual 20 questions about the size and shape and texture and color and toppings and how many should he order … because, well, Shane. He was pretty well decided on ordering five, until the server (a small blonde girl) claimed she could eat that many, so Shane upped it to 7. And then proceeded to pick about 17 different cheeses for them.
Ted also got four of the sliders, and made up for Shane’s complicated cheese order by ordering his with no cheese at all.
The sliders turned out to be pretty good. I mean, you don’t expect much for $1.00, but compared to the burgers that Cassi and I had ordered, these were pretty much kind of like cute little replicas. They were made fresh just like the larger burgers, and cooked just right. Shane’s one complaint was that he said there seemed to be too much bread, given the smaller patties. But I guess if you really care that much you could just take all the patties off of the bread, mush them together into one big burger and eat them that way. It wouldn’t be pretty – and in Shane’s case you’d be mixing cheese like a boss – but it solves that whole bread conundrum.
Ted also got the Spicy Garlic Cajun wings – which inspired a convo about that combination and whether it’s the perfect combination of seasonings, or really just too much going on in one wing order.
Please, share your thoughts with us.
I’ll start … according to Ted, it may have been the perfect combination, if only they had actually used all three parts of it. Needless to say, he was somewhat disappointed. The wings were big, but they had no spice to them. (that’s what she said … I know, these things just write themselves sometimes, don’t they?) The Garlic and Cajun flavors were there, but the “spicy” part of the combination seemed to somehow skip town before the plate hit the table. He thought it would’ve been better if they would’ve added hot sauce or something at the end to make them spicier. Or maybe just take that part out of the title and call them Garlic Cajun wings. Whatevs.
When we finished the onion rings earlier, Shane had claimed we should’ve gotten another basket, since they were so good. As much as I balked about the $1/ring scam they were running, my response was that really we could get another basket, since he only ordered sliders and that meant that his meal was only a grand total of $7.00.
Shane – anyone remember my last great meal for $7?
Hint – it’s the infamous steak dinner at The Dougout. How could you possibly forget? He only brings it up every time someone talks about a bargain meal.
And in return, the rest of the group takes any opportunity possible to bring up Shane’s pick where the menu consisted of two simple items: wings and burgers. I think we’re on about a two-month streak now of mentioning that every time we all get together. That quite possibly beats the old Gus’s Chalet beating we gave Ted for many consecutive months.
Although this time I had to laugh, as I looked around our table, and realized that, given an entire menu of options, what did we gravitate to? Burgers and wings. Huh.
Keeping on the economical theme of the evening, Shane switched from his first round of Jameson and ginger ale to the Long Islands that were on special on Wednesdays for $3.50. Which was a bad move. They turned out to definitely only be worth $3.50, and Shane definitely only had one of them.
You win some, you lose some, I guess.
We noticed at some point in the evening that the high top tables we had almost seated ourselves at earlier in the night had been taken over by people playing in a dart league. Which spurred a conversation about our affinity for finding places where dart leagues meet on Wednesday evenings, and how we may or may not eventually get hit by a sharp object as we attempt to walk in the door. Who’s up for a revisit to Franks Place?
Picked by: Shane
Oh, the Stowaway!! I used to work at the Drug Mart across the street right before I went to grad school, and we would go there after work. They had the best damn fries, the Stowaway Fries, that were dripping in garlic butter and parmesan. I have been wondering if they are still on the menu. If you do a revisit you have to order them. I still remember them fondly twenty-something years later!
Those sound right up our alley! We were so focused on the onion rings that I can’t remember offhand if the Stowaway Fries were still on the menu, but whenever we go back I’ll be sure to look for them. Thanks for the tip!