WTGW 2/24/16: Pat Dee’s Tavern, Northfield

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OK, so first of all, if you’re going to have a front door, placed strategically underneath your establishment’s sign and with a path from the parking lot leading straight to it, said door should probably be functional, no? I mean, call me crazy and all, but it doesn’t seem that out of reason. That was just our initial thought, anyway … as Ted and I were adventurously touring the exterior of the building trying to find the way in. So that was fun.

Because nothing screams “we’re new here” like walking around buildings in the pouring rain looking for the entrance.

(And, in case you’re wondering, the door is actually right by said path from the parking lot, next to the patio. Learn from our mistakes.)

So, the inside of Pat Dee’s is kind of like a rec hall. Or a church basement. If church basements had bars, anyway. The dining room is essentially random sized tables strewn about and covered with plastic tablecloths. I was kind of having flashbacks to any wedding or child’s birthday party ever attended from 1982 through 1990 – a.k.a. before things got all “fancy.”

To Amanda’s credit, she had her eye on the large circular table with the pretty floral tablecloth, but, alas, it was taken – so we were stuck with a rectangular table draped in plain white. So much for ambiance.

While we’re talking about the layout of the place, I should mention the other thing we found slightly weird – which is the placement of the restrooms. In the exact center of the room. Hmm. It kind of reminded us of that dark and somewhat scary place in Richfield where Ted got the meat on the stick.

(And, yes, this is how we talk about places after we’ve visited them. After almost three years and this many restaurants visited, references really do come down to “the place with the meat on a stick,” “the place we did shot-skis” and “that place where a stranger asked Amanda to share French fries.” At least this little weekly adventure makes for good stories.)

Anyway.

Shane was working late this week, so we kind of showed up to Pat Dee’s in shifts – Amanda and Jerrid first, Ted and me second and then Shane.

Amanda and Jerrid already had their Miller Lites when Ted and I arrived, which is where I landed on the drink scale as well. Ted went with a Jack & coke because, well, it was just easier than asking our soft spoken and semi-hard-of-hearing waitress anything about the types of beer they actually had there.

Jerrid and Amanda decided to share a pizza, as they heard it was supposed to be one of the specialties – and since they don’t live far from the place, it could potentially end up as a good carry out option in the future. They went with the make-your-own option, choosing pepperoni, mushrooms and black olives.

One side of the oven is clearly a bit hotter than the other, no?

One side of the oven is clearly a bit hotter than the other, no?

Amanda commented that the pizza was definitely fresh – and not frozen with just some extra cheese thrown on it like that place we went to in Solon that to this day we still can’t pronounce. Also, in the great “is the sauce sweet or not” debate (second only to the “are your burgers made fresh and how thick are they?” quiz in frequently discussed topics by our group) she said this one was not, but that it was still very good. They both agreed that the take out option was very likely. So, score.

Jerrid also got six of the garlic wings. Which came out with actual chunks of garlic on them. How is it we continuously find these places that serve garlic in this fashion? I think by this point with the sheer amount of garlic this group has consumed this way we would pretty much be immune if some sort of vampire apocolypse occurs.

Alternate name of these wings: Vampire Killers

Alternate name of these wings: Vampire Killers

He saved one for Shane, because he knew it would be right up Shane’s alley. And, well, bromance.

Ted got six of the cajun wings … in addition to the full ribeye steak dinner. Because, well, that’s how we roll in this group. The wings were quite large, especially for the price, and he said they were good. He didn’t say as much about the steak, but he did slather it in A-1 as he was eating it, so I can only assume the wings were the better part of that particular meal.

I'll take some chicken in a bath of cajun, please

I’ll take some chicken in a bath of cajun, please

Meat and potatoes

Meat and potatoes

I got the half pound burger with Swiss cheese and mushrooms. I was surprised to find when it came out that it was served on ciabatta bread – which anyone who knows me or reads this blog by now knows you may as well have served that burger to me on a stack of $100 bills, because that’s how rich I felt at that moment. Ciabatta bread = a special slice of heaven for Steph. Usually I eat the burger but surrender the bun halfway through when I don’t have room in my belly to finish the meal … but in this case I was really torn. The burger was really good, very well seasoned and definitely made fresh. But I did leave just under half of it on my plate because … well, ciabatta.

I like the rogue mushrooms on top of the cheese

I like the rogue mushrooms on top of the cheese

I was really having an internal debate with my stomach at the end of my meal for not just being a team player and letting me finish all of it.

It's like a burger sub

It’s like a burger sub

Shane arrived just as we were starting to eat – he took one look at Ted’s steak dinner and ordered one for himself on the spot. He was going to order the garlic wings, too, after trying the one Jerrid saved for him – but then decided he should really not since he “didn’t need that much food.”

So it makes perfect sense that the next time the server came around he asked for an order of cheddar poppers, too. There’s the Shane we all know and love!

Fried cheese trumps wings

Fried cheese trumps wings

Steak dinner x 2

Steak dinner x 2

Shane didn’t say much about his meal – but, like Ted, also used an unusual amount of steak sauce with his dinner, so I’m guessing the steak was a bit on the dry and overcooked side. However, it was cheap, so that helped him choke it down a bit easier I think. For the third WTGW in a row we came in at a record low tab for the amount of food we consumed, with mine and Shane’s just barely reaching $45.

Shane: “That’s for a burger, an app, a complete steak dinner, three huge draft beers and like 27 mixed drinks. Not bad.”

All in all, Pat Dee’s is a great little neighborhood bar. You can tell there are definitely regulars, and Jerrid and Amanda said when they arrived it was busier and it seemed like those people were served a little quicker. But I don’t think it was done with malice – more like just that the waitress knew what those people wanted and got it out of the way first before they got upset with her. Better to take care of the people who will never let you forget how long it took to get their food when they come in the next week than some randoms who you may never see again, right? There’s a reasoning to that, I imagine. But that being said, we weren’t treated as outsiders, or judged because we sat at someone’s particular table. Which, speaking of, I wonder how many times we have to come back before we can reserve the circle table with the festive tablecloth? Just a thought.

Amanda

Amanda

Jerrid

Jerrid

Ted

Ted

Evolution of a photobomb: part 1

Evolution of a photobomb: part 1

Evolution of a photobomb: part 2 See also: why is there a hand growing out of my back and a head attached to the side of my face?

Evolution of a photobomb: part 2
See also: why is there a hand growing out of my back and a head attached to the side of my face?

Evolution of a photobomb: part 3 Can we just talk for a moment about how Shane looks the same in all three photos?

Evolution of a photobomb: part 3
Can we just talk for a moment about how Shane looks the same in all three photos?

CAPSULE

Picked by:  Amanda

Drinks:  If you like domestic beer and mixed drinks, you’ll do well here. If you’re looking for something fancier, well, yeah, you’re definitely in the wrong place. For many reasons.
Food: The menu isn’t huge, but it does have a little bit of everything. Although if you want anything healthy you might want to follow the craft beer drinkers right back out the un-clearly marked front door.
Service: Unfortunately for us we aren’t fluent in “mumble,” so our server – while very nice – was a bit difficult to understand.
Overall: While I think our group brought the median age of thier patrons down a few notches, this is definitely a great little neighborhood place for a quick meal or drinks with friends.

Next Pick: Ted

Pat Dees Pub & Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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WTGW 9/30/15: Beer & Belly Sports Bar, Northfield

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Hey, we’re not in Canton this week!?! What?

But we did still visit a place located in a strip plaza, if that makes you feel any better. Redemption.

Amanda had noticed this place while driving by with Jerrid one day, and apparently immediately exclaimed that she was picking it for WTGW. Unfortunately Jerrid is still relatively new to the “rules” of WTGW – like how it’s perfectly acceptable to yell out “I’m picking it!” when you see a random dive bar or new restaurant in passing – so she was kind of jumping the gun a bit on that one. It’s like when you’re on a long, boring car ride and suddenly decide to play “slug bug” with someone who clearly didn’t know they were part of the game.

We seemed to show up in shifts for this week’s adventure, with Amanda and Jerrid arriving first, Ted and I next in line, and then my over-achieving and workaholic husband arriving last. That being said, Shane had some catching up to do on drinking when he got there, and went straight for the Long Islands. Well played.

Meanwhile it was Harvest Patch shandy for the rest of us (hey, it’s only available through October, we have to take advantage while we can!) and Jerrid went with a Jack & Coke.

Our server was honestly one of the best parts of our visit to Beer & Belly. Her personality had just the right mix of sass and sarcasm (which is a true compliment from someone who strives to achieve that balance pretty much every day of her life), without going overboard and making you feel like you just sat down to dinner with the Plastics from Mean Girls.

Case in point, when we ordered our beers:

Server: Do you want talls?
Entire table: Of course.
Server: I would hope so, our motto around her is go big or go home … and I’d hate to ask you to leave so soon.

Or, when Shane was grilling her on the specials and asking her opinion on the best food on the menu:

Server, looking directly at Ted: The Cowboy Burger is delicious. It has this pepper jack cheese on it that really gives it a good, spicy kick, really amazing.
Entire table: Um, yeah, you’re telling the wrong person. Ted hates cheese.
Server: What the hell is wrong with you? Who doesn’t like cheese? That’s insane. I don’t even know what to think about you.

If we were 10 years old and back in the 5th grade, at that moment I think we all would’ve been fighting over who got to claim her as their BFF.

Although it should be noted that her sass didn’t sway Ted from actually ordering that very burger, so I guess there’s a twist of irony there. Actually, he had had his order all picked out, but then once Shane began the interrogation process and our server started listing all kinds of other yummy things he hadn’t bothered to take the time to consider … Ted got befuddled and just picked the cowboy burger. Minus cheese. On a pretzel bun. With tater tots.

That's a lot of tots

That’s a lot of tots

Whew. Close one.

He also ordered wings, because, well, not only are Wednesdays 50 cent wing days – but if you’ve been paying attention these last few weeks you’ll notice that the boys in our group seem to consider them the ideal “first course” for a meal. You know, some people do side salads or soup to start off, these guys do wings. Whatevs.

This group's version of a "dinner salad."

This group’s version of a “dinner salad.”

In any case. Ted got the Hot Garlic, which was apparently really, really good because he nearly licked the plate clean once he finished the actual wings. Maybe we really are 10 year olds.

Shane ordered the ribs (twist his arm yet again), after hearing from our server that they were “very good, not fatty at all, very meaty.” You could practically see Shane’s face light up when he heard that. He got onion rings as a side. And for his wing option, he chose the garlic parm. Which, once again, if you’re following along here at home, you probably realize is nearly an exact clone of his order last week. Well, except swap the “parm” on the wings with “honey.” Which would of course make them disgusting in the process, so no thanks.

I have a feeling “honey garlic” is going to become the new “tarter toast” within our group. Just sayin’.

I think some restaurant somewhere should just start calling this the "Shane Special"

I think some restaurant somewhere should just start calling this the “Shane Special”

Rounding out the guys orders, Jerrid went with the Belly Boy burger, which the server likened it to a Big Mac – right down to the special sauce. And tater tots instead of fries. Clearly we’re exercising all of our side dish options at the table this evening. He also chose the garlic parm wings. And mozzarella planks – which, if you’re wondering, are really just mozzarella sticks that look like they were run over by a steamroller.

Flattened fried cheese

Flattened fried cheese

The secret sauce is what makes it

The secret sauce is what makes it

Clearly his appetite alone causes him to fit in well with this group.

Us girls went the burger and no wings route for our orders this time around. Although I actually have to credit my choice – the Sicilian Burger – to Ted, who had questioned it during the server interrogation portion of the evening. His question was something along the lines of “does all that stuff come on top of the burger? Because it kind of seems to have a lot going on on it’s own without even throwing a burger underneath all those toppings.” So out of sheer curiousity it ended up as my meal. I mean, as a kid I used to love Roman Burgers at Mr. Hero – and this sounded pretty similar. And since we’re apparently reverting back to our 10-year-old selves with this week’s adventure, I guess it was only fair to choose that as my meal.

FYI, the Sicilian Burger actually wasn’t all that similar to the Roman Burger – other than that whole Italian name thing anyway – but it was still OK. I got it on the Italian garlic bread – you can choose that, a pretzel bun or regular brioche bun – and I mean, I figured if we’re going for a theme here then that just makes sense, no? Plus by now you know how easily I can be swayed by delicious sounding carbs.

Unfortunately, I choose poorly. I imagined this to be like Texas toast, but in reality it was just plain old thin sliced Italian bread with garlic seasoning. Definitely not sturdy enough to even hold the burger in. I ended up eating just the burger (which was good) without the bread and all the meat toppings – which kind of did have “a lot going on there,” to quote Ted.

You deceived me, Italian bread

You deceived me, Italian bread

But the sweet potato waffle fries were good, so there’s that. And I salivated over Amanda’s pretzel bun, which thoroughly contained her Bacon Bleu Shroom Burger that she proclaimed to be delicious. For her side she opted for the cheesy tots. Well played.

I'm jealous of your bun. And I mean that in a totally non-perverse way.

I’m jealous of your bun. And I mean that in a totally non-perverse way.

All in all, Beer & Belly is a pretty cool place with a good atmosphere and great service. We also took note of their daily specials, which include everything from the 50 cent wings (Mondays and Wednesdays), $5.99 burgers (Thursdays), and a decent steak special whose price I don’t remember but it sounded decent (Saturdays). Given those specials and his home’s proximity to this place, I think we may know where to find Jerrid on any given night that he’s not actually at home. And I don’t think you’d have to twist our arms to go join him at all.

Amanda

Amanda

Shane

Shane

Ted

Ted

Steph

Steph

Sometimes you have to zoom out to get the full picture with this group ...

Sometimes you have to zoom out to get the full picture with this group …

CAPSULE

Picked by:  Amanda

Drinks:  Decent options. Just make sure you get the tall beers, lest you be ridiculed for not hanging with the cool crowd.  
Food:
Good bar food, decent specials and portions. Figure out what type of food you like and match it to the day that has that special and you’re golden.
Service: I wish we’d gotten our girl’s name, because I would easily request her every time we go into this place. Anyone who can dole out the sarcasm along with a cold beer is a winner in my book.
Overall: Great little gem tucked into a strip plaza that I’m sure many people have driven past without even taking note of. Which works out well for those of us who have been there and liked it.

Next Pick: Ted

 

 

WTGW 12/10/14: Scoreboards, Northfield

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Or, as the sign outside more appropriately read “SCORE OR S”. Which just happens to be near a “ESTONE” tire place. Apparently Northfield has some sort of a light bulb shortage in effect. Happy holidays?

Scoreboards is located in a strip plaza – where, if we were to return during normal business hours, we could also get a tattoo, work out at an off-name-brand gym, buy a used bedroom set, get our license renewed and score some sweet deals on secondhand clothing. Adventures abound, for sure.

There could probably be even more interesting shops in the plaza (seriously, I think all we’re missing is a liquor store and semi-shady looking massage parlor for the win) if not for the fact that Scoreboards takes up what must be three or four storefronts all in itself. For real, the place is huge inside. One side was all pool tables (and a ping pong table, just for good measure I guess) and some high tops, the other was giant space of bar and tables. I think there might’ve been a patio as well, but we didn’t venture that far into the vortex.

(Side note: it was also extremely bright on the inside for a bar – at least until about 8:35, when apparently the “mood lighting” kicked in. I’ll take the Miller Lite special with a side of ambiance please.)

The place was fairly busy, and it seemed a lot of the tables were regulars from nearby offices. Or groups of people who just really like to wear name tags in public places. Whatevs. Wednesday is also wing night, with 12 traditional or 10 boneless wings for $5 – which seemed to be the dinner of choice for most of the tables.

Scoreboards is one of those walk in and seat yourself places – or, as if you’re like us, it goes more like walk in, look around, look at one another, try to look inconspicuous, ask quietly amongst the group if we just sit down or wait, start walking toward a table, look around to see if anyone stops you,  sit down and then wonder if the waitress really did see you come in. Because putting up a sign is definitely too much hassle? Exactly.

Anyway, after all that it definitely took a hot minute for the waitress to greet us – but once she came over she was bubbly and nice, and when we said it was our first time there she quickly pointed out the specials and the drink list. She also scored major bonus points with us when she returned to take our food order, and was able to commit all of it – complete with insane last minute audibles and questions – to memory. And it actually all came out as we intended. For reals. Meanwhile I’m over here forgetting the name of the intern we’ve had at work for six months now, or how my husband of four years takes his coffee.  Awesome.

So for our meals, Amanda went with the Jack’s Philly Burger. Which by description is supposed to be like a mushroom and swiss burger, but with pepper jack cheese replacing the swiss. Except that Amanda didn’t really think they did that. She said it was a little bland. Which you don’t expect from pepper jack, so I have to believe she was right.

Once again we're trusted with large knives

Once again we’re trusted with large knives

I had the Buffalo Chicken Wrap. It wasn’t bad. It had just enough kick to make it tasty, but not too much that it left your mouth on fire. Which I’m thinking is kind of the point. Maybe if they’d put whatever sauce they used on my wrap onto Amanda’s burger we’d be on to something here.

That's cheese sauce, not mustard. Please.

That’s cheese sauce, not mustard. Please.

The boys had a lengthy discussion about what types of sharing and trade deals they could work out in order to get the most for their money (and grumbling stomachs). Because, well, boys. They ended up with two small pizzas (one veggie and one meat lovers – talk about opposite ends of the spectrum) and one and a half wing specials (12 spicy garlic and 6 Cajun BBQ) between the two of them. And a basket of mini egg rolls, which technically were meant as a appetizer but showed up with the meal instead. OK, so technically the waitress did get something wrong. Suddenly I feel a little better about my own memory. Maybe.

Probably the one thing we all agreed we liked

Probably the one thing we all agreed we liked

Unfortunately the guys pretty much struck out all around. The pizza was just plain not good. It was definitely frozen “bar pizza,” and the consensus was that we could’ve brought our own DiGiorno’s and been happier. Ted said his wings were cold, like they were the first things done and then sat under a lamp waiting for the pizza to finish up before it all came out together. Or maybe they were waiting on the appetizer egg rolls? That would be ironic. And Shane was not a fan of the sauce for his Spicy Garlic wings. At all. In fact, he even left four of them on the plate – and declined the take home box. *gasp*

The boy's side of the table

The boy’s side of the table

We're men. We like food. Grr.

We’re men. We like food. Grr.

By far the best thing about the place was the drink specials. Happy hour is until 9, and featured $2.25 large domestic drafts. Amanda and I took advantage of that and went with Miller Lites. Ted went with Christmas Ale – much to the waitress’s delight, who told him “I somehow knew you would pick that. You look like a Christmas Ale kind of guy.” I’m not sure what that means exactly, but none of us could really argue, since he does order that a lot. Shane started with a Coors Light and then switched to the Angry Orchard with the shot of fireball for his second (and final) round. He’s living dangerously for a Wednesday night.

Overall Scoreboards is probably not a place we’ll end up back at. I was the only one who didn’t really find fault with my meal, which is why I differed from the rest of the group and gave a “thumbs middle” to the rest of their “thumbs downs.” The atmosphere was no different from 27 other bar and grills we’ve been to over the years, and there really wasn’t anything impressive enough for us to put it on the must-return list. Sorry “SCORE OR S” – I don’t see us contributing to your light bulb fund again in the near future.

Shane

Shane

Ted

Ted

Steph

Steph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amanda

Amanda

 

CAPSULE

Picked by:  Shane
Drinks:  Mostly domestics, nothing fancy (other than Christmas Ale, which is more common than fancy in NEO this time of year anyway). Decent drink specials.
Food:
Mine was decent, but nothing worth seeking out again. The rest of the group would probably choose a lovely evening at the local McDonald’s before a return visit.
Service: A little slow when we first arrived, but overall personable and good. And props for remembering our incredibly convoluted order without writing it down.
Overall: Three thumbs down and one “eh.”

Next Pick: Steph

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