WTGW 7/29/15: Spunkmeyer’s Pub, Wadsworth

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And just like that, two years passes. Saturday marked the two year anniversary of this little adventure we call Where To Go Wednesdays. While we didn’t actually start chronicling our outings here on this blog until a few months later, July 25, 2013, was the first time we uttered the words “Hey, you know what would be fun …” And the rest is history.

Or an alcohol induced blur of fried foods and sometimes sketchy locations. Whatevs.

Anyway, enough patting ourselves on the back … on to this week’s adventure of choice, Spunkmeyer’s Pub. Which is just funny to say. Or dirty. I haven’t really decided which side of that coin my head gravitates to just yet. In any case, it was NOT as much fun to actually find, as we started out our visit by completely walking into the wrong place. Yep. To their credit, the name “Crafted Cocktail Company” was clearly marked on the door we walked in … but to our credit, said door was also conveniently housed very nearly underneath the large sign overhead that read “Spunkmeyer’s Pub,” so we can’t have been the only ones to ever make that mistake. Or maybe we can. Who knows. At least it was dark enough in there that I’m fairly positive no one even realized we had walked in, save for the sliver of light that permeated the place when we opened the door.

Blunders aside, we made it next door to our destination (mental note, it’s the door on the left), and were seated for all of about 2.2 seconds before our server came over to ask if we wanted drinks. Woah, slow down there cowboy. I mean, great service is impressive … but it would be even more so if maybe you don’t take it personal and disappear for like 2,200 seconds after we tell you it’s our first time in and we need a hot minute to decide what we want. Hi, I’m a happy medium, I guess we haven’t met yet?

Especially since the drink list was a tad difficult to navigate. If you’re looking for beers, you’ve basically got the craftiest-of-the-crafts … or Miller Lite. OK. See “happy medium” reference above. I mean, that’s fine if you’re, well, Ted – who’s the king of choosing some high potency craft beer with a crazy name (case in point, this time it was something called the “21st Amendment Hop Crisis.” Exactly.) The rest of us went the mixed drink route, with the July drink special – something called a Wideon Runner. All I remember is that it contained like five different kinds of rum. And they were heavily poured, especially for only being $5.00 each. Enough said.

Oh, hello there beach drink

Oh, hello there beach drink

Our server finally reappeared and took our drink orders (yay!) but then ran away before we could even broach the subject of an appetizer order (boooo!). I guess you gotta be quick in these parts.

The next time we saw her was when she cruised by to deliver Ted’s beer … which he proceeded to nearly finish before our mixed drinks even made it off the bar and over to our table. OK, look, I understand only having one bartender, and that mixed drinks are harder to concoct than a draft beer … but it wasn’t busy. And we’re not talking about getting all Cocktail up in here. Honestly I think it was more the fault of our server than the bartender, since we actually watched our drinks sit at the end of the bar while our she took orders from another table (we hadn’t even put in our app order yet, BTW), then put those orders in the computer – stopping to have a conversation with some girl on who was passing her on her way to the patio – and then finally picked up our drinks to bring them over. I’m half surprised the ice in them wasn’t fully melted yet.

Amanda actually joked that she should just go grab them off the bar herself while our server was talking to her friend. Bonus points if she would’ve “accidentally” elbowed the server on her way through.

Anyway.

So eventually we were able to put in our food order, just a hair shy of Shane actually eating one of the menus out of sheer hunger. For apps, I had my eye on the stuffed mushrooms, but then realized they were stuffed with shrimp, which Shane is allergic to. Oops. I’m an awful wife. So Amanda ordered them – and they ended up belonging to just her and I, since not only were they filled with something that could kill Shane, they were also covered in melted cheese.

Food for girls

Food for girls

Ted: how often is it that you girls find somehthng on the menu that neither of us guys can eat?

But that actually worked out OK, because they were delicious and we didn’t want to share anyway. They had tiny diced up jalepenos inside, which gave them a nice spice. I mean, honestly, if they hadn’t also been made with shrimp and cheese, I’m sure the guys would’ve really liked them. Oh well.

Don’t feel too bad for them, though, because they did OK with their respective app selections. Shane ordered the fried poppers, which were also delicious. He actually talked Ted into trying one (gasp!) – and Ted then actually admitted he couldn’t really even taste the cream cheese, just the fried breading and the jalepenos (double gasp!). So, win. Although maybe he was just being nice since he and Shane were also sharing an order of calamari, and he didn’t want Shane to spit on his side of the plate.

There were more of these. Gotta be quick with Hungry Shane's food.

There were more of these. Gotta be quick with Hungry Shane’s food.

The boy's romantic shared plate. They're so cute.

The boy’s romantic shared plate. They’re so cute.

And here is where we hit our usual calamity, as we’ve discovered in our travels that when we hit the jackpot on appetizers, usually it means that our meals will not be as good. And this was no exception.

Amanda ordered the Philly with fries. Which she said must’ve been the first of our meals to be cooked, because it wasn’t really even still warm by the time it came to the table. Heat lamps are not cooking devices, people. If it has to sit there longer than five minutes, you’re best to either bring it to the table first or just start over cooking it. Or rethink your entire kitchen system.

Is that Ted's plate? Oh, wait ...

Is that Ted’s plate? Oh, wait …

Ted got “The Boss,” which is basically an open faced steak sandwich. Or steak on bread. Meat and carbs. He said it was a good cut of meat – very lean, reasonably tender. The server had him cut into the steak to make sure it was done properly, which was a nice touch – especially since that meant she actually had to stand at our table for a minute to make that happen before disappearing again. For shame.

The only thing he said he didn’t care for was the bread, but other than that it was good. So basically he should’ve just gotten a steak, I guess? Hmmm.

It looks pretty

At least it looks pretty

Shane got 10 boneless wings (the Wednesday special) and an order of ribs. I’m still in awe as to where he puts all this food. So was our server, it seems, since she commented as she was delivering the plates, “Do you have enough food?”

Shane: “I’m eating for two.”

Half of Shane's meal

Half of Shane’s meal

Unfortunately, though, he probably should’ve left the ribs off of his order, as he said they were fatty. He ate most of them but then couldn’t finish his fries or eat more than two of his wings. Wait, what now? Shane … with a to-go box?? I think this in only like the third time in WTGW history that has happened.

And the part that came home with us

And the part that came home with us

I got the cheeseburger wrap and onion rings. It was OK, but my eyes were definitely bigger than my stomach. I couldn’t finish the onion rings (hand battered, usually my fave but way too much to handle on this visit) and the 2nd half of the wrap I just ate the meat and cheese out of. Because unless it’s ciabatta bread, I can do without the carbs and just go for the good stuff.

Yum

Yum

Unlike showoff Ted, who was a member of the clean plate club this evening.

Clean Plate Award!

Clean Plate Award!

Sidenote: I had also intended to order the garlic fries with my sandwich – but having learned from the mistake that was Sassy’s butter-and-garlic-sauce-soaked-fries, I asked the server first. She confirmed my fear that these fries would in fact be similar, so I moved on to the steak fries … which she then warned me were dipped in batter before going into the fryer. Right, because French fries need to be made less healthy? Exactly. And that’s the long winded story of how I decided on onion rings. You’re welcome.

Also of note, for the second week in a row we were charged for our requested condiments. 0.35 for a side of mayo? Really? I mean, come on, we all know you buy those giant tubs of the stuff at Sam’s Club or some restaurants wholesale store for like $2.00 each. Is there some sort of shortage we aren’t privy to? Did the National Association of Mayo Makers go on strike?

In any case, remember the above paragraph when you look at Amanda’s “thumbs down” photo below, as that reflected in her scoring of the place.

So all in all, the food was decent, but nothing spectacular. We might think about putting it on the return list if it wasn’t a 30-minute drive for us, and also if we’d felt like we weren’t bothering our server by coming in and asking her to do her job. Actually, I think all of us customers were bothering everyone “working” there that evening. We watched as one server/bartender/maybe manager(?) did nothing but walk around and pretend to work … and if it’s that obvious to us, how must it be for the rest of the staff? Meanwhile our server seemed to have set her watch to “beach time” and assumed everyone was on the same clock, because she took her time on everything. They were staffed well, but no one seemed to work quickly or really care about doing things fast. Because that’s helpful.

We were sorry to have not checked out the patio, as we had heard good things about it – but then when we walked out and noticed it had rained while we were inside we were glad to not have gone that route after all. Us: 1, Mother Nature: 0.

Ted

Ted

Steph

Steph

Tell us how you really feel Amanda

Tell us how you really feel Amanda

Shane

Shane

Shane's new rating system is like deciphering gang signals

Shane’s new rating system is like deciphering gang signals

Or realizing he has arms

Or realizing he has arms

CAPSULE

Picked by:  Shane

Drinks:  Good monthly specials, but the draft list was either uber-crafty or bottom of the barrel domestics. If you go down the mixed drink path, just know that the bartender poured well – which is good or bad depending on your level of alcoholism.
Food:
 The apps were delicious. The meals, not so much. Once again proving our theory that perhaps we should just choose from the first page of the menu and stop there.
Service: Um, no.
Overall: This place sounded great on the website. But what we experienced definitely lacked the same pizzazz. If it was our local neighborhood bar we might be more inclined to visit more often, but we weren’t impressed enough this time around to vote for a second journey.

Next Pick:  Steph

Spunkmeyers Pub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

WTGW 2/18/15: The Galaxy Sports Bar, Wadsworth

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So I have to admit I wasn’t sure what to expect with this week’s adventure. First of all, it’s in Wadsworth, which is new territory for the WTGW crew. And second, when Shane asked one of his co-workers if they had ever been to this place before, they replied yes … after a funeral. Um. Say what? Either this was one of the best funerals of the year, or we had reason to be a little worried about the clientele we were about to encounter.

And when I say worried, I mean like Gus’s Chalet kind of worried. Like we might be the only people there under 60 and be handed complimentary appetizers that taste like feet kind of worried.

But it turns out we didn’t have to be. Apparently The Galaxy is kind of like a three-for-one special – it’s a steakhouse, a sports bar and a banquet center all together. Oh, wait, make that four -for-one … a quick glance at the website also touts a wine room. Hey, overachievers – want to add a hotel, too? Oh, wait, no need – there are two within walking distance. So there’s that.

I have to note that the only similarity we really noted to Gus’ was the older man making conversation with the hostess when we first entered. And that she very clearly was looking for a reason to escape from. I’m not sure if she was more thankful for us coming in and saving her, or if we were just as thankful for the extremely prompt seating.

So of course given all of the options, we chose to visit the sports bar … because, well, us. The place has kind of an interesting atmosphere. It looks small when you first walk in, but after kind of settling in and taking it all in a little, we realized there really were a lot of tables in the space, and no one seemed to be cramped or climbing over one another to move around. The Galaxy definitely fits the sports bar mold, with plenty of TVs. Including ones on the tables. And complete with your own remote. Which basically translates to this place giving you a projectile should you be watching the game and a fan of the opposing team is sitting near you. Noted.

The beer list at The Galaxy was pleasantly surprising – especially the draft list, which featured several craft beers. Unfortunately we missed the laminated list on our table when the server first came over to take our drink orders, so that prolonged our ordering a bit. Well, except for Shane, who, after I said we would probably need a minute since it was likely to be beers all around, promptly ordered a rum and diet. Thanks honey.

We ended up with a Blue Moon for Amanda, Hoegarden for me, and Horny Goat Chocolate PB Porter for Ted. This week I win the lightest beer award.

Dark - light scale. With citrus this week.

Dark – light scale. With citrus this week.

Mustering our bravery, Amanda and I both actually tried Ted’s beer, even though it was roughly the color of a dark roast coffee and smelled immensely like a peanut butter sandwich. But we had to admit it wasn’t bad. I mean, it wasn’t “order me up a tall glass of this deliciousness” good – but it was at least decent. For a dark beer.

Ted was very proud.

I eventually switched to the locally brewed Spider Monkey Orange Barrel Ale, thanks to the sign on the chalkboard specials board across the room that intrigued me. I wish I hadn’t been so damn curious, as it wasn’t as good as my first pick. Oh well.

At least the label was cool

At least the label was cool

We chose the Thai calamari for our appetizer. We had it in our heads even before the server proclaimed it to be the best app on the menu – because, well, Shane loves calamari. It was definitely good. Only complaint was that we needed a side of the sauce in addition to what was drizzled over top, because it was by far what made the dish.

A staple of WTGW apps

A staple of WTGW apps

Once again we had the pre-meal interrogation of our server, asking what she liked best, top sellers, what the restaurant is known for, etc. She was quick to point out the steaks and burgers, and said that they actually raise their own beef about 20 miles from the restaurant, so it’s all fresh. Which basically eliminated that option from my choice list, since as much as I love burgers, I like to pretend they come from a tree somewhere and not hand raised just for us to eat them.

But that didn’t stop the rest of the table, who all ignored mental images of Bessie the cow living peacefully down the road and went the beef route.

Shane went all-in, and had the ranch hand steak. And he was not disappointed. If you know Shane, you know how much he loves to rank things – which means its a distinct honor to be listed in his “Top 10 of Steaks.” He said the steak was flavorful and seasoned to perfection. I believe the quote of the night was “fireworks in my mouth” – which could be really bad if taken out of context, so we’ll just leave that here.

Fireworks, pre-detonation

Fireworks, pre-detonation

Amanda had the bleu moon burger, which was this month’s special. It had bleu cheese and a portabella mushroom, and she said it was delicious. And that you could tell it was fresh. Although she ordered it medium and it was a bit more on the well side, so Shane should be glad he didn’t go the burger route this time around. Amanda only ate the burger, and gave the fries to Ted since she was too full. Which she said was a shame, because sweet potato fries are always delicious.

Sweet potato fries for the win

Sweet potato fries for the win

Ted had the fire pit burger, which he mistakenly forgot to ask for without cheese, so he had to spend a few minutes scraping that condiment off before he could even begin to eat it. But even regardless of that, he just said it was OK. Not only did the presentation leave something to be desired – Ted likened it to Steak’n’Shake – but the burger itself just looked extremely teeny tiny compared to the last few burgers he’s devoured. Seriously, asking this to follow up a burger served on French toast is like asking your brother’s high school band to play on the same stage after Bon Jovi finishes up a set.

See, there's a lot of open space there

See, there’s a lot of open space there

And I have to say I agree. I mean, there’s definitely something to be said for plain white plates … but if you’re going to serve sandwiches that look a bit on the small side, you need to at least match the serving size to the plate. Normal-sized burger on a tiny plate suddenly makes it look larger. Or spread out the fries so they cover the remainder of the open space. I thought everyone knew this by now.

I had the smokey all-American melt. Which, much like Ted’s sandwich, was just OK. It was way too heavy on the honey mustard. I mean, I’m not a giant fan of mustard to begin with, but in moderation it’s bearable and can give a sandwich a good flavor. This was like they soaked the bun in a vat of honey mustard before grilling it. And speaking of the bun – and knowing my love of carbs – let’s just say I was far from impressed. I guess from the description I thought this sandwich would be more like a large toasted sub, when in reality it’s basically a grilled cheese with meat on a glorified hot dog bun. Which, no.

If I could've had the entire sandwich on that piece of buttered bread I think I would've been happier

If I could’ve had the entire sandwich on that piece of buttered bread I think I would’ve been happier

We noted – and the boys spent a good amount of time discussing – the “Cowboy Challenge” that The Galaxy offers. It’s a 48 oz steak, with potatoes and broccoli (really, we’re concerned with adding a vegetable here?) for $65. And if you finish it all I think you get your name on the wall of fame, and maybe a t-shirt. Make sure you order that shirt a size larger than what you normally wear if you plan to don it the same evening, btw. Because, wow, that seems like a lot of food.

But I think Ted was seriously tempted. And even more so after his disappointing burger.

They also have an AYCE Sunday brunch, which includes crab legs. That got Shane’s attention for sure.

All in all, not sure that we’d go back to The Galaxy. Our table was equally divided on the thumbs up/thumbs middle consensus. I was disappointed in my food, but the service was decent and the atmosphere was OK. I think we all agreed we’d be interested to check out the patio and the Sunday brunch … but this place also isn’t a quick jaunt around the corner, so whether or not we’ll actually make the drive again is kind of a toss up.

Amanda

Amanda

Shane

Shane

Ted

Ted

Steph

Steph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CAPSULE

Picked by:  Amanda
Drinks: Surprisingly more craft beers on tap than what I would’ve expected from a place like this. Filed under: looks can be deceiving.   
Food:
I think the lesson we learned is stick to the dinners, not the sandwiches. And don’t come looking for presentation.
Service: Nice enough but nothing out of this world. At the Galaxy. Out of this world. Get it? Oh never mind.
Overall: I think we all agreed that we would be interested to see what the crowd is like at this place on a weekend. Or what the AYCE Sunday Brunch is all about. But are we interested enough to make the 30 minute drive back? That remains to be seen.

Next Pick: Ted

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