WTGW 11/9/16: Mavis Winkles Irish Pub, Twinsburg

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Sorry we’ve been away.  World Series, yo. I mean, we do live in Cleveland after all.

Which translates to Amanda’s pick being on the back burner for about a month now, since our streak of baseball watching began with the playoffs and we didn’t want to chance trying out a new place that may or may not have ample televisions tuned to the game, as well as seating options with good sight lines of said televisions.

Not that we’re needy or anything.

Also it’s ironic to note that when choosing a sports bar to head out to in order to catch the games, suddenly we seemed to forget all 157 we’ve been to in the area, and ended up texting one another things like “When did we go there again?” and “I don’t know, what kind of TV setup do they have there?” 

See also: why our blog stats shot up considerably in those few weeks, as we all frantically researched sports bars.

Anyway.

So Mavis Winkles is located in the same plaza as the Panini’s with the great outdoor bar that we discovered we loved about three years ago. And haven’t been back to since, because somewhere we read that Panini’s location closed. Yeah, it didn’t. Damn you internet and your lies.

We were seated at a high top near the bar but not really in the bar area. If that makes sense. The layout of the place is a little strange, just keep that in mind.

For drinks it was a Boddington for me (hey, it is an Irish place), Guinness for Ted (after he asked what dark beers they had, apparently forgetting we were in an Irish place), Angry Orchard for Shane and Miller Lite for Jerrid.

Our poor server came back to check on us like six times before we actually places our dinner orders. We’re chatty all of a sudden when we haven’t done this for a few weeks. But I give her points for at least trying.

For apps, Ted tried to get the calamari, but was told they were out. Which prompted Shane to start reinacting the scene in Tommy Boy where he gets the waitress to turn the fryers back on. “Are you sure? Wings would taste really good right now.”

Let’s just say it turned out better for Tommy.

So poor Ted went with zucchini planks instead. I had my money on the hummus platter being his number two choice. Dammit Ted. You let me down.

I wish I could say they tasted better than they look

I wish I could say they tasted better than they look

Shane and I got the reuben rolls. They also have reuben bites on the menu (see also: Irish place), but we went with the rolls – because, as Shane explained, rolls just sound like more real food than “bites.” Bites are dainty. And we all know by now dainty is not in the list of adjectives for us.

And the rolls were definitely real food. In fact, they were kind of like small, deep fried, wrap sandwiches. That apparently looked obscene. Shane called them “reuben dongs.”

Shane's obscene appetizer. Because he's 12.

Shane’s obscene appetizer. Because he’s 12.

That’s my husband, y’all, keepin’ it classy.

At least they were a nice juxtaposition to the side salad I got with my cabbage and corned beef dish and that arrived at the same time. Giving the appearance of healthy, as I ate what was essentially iceberg lettuce with balsamic dressing with one hand while also eating the deep fried corned beef with the other. Point, me.

Something healthy. Wait, what?

Something healthy. Wait, what?

In any case, the reuben rolls were delicious. And could’ve been a meal all in themselves, if you ordered the app just for you. The dipping sauce was also really good – and I’m usually one to skip condiments, so that’s a real compliment.

Ted said the zucchini planks were OK. He said the breading was good, but there just wasn’t enough of it. So obviously he wasn’t ordering these for the health benefits of vegetables. And he said the zucchini was cut too thick. Which prompted this conversation:

Shane: They look like they’re cut like pickle spears. Because they should be cut like bacon strips.
Ted: Yes, that’s exactly what I mean.

Glad we have our own language here.

Three of the five of us got something that featured corned beef. Have I mentioned we’re at an Irish place? I wasn’t sure.

I got corned beef and cabbage.

The never-ending bowl of Irish food

The never-ending bowl of Irish food

Amanda got the corned beef boxty (corned beef with potato pancakes).

Similar but different

Similar but different

Ted got the hot reuben sandwich (basically the reuben rolls without the deep frying).

Looks less obscene

Looks less obscene

We all agreed that the corned beef here was really good. As well it should be, because, well … OK, I’ll stop saying it.The corned beef was thicker shaved and very meaty, not the thinner, stringier stuff you get at some places. It had just a touch of seasoning, but not overly salty. And they give you a giant portion, no matter what form it was being served in. We all agreed we would definitely get each of our meals again.

On the non-corned beef side of the table we had Jerrid with chicken paprikash, and Shane with six of the honey mustard wings and a large order of fish and chips.

At least they didn’t order burgers?

Jerrid said the chicken paprikash was good, but was lukewarm when it arrived instead of piping hot, which he would’ve preferred. As would most normal people, I assume.

Is that a dollop of sour cream?

Is that a dollop of sour cream?

Shane’s eyes were a bit bigger than his stomach on his order. Also note, when they say large on that fish and chips order, they mean it. He had been debating on ordering the meatloaf but was worried it might not be enough food for him … meanwhile the fish and chips was too much. It’s like Goldilocks and the Various Menu Options. He took the wings home since he was so full.

Why does everything Shane eats look obscene?

Why does everything Shane eats look obscene?

Always a staple at our table

Always a staple at our table

As mentioned already, our server was very good. She put up with our “we’ve never been here before, what’s good” line of questioning when we first sat down, came back to check often on drinks and how things were going, was patient when we didn’t seem to be able to get our crap together to order, etc. We also may or may not have been her only table – but because of how strangely this place was laid out we couldn’t really be sure. Whatever. We’ll still give her credit, she was good.

Our big downer about this place, though, was the atmosphere. It was a little blah. I mean, maybe you missed my mentioning it, but it’s an Irish Pub. And I get that it’s a Wednesday night, so the good folks of Twinsburg probably weren’t exactly in the frame of mind for dancing on tables or taking 15 shots of Jameson or anything like that – but still. It could be that I think they close at like 9pm (which seems odd for a pub, no?), so of course by 8:45 we were likely about the only table left and it just seemed rather quiet. Overall the food was decent and we had good service, so I guess we might go back if we were in the area and wanted a bite and a beer … but then again with Panini’s right at the opposite end of the plaza I have to believe that might get more of the vote.

Ted

Ted

Gangsta Shane

Gangsta Shane

Jerrid

Jerrid

Amanda

Amanda

Steph

Steph

Picked by: Amanda
Next pick: Ted

Mavis Winkle's Irish Pub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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 7/22/15: Sully’s Irish Pub, Medina

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This week I was late getting to our WTGW destination, thanks to a work happy hour. Because, twist my arm to partake in free alcohol. Right? You know me too well.

In any case, my three counterparts fared on without me until I could get there. I arrived assuming they had already ordered dinner … but alas, they decided to just exist on a diet of appetizers until my arrival. Not that that’s a horrible thing – especially because if you know us, you know by now that we love our appetizers. And we always order more than what we need for a small number of people at the table.

Case in point, they ordered two: the Reuben rolls that came with a side of fries (does that kind of count as another app?) and something called Irish nachos.

We're on a constant search for the best french onion dip

We’re on a constant search for the best french onion dip

By the time I arrived, all that was left was a small corner of the Irish nachos, which threw me for a loop right from the start. Because these are not really nachos at all, but really pieces of fried potato. That are not exactly crispy. And that took me by surprise. I was about to complain about being left with soggy bread (we all know my feelings on that topic, ever since the unfortunate “stick your hand into a sink full of water and come up with a soggy cracker incident” of my youth), but Shane explained that it was really potatoes and not bread, so I shouldn’t be scared. Chivalry at it’s finest, ladies and gentlemen.

No soggy crackers here

No soggy crackers here

Meanwhile, Amanda used that as the opportunity to get in the weekly jab at Gus’s Chalet, and their toast-with-cheese-that-wasn’t-cheese.

Let’s just say that the Irish nachos are a far, far step up from that. But really, what isn’t?

Anyway.

Amanda, Ted and Shane all vouched for the Reuben rolls – and I’ll take their word for it, since not one was left on the table. They said that they had had high hopes for the fries – what with their promise of a homemade French onion dip on the side – but unfortunately they weren’t impressed.

Also unimpressive: the beer list. I get that Sully’s is an Irish place, but they really don’t defer much from that menu at all, so honestly if you don’t like that kind of beer you might find yourself in a bit of a tough spot. Consequently, Amanda was nursing a “it’s not a Summer Shandy” Blue Moon, while Shane decided on his trademark fallback rum and diet. Meanwhile Ted and I ventured to the Irish side and ended up with Guinness and Smithwick’s, respectively.

When it came to dinners, though, we weren’t complaining about the Irish fare. Because who doesn’t love meals that stick to your ribs and sit in your gut for about a day after you eat them? Exactly.

Ted got the Shepherd’s Pie, which he later said was probably one of the best he’s ever had. Along that same lines, I got the chicken pot pie, which was also really good.

Fluffy little pillows of pastry

Fluffy little pillows of pastry

Although I think both of us are now regrowing skin on the roofs of our mouths, thanks to the amount of heat trapped in those little pies. You don’t think it’s that bad, and then – bam – you stick your fork in and steam gushes out like you just unearthed Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park.  I didn’t realize I had ordered my own personal Mt. St. Helen’s, my bad.

Don't open without protective fire gear

Don’t open without protective fire gear

Following the deliciousness of the Reuben rolls, Shane and Amanda both ordered the Reuben sandwiches, thinking that they were about to get more of a good thing. But alas, to quote Shane from the infamous trip to Gus’s: “um, nope.” They said the bread was too dry, which was further complicated by the fact that there was also not enough Swiss cheese, nor enough 1000 Island dressing on the sandwich. I see where things could get better here.

Not as good as the rolled and fried version

Not as good as the rolled and fried version

Trying to fix the situation themselves, they asked for the easiest thing possible: more 1,000 Island. Which they received … in the form of a tiny 2 oz container. OK. Because that helps. About as much as pouring a glass of water on a forest fire. Thanks.

To add fuel to said fire … when we got our bills we realized they were each charged 0.25 for those little containers. Really? Is there a shortage? Are we about to have a 1,000 Island strike, and that’s why there was so little of it on the sandwich in the first place? Because we could’ve stopped at the store and picked up our own bottle on the way. For real.

In any case, that was just the icing on the cake of a rather uneventful and unlively visit, thus solidifying our indecision about returning in the future. The atmosphere was definitely lacking. While I’d be willing to bet that on a Friday or Saturday evening – or of course at times like St. Patrick’s Day – the place is a bit more crowded and jovial … on this night it just seemed blah. We lost our server for a good amount of time when it was nearing time to get the checks, and watched one other server (or maybe it was the bartender?) stand at the edge of the bar eating dinner in full view of the patrons that actually were there. Again, it’s not like the place was packed, and I certainly give you the right to eat dinner at your own establishment – but still. She could see we were looking around for our server, and did nothing to help that. If you’re on break, go in the back. Simple enough. Maybe you can rustle up some more dressing while you’re back there.

Ted

Ted

Shane

Shane

Steph

Steph

Amanda

Amanda

Hey Shane, stop trying to make "turtle" happen

Hey Shane, stop trying to make “turtle” happen

CAPSULE

Picked by:  Ted

Drinks:  If you like Irish-themed drinks and beers, you’ll be fine. If you don’t … well, maybe this was a bad choice for you. Might want to make your Guinness-drinking friends happy and just volunteer to the be the DD now. 
Food:
 A good mix of Irish staples, foods with Irish flair, and good old American-ish wraps and burgers. But beware that asking for additional anything will cost you.
Service: Eh. When we saw her she seemed helpful – but then again she was kind of like a mirage so don’t take that to heart as a compliment really.
Overall: What is it with us and Irish pubs lately? We struck out at Hooley House, now this. You would think that a group of people who like food and beer so much would have better luck.

Next Pick:  Shane

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