Monday, February 13, 2017

Out-o-Town Supper Club

Last spring, when we were looking for houses, there was one in serious contention located in the Town of Kaukauna. Not far from the house was a little place called Out-o-town Supper Club. Ever since, I have always wondered what could have been.

So we called up a friend who lives near by Out-o-town and met her there. Out-o-town, or as I like to say, Outtatown, has a giant bar area. Perfect for a supper club. We took a seat in the bend and I ordered the usual. Brandy old fashioned sour with olives.

The bartender grabbed a highball and filled it with ice. Then carefully began pouring the brandy followed by their in-house mix. The drink was topped off with a few spritzes of soda and olives.

I HAD to know what was in their mix! Turns out, simply 10 lbs of sugar, 3 bottles of bitter and water.

All I could taste was brandy and sweetness, but at $3.50 a drink, I really couldn't complain!

...So here's the deal. Since the beginning, it hasn't just been about the drink. I mean, it is...and it's the highest factor, but it's also about whether or not I want to come back to the place.

Don't get me wrong! Everyone at Outtatown was super friendly. The prices were great, but honestly, my food was mediocre and the drink was very sweet. Less mix and more soda would go a long way.

If you find yourself at Outtatown, get yourself a super cheap old fashioned. After dinner, get yourself a $4 ice cream drink, you deserve it. The place is worth experiencing once, but only if you're in the area, there's no need to go out of your way.

Rating (out of 5 olives)

Out-o-Town Supper Club
N2161 Town Club Rd, Kaukauna

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Wilder's Pub and Bistro

When Wilder's Pub and Bistro opened, I heard about it right away from a friend. Her and her husband would frequent Mister G's as it was conveniently located for them. The first thing I was told was that they were to have a brandy old fashioned tasting trio!

Too bad for us, this review is not about that tasting trio as when I patronized the establishment, all of the ingredients were not yet procured. So I had the usual brandy old fashioned sour.

Lucky for me, I saw one bartender craft the cocktail for a gentleman across the bar from me; whilst shortly after, a different bartender made one for me. The actions of the bartenders were very similar, except mine used less bitters. Which made me a bit bitter (bad pun). Also, my drink wasn't made with sugar, but the previous bartender used sugar. I assume they requested a sweet drink.

I was asked if I wanted a tall or short. I requested a tall. The bartender added two cherries, an orange slice and two shakes of bitters to the glass and then muddled with a glass muddler?! It was interesting looking... Afterwards, he added two shots.. that came from a regulator. After that the soda was added with olives on top.

If you've been a long time reader, you'll know that I'm not a fan of the liquor regulators. I understand that this is a new establishment and it's a cost-savings attempt. BUT, you are a new establishment and this isn't the best way to endear Wisconsin drinkers. The drink tasted fine. It was rang up as $4 long, $2 old fashioned, for a total of $6 for the drink. I'm meh about that. I don't feel like I got anything special for an extra $2. Not $2 of extra bitters.

The saving grace was that the food was outstanding as a "don't call me a gastropub" establishment. I'd go back, but not for the drinks. If you go, try the fried mac & cheese. It was wonderful as was the gumbo with risotto. It hit the spot for a cold sub-zero day.

Rating (out of 5 olives)

Wilder's Pub and Bistro
340 W Northland Ave, Appleton
no website found.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Route 96

While in search of our new "corner" bar we decided to try a bar that actually resides on a corner. Route 96 in Medina.

Never heard of Medina? You aren't the only one.

It's a small joint that was packed on a Friday night. Luckily, we showed up just before everyone else, with enough time to score two spots at the bar. Then suddenly, two DIFFERENT retirement parties show up. I didn't get a chance to explore the place to see how big it was, as I was locked into my corner spot of the bar.

The single bartender was impressive. She kept up with the drinks..all..night..long. I ordered the usual, a brandy old fashioned sour..with olives. She grabbed a pint glass, filled it with ice, added a nice long pour of brandy, followed by two single shakes of the bitters and topped it off with Squirt soda.

Real talk here. We all know that 50/50 is the king of all old fashioned mixers. I mean, check out this lengthy conversation that occurred on Facebook, one December evening.

HOWEVER, Squirt is an acceptable substitute in a bar situation, it's much tastier than Sprite or 7-Up. The drink could have used another shake or two of bitters. But with a price of $4 and the heavy pour of brandy, it's a solid bar-made brandy old fashioned.

As far as the rest of the experience of Route 96? The staff was friendly, the place was hopping, it had good bar food.. but just didn't feel like it would be OUR go-to.

However, I would return... definitely. It's a great establishment to simply, just go drinking and get a basket of deep fried foods. Bonus points, they have a patio! Nothing wrong with that. Cheap, good drinks. Fried food. #wisconsinlife

Rating (out of 5 olives)

Route 96 Bar and Grill
W8899 State Road 96, Medina

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Loose Wheel Supper Club

Another Friday night and another chance to try a new place in my new neck of the woods. I did some Facebooking and Googlating, and came up with the Loose Wheel.

We arrived, the place was fairly empty for a Friday. Now granted, it was the Friday before New Year's Eve. So maybe others were saving their gusto for the weekend?

After bellying up to the bar, I ordered the usual, a brandy old fashioned sour with olives. The drink was made with ice, a few shakes of bitters, a heavy pour of Artistocrat brandy, followed by soda and olives.

The price came in at $4.50 and the drink was average.

If you've been a long time reader, you'll know that usually my review will end there. One time shot. Get it right, or pay the price. But not this time. This time, I was impressed by the other bartender who came over when our drinks were running low. This bartender, John, noticed the hat my husband was wearing and connected with him, as they are both from Michigan and chatted about the bowl game that was on.

Then he asked me if he could make me his *flaming* orange old fashioned. Of course you may! And he did. He made it the same way, as noted above, however, as he built the concoction, he noted the importance of a proper dash of bitters, which means fully tipping up the bottle of bitters, getting a whole dash. I appreciated that note.

Afterwards, he added his special bitters and then grabbed a rind of orange and well, watch for yourself:

The orange essence truly comes out in this cocktail. It really elevated the drink for me. To a whole new experience. On top of that, John crafted a few other cocktails for me that evening. It was a great night out!

I've been back since, while the food is still good, the bar service and drinks are spotty. But if you go, and John's there, you are in for a real treat.

Rating (out of 5 olives)

Loose Wheel Supper Club
302 W Main St, Hortonville

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Biggar's Supper Club


In a previous entry, I told you about how I crashed the girl's night out at Ruby Owl. While we were hanging out, we were talking about supper clubs and how, for all of us, it had been awhile since we had been to one. They were listing off a bunch, all which I had never been to. So, we decided we needed to go to one.

My friend chose Biggar's Supper Club in Winneconne. So we made the trek.

What a cute place! It 100% felt like a supper club in all the best ways. A huge bar and with small dining area. Behind the bar was a nice, updated wood paneling wall with tasteful Thanksgiving decor. A giant chalk board was in the center that listed all of the specials. On a small bar in a wall nook was a bowl of community spicy, snack blend.

We were pleasantly surprised that the tables in the bar area had a waitress. So we had a few cocktails before dinner. I, of course, ordered the usual. A brandy old fashioned sour with olives.

The drink was made with ice, then a squirt of simple syrup, 3 shakes of bitters and topped off with a nice long pour of brandy and soda.

Because of the simple syrup, the drink was pretty sweet. Surprisingly, it also wasn't very aromatic. Perhaps it needed to be shook to release the bitters?

Even so, the atmosphere of the club required that I keep drinking the old fashioned cocktails. They were definitely good (just not great). Plus the pour was good at $4.25 a cocktail.

Other things to note about Biggar's that makes is special is that they give out 50 cent pieces for change. Plus the bread comes in a koozie (like a drink koozie). Just like Cedar Lodge, you order in the bar, before you are seated in the dining area.

Very quaint. I would go back, no questions asked.

Rating (out of 5 olives)

Biggar's Supper Club
204 W Main St, Winneconne

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The StoneYard Food and Spirits

We all have that place that after work, we go to. For the summer, it was Jeff's. I will miss that place. Seriously, the BEST bartenders. The best food. I could go on. And I have. See here.

Now that we've moved, we need a new place. While visiting our house a few times, we've kept going back to The StoneYard. I think this might be the place (for now, until we explore more). It's not as quaint, and well, as awesome as Jeff's, but it ticks the box for having great boneless wings and that, frankly, is all my husband wants.

We found ourselves there on a Friday and it only seemed right to find out how this place ranks on the blog. So I ordered, the usual, a brandy old fashioned sour, with olives.

I glanced away, only for a moment, and missed the first actions of the drink. I thought I saw her add syrup, a cherry, orange, then 2 and half shots of Aristocrat, then ice, lots (lots!) of bitters, soda and then she vigorously stirred.

The drink was excellent. Everything that one would want in an old fashioned. It wasn't too sweet, so I don't think she actually added syrup. The extra shakes of bitters, really makes the drink shine.

The next few that I ordered, weren't as spectacular, but really, it's only the first one that counts. When she left, the second bartender was not as generous with the brandy. Once again, at that point it didn't matter.

I didn't see the bill, so I'm not sure the price, plus it was happy hour, but I suspect it was in the $4-4.50 range.

Definitely a great place to go on a Friday after work.

Rating (out of 5 olives)

The StoneYard Food and Spirits
N1739 Lily of the Valley Dr., Greenville

Friday, November 25, 2016

Ruby Owl Tap Room

I could lie to you. You wouldn't know the difference. But I would. I have too much Catholic guilt.

I shouldn't even write this review, but I feel obligated, since my notes are pretty complete and I don't know when I will be back. But if I go back, I promise to do a proper review.

Please forgive me. There will be no picture of the cocktail. Shame.

I won't blame you if you don't read on.

I warned you.

I was driving home and I received a text message that said "Running late, will be there in 15 minutes." WTF? I soon find out, there is a girl's night happening and I wasn't officially invited. Well, I forgave them and crashed the night at the Ruby Owl Tap Room.

Beers, for ages, have been under-rated. Not by me though. I appreciate the craft, but my body doesn't. So I avoid it. However, lucky for me, Ruby Owl has a great wine list and a full (beyond full) bar. So I ordered the usual. Brandy Old Fashioned Sour.

The bartender grabbed a high ball and added an orange, cherry, 2 shakes of bitters, a sugar packet AND then 2 shots of brandy. Then he muddled. Following that, he added ice and soda.

facsimile, not real photo

When I took my first sip, I knew immediately that something was off. Whatever type of soda they used (club maybe?) was flat. The drink was not at all sweet and very clean, so I assume flat club soda was used. The drink definitely needed more bitters. It wasn't perfect and was priced more (~$4.75) than the wine on special for the evening. So I switched to wine.

I love the atmosphere of Ruby. Very much a gastropub with TVs and exposed brick. The menu has some intriguing options. My rating is based on the price and the flat soda. It just wasn't the best old fashioned.

Rating (out of 5 olives)

Ruby Owl Tap Room
421 N Main St, Oshkosh