Archive for November, 2010

@ The Red Ox, In Appleton

The “Grilled Shrimp Melt: Mozzarella, cheddar, bacon, diced tomatoes & Cajun grilled shrimp on Texas white.” (+ side of risotto.) When I tracked down this shrimp grilled cheese on the Red Ox’s lunch menu, I certainly wasn’t going to let a little thing like not being able to eat another bite stand in my way of having it. (I couldn’t bear to live with the kind of regret I suffered in Tillamook.) You got me, though. This is a to-go container. On my lap. In my car. I know, it might seem kind of non-committal. On the contrary, I assure you – were it not for committment, that one bite would simply not have been possible. So, I took it home, and….reheated it when I was drunk. Now, before you get all judgy – hear me out. Sure, a grilled sandwich is certainly going to suffer some degradation sitting in car for 6 hours….and true, I will eat just about anything when I’m drunk. But the way I see it, that just makes it kind of a wash, yes? I did, at least, have the decency to reheat in in the oven?

Good. So first, my gripes. The bread was kind of a yawn, and drier than a popcorn fart. Obviously, though, that charge probably isn’t going to stick. More legitimately, though, the sandwich innards never quite made it to the breads edge. (Empty bites make drunkie sad.)  Despite those things, it was really pretty good. Plenty of cheese, tasty bacon, not too many tomatoes, and spicy shrimp made it a big mess of yum. If I find myself in Appleton again at lunchtime (and in the mood for some old school supper club action) I would definitely have it again. I gave it an 8.  ($9.99)

**On an unrelated note, (not that you asked) as a lover of rice, and a first-time eater of risotto, I feel very comfortable calling theirs complete garbage. As a general rule: if salt, pepper, and my being drunk doesn’t make something edible, it probably isn’t food. Sorry, guys.

@ Wild Truffle, In Appleton

The “Italian Grilled Cheese: Imported fontina, provolone, white cheddar, herb ricotta, fresh mozzarella, and fire roasted tomatoes.” Why they thought the garlic wasn’t worth mentioning, I have no idea. I’m not saying it was too much garlic…but it was certainly too much not to mention. Garlic is to be boasted, my friends. Moving on. Bread: theirs was (seemingly) house made, and fantastic. I had hoped their complimentary bread and that of their sandwiches were one in the same, and they WERE. (and equally delightful when grilled and accompanied by an excellent medley of soft cheeses.) I do have a confession to make, though. I kind of panicked in the last moments, and asked that they go easy on the tomatoes….and easy they went. My fault. I really need to learn to trust. All things considered, Wild Truffle racked up a respectable 8/10. While not exactly casual dining, they definitely got the important things right. ($7.50)

@ The Mint Cafe, in Wausau


The “Grilled Ham and Cheese.” The Mint’s been feeding me this sandwich for the better part of a decade: Two slices of American cheese, and an (almost too big) heap of juicy ham. That’s it. As lunch meats go, ham has never been my favorite – but this ham happens to be tastier than most. (It gets grill-sizzled prior to construction.) Contributing to my fondness, perhaps, is the fact that they’re closed almost everytime I try to go? You know what they say. The Mint delivers a reliable 7/10 – and there’s something to be said for that. ($5.79)

@ the UMR Cafeteria, in Wausau

The “California Chicken Panini: Jack cheese, grilled chicken, onions and fresh cilantro.”  As noted previously, I happen to know they don’t use real butter to grill their sandwiches. Despite this knowledge, I couldn’t stop myself from enjoying it. The cheese was sufficient, chicken was moist, onions were subtle, and the cilantro didn’t taste like soap, doll hair, stink bugs, or any of the other vile things these folks say it does.  Take note, cilantro freaks: maybe if more of you served cilantro in appropriate proportions, the rest of us wouldn’t have to channel our trepidation into hate-haikus and compiling statistical data. Just a thought. Thumbs up, cafeteria Greg! You get a 7. ($3.99)


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