Last Thursday night Heckyeahwoman and I tried Bug Eyed Betty's Half Moon Saloon, a newer restaurant here in Eau Claire.
In May 04, when I was just leaving college, we had a graduation lunch at Boston's, as it was newly opened (and built). Pretty decent food. Then eight years later when we moved back to Eau Claire, Boston's had become Broadway's Pizza. As Broadway's was usually at least semi-full, I was surprised to see that place was gone and it is now Bug Eyed Betty's.
We like trying new restaurants, and that combined with a few positive things I've heard on facebook, we decided to give it a try.
The night started out like any other: with cold beer. So that was good.
The menu looked pretty interesting. I went with a burger that allegedly had kimchi on it, along with spicy pickles, and pork belly, cooked medium; I was PUMPED. Heckyeahwoman went with a burger that had pulled pork. While we were thinking similar things, both ordering burgers, we soon hit a fork in the road when she went with the plain french fries, and I coughed up the buck fifty to upgrade to GARLIC FRIES! HECK YEAH!
Despite the restaurant being less than a third full, we still waited a good half hour for our food. Not to sound all 'Merican, but that seems a little long. Nevertheless, when you're in public with a 10/10 total #SmartBabe, you don't complain about being seen in public with that 10/10 total #SmartBabe. So we waited.
Then the food arrived.
The fries had that gilded deep fried appearance that induces the NOMs, with tiny minced chunks of garlic hanging for dear life onto each individual fry. Not to mention the deliciously visible garlic sauce that ignited my inner hunger so furiously. They truly looked amazing. A quick taste proved me dead wrong as they were simply, "meh".
We traded a couple fries, and surprisingly, Heckyeahwoman's were better. As a french fry connoisseur, I know a good goddamn french fry, and these garlic-flavored shits weren't it.
Time for the main course - burgers!
That first delicous bite was inches from my face, a mere weiner-length; I could taste it! And there it is, CRUNCH(!), the surprisingly, super bummer of a first bite: this burger is waaayyyy well done. CHARRED AS FUCK. The pork belly might as well have been a thin strip of charcoal. My burger was a hockey puck turd of a patty. Now there was a time in my life when I would have appreciated the broilerdude killin' my meat, but those times have long since passed.
And the kimchi? THE FUCKING KIMCHI? It was pickled pink shit. I don't know what the pink shit was or is, but every time I've had kimchi, it has never looked or tasted like pickled pink shit. Shoot, when I was in my mid-40s, I lived in Korea, and had I tried to pass this off as anything other than pickled pink shit, they woulda lynched me. Nice bait and switch there.
In case you're wondering, I ate half my burger and fries there, then brought the rest home for dinner the next night. Heckyeahwoman's meal was pretty great - her burger was prepared correctly. The pork was juicy and flavorful and the burger itself wasn't way overcooked.
But what really gets my goat here, what really chaps my ass is the service. Our waiter came over twice (2 times) to check on our food, and somebody else came over again, and all three (3) times we were asked about the food, and every time I looked him in the eye, and gave him a bummed out "eh, it's OK".
And all three (3) times both dudes got huge smiles on their faces, and replied with a super-PUMPED, "AWESOME!"
Again, hate to sound all 'Merican, but mediocre is not awesome.
I can't wait to try the next restaurant at this location in six months.