Thursday, June 4, 2015

the front porch review

You've been begging for it.

Y'all been asking for it.

So I'ma provide dat.

Once upon a time there was a Brazilian-style steakhouse here in Eau Claire. This magical place was called Picanha, and it won an award in 2014 - the best restaurant in the Chippewa Valley. As with anytime the unsophisticated masses vote, as they did here, the wrong party wins. I don't have any #science to prove it, but I'm guessing the only reason Picanha won an award is because its unlimited meat barrage was seen as s a truly novel concept in the area. When in reality, the food's ceiling was right around "good".

I've been to various restaurants of this style, and this was the Azul Tequila of Brazilian steakhouses. Anyway, churched up and expensive all-you-can-eat? Right up the Chippewa Valley's alley. I loved it.

Meanwhile, as the owner was coasting the crest of mediocrity, he must have had an idea brewing, when all of a sudden he did an about face: he closed that shit down and opened up a comfort food joint, The Front Porch. A couple of my friends sampled it, with mixed results. In fact, one of my pals crapped all over the place. On facebook. What do the uncultured rubes on Yelp have to say? Unflattering things.

So obviously we had to eat there.

We got there about 6:15 (PM) on a Wednesday night, lol. Place was beat, just a couple tables of morbidly obese face-stuffers, awesome. I'm talking like riverboat-casino-in-Biloxi, Mississippi kind of awesome, so actually totally depressing. Note that the entry door did not get fixed in the restaurant name change shuffle; it still opens weird, and slams shut.

Once we got sat, we waited about ten minutes to place our drink order. But the waitress kindly walked by about ten times, acknowledging us once, so that was much appreciated. The tap beer list was uninspiring, with nothing you can't find at the Kwik Trip. But the beers did come pretty quick once ordered - both times. Yeah, two beers apiece on a Wednesday night, living the dream.

The food on the menu looked pretty good, but because it was one-sided, laminated, and black, all the greasy-handed animals they serve left their gross, very visible fingerprints all over it. Yuck. Anyway, we started with the fried pickles. Heckyeahwoman went with the chicken fried chicken, and I had to have the chicken and waffles.

Fried pickles: they were spears. Goddamnit, I prefer chips. Good though. The batter was light enough and tasty.  It was kinda lol though, the spears were served in a fancy-ish conical shaped thingamajigger, looked nice. And the side of ranch was served in a paper ramekin. Can't know hot without cold I guess.

Chicken fried chicken with mashed potatoes, and green beans. HYW didn't love it as it was a bit too mushy (it was). The breading had a nice flavor to it though, and their creamy gravy was really good. I didn't try the potatoes, but they looked really good and buttery...and fake. The green beans didn't taste canned, and were pretty greasy, which I loved.

Pan fried chicken and waffles: Really good. The breading was crispy and had a great flavor, a bit of spice to it. The waffles were supposed to be Belgian. I don't know what that means, but you could have given me Eggos and I wouldn't have been able to tell the difference. But they came with two (2) syrups - a really good maple, and a really good spicy syrup, with the latter tasting almost kinda Sriracha-esque.

Funny note: when the General Manager came over to ask how things were, you could see the relief in her face when we both initially smiled and told her it was really good. I think she was almost mortified to even ask lol.

One major gripe though. Because you care so much, I tried to check us in on facebook, but it was nowhere to be found. So instead I think I just sent out a bunch of Snaps to my friends - of me playing with this stupid dog toy we just purchased. Heckyeahwoman was trying to drive.

Bottom line, would we go back? Heck yeah, man - they had meatloaf on the menu, and it was a sin for me to not order that!