We scored rock star parking and walked in to a practically empty scene around noon, seated ourselves (props for having a sign telling us so, so we didn't stand there like morons), and were greeted quickly by our server. I was pleased to see they had Diet Dr. Pepper until she informed me they just changed the tap, but they did have Diet Mt. Dew. Any place serving Pepsi products that doesn't have any other diet options will swiftly lose a $2 soda sale to a Diet Pepsi-hater like myself.
The menu wasn't exactly vast, but there were plenty of options. Still, we both leaned towards burgers. I decided on the Bad Lieutenant, regardless of the images it summoned of a full-frontal Harvey Keitel. BBQ sauce, cheddar and haystack onions? Don't mind if I do! I also opted for cole slaw with mine, and planned on stealing just a few of Mr. FvF's fries. When I asked about the slaw, the waitress told me it actually comes from the Mel-o-Dee Restaurant in New Carlisle, and was dairy-based. I'd heard tell of this legendary slaw from at least three people, so I figured I'd made the right choice. Mr FvF, with his simple tastes, chose a bacon cheeseburger with provolone.
Our food came out pretty quickly, just as the place started to fill up with Steelers fans, who made quite a commotion moving all available tables together and talking about their new-foundteam swag. I was glad we arrived and ordered when we did, otherwise we may have had a substantial wait to get our food - considering I only saw one waitress and one bartender.
I sampled the Mister's fries first - top shelf! They very well could have been frozen, but they had a well-seasoned batter on them and were the perfect crispy/tender combo. Next up, the cole slaw - not so impressed. I guess I can see what all the fuss is about, but daaaaaamn this slaw was sweet. Too sweet for me, without a doubt. I'm sure if Angie's was making their own, they could do 100% better than this. Good, traditional slaw is SO easy to make, it amazes me how easily it gets screwed up. My burger was aces, though. Not an overwhelming amount of bun; the bread to meat ratio was just right. I figured out quickly why our server put so many extra napkins on the table, because we went through every last one. It wasn't too greasy or dripping in the BBQ sauce (another perfect ratio), but it was simply juicy and messy, the way a good burger should be.
Scoring more points was the super crisp, garlicky pickle spear that came with all of the sandwiches. It may not be a big deal to everyone, but nothing puts a damper on my appetite more than a flaccid, neon green pickle. Even worse? No pickle at all. Just ask my sister, who got all in Pan(t)era's ass for forgetting her pickle twice in a row, resulting in two free meals. Score!
Basically, we really enjoyed our visit with one exception. I think it's weird that they outsource a lot of their sides and desserts to other places, albeit local institutions like Mehaffie's and the Mel-O-Dee. If you're going to outsource - by all means, please keep it local. But, for such a small operation, it seems like it would be much more cost-effective and appealing to customers if these items were actually house-made.
4.5 out of 5 sporks!