After hearing from several people with reddish neck regions about this restaurant, I decided to let it slip completely from my mind. Then my husband heard about it from someone at work and he was all gung-ho about trying it out. His eyes twinkled as he told me about the buffalo, elk, alligator, etc. that filled the menu. Fine, I thought, I’ll go.
We looked at the menu online and read some reviews. They were mixed but that didn’t put us off because we sometime love what others hate and vice versa.
We headed out for our Sunday evening date. On the way to the restaurant we passed a pond where someone was fishing, we made a joke that maybe it was the chef catching dinner. After we were done eating, we wished that had been the case.
As we walked in we were greeted by country music (bleh) and apparently the guy who had been power washing the dumpster all day. He was dressed in a ratty, stained Longbeards’ tee and dirty khaki shorts and dirty sneakers. He sat us at on of the many rock-hard booths (I have a hip problem and I wanted to cry when I saw the plywood seat). We began perusing the menu. An equally grubby looking guy came to our table this time to act as our waiter. We ordered a sweet and unsweetened tea. And away he went.
Back to the menu. We saw alligator bites and decided on those for an appetizer. I went with the quail and grits with sausage and tasso gravy (a take on a Southern dish: shrimp and grits, which I make on of the best and am usually disappointed with others) $14.95. Hubby went with the Buffalo steak with blue cheese sauce AT Market Price which was around $30. I chose a salad and mixed vegetables for my side and hubby chose sweet potato fires and green beans.
Our drinks took awhile to be served. My tea was a bit rancid or fruity, as we like to call lettuce going bad or tea that was brewed 5 days ago. My husband couldn’t get any sweetener, the waiter disappeared and didn’t come back. We took in the décor, which was dead animals, bad paintings, and Pittsburgh Steeler signs. We surveyed the other staff and saw they were all men and all wore grubby, sloppy clothes. Finally the waiter came back to tell us that they were out of alligator. “What?” I laughed. He said, yea he was surprised too. I said, “What about that guy fishing out there, can’t you buy one off him?” The waiter looked like he didn’t get the joke. We decided not to get an appetizer. We asked for water and explained about the tea being rancid. He seemed clueless about how that coulda happened but apologized.
30 minutes later, as my hips were crying in pain and my stomach was growling, our food arrived. We had to ask for silverware, you know, to eat the food with. My salad was served with my meal (it would have been nice to have a snack 15 minutes ago). My dish lacked the cornbread that was listed in the menu description and my husband’s lacked the blue cheese sauce. My quail dish looked pretty good. It was served in an oblong ramekin and for some reason someone had decided to dress it up with chopped, raw tomatoes. Why? A hot dish of fried quail and grits served with barely pink, chopped tomato? I scooted them off my dish in disgust. The first bite was rich (not flavorless), the texture was good. Someone had been heavy handed with the salt even though the sausage was salty already. The grits were creamy. The tasso gravy/sauce was more like chicken fried gravy, not the traditional light, creamy roux with tasso ham to season it. Not great, but okay. My husband was suspiciously eyeballing his steak. I asked what the matter was. He said didn’t have a steak knife and the waiter had disappeared again. Hubby got up, walked into the kitchen to ask for one. He said someone started yelling and freaking out on the waiter about why he didn’t put a knife with the dish. Now armed with a steak knife my husband dug in. He said it was a little “wild” tasting but good. I tried it and it tasted like a steak. Nothing special. He said his green beans were good but the sweet potato fries, which were drowned in honey, were cold. My mixed vegetables were surprising good, cooked well, seasoned lightly. The salad was okay. There was no cornbread. We had a hard time getting refills on our water.
The place was nearly empty when we came in. When we left it was maybe 1/8 full in the dining room. It was not a slammed night; there was no excuse for such bad service and mediocre food. Husband, in his very kind way, complained to the waiter about the poor service/food. The waiter apologized and used the old “I’m new” excuse. I give this place a 3 out of 10. We won’t go back even though we were excited about this being a really cool, new thing with exotic meats.
My conclusion is you need to be drunk to enjoy this place. It is a Northern Guy trying to do Southern, good-ole-boy food and doing it badly. The service is terrible, the décor unimaginative, and it’s not worth the price (over $50 for our dinner).