Ate at Idaho Chucks in North Hudson WI tonight. Take I-94 to exit 1 in WI and head North. It is on the right hand side of Wisconsin 35 just before Mama Marias (which is the road you are on taking aforementioned exit) where Chadwicks used to be. I liked Chadwicks but it had a hard time gaining an audience serving fish and game in Hudson.
The menu is 5 steaks, 1 14oz pork chop, half a chicken or an Atlantic salmon fillet. There are half a dozen a la carte sides (baked potato, corn bread and I forget the others) and 3 desserts, however only the apple crisp sounded like it should be served in a restaurant without diesel pumps and free showers. That is the whole dinner menu - not a single appetizer or special of any kind.
The steaks which are all certified Angus are an 18oz porterhouse ($22), 14oz top sirloin, 12oz ribeye and 8oz medallions ($14??). The fifth steak, which I had, is a 10oz 'flat iron' ($15). The bartender (also my server) said it was from the chuck, but she thought everything was from the chuck - so who knows. It was a flatter steak, but had great flavor and was fairly tender and cooked a true medium rare. Basically I recommend it as quite good.
All meals come with a salad (lettuce was crisp but nothing special) and one of four dressings you could have ordered in the fifties. Oddly thousand island is not a choice. The rolls were sub par, but the cowboy beans and roasted tomato side dish that also come with every meal are very good. They both had more spice and flavor then I'm used to finding around here. My philosophy with cumin (and curry) is that a little goes a long way. The beans in this regard were great. I am not a southwestern style baked bean expert, as a matter of fact I've never liked one until now, but these were firm, and spiced very well - so well I ate them past when I was full. The roasted tomato side dish was also spiced nicely and I ate all of it - worked great on those poor rolls and just plain off the spoon.
The place is owned by Bob Wassman (sp?)- as in the owner of the San Pedro in Hudson and founder of Barkers (but no longer owner). The interior, staff and dishes are highly themed and of course the wood fired grill is trendy now. All the food comes on blue enamelware and the napkins are 'rags' for lack of a better term. I would place the decor as trying to be yuppie hipster rather then chained theme, but I managed to enjoy my meal anyway. This is only their third night, but the staff seemed to be competent. Bob's places have always been strong on service (anyone who knew Bob in the early days of Barkers knows what irony this is) and I'm sure they'll get their groove in short order.
The bar seemed to have a fine collection of whiskeys (as opposed to scotch) if anyone is interested. Also, while I'm not sure if it is non-smoking, at the very least there is no cigar smoking at the bar. So in review the steak I had I would recommend, I thought the tomato relish and beans were also very good. But it has no thousand island, has a collection of whiskey instead of scotch and no cigar smoking (possibly no smoking period) so some will find this sacrilege and others refreshing. It is not a diamond in the rough, but if you're in the area, want a steak and can't get into Phils Tara Hideaway in Stillwater it is worth the money.
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