Put the napkin in your lap and pull up to the table with Eau Claire's Hungry Italian as he provides the area's only true Restaurant Review. Don't have another family night ruined by poor service. Find the perfect spot to take that special online someone on the third date that has romance commingled with value.
EATING ESTABLISHMENT Chippewa Family Restaurant
DINING DATE Thursday February 13th
MEAL TIME Lunch
ATTENDEES IN PARTY 1 adult
TOTAL BILL - $14 with tip
OREDERED Bacon Cheeseburger with fries
Fresh takes on things and a changing look is what allows society to evolve. Just because something has worked for years doesn’t mean it can’t be tweaked to maximize it’s potential. Thus, there is sometimes a natural resistance that comes with tradition and following a crowd. Some people completely rebel against any sense of “conformity” but even if you don’t view oneself as an outsider, we all have things we feel uneasy about following others. A false sense that its lazy to go along with and instead feel a pull to go in the other direction.
That brings us to the Chippewa Family Restaurant a simple location that has become engrained in the culinary footprint of its community. People flock here and many do it multiple times a week. There isn’t any “hook” nor any specialty as this place truly is a family restaurant in that…like at home…the menu is wide.
Thus an outsider may feel compelled to not want to like this place, especially in the 2020 dining environment where niche’ places with smaller menus that do a handful of things perfect are more commonplace. This is “old-fashioned” and the contrarian inside is desperate to want to find a legitimate way to proudly yell to those who line up to go here that they are wrong with bland palates.
However, any attempt to de-legitimize the area’s affection for this place is merely a veiled attempt to hide one’s insecurity with actually agreeing with others. People like this place and upon a visit its easy to see why.
The Hungry Italian visited here for lunch and came away feeling…comfortable. This is the type of place one can see why people do come multiple times a week. Its simple with a wide menu that covers everything and the overall quality provides a good value. Prices here are in line with any other restaurant, so they don’t get their traffic merely due to cheap food because it’s not that. Again, it’s the overall value that allows this place to be successful.
Upon entry, one is greeted by a semi-split dining room with mostly table seats to the left and booths to the right of the greeting station. The kitchen runs along the backside of the booths and with the place ¾ full during the lunch rush there was a good “din” of noise. The muffled conversations mixing with the faint sounds of the kitchen. No televisions and no piped in music add to the simplicity of this place.
A number of the diners were clearly regulars as servers referred to them by name and had a banter that was more reminiscent of old friends than a business-deal. However, don’t let this intimidate one from visiting. Sometimes this familiarity between diners and staff rightfully makes a first-timer feel unwelcome or uncomfortable but with the amount of patrons this place gets they see new faces daily.
The Hungry Italian was placed in a comfortable booth and given a laminated menu.
The waitress was friendly and warm and within a few minutes an order was placed. Deciding what to get is not easy as this is a place that serves breakfast all day along with the entire refrigerator for lunch and dinner. The Hungry Italian went with a bacon cheeseburger and fries after debating internally over an omelet vs. chicken tender basket. Needless to say, there is an excuse to return.
Within a few minutes the food was out and was very tasty. The fries were crispy yet fluffy and the burger flavorful, resting between two buttery and toasted buns.
Is this the best burger in town? Nope. Was the Hungry Italian disappointed? Absolutely not!
The quality burger, coupled with an attentive server and a sense of welcome and simplicity make this a winner.
This isn’t a spot you’re likely to go out of the way for because it lacks that hook but if in the vicinity it’s a safe bet to place your culinary dollars on.
Won’t go out of my way to eat here again but am sure hoping it ends up “on my way” again soon.
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