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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  Monk's  (via Eat Street)

DINING DATE   Wednesday July 8th

MEAL TIME     Dinner

ATTENDEES IN PARTY   2 adults, 2 children

TOTAL BILL  - $60

Ordered  Buffalo Mac-n-Cheese with Crispy Chicken

ENTREE   

Remember meeting a person face-to-face for the first time after only having some contentious remote interactions with?  Perhaps a client or a co-worker from a different office.  Then, after having this physical interaction your opinion changed or at least cooled.

That is a good set-up for this experience with Monk’s Bar & Grill, through Eat Street.  As part of staying social-distant the Hungry Italian Mansion remains the preferred dining location and as such ordering in has become the standard for when outside food is preferred.  On this night, through the Eat Street app, Monk’s Bar and Grill was the selection.  This is a place that has been visited a couple times by the Hungry Italian who has enjoyed experiences there.

Also, the Eat Street app has been a workable experience roughly 90% of the time since it became the standard for the Hungry Italian in March.  There have been a couple issues but for the most part reliable.  Complaints A-Z on the Eat Street app are that it has the standard modern customer-service swing and a miss.  There is NO phone number to call nor any way to get immediate help.  You can send an e-mail or other ways to get a delayed response but nothing at that precise moment. There is a “chat” but its both automated and has rarely worked in terms of getting answers.

Twice the Hungry Italian has had issues only made 100% worse by the fact Eat Street has zero customer interaction. 

The issue on this particular night, an ordered was placed at 6:15pm with an expected arrival of 35-minutes (understandably that’s optimistic and not what you should go on).  If the food had arrived 45 minutes later, or even an hour that wouldn’t have been a problem.  It was 7:45 before food had arrived, some 105 minutes after the order was place. 

The order would’ve been cancelled if there had been a reliable way to do it.

So tempers were hot when the food arrived but thankfully the food itself was also hot and that begins the turnaround.

We entered this experience expecting (maybe even wanting) to not enjoy it but instead it was a flavorful night.  The children had delightful chicken tenders that they both dispatched quickly.  Mrs. Hungry Italian enjoyed a burger and fries.  The fries were a little “soggy” and that is a turnoff for some but a delicacy for others.  The Hungry Italian doesn’t consider soggy fries something that a place should be dinged for as long as they are warm.

As for the Hungry Italian himself, he went with the mac-n-cheese with buffalo sauce and crispy chicken.  The mac-n-cheese is of the “soup” variety meaning shell noodles are swimming in a cheese sauce.  So this isn’t the baked variety that has more of a custard texture and is the standard for your Sunday dinners.  Still, the “soup” variety is what is most common at restaurants as its a more reliable preparation and thus was expected.  The buffalo sauce and crispy chicken added a zing and texture to the dish that was both bountiful in portion size and very filling.

The family also had an appetizer of cheese curds, these being of the “fair-style” variety and they were properly prepared.  Nothing special about these curds.  They’re what you would expect, nothing surprising and that too isn’t a bad thing.

The entire experience turned into a positive one.  The food from Monk’s was enjoyable and the poor service from Eat Street was overcome.  No doubt, Monk’s deserved blame too for the long delay in the meal and on their end they must clean things up.  This highlights an issue that restaurants must adapt too more third-party apps going forward.  Even when “dining-in” becomes more acceptable again, apps such as Eat Street are much more mainstream in a community like this now (they’d already become standard in larger communities) and thus restaurants and these apps will need to work together so that people have a more direct line of communication.  Having a “tracker” on the site is a cool widget but more is necessary as mistakes are bound to happen even with the most delicate of care.

SECOND HELPING 

Yes, there will be another Monk’s experience

PREVIOUS HUNGRY ITALIAN RESTAURANT REVIEWS   

 

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Cancun Mexican Grill

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West Wisconsin Play by Play, LLC

2010 Hatch Street

Eau Claire, WI  54701

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