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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   Cowboy Jack's

DINING DATE   Thursday August 29th

MEAL TIME     Dinner

ATTENDEES IN PARTY   2 adults  

TOTAL BILL  - $60

Ordered   Nachos & Braised Chicken

ENTREE   

I want to like Cowboy Jack’s.  It’s in a great area, the décor is comforting (though I’m not necessarily a  country/western flare type of guy) and did I mention the area?  There is a cosmopolitan feel and I appreciate a place that brings that to an area that has been underserved in that set-up.  However, I’m frustrated with this place despite my hopes and optimism for it. Perhaps my move will be akin to a Chicago Cubs fan wishing the team luck but disassociating with them before 2016.  Or it’ll be like a roadie with the Beatles stepping aside when that break wasn’t coming while playing Liverpool basement bars.  Either way, I only have so much time on this Earth to put food in my belly and going to the same place hoping for better is a gamble with your time that is only worth it so often…

I’ve ordered burgers and appetizers here before. Nothing is bad, just not great and when factoring in the prices that makes the value out of whack.  There also has been a severe lack of consistency in the quality of the food, which is alarming enough for a local place let alone a franchise (which this is).  We’ve ordered the nachos multiple times. Sometimes they come out super cheesy and warm.  Other times, there is a sprinkling of cold cheese on lukewarm chips.

This time I ordered the braised BBQ chicken.  The expectation was I’d get moist shredded chicken, likely swimming in a tangy BBQ sauce.  What I received was hunks of chicken that were as dry as hay left out in the July sun.  There was at best a hint of BBQ sauce and the order didn’t even come with any side cup of sauce.  After a few bites, my jaw was exhausted and my wife and I exchanged the look we’ve all given each other at a disappointing meal.  That look of “we’re paying and Gosh Darn ‘it we’re going to like this!”

My wife ordered the tater tot hot dish and was equally unimpressed which leads us to our service which was passable at best during this visit.  The servers were very attentive, engaging and moving consistently. Except ours. Regularly she’d be camped at the hostess stand conversing with a worker, leaning against a beam.  She never greeted us as much as demanded our drink order and then it was difficult to get her attention some 10 minutes later to place our order.  The worst part was my wife had a question about onions on her meal.  The server didn’t know what was on the hot dish (which is bad) but did say she’d check (which is good).  She came back to say there were “some onions”

Well here’s the rub.  They ended up being fried onions which was never specified.  My wife’s issue is with raw onions, whereas fried onions she could live on. It was greatly disappointing.

It should be noted, service hasn’t been poor in previous visits. However, service is like tires on your car…one bad one ruins the entire experience.

Cowboy Jack’s just seems like its that toy you asked for, then when you get it you realize it’s not quite as nice as the advertisements made it out to be.  To the operators of this location…be better!  You have an enviable location and a beautiful restaurant that people are willing to pay the higher prices to experience.  The issue is you simply don’t have the food quality to match and when people start complaining about VALUE (not price, but value) that is something that is very hard to overcome that “word of mouth” as it spreads.

SECOND HELPING 

Not for a while. After giving this place a few chances, this place simply isn’t worth the price for the time being.

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West Wisconsin Play by Play, LLC

2010 Hatch Street

Eau Claire, WI  54701

echometownradio@gmail.com