One of the first ventures to open at River Prairie, Cowboy Jack's brings a hint of "urban" dining to the Chippewa Valley. A mammoth structure from the outside, the inside isn't quite as big as assumed but very spacious with a look that is very much unique. Buried inside River Prairie, Cowboy Jack's is a destination type place, one that people make plans to go to and has developed into a spot that caters to all demographics.
Ordered: Po-tater Skins + Prairie Fire Burger w/ Sweet Potato Fries
Price: $40 total for two adults
Entrée’: Frankly, this place is like the humor of Ryan Reynolds. It's good...not great...but it leaves you wanting more. Maybe it's because of unfair expectations or inaccurate assumptions. Either way, like when the Hungry Italian left the summer 2021 Reynold's vehicle "Free Guy", he exited Cowboy Jack's with a slight grin but dissapointed their wasn't more.
The location is great. The decor and atmosphere inside is unique to the area. Their is most definitely a fun "vibe" once one enters. This place has all the televisions and sound of a generic sports bar, but has the mood lighting and wide open space of a higher-end eatery. Legitimate outdoor seating options exist and they go far beyond the standard, metal table placed on concrete, that many places try to pass as an extension of their place. No, the outdoor seating is it's own area complete with beautiful views.
However, one one gets down to it, the food is simply average. It's like having a beautiful Manhattan apartment but limiting the furnishings to an old futon, a twin bed and a bulb television. The whole place is expensive, but one isn't getting the best value.
The Hungry Italian started with an order of potato skins (called Po-Tater here). They were okay, nothing bad about them but for the price they were dissapointing.
For the entree, the Prairie Fire Burger with an upgrade to sweet potato fries was ordered. This burger is topped with jalepenos, bacon, buffalo sauce and cheese. There was just the right amount of spice, to make one's mouth feel naughty without turning the experience into pain. If one is looking for a "challenge" for some reason this isn't that and that is a good thing. The spice doesn't overdo the flavors. The issue is, the whole thing still came across as flavorless. Add to that, the fact the bacon seemed to be a bit on the burnt side...though the Hungry Italian prefers a crunchy bacon on a burger as opposed to a floppy, greasy strip.
One eats with their senses sans taste before actually putting something into their mouth. When one walks through the door and is hit with the sights and sounds the expectations rise. Unfortunately, the recipes put forth by this midwestern chain don't match the level. It's frustrating in that, there are some places in town with great food but a decor and atmosphere that is so bad it makes their place unappealing.
This place as the location down pat...but fails in the kitchen.
Second Helping? Yeah, probably...I guess. This is a place that I WANT to like
Final Score 3 out of 5 cheese curds