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.  


DINING DATE   Friday December 6th

MEAL TIME    Lunch


TOTAL BILL  - Approximately $26

OREDERED  Chicken Melt & Fries


Creative advertising undoubtedly pulls attention like carrots coxing bunny rabbits into the yard. It makes one think, rubs a particular emotion and for at least a moment in time puts that particular brand ahead of all other thoughts for the potential customer. 

They key is, does it actually get a true “call-to-action” meaning does the advertising convert that impression to a true purchase.   GEICO and Progressive Insurance ads are catchy, but one has to wonder if not for their shear volume do they actually work?

Locally, Hastings Way has had it’s own version…the Wisco’s hand operated marquee.  Wisco’s management inherited the marquee (and it’s use of clever puns and sayings) from the previous operator and have maintained that to draw eyeballs and hopefully customers.

Is it working?  Tough to say and there are several factors as to whether Wisco’s will ultimately be successful or not.  Originally a “Boston Pizza” the location has gone through a couple variations since, with prior operators trying to succeed on the cheap and burning bridges.  In fact, the faded shadow of “Boston Pizza’s” signs remained as of a couple years ago in spite of a new name for many years.


Eventually, the ownership before Wisco’s bailed leaving a trail of unpaid bills and a poor reputation in the local business community (in spite of well-intentioned public relation pushes to help other soon-to-fail eateries such as Guppy’s and Mike’s Cheese Shack).  That provided Wisco’s with a hole to start at this location when it opened earlier in the year.

What the Hungry Italian noticed on this visit was how much the building has changed on the inside for the better. Management (which also operates Wagner’s, 44 North, Thirsty Badger among others) completely re-did the entire layout so it no longer looks like the former Boston’s Pizza being re-purposed.  The walls have a dark wood lining with a few beer advertisements on them. The attempt seems to be to create some type of “rural Wisconsin log cabin tavern” feel.  The Hungry Italian isn’t too sure that succeeds but it doesn’t look bad and the attempt at a dark interior is off-set by plentiful lighting from the windows and that is a good thing.

The place was entirely empty at 11:55am on a Friday…ENTIRELY…except for staff.  That isn’t a positive sign for an establishment on a busy road.  By the time the Hungry Italian and his guest left, only one other table and a single bar stool were occupied during what should be a lunch rush on Hastings Way.

Regardless, onto the meal itself and the food.  The Hungry Italian went with a chicken melt and it was OUTSTANDING!  The bread was perfect with a slight buttery char, while the breaded chicken was moist without being soggy with cheese that was melty but not watery.

The guest ordered a mac-n-cheese burger which too was tasty.

Each order came with fries and while nothing spectacular, get the job done.

The only complaint is the sandwich the Hungry Italian ordered was to come with a pickle and a pickle does serve a purpose.  You should eat your pickle FIRST as it serves as a palate cleanser.

Unfortunately, the plate arrived with two pickle slices buried underneath the sandwich which shows either the cooks or waitress don’t understand the importance of the pickle and disregarded it as important.  A pickle isn’t a garnish but part of the meal.

Nevertheless, the visit was overall a positive one and the quality of the chicken melt is enough to bring the Hungry Italian back to try it again. 


This place was very yummy and one that will see the Hungry Italian again, especially for lunch.

Wiscos Eau Claire



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