Friday, August 13, 2010

Country Eating - A Throwback to More Generous Times

The Village Bar Supper Club, 3410 County Road HHH, Kieler, WI 608-568-3004 Beware of the HHH designation - there is also a double H and a single H -- all very near one another.

I thought call ing it a "supper club" was wildly funny because my only knowledge of them (from the outside, not the inside) is that they're located in densely urban areas (Palm Springs, Manhattan, for example.) Yet, here it sat, off to the side of a two-lane highway and a farm-to-market road. Pick-ups and Harleys dotted the gravel parking lot that ran in front of the place. Neon beer signs lit up the windows.

We were received warmly (all five of us) and seated at a table in the corner. The relish tray made a prompt appearance. For those of you younger than say 40,. this used to happen with regularity at some restaurants. On being seated, your waitress would put down a platter of fresh vegetables, dips, pickles or whatever else might seem appealing to the restaurant owner. "Hey! Welcome! Now you git on in here and sit down!"

Our relish tray contained: sliced celery, radishes, carrots with little dishes of ranch dressing; home-made liverwurst, a cheese dip and -- potato salad! All of this was accompanied by a basket brimming with several kinds of crackers and "bread sticks." The liverwurst "pate" was excellent.

The house specialty is prime rib. The Petite is 16 oz. for $16.95. The Queen is 24 oz. at $18.95 and the King is 40 oz. (yes, 40 oz.) for $24.95. We passed a King on the way to our table and it looked to be a 4 in. x 4 in. x 4 in. cube; rather like half a cinder block (without the holes.) It was barely seared on the outside edges... yes, well... Much, much later, we saw the King diner departing - with a sizeable box in his hand.

Baked potatoes come with all of the trimmings and cole slaw is the main accompaniment. Since it was good, who cares that it was not "sauteed, seasonal vegetables"? Neither my sister nor myself like prime rib so we ordered the shrimp scampi which was excellent.

Despite appearances (road house?!) this was very good food, delivered promptly and all of the hot things hot -- nothing got cold on the way to the table even with five of us and two different menu choices -- various sizes of the prime rib, done to different degrees plus the shrimp. I wish we had a Village Bar Supper Club in Redondo ... (said wistfully.)

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