Houdini’s Escape Gastropub [Caesar Salad]


Being the new place in town, today Food in the Fox decided to try out Houdini’s Escape Gastropub located at 1216 S. Oneida Street in Appleton. We walked in at about 11:30 and sat down in the dining room and started looking through the menu, which to me seemed a bit difficult to read. Anyway, we sat for about 10 minutes, looking through the menu and not a soul came to greet us or grab a drink order. Okay, I thought. Maybe the dining room is closed for lunch. We walked into the bar area that was pretty full of hungry lunch goers and found a small high top table. We were not acknowledged until about 10 minutes after we sat down.

Busy Place With A Large Beer Selection

When we were finally noticed, a man came over and handed out a few menus and grabbed our drink order. I saw bruschetta on the menu and it is one of those appetizers for me, that is hard to pass up. There were also items such as burgers and dinner options like steaks and pastas. We decided to split the appetizer and I opted for a Caesar Salad. After we ordered, it was kind of entertaining looking around the place. Behind the bar there must have been 80 different kinda of bottles beer in the large glass cooler and the lighting in the place added to the modern-hipster type atmosphere, as you can see below.

‘Excuse Me Sir, Is That What We Ordered?’

Our server brought out the bruschetta and I had to ask him if he brought the right menu item. When I think bruschetta, I think french bread, tomatoes, cilantro, onions and olive oil. This was ‘Wisconsin Style’ bruschetta, which was sharp cheddar cheese, fried prosciutto (ham), an over easy egg, and pesto served on crostini (baguette toast). I am a Wisconsinite and all, but this didn’t look appetizing, especially when I was expecting something completely different. I was so displeased that I decided not to try the greasy Wisconsin appetizer.  This was completely my fault. I did not read the menu correctly, so heads up if you check this place out, the bruschetta has been Wisconsinized. We told the server we didn’t like it and he took it off the table and our bill.

DIY Salad

The salad came out and I am really not sure what my first thought was. Actually, it was, ‘Is this a salad’? As you can see below, the salad presentation was different that what I am used to. It was grilled, yes, a grilled romaine lettuce head, cut in half. There was Parmesan cheese on it, as well as a side of cherry tomatoes and Caesar dressing. The salad was good, after I managed to chop up the lettuce and mix up the ingredients, but it was not very filling for a $7 salad.

Overall, I was a bit disappointed in the Gastopub. Having to move around the restaurant until we were noticed was something new and the menu was a bit too ‘glamorous’ for my taste. I know food presentation is important, but maybe take it down a notch; this is Wisconsin, not New York City. The giant beer selection was impressive, so if I decided to venture back, I would definitely try something different on the menu, along side one of the 80 or so cold brews available.


See our most recent experience here.

- M

Houdini's Escape Gastropub on Urbanspoon





Houdini’s Escape Gastropub
1216 S. Oneida Street
Appleton, WI 54914

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