It was another productive morning up around Green Bay when the morning slowly faded into lunchtime. The Food in the Fox team had to be in Neenah early that afternoon so we decided to go with a place we knew would be reliable and quick. Grazies’ friendly staff even asks you when you sit down for lunch if you are pressed for time, which is kind of nice. They also trot out the dipping oil and bread without delay.
The Dipping Oil & Bread
This is my third time around at Grazies and as was the case with the first two trips, one of the highlights of the meal was the 14-spice signature dipping oil and the white bread that came with it. To quote myself from a post written back in — wow, time flies — January, “The bread is pretty damn good, but the dipping oil… oh boy. It alone is probably worth the trip. If you want to take a bottle home it’ll set you back $12.99.”
Bruschetta Chicken Wrap
Last time we visited Grazies I opted for another type of chicken wrap, and I’m going to have to go with saying I enjoyed that one much more than the bruschetta wrap I’m going to chat about here today. The bruschetta chicken wrap is pesto-grilled chicken breast with fresh tomatoes marinated in balsamic vinegar and spices, provolone cheese, crushed pesto croutons, and a Greek feta cheese dressing, all rolled into flatbread. That’s pretty much verbatim from the menu … which makes me wonder if anything can really be called “pretty much verbatim.” That random thought aside, I was a bit disappointed that the balsamic vinegar overpowered every other flavor in the wrap. The flatbread was a standard green tortilla, which was lackluster considering I ranted and raved about the wrapper last time out. Maybe it was psychological. I have been a bit turned off from green tortillas since a trip to Molly’s a while back. There is also some sort of dining trend where the tortilla is about the size of a garbage can lid. I usually end up tearing about half of it off and setting it aside, as was the case here.
On the upside, everything seemed nice and fresh, service was quick, the bread and dipping oil flowed freely, lunch came in around $9.50, the coleslaw was tasty, and writing this point is giving me something to do on an otherwise uneventful Sunday evening while I wait for a chicken to finish roasting in the oven!
Grazies Italian Grill
2851 S. Oneida St.
Green Bay, WI 54304
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It was round two for Food in the Fox at Houdini’s Escape Gastropub on Monday for THRIVE Lunch. I must say, after the last experience, I was somewhat hesitant to give it another go (grilled lettuce didn’t do anything for me, besides confuse me). Anyways, here is a play-by-play breakdown of how round two ended up…
Getting there at right around eleven, the staff had a large area set aside for our group and they had already put water glasses on the tables.The staff was also very attentive and informative about items on the menu. The menu was also slightly different from the last time, with it being broken up by portion sizes, small and appetizers, medium and large dishes. They also still had the large selection of bottles beer behind the bar, which would make for a good happy hour, but I have yet to experience it.
Anyways, having had a salad and ‘Wisconsin’ brushetta last time, I decided to go with something that was far from either of those choices. I went with the vegetable panini, which included zucchini, mushrooms, onions and a few other vegetables smothered in cheese and pressed in between two pieces of bread. It also came with a choice of a side and I went with grilled vegetables. The panini was alright, considering the vegetables in the sandwich were drowning in greasy cheese and the side of vegetables were a bit oily and flavorless. It was filling, but not terribly satisfying. I tried to get something healthy, but unfortunately, it was probably not the healthiest option considering the cheese and oil.
Overall, round two was much better than round one. The total for the panini with tip was right around $10. Go check it out and let me know how your experience was.
Houdini’s Escape Gastropub
1216 S. Oneida Street
Appleton, WI 54915
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The newly opened SamBrulos on the west side of Appleton was the THRIVE Lunch destination on Monday. It is located in the old O’Charley’s Restaurant (which I unfortunately never was able to try before the doors closed) located at 3775 West College Avenue, right in between Kwik Trip and the bike shop. I have been eagerly waiting for this place to open and I was excited to give the American-Italian-Mexican place a shot.
They did a wonderful job preparing for the large group of people who usually show up for THRIVE lunch. There were glasses filled with ice, carafes of water, chips and salsa set out on the table setup for the group. They also had menus on the table that were filled with probably close to 100 items. It is not often that ravioli, enchiladas, burgers and pizza are all on the same menu. That was exactly the case here. They had a large selection of Mexican, American, and Italian food, which is nice because it could be a one stop shop for a large group of people all looking for a different type of food.
Wrapless For Nearly an Hour
I was feeling a bit American and ordered the club wrap (a spinach wrap with smoked turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo) with fries at the same time as a few other people placed their orders. Well, after everyone else around me received their food and were wrapping up their meals, I was still without wrapless. I was getting a bit frustrated and asked the waitress where the wrap was and she reassured me it would be out shortly. After about 45 minutes of waiting, the wrap showed up and the waitress apologized because she forgot to put my order in. “Great!,” I thought (sarcasm).
Will I be Back?
The wrap was very hot and juicy. I was expecting a cold wrap, but either way, I dug in. It was okay. The soggy lettuce did not add to the experience. It was almost as if the plate sat under a heat lamp for a bit too long. On a positive note, it did come with a pickle spear. My first experience at Sam Brulos, was not a great one. I understand mistakes happen, but they could have at done a bit more than a single ‘I’m sorry’. Hard to tell if I will go back.
3775 W. College Ave
Appleton, WI 54914
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