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Wausau

31st May
2010
written by Minx

Taco Bell on Grand Ave

Oh, do you remember the Taco Bell on Grand Avenue in Wausau? It has been there, serving us cheap tacos and burritos for well over 30 years. And as of now, the building is gone–smashed to the ground, flattened. Is Taco Bell on Grand Ave. no more?

Hardly! They are building a brand new building in their more modern style, just to serve us better. I’ve heard that sometime late this summer we might see the return of the cheapest bean burrito around.

Seriously, even though the food is no big deal (no deal at all really), it’s a great value and it will fill you up. And, the Taco Bell on Grand Ave. is an icon of the Wausau area, and a fond and lovely one at that. So, though it will have a new face in a few months, fear not! The happiness of an .89 taco will still be satisfied. :-)

16th May
2010
written by Minx

El Mezcal is at 3100 Rib Mountain Drive in Wausau, WI. A little to the north of Kohl’s and Barnes and Noble, tucked away on the west side of the street.

This little restaurant is overlooked by a lot of people as just another Mexican restaurant. But, this place is a gem: it has authentic Mexican food, the atmosphere is nice, and it’s rather cheap.

I will recommend the rice, which was moist and had a hint of spicy but not too much. The tacos were also very good, staple food. The refried beans were tasty and just the right consistency to pick up on their homemade tortilla chips without falling off. Their salsa was good as well, though more medium to mild than hot.

Tasty authentic Mexican! And good for the pocketbook.

1st May
2010
written by Minx

Ever been to Madison’s The Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company? Well, The Great Dane Pub in Wausau, WI on Sherman St. is their fourth Pub, and an exact likeness of Madison’s, down to the good—not great perhaps, but good—food, the excellent beer, and the comfortable and broad atmosphere.

I like the atmosphere particularly well for two reasons. First, the restaurant has a modern, happening feel to it that makes you feel lively just being there. Secondly, the booths and tables are made of  heavy, strong wood that comforts and supports you. The darkness of the bar is about the right level, not too bright or low, and it is quiet enough to have meaningful conversations, not just nods and shouts. And, the dining area’s excellence lies in the booths that give privacy without physically cutting you off from your neighbors.

Just as in Madison, the food is nothing to shout for, but it is good, staple food. I usually always order the fish because it is one thing on the menu that I know is tasty and done fairly well. I might also suggest the pretzels and mustard (well, I got mine with cheese of course ;-) ) when you’re drinking—they tasted exceptionally good with the dark beers. And, if you want to try an English staple, get the Bangers and Mash (I think they call them Brats and Mash in Wausau just for us). The brats are fried with onions, the “mash” is actually yummy mashed potatoes, and there is hot apple/cinnamon chunky sauce as a side. 

Update 5/15/10: I also just tried the Chicken Pot Pie, which was quite good. Flaky crust on top, smooth mashed potatoes and chicken etc. inside. Also comes with the apple/cinnamon chunks and a rye roll. Nice dish.

Now, for the best part: the beer. Brewed on site—you can see the vats from the bar—this beer is something to get excited about. There is a variety of beers from very light to pretty-darn-dark (I’m an Extra Stout Guinness kind of girl, so dark means black to me). The Speedway India Pale Ale, a light beer, has a zing to it which I thoroughly enjoyed. The Emerald Isle Stout, a dark beer, was very good, but for me, it missed the punch at the end that I tend to look for. However, some others in our party thought the Emerald a very good dark beer indeed, and if you like bottled Beck’s Dark, which has a smooth finish, then this is much better.

All in all, The Great Dane Pub in Wausau, WI is a downright good place to go for drinks, or drinks and food. Try it!

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