Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Day Out: The Loaded Slate

Months ago I bought a Groupon for The Loaded Slate in Milwaukee. I noticed just last week that it was coming close to expiration and I needed to get there to try the place out. My friend Ellie and I decided to enjoy a Saturday together and use the Groupon.

The Loaded Slate is located on Old World Third street across from MollyCool’s and Lucille’s. I remember that it used to be a wine bar a few years ago, but it must not have had the draw it needed to stay open. Next to the building is a parking lot that is accessed through the alley, which allowed the restaurant to put in a small area for outdoor seating. It is one row of tables about 8 inches above the sidewalk and then another row of tables on the sidewalk. With the Moderne being built next door, really dwarfs the size of this old historic building.
Patio area outside of the bar.
While walking up to the front door, I saw something truly exciting – JUMBO Jenga! They had two sets in the front windows of the restaurant for patrons to play while enjoying some cocktails. I saw later on a bathroom flier that they actually have a Jenga league that plays on Sundays. My dad just made me a Jumbo Jenga set for tailgates and cookouts, so seeing that bars are getting into this game was cool to see. It’s the next party game like bags, ladder golf and washers. I have to get a bar closer to me start a Jenga league now!
Jenga boards stacked up in the front window.

When we walked in the door we noticed the bar was pretty full with male patrons around our same age. We grabbed ourselves a little table against the wall and took in the ambiance for a few minutes. The tables have a chalkboard in the middle of them to be able to play games on or draw while you enjoy your meal or drinks. There are also large, chalk-drawn murals on the walls of the bar amongst Wisconsin sports pennants and flags and other quirky art pieces - for instance, the mountain lion head and swords. I’m not sure how this fit in, but it was interesting to look at everything.

Chalk Brewers drawing in the back of the bar.
Sports memorabilia.
Pennants and goat head with swords.
We were greeted by Matt the server/bartender for the afternoon who got us some menus and waters while we chose our beers. They have a decent beer selection but the cooler is hard to see unless you are at the bar. We scooted ourselves over there to see everything that they had. I think that they should switch the cooler around to put the Miller/Bud products near the bottom and the microbrew selection should be moved to the top to make it easier for the customers to see. Ellie decided on a Magic Hat #9 and they currently had Oberon on tap so I went with that of course.
Oberon in front of the table chalkboard.
Matt came back and answered a number of questions I had on the menu, like what the Panini of the Month was and how the sliders could be ordered. The answers were unfortunate on both – no Panini this month and of the 4 protein choices, you could not mix and match them. Having 4 identical sliders definitely kept this as an appetizer, but still 4 identical sliders isn’t too fun of an appetizer. The menu consists of appetizers, burgers, soups and salads. There was also a brunch menu and weekly specials listed on reverse side that are also on the website.. Ellie decided on the Slamberry sandwich and after much debate I went with the Loaded Slate Burger.

Matt put in the order and Ellie and I then had the opportunity to catch up a bit and talk about what’s going on as we hadn’t seen each other in a while.  Matt brought over another caddy of plasticware, napkins and ketchup for us, which we already had on our little table and so we just grabbed the ketchup and added it to our current caddy and put in on the next table. They use all plasticware which is a little bit of a shame that they aren’t more eco-friendly. I don’t mind having extra napkins at my disposal and that they are paper, but silverware would have been preferred instead of tons of plasticware at the table sitting out all day long.

Our sandwiches came out and being the foodies that we are, we snapped a few shots before digging in. My burger was larger than life being a ½ pound angus patty loaded up with lettuce, tomato, onion, white cheddar, mushrooms, bacon and their signature Guinness cheese sauce all on a pretzel bun. I ordered it cooked medium and it was cooked well beyond that. It was still extremely juicy so I didn’t say anything.  I piled the sandwich together, cut it in half and then squished the first half down and dove in for bite one.
Loaded Slate Burger
Instantly I knew that the extra napkins were necessary. The cheese sauce started oozing out of the sandwich and I joked that I should create a sandwich rating system – the more napkins I rate it, the messier it is. This would have been a 3 out of 5. The sandwich was tasty besides the cheese sauce dripping out all over my hands and plate. The sauce did taste a little like cheezwhiz and definitely smelt like it, but I believe it had the spice kick that I kept tasting. The tomato was really fresh and full of flavor and the bacon was crisp, although fatty, but not rubbery. It was a good burger, but didn’t really stand out above others I have had.
It's much larger than my hand representation shows!
As my side, I ordered the rosemary potatoes, but other options were tots, waffle fries, pub fries, chips or cottage cheese. The potatoes were fingerlings cut on half and baked with rosemary and Parmesan. I think they could have used salt and more rosemary as the flavor was faint and tasted mostly just like baked potatoes. I took half of the burger home and some potatoes because the lunch was very generous in size as you can see.

Ellie’s sandwich was baked chicken with provolone and spinach served with a cranberry mustard. She got tots on the side and I tried one and they were tot lusciousness. The sandwich was a bit bland without the mustard on it. She asked for another side to spread on the sandwich and then it was good. She too took home half of her sandwich and tots for a second meal.
Slamberry with tots

This is definitely more of a guys bar and with the typical offerings. There is plenty to keep folks entertained and the food was decent and reasonably priced. It was a little hard to know who was an employee and who was a patron as a few guys asked us how everything was and we weren’t sure if they were workers or bar regulars just being friendly. But if you want to watch sports and play Jenga or games on the chalkboard tables, this bar is worth a try.

So until my next blog, Happy Eating!

No comments:

Post a Comment