On our trip across the state of Wisconsin during our vacation, it got to be close to lunchtime. And when Cindy says she needs to eat, the world stops. Thankfully, we were close to Wausau, WI and we ended up in the downtown area of that city in the historic River District. We were driving around trying to find some place to eat and we came across the City Grill Bistro.
The City Grill Bistro is part of the Jefferson Street Inn, a full service luxury hotel in downtown Wausau (see map). Although Wausau is part of my territory, I've never visited the city before. I really don't think there's much business to be had, actually, as Wausau is primarily a manufacturing and mining area. There are some paper and insurance companies in the area, but that's about it.
It was around 1:15 when we found a parking spot and walked into the City Grill Bistro. We were shown to a half table booth, the kind that I hate because it looks like you're on display, eating in front of everybody in the restaurant. But there weren't very many people in the restaurant, so we just ended up staying there. We got our menus from the hostess and took a look to see what they had for lunch.
The City Grill Bistro had sort of a trendy, upscale look to the place. It was contemporary and casual at the same time. It had a nice bar area in the center of the restaurant and one wall of the place consisted of large windows that looked out into the downtown area around the restaurant.
Service at the City Grill Bistro was unbearably slow. It took us nearly five minutes before a waiter showed up to take our drink order. And then it was another five minutes before he came back with the drinks. He asked if we needed any additional time to look at the menu. By that time, I'd pretty much memorized everything there was as the lunch menu featured only six sandwiches, about five salads and a handful of appetizers. We ordered right away.
Cindy ordered the turkey club with a cup of the tomato bisque soup, the soup of the day at the restaurant. I ordered the Reuben. I figured that was a safe choice. Seasoned potato wedges came with the sandwiches.
We waited and waited and waited for our lunch to come out. Cindy finally got her cup of tomato bisque about 10 minutes after we ordered. It was coming up to 25 minutes after we ordered that I decided to go to the restroom. I said, "It never fails. The food will show up while I'm in the bathroom."
Well, it did show up by the time I got back to the table. My sandwich was nothing special - just a regular Reuben with corned beef, swiss cheese and sauerkraut topped with 1000 Island dressing. I always like to get a side of 1000 Island dressing to dip my sandwich in. Unfortunately, I was in the bathroom when the waiter brought our food, so I couldn't order any right away. I was nearly 3/4's of the way through the sandwich before he came back to check on us. By that time, I didn't need the dressing any longer.
Cindy liked her turkey club, but she, too, said it was nothing special. We had finished our meals and waited another five minutes after we'd had our last bite before the waiter showed up and I immediately asked for our bill. By this time, it was approaching over an hour since we'd first sat down.
The bill came to about $23 bucks with tax. I put out a twenty, a five and a one and left it on the table. I wasn't about to have him take a credit card and waste another 10 minutes of our lives waiting for him to come back.
For as nice as the City Grill Bistro looked on the inside, the food wasn't all that spectacular, the service was absolutely horrid and it just didn't live up to our expectations. We'd been eating so well all week long that this was a step backwards compared to other places we'd visited.
I don't know if I'll be getting up to Wausau anytime soon in the future, but I'll be sure to look for some other place to eat other than the City Grill Bistro.