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A.J’s Roadhouse
6735 Kellogg Ave
231-2447

Lately we’ve been realizing just how varied pub grub really is. One pub may serve a decent burger but everything else off the menu is from Sams Club. A few pubs (we won’t name) serve nothing but Sams Club crap and call it “homemade, homestyle” or even name it after themselves. Yeah right! It reminds me of George Carlins “homestyle... in a can” comedy routine. Come on people, is it really that hard to bread, batter, bake, fry or sauté? Have your consumer needs been satisfied by a flash frozen pre-breaded sodium nitrate, monosodium glutamate chicken butt patty? Mine aren’t. I’ll let you in on a little secret, EV food reviewers made two previous attempts to write a Pub Grub article at two other pubs prior to settling in at A.J’s. The first was serving a VERY limited menu... because it was Sunday. The second pub couldn’t offer the whole menu due to a broken fryer.
A.J’s was on the way and open. The sign out front proudly displayed “lunch and dinner served everyday”. That sign pretty much sealed the deal. Hard to believe Sunday pub-grubbin came down to a matter of who is open and ready for business. Sundays should be a decent day for the pubs. You have Nascar, Sports and usually food and drink deals. To be closed or have the kitchen shut down for that one day of the week doesn’t make good sense. Unless of course your business is so slow you simply can’t afford it. Ever think maybe the business is slow because you can’t afford to compete? A.J’s is obviously open on Sundays, as well as every other day. They have the kitchen going strong and nothing of what I’ve seen gives me any indication the freezer is stocked with Sams Club Sh!t.
The Bartender wanted me to choose my order but I wasn’t having any part of that, so I asked her to choose. Her choice... the ever popular Jack Salmon. Can’t go wrong with a crowd favorite now can you? Well I see why the Jack sandwich is so popular, it’s big, crisp and flaky. However, the fish is actually Walleye not Salmon.
I think I’d re-name it true to its fins as Walleye is much more enticing to me than Jack Salmon. Who really knows what Jack Salmon is anyway? Well www.freedictionary.com lists the following description.
Noun 1. jack salmon - pike-like freshwater perches Stizostedion vitreum, walleyed pike, walleye pike perch, pike-perch - any of several pike-like fishes of the perch family blue pickerel, blue pike, blue pike perch, blue walleye, Strizostedion vitreum glaucum - variety inhabiting the Great Lake. I guess it really is a Jack Salmon. I still like Walleye better. Regardless of what you call it the fish is fantastic. Lightly breaded, cooked just long enough to turn the wonderful white meat into a moist, flaky fillet. You could say it was delicious, delightful or even damn near perfect. You could never say it looked like it was from Sams, Save-A-Lot or even Sisco.
I’m always uneasy about ordering fish because if I don’t like it I’m stuck hungry waiting for a replacement so I ordered wings as a back-up in case of a foul fish experience. I didn’t need the wings after all but that didn’t stop us from eating every single one of them. These wings were big fat meaty suckers too! I hate the little skinny wings at BW3’s, it screws up my whole ordering process. I have to add extra wings to what I normally get, at A.J’s I have to subtract. A small order of 10 ($4.95) is more than enough for me, even as a meal! At BW3’s I’d need at least 12 or 15. My companion opted for a Reuben sandwich ($6.95) with a twist... turkey, sauerkraut, mayo, pickle and wheat bread. The cook got it right and the sandwich was decent but the wings and fish stole the show.
The fresh fries were good but even better with some of the homemade tartar sauce that came with the fish. The rest we ate with the ranch from the wings, hot sauce splattered and all. The menu has several other interesting choices that I’ll definitely get around to consuming here soon. I would most likely order the wings as an appetizer on every visit. I was impressed by the sheer size and meaty girth the wings have. Obviously they aren’t from your grocers freezer either.
I wonder how many pubs would still serve food if you legally had to make it from scratch? Better yet, how many would still be serving on a Sunday?
As long as Sams and Sisco are around you’ll never know... but we will.

 

 

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