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Crawdaddy's Cries For Better Service

The story behind today’s review is multi-faceted. Crawdaddy’s was originally opened on 64th and Greenfield Ave. in West Allis in 1995 by Jonathan Klug. Mr. Klug does plan to open a new version soon that will be the subject of a future review. Mr. Klug closed the business in 2013 and it was relocated to its current location at 9427 w. Greenfield ave. in 2016. Then owner, Mike Weier, closed the business in mid-July of 2018 before the business was sold to Troy Meyer. I was eager to see what the current ownership had to offer.

I spoke with a few of my coworkers and we decided to set up a group lunch. Rachel, a coworker of mine, had said the previous version of Crawdaddy’s was one of her favorite places she had visited since moving here from California. Rachel, another coworker Nate, my beautiful lady Margie and myself all agreed to meet Sunday afternoon for lunch.

We arrived at 1 p.m. and were surprised to see the restaurant empty. We were greeted promptly and shown to a table in the corner of the dining area. As we waited for the balance of our party to arrive, I was surprised nobody stopped and inquired if we would enjoy any beverages or appetizers as we waited. When the balance of our party arrived, we called for the server who was very busy cleaning. She was pleasant and treated us warmly.

We ordered Jalapeno and goat cheese hush puppies to start. They arrived a short time later and were of a very decent size. They were served with a sauce on the side that was not listed on the menu. From the taste of it, I would assume it was a chipotle ranch or something similar. The hush puppies themselves had a good flavor but were dry even for dish that is normally not too moist. The mentioned goat cheese was a mere speck in the center and there was not much flavor from any jalapeno. Margie and Nate found them to dry to finish even with the mystery sauce. Rachel and I, although admitting the dryness, were able to enjoy the flavor despite the lack of goat cheese and spice.

After what seemed to be a considerable wait, considering we were the only table present at the time, our entrees arrived. Margie ordered off the Bruch Special menu. She ordered the Trio of Benedicts. These were three egg benedicts of the following variety, pecan smoked shoulder bacon, Fried green tomato and avocado and seared crab cake with wilted greens. All of which were served over a toasted English muffin and finished with a poached egg and hollandaise sauce. We were informed they were out of the crab cake and that the substitute was lobster. When they arrived, the presentation was top notch. All three were served on a white rectangle plate and were topped with a few green onions. The flavor was wonderful in all three. The fried green tomato benedict featuring a slight lemon flavor that was bright and delicious. The downfall of the dish is that it arrived cold. Not sure if this was due to the time we waited for our food or an error in the kitchen, but it was a shame as it really took away from what was an incredible dish.

Rachel was next at the table. She ordered the Shrimp and Andouille Cajun Pasta. This dish is described as gulf shrimp, sliced andouille, seasonal vegetables and Cajun cream sauce. Featuring a price of $17 it did not disappoint. The portion was generous and the amount of spice it featured was a surprisingly good amount according to Rachel. This dish was definitely a good choice.


Next up was Nate who also ordered off the brunch menu. Southern Fried Chicken w/ Biscuits and Gravy was his choice. This entrée featured 1/4chicken with peppered sausage gravy over two large buttermilk biscuits. You also have the option of adding two scrambled eggs for an additional $2. Again, the portion was generous requiring Nate to take home one of the pieces of chicken. The biscuits were large as advertised. The pepper in the gravy was not overwhelming and gave the dish a good flavor. The chicken was a good size and according to Nate, had a very good flavor. Although after some introspection he did mention the amount of salt flavor seemed slightly above what he was used to.

Lastly, was my dish. I chose to join my friends in ordering off the brunch menu. Being a fan of skillets, I chose the Louisiana Cajun Skillet. The mouth-watering description of this dish is Tasso ham, Andouille sausage, red and green peppers, red onion, diced sweet potatoes and white cheddar cheese. Finished with two over easy eggs with a side of spicy tomatoes. I could not wait to dig into this dish as every single ingredient was one I enjoyed. When the dish arrived, I was happy to discover the eggs were indeed cooked perfectly. The yoke adding a perfect binding agent to the rest of the ingredients. The diced sweet potatoes were a little too small to easy be picked up by the fork but worked quite well with the overall flavor. The ham had a great smoky flavor that was present, but not overpowering. The flavor was a perfect blend. As a personal preference, I would have enjoyed a little more spice. It was at that point I realized my missing side of spicy tomatoes. I called our server back over and inquired where they had gone to. “Yes, you are supposed to have some.” She replied and walked off. I was not sure if this meant she was checking or just agreeing that my meal was lacking a key ingredient that could have made it considerably more enjoyable. A few minutes later I was pleased to learn she did indeed check and informed me they did not make them anymore and they should have been taken off the menu. A point that would have been good to know upon ordering. Kindly, she offered to get me a replacement side. Moments later she returned with a small bowl filled with what I can only describe as ‘spicy tomatoes.’ I was fairly confident inquiring about this would only lead to greater confusion. The truly ironic thing about these tomatoes is that they were served to us hot and they indeed were spicy. Adding them to my skillet made a good dish taste great.

Our server did keep my coffee cup full and came back to inquire if there was anything else we did need. I am not sure if Crawdaddy’s offers dessert during this time, or at all, but it was not offered. In conclusion I would have to say the atmosphere of Crawdaddy’s is amazing. The layout, the pictures of accomplished musicians of both jazz and blues backgrounds on the wall and the overall southern feeling is second to none. We all enjoyed to options of a brunch menu in addition to the southern cuisine offered. My regret is that the service really detracted from what could have been a very enjoyable dining experience. From waiting quite long despite being the only table present, to the inexcusable fact of our food arriving at the table below room temperature. There is the possibility that this was just an off moment for this establishment and not what can be expected. Crawdaddy’s has the keys to providing a great meal out. It is my sincerest hope they choose to utilize them in a way that would provide just such an experience.

 

By: Neil Panosian

 

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