Many restaurants use unique lures to attract customers. Original cuisines, classy ambiances, popular themes, added activities or, on the flipside, without being tactful, a blatant gimmick can suck in patrons. Which brings me to this week’s question. Is the Iron Duck, an establishment set inside fused train boxcars, simply using novelty to bring people through their doors?
In plain English, and without suspense, I’ll tell you no. The interior’s atmosphere, despite lacking windows, is the epidemy of class. There’s few menu options, but enough to satisfy any pallet. Their drink list, including a wide array of wines, rotating taps of Wisconsin craft beer and interesting mixed drinks, can satisfy any diner.
So on with my experience at the Iron Duck….
It’s a Friday night, as the calendar nears mid July. One might question why I’ve chosen to dine indoors tonight, as the temps reside in the seventies. I guess I’m looking to mix it up a bit and Heidi’s on board with that notion. So, we follow Velp Ave west out of Green Bay.
Reaching the weathered parking lot of tonight’s choice, I’m doubting my instincts. The structure’s multi colored appearance, being that of fused box cars attached to a mundane anteroom, awkwardly looms in the lot’s center. It seems counterintuitive to imagine that, across this poorly conspired threshold, a fine dining experience awaits. I’m soon to find that, indeed, my concerns are misplaced.
The wood finish, as the host directs us to a charming corner table for two, quells my apprehension. On the east and west sides of this intimate eatery, box cars lie in wait. Either car can seat patrons, as the old freight carrier’s rustic borders contain tall booths.
We’re handed menus and drink lists. The tap beer choices, being that they hail from Wisconsin, are sufficive. And though their Menu is short, I find exactly what I’m looking for. At first, as I usually go for the cheap alternative, I lean towards their sandwiches. However, I cringe at the prices, absolutely fearing flipping the sheet over to glimpse their entrees.
But when I do, I’m pleasantly surprised. I discover, for a few measly dollars more, I can indulge in one of their tantalizing main dish choices. I’m not one for fine dining, but with these prices and salmon on the menu, I’m going to ‘give ‘er a shot.'(That’s Wisconsinite for ‘Try it out’)
When our food arrives, I’m dazzled. Of course with fine dining, presentation plays a role in the experience. I’m going to devour this scrumptious looking dish!
I’m not lying when I say I’m enjoying every bite. I absolutely am, right down to the last Brussels sprout. Heidi also loves her choice. We savor, conversate and people watch in this upscale atmosphere.
The only thing that kills it for me are the televisions set along the walls. I feel, in this environment, the subtle absence of technology would lend towards an uplifting visit. The main dining area, which features an adequately sized bar at its center, would be better suited without reruns of the Family Guy.
All and all, I’m happy with our choice. It sets the tone for an absolutely splendid night, as we settle up for under sixty dollars. I know, that isn’t a cheap meal. But considering the ambiance, quality of food and service, it’s actually on the frugal end of such experiences. Oh, did I mention their kitchen is also a boxcar?