I went to Cheese Curds to get a piece of the local culinary hotspot. I arrived about 5:30pm the line up was slightly out the door and someone came out after a few minutes to say the wait would be ~45min I was okay with that and proceeded to wait in line. While waiting in line that long you have time to make observations. The first I noted was how slow it was going there are inefficiencies that can be overcome.
The owner came out about every 45 minutes to thank people for waiting and they are looking to make changes like getting more fridges and another grill and then you wouldn’t see him again. That is fine but why not make more use of what you have? They had 2 guys on the grill but at no time did I see more than 1/2 the grill covered. They could have been making a lot more in the same time. Also by the time I got to order ~45min after I had initially got there, they were out of onion rings. I know growing pains but there is no reason why the goods couldn’t have been reacquired at that point of the day.
Another thing that can improve things is table service even though they are not designed for such things they could have had someone seating people half the tables were occupied for 45 minutes plus by members of a family who were behind me in line. They also could clean the tables quicker as the garbages are trapped behind the line up. there also should have had staff or barriers direct the line up outside as for some reason the patrons decided to line up out into the parking lot instead of curving the line up to stay on the ample sidewalk.
The menu needs some tweaking as well, It list specialty burgers and paid extras but doesn’t mention that you have a plethora of awesome toppings to choose and you don’t see them till after you have ordered. It also appears that you can only have the Lamb, Salmon, Schnitzel, veggie burger if you order the specialty burger. Also another shortcoming was beverages. It looks like someone was bamboozled by a Coca-Cola salesman as the Coke fridge was full of every Coke product available in our market Powerade, Full Throttle, Minute Maid Juices, Dasani and frankly $2.50 for a 591ml Coke is gouging. Yes there is fountain pop but still at $2.25 seems high and fountain pop does not do the food justice if you want to charge those beverage prices and stick to local philosophy a partnership with Propeller or Garrison soda might have been a good idea.
Now on to the actual food after 70 minutes from the time I got there I had my single with double smoked bacon and blue cheese garnished with pickled red onions, dill pickle, bruschetta tomatoes, guacamole and cilantro, and a basic poutine I was ready to eat and it was good 70 min good maybe not but it was really good and the poutine was the best I have had outside of la belle province. The burgers are thick and double, triple burgers just seem like overkill though a realize there is some machismo to eating here. My dinner partner had chosen the specialty Lamb Burger and Brandy Peppercorn poutine, the poutine was good but the gravy was neither peppercorn-y or brandy-y enough to justify the $1 surcharge. The bun on the lamb was different that the toasted one I had on my beef burger and the Lamb bun was soggy before the burger had time to be finished. The lamb was also quite delicious.
In conclusion I will go again the food was tasty they just need to work out some of the quick success bugs that they are encountering and I won’t wait an hour. If the next time it is that busy, I’ll just go a block away to John’s Lunch.
Update: March 7th
an update on service, it has improved dramatically I started in essentially the same spot I was in line the first time I visited and this time the line to food in my hand was a mere 21 minutes, kudos to the improvements
and I also got to try the Onion Rings which were insanely good the drizzle of homey on them fresh from the fryer is ingenious.