Oinkster - third time is the charm?
Don't know if my taste buds have adjusted, if Oinkster has made some tweaks, or what. This weekend, though, I hit up the BBQ pork sandwich from Oinkster, poured on a little bit of the Carolina BBQ sauce, and devoured the sandwich in about 5 minutes flat.
Tasty, delicious, and right on. The meat was well smoked, full of flavor. The slaw was vinegary and pungent. The fries were a shade short of perfection, but they were exactly the right level of salty.
So color me surprised, but Oinkster just crossed into the "regular meal rotation" pantheon. Who knew?
We went Saturday night (bad timing - the place was filled with members of a local car club and we very much felt like the interlopers) - both had cheeseburgers/combo and an order of chili, plus two cupcakes.
The burgers were good - cooked to our liking, but the order was messed-up. The combos came with fries - mine were COLD, my dining partner's were warm, but not hot - we asked for replacements (which were cheerfully provided) but they were lukewarm. I think the fries would have been tasty had they been hot and I liked the aioli and ketchup. The chili was good - a bit thin, but lots of flavor (and no beans) - made with ground meat. The cupcakes were a bit dry/stale - think they'd been sitting in the display case for too long (next time I'll go straight to Auntie Em's and by-pass the middleman).
Would we go back? Maybe. I like the idea(s) of what the owner's trying to do - and there's lots of potential, but I really felt let down.
(And, like luswei said above - even though the place was crowded, it was really cold that night we were there.)
So I did end-up going back to Oinkster - got the cheeseburger combo to go. Flavor was fine and the burger was cooked to the desired level of doneness - fries were cold (I checked them at the counter, before leaving) and I had to ask for replacements; again, the replacements were lukewarm. GRRRRR.
Anyway, there were a couple of things that had me concerned -
- I was looking over the prep area and saw a stack of sliced cheddar cheese - the cheese was so dry that the edges were curling-up!
- There were several people ahead of me, waiting for their take-out. Each of them opened their orders and out of the four orders, three had problems (missing items, wrong items, cold fries in two cases). (This is what prompted me to check my order at the counter.)
- The garlic aioli that came with the fries had broken - the little container was 3/4 oil with sediment at the base; sad, 'cause it sure smelled good.
- Their straw dispenser was broken and so people were just prying off the lid and reaching in to grab straws - this wouldn't have been an issue except that the straws weren't wrapped, so there was a sanitary concern. (I asked at the counter and was given a wrapped straw.)
Anyway, the cheeseburger was fine tasting, though it was sans tomato. My one gripe about the burger was that I'd ordered grilled onions; when the staff was assembling the order, the grilled onions were placed at the bottom of the stack, directly on the bottom half of the bun, which meant that all of the juices soaked into the bread and it disintegrated. I saw this at the counter, when I was checking my order, but was running late and didn't have time to wait for another one to be made (so I took a knife and fork and ate the burger with utensils - not my preferred manner, but it worked).
So do I try again and hope for the "third time's a charm" magic or do I go elsewhere?
I haven't been back to Oinkster in a few months, since the hype and inept service made it a why bother. So it makes me wonder even more why Dave's Chillin' and Grillin' across Colorado is off the radar. Just a 180 degree difference - an on-site owner who cares with great sandwiches and smoothies. The atmosphere may not be as retro as Oinkster's, but the food and service make up for it. FWIW, Dave says he'll be offering burgers soon.
Finally tried it last night and enjoyed our meal (1/4 chicken and gruyere burger) even though we had to eat with our coats on. The place is very crowded in spite of the fact that the place was cold and little kids kept opening and closing the door like a game...so when our fries arrived cold, we asked for replacement fries. They accommodated us wihtout any problem.
The magical chicken machine is apparently running, but I showed up in a chicken-free zone. I went there to try the mystery chicken, and got the BBQ since they were all out.
They asked for my name, but since it was to-go (4th quarter of the football game was waiting at home), there was no numbering humiliation. They were generous with the side sauces, and I tried three or four with the fries.
As for diet soda, can't report on that. Still, have to say I was amazed at how tasty the sandwich was... Whatever's going on in there, they got it right on Saturday night.
Good to hear. Always happy to find a place in the neighborhood to like a bit more. I'm presuming it's still visually charmless, but have they gotten their magical chicken machine yet? Do they still redundantly ask for your name AND make you march to your table holding the humiliating metal number for table service? Do they have any decent DIET drinks in bottles?
More bitching and moaning about what I do and do not put in my mouth can be found at http://manifeasto.blogspot.com/