Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Road Trip: Quaker Steak & Lube

We made up our mind on some closet system stuff from Ikea, so we headed back down to Cinci on Friday after work. The West Chester Ikea has a deal running on delivery -free delivery up to 100 miles if you buy a mattress. And, you can have anything else you buy delivered with the mattress. We needed a new mattress for the guest room, so... we went back.

Anyhow, as we were zipping around 275 on the NW corner of the city, I spied a Quaker Steak & Lube location in a newly developed area of strip malls, chain restaurants and big box stores. I used to live in NE Ohio, between Cleveland and Akron, and fondly remembered the original Lube over in Sharon, PA... so, we decided to stop in.

Now, first, I love the punny name of this chain. But, I find it kind of an interesting trend that one-of-a-kind locations that are heavily theme oriented (like the original Lube) are usually far more fun than theme oriented chains - like any Planet Hollywood, or this Lube location in Colerain, OH.

I also need to mention that I kind of wore out on the buffalo wing some time in the 90's. At one point, I was totally into them, and this included planning a trip to stop in at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo (after a camping and photography stop at Watkins Glen gorge), the reputed home of the Buffalo Wing. In my memory, these were some fantastic wings. Big, hot and juicy. I've found recipes for their wings, and if I remember correctly it is amazingly simple. Equal parts melted butter, Frank's Hot Sauce and some celery salt. Anyhow, the fact that the buffalo wing continues to do well somewhat surprises me, but... deep fried, spicy chicken is a pretty classic taste.

It is especially interesting to me that the chicken wing is now considered a premium cut of meat, and costs reflect this. This article from NYTimes talks about how the wing is now more than chicken breast meat (I didn't not check commodity prices to see if this was still true).

And, while we were at Quaker Steak & Lube, I did have boneless wings, which is just nugget-ized breast meat. I tried the Arizona Ranch sauce, which measures in at 2050 "scoville units". The Lube's measurement for heat is on a scoville scale, and while Arizona Ranch was in the top third, it is under the one called "Hot", so I guess I shouldn't have been surprised they were not all that spicy.

The real problem is that they were dry, dry, dry. And, ultimately, this is a major problem to me with breast meat. Sure, people love it cause it is healthier, but... it is so dry and can so easily be overcooked (at home, I prefer to use skinless thighs, and guests usually enjoy it. The dark meat is more tender and juicy, but has more fat content than white meat. It also holds a marinade much better. But, it is cheap!). The cheese fries were tasty, but my plate must have sat under heat lamps, cause the cheese looked kind of plasticy, not warm and still-melting. Anyhow, it was just okay. Decent bar food, but nothing to drive back to Cinci for on its own.

The better half had a quesadilla salad which was warm, cheesy, and tasty, but incredibly predictable for a chain of this ilk.

The best part of the meal was sitting outside with the sun setting on a day in which the weather gave us a respite from the humidity.

The verdict: 2 belly rubs (out of 5). Predictable and almost boring.

By the way, the menu mentioned a location inside of Conseco Field House, which I have obviously not noticed before.


Leslie said...

Other than the one at Conseco.. I think we are getting one in Indy.

Anonymous said...

awesome! my wife and I took a road trip to Ikea and Jungle Jim's this past Sunday (and I also spied the steak & lube).

We'd planned on eating at Troy's Cafe, but couldn't find the location... so heading to Jungle Jim's, we happened across "A Taste of Julia's" and had an amazing meal!!


Home-cooked, soul style food - excellent meatloaf, to-die-for sweet potato casserole, etc

Tom H

Anonymous said...

btw, where in Indy is within 100miles of west chester? SE side?? I got kind of excited about maybe being able to buy a bed we like... and we're unfortunately 117 miles from the store :(

The free shipping sure would have made it possible--- jumped on their website and it'd be $349 to deliver a $349 bed :-0 'that's too much!'

Tom H

Indy Grub Review said...

I do need to make it to Jungle Jim's some time!

Well, we paid $68 total for what we are having delivered. WIth this deal, if you buy a mattress, it and anything else you buy can be delivered free within 100 miles, of they give you a credit of $69 towards your delivery cost. They go buy zip code, and the additional to our near north Indy zip code cost us a total of $65 more. You just have to buy a mattress!

How big were the boxes for your bed? since most stuff from Ikea has to be assembled later, maybe the boxes aren't so bad.... it may not fit into a regular car, but... there is a real good chance the boxes would fit into a van or SUV.... ???