Hong Kong Station

Hong Kong StationIn a word: Train your eyes on this "chew-chew" station.

The specs: #00909  
1441 Regent St., 53711
Details at Yelp, Hong Kong Station on Urbanspoon
Official web site

Latest Hong Kong Station news and reviews at del.icio.us

JM ate the honey walnut shrimp with a lemonade.
Nichole ate the house special rice noodle soup with shrimp ball, mushroom, and vegetables with an iced coffee.
We split the crab rangoon.
The bill was $32, or $16/person, plus tip.
JM and Nichole both gave Hong Kong Station an A- (see our grading rubric).

Crab rangoonHong Kong Station seems to have come from central casting as a diner, but somehow serves really interesting Chinese food instead. Given that the place was nearly full and featured only two other occidental faces other than ours, this is a good sign.

Those diner qualities, though, create an almost Roxbury Tavern level of cognitive dissonance.  The place is super clean and larded with Muzak, so far, not that weird.  But the decor was all vintage Coke signs and 50s sex symbols (including several Betty Boop examples) and signs proclaiming the benefits of coffee and beer.  To top it all off someone has framed a laserdisc copy of the Hunt for Red October. On the wall of this Chinese restaurant. Is this real life?

Of course, once the food arrived, we had little time to notice anything else strange.  Our crab rangoon was a fair way down the onion axis, much more savory than sweet. It had a thick, fresh-tasting wrapper and was laden with much crab.

Soup

The soup was soup-erb. The server had helped Nichole pick her soup ingredients -  steering her away from the omasun (sic) with a simple "Americans don't like it," then encouraging her to skip the whole, unpeeled shrimp in favor of the tidier shrimp balls.  (Later we observed someone who appeared to be the paterfamilias at the next table grab the same server's pad, write his group's order down, and hand the pad back without a word.) The dish was just fantastic, with a deep brown, richly flavored broth. The noodles were tender and the substantial mushrooms (shiitake-like, but we're not sure) were the best part. The bok choy (vegetable), shrimp balls, and onion all contributed to a delicious whole.

Honey walnut shrimp

JM's honey walnut shrimp didn't taste much of walnut.  The honied mayo dressing on the shrimp was somewhere between secret sauce and honey Dijonnaise. Though the batter was light and really good, cooked in a very light fry medium.  While he didn't take them up on the offered rice, it is important to note that it doesn't just come with every meal.

Coffee gumballsTo top it all off was a coffee-flavored gumball or two for Nichole, which may be why the coffee signs proliferate on the walls.  Give them a try, though, since food this good and at this price (don't worry, you get what you pay for) may be a hard sell this close to campus. 

Hilltop Inn

Hilltop InnIn a word: Old-school supper club with fine hospitality and (bonus!) hummingbirds.

The specs: #00908  
4173 County Road P, Cross Plains 53528
Details at Yelp, Hilltop Inn on Urbanspoon
Official web site, Facebook

Latest Hilltop Inn news and reviews at del.icio.us

JM ate the pork chop with a lemonade.
Nichole ate the scallops with a decaf.
The bill was $33, or $16.50/person, plus tip.
JM gave Hilltop Inn a B-; Nichole gave Hilltop Inn a B+ (see our grading rubric).

 

On a rambling county road south of Cross Plains

You may find a nice and old school supper club

Hidden there among the rural country lanes.

 

The bread provided slices nicely despite the lack of grains

But the old school salad bar was Hilltop Inn's flavor hub

On a rambling county road south of Cross Plains.

 

Salad barSoup and bread

 

Add in southwest chicken soup whose pepperiness hardly wanes

Presaged the scallops huge and the drawn butter tub

Hidden there among the rural country lanes.

 

The portions were ample and as Nichole clearly explains

"You get a lot of food for your dollar, bub"

On a rambling county road south of Cross Plains.

 

Though a dry pork chop caused JM's mouth strains

A baked instead of mashed potato was sadly a flub

Hidden there among the rural country lanes.

 

Scallop dinnerPork chop

 

On the other hand, Ms. Pac-Man and FIFA pinball games

Digestion is easier with ghosties and goalies to drub

On a rambling county road south of Cross Plains

Hidden there among the rural country lanes.

World Cup 1994 pinball


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