Kaminski Bros. Chop House
In a word: Its eyes are bigger than your stomach.
JM and Nichole split the 12oz filet mignon, sauteed mushrooms, and garbage salads.
The bill was $69, or $34.50/person, plus taxes (state, county, and resort) and tip.
JM gave Kaminski Bros. Chop House a C+; Nichole gave Kaminski Bros. Chop House a D+ (see our grading rubric).
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It took us a long time to get to Kaminski Bros. Chop House (or KBC in corporate parlance) both because it was in Wisconsin Dells and because we practically had to crash a wedding to get a table. Also, Chula Vista? In the middle of freaking nowhere. It's in Adams County, people. (No offense, Rome, Friendship, Easton, et al.) After terse directions from a gas station attendant who was so sick of the tourist season she had little time for our citified demeanor, we did make it despite, aha, a bridge being OUT.
Once there, we enjoyed the gorgeous view from the window over the changing woods. The dining room itself was sort of rustic chic, with plain wooden chairs and a few booths. Servers wheeled long, narrow butcherblock carts between tables, showing off cuts of meat and fixing salads.
We started off with a generous basket of warm bread and whipped butter. The bread was light inside and crusty outside.
Theatre is a big part of the experience at Kaminski Bros. The aforementioned carts are used to serve up the "garbage salads" tableside, and not one but two are stocked with saran-wrapped cuts of (uncooked) meat, lobster tails, and the biggest jumbo shrimp we'd ever seen (above). This all made Nichole a little uneasy about the conspicuous consumption of the whole affair - there must have been 20 pounds of meat on those carts, destined to be trashed after their night on display. But Chula Vista is no place to hold a vegan convention.
The garbage salad was actually very good. After the garlic cream dressing went on our greens, we asked our server to add tomatoes, onions, romano cheese, and baby shrimp. JM cut his losses at that point, while Nichole added banana peppers, olives, and a slice of bleu cheese. It all made for a zingy, filling salad.
Then came the steak and mushrooms. We were immediately glad we'd decided to split an entree. We counted 19 big mushrooms on our plate, which we brought home and 1) ate with leftover steak 2) chopped into tomato soup and 3) mixed into a brown rice salad. So, no shortage of quantity.
Quality, however, left almost everything to be desired. The meat was just not very flavorful. It may have been cooked at too low a temperature, since the outside was dry while the inside was medium rare (to order). Our server had warned us that this cut was not dry-aged because it was too small, so maybe we only have ourselves to blame. Meat aficonados may enjoy the specifics of Kaminiski Bros. which are, again, part of the show.
To Nichole, the whole place just felt too decadent, while falling short in the taste department. There are at least 5 places in Madison she'd rather drop $70 for dinner, leftovers or not. We skipped dessert because, well, truthfully, we didn't want to double our mass in one meal. A neighboring table got the brownie ice cream dessert which basically looked an ice cream burial mound (actual size). You get a lot of food at KBC, but that's the beginning, the middle and the end.