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East Towne Food Court

In a word: It's just a food court.

The specs: #0148
  Official web site.

Amanda ate at Kato's Cajun.
Carlos ate at Steak Escape.
JM ate at Sbarro's and Orange Julius.
Nichole ate at Sarku Japan and DQ.
The kids ate a little of everything.
The bill was probably about $45, or $7.50/person.
JM gave East Towne a B-; Nichole gave East Towne a C; Amanda and Carlos gave East Towne a D (see our grading rubric).

East Towne Food Court

Honestly. What we do in the name of science (or literature, or whatever you call being obsessive).

None of us really had high expectations of - or gave much thought to - the East Towne mall food court before. What we found is that the more you think about it, the worse you feel.

Carlos said that though he's tried Steak Escape before, he'd never paid much attention to it. Under scrutiny, the meat turned out to be dry and the bread a little hard, yet it somehow also managed to be soggy. He concluded, "The final word is from 1 to 10, I give it a 6. Note: I know I ate 1 1/2 but I was hungry."

Amanda, who said she usually likes Kato's Cajun OK, said this time the fried rice was flavorless and the noodles were wet. Thirty bucks for crappy food for 4 did not make for a fun experience for her.

At $2.50, the vegetable delight Nichole got from Sarku Japan was a pretty good find (if you are in fact stuck at the food court for dinner). While the cabbage-heavy stir fry's only spice was pepper, the dish was filling and probably less bad for her than a typical fast food meal. Also a plus was that there's no upcharge for fried (instead of white) rice - which is just as well, since it looked just like the rice from Kato's Cajun: nondescript grains plus a handful of frozen peas and carrots and you're there.

JM was a victim of sentimentality, giving the whole experience an average grade despite the uninteresting Sbarro pizza, because food courts remind him of high school forensics trips and Sundays as a kid in big-city Eau Claire. He admits the strawberry Julius was not as good as he'd hoped. You can never go home again.


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I totally understand what JM is talking about in regards to sentimentalality towards a food court(I grew up a couple of blocks away from him as a kid- thought I'd leave a comment and drop a line).

There was something about that Oakwood Mall food court in Eau Claire that was out of the ordinary, and special. Every food court I've been to since, I've compared to that one. Some are way over-done and high style, and some are under-done and lacking. None have had that same perfect feel to me as the food court in Eau Claire from when we were kids. Although, I'm sure if I'd go back to that same food court in Eau Claire, it'd probably be lacking that certain something that made it unique back when we were kids... maybe it is kind of true- you can never go home.

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