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Black Bear Inn

Black Bear InnIn a word: Bearly in the black?

The specs: #00793  
320 W. Cottage Grove Rd., Cottage Grove, 55327
Details at Black Bear Inn on Urbanspoon
Official web site, Facebook.

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JM ate the ribeye sandwich with a fruit punch.
Nichole ate the Reuben with fries and a Sprecher root beer.
The bill was $22, or $11/person, plus tip.
JM and Nichole gave Black Bear Inn a C (see our grading rubric).

Black Bear Inn is on Cottage Grove Road deep in the heart of Cottage Grove proper.  The theme of the place is rustic northwoods cabin and the bar is dressed in standard Wiscobar accoutrement, including Shake of the Day.

The food here was pretty all right, in the ho-hum sense. JM got a steak sandwich in order to use the tableside bottle of A1. Nichole got a Reuben as is often her wont. 

Ribeye steak sandwich

We ate at senior:30 right as dinner service was beginning (only two other people were in the place, and they were shooting pool). Neither of us opted for the salad bar, which sat next to our table, despairing. The lettuce had already begun to brown and many of the side vegetables were limp and ranged from "meh" to outright "yuck."

Reuben, fries and root beerWhen the drinks arrived, JM noticed something a mite peculiar about the fruit punch.  It was strong enough to peel paint from across the room. Now, JM likes his drinks strong, but he was concerned that this fruit punch might be primarily used as a mixer for alcoholic drinks.  If so, strong fruit punch may imply weak alcohol content.

The Sprecher root beer on tap was good, though.

Upon arrival of our food, JM used the bottle of A1 and sadly the first several drips were very, very watery.  A little too watery, like maybe water had been added to it (although to be fair, he hadn't shaken it before using). 

All of this added up to a pretty average meal marred by what seemed to be cost-saving corner-cutting. We don't mind free placemats selling us things in the local community, but when it points to a pattern of trying get a little more out of the customer for a little less in the way of value, it is hard for us to give a recommendation.

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