Culinary no-no #585

Culinary no-no began on Father’s Day 2007, a beautiful summer day, when I wrote about grilling brats. And eating brats. And topping those brats. I was inspired by my wife, Jennifer who, in my admittedly unscientific opinion, ruins brats by squirting ketchup on them. Other dining taboos quickly came to mind. The original idea was to take this concept only a few months, till the end of summer and then pull the plug. Then the unexpected happened. People started reading Culinary no-no. Lots of folks. So we keep doing the no-no.

The family celebrated Sweetest Day in Greendale at one of our favorite places.

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I was all set to order this…

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Until our server mentioned one of the specials. Crispy duck. Sold. The entree came with wild rice and brussel sprouts.

The experience made me think about another WI supper club.

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The Duck Inn, a historic Supper Club, is located on the corner of County A and Hwy 89 in the township of Richmond, city of Delavan, WI. The name, The Duck Inn, originated first during the prohibition era when the Duck Inn was a speak easy. Therefore, patrons were to secretly “duck in” for a drink where the bartender would tell a patron to be quiet and “speak easy”. The restaurant prepares several duck dishes.

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Yum. Love duck.

So I was intrigued to learn this past week that of all places, a fast food chain was going to start selling a duck sandwich.

Mike Mozart, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

You’re probably thinking that there’s no way a fast food restaurant could crank out a quality sandwich made with duck breast.

You might want to reconsider.

The duck will come from Maple Leaf Farms, a company that specializes in this kind of poultry. Each duck breast will be cooked sous vide which means “under vacuum” in French. This process vacuum seals food in a bag, then cooks it to a very precise temperature in a water bath.

Then Arby’s sears and tops the duck breast with a smoked cherry sauce and crispy onions. This will cost you $6.99, or $8.99 in a sandwich meal.

Looks pretty tasty to me. So what’s the no-no?

The sandwiches, which became available Saturday, are only going to be around for a limited time.

And only at 16 locations in the entire country,  chosen because they are close to “waterfowl migration flyways” and have “proximity to actual duck hunting locations.”

The only location in Wisconsin is the Arby’s at 3210 N Kinney Coulee Road.

In Onalaska.

That’s 208 miles from my house.

Bummer. Guess I’ll stick with the smokehouse brisket.


Making its way around Facebook:

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Megan Redfield is at Olive Garden (Eau Claire, WI).

If you were eating lunch between the hours of 12:30-1:30 on Friday 10/19 – you probably heard our family.

If you heard the little girl whining impatiently when asked to choose milk or juice, and then not receiving it immediately upon making her choice… you probably didn’t know that even though she looks like a typical 7-year-old, she actually just started speaking and making intentional choices about a year ago, and she’s doesn’t yet understand anything but instant gratification.

If you heard my phone pumping out a strange mix of Taylor Swift and David Lanz, maybe a little too loudly… you probably didn’t know that we couldn’t eat in restaurants – ever – as a family, until she was about 5 1/2. She has big sensory struggles and could not handle the noise. We do it now – not because it’s fun for us (or any of those around us) but because she needs to learn. And the music helps her.

If you heard an annoying whine every time someone in our general vicinity coughed or laughed abruptly… you probably didn’t know that Libby was born blind and some sounds are really, REALLY hard for her to process. Especially in a big, loud restaurant. And we’re working on it. But today was a struggle.

If you happened to be nearby when she finally (after 10 solid minutes of prodding and bargaining and every trick in the book) swallowed her first bite of mac’n’cheese, and choked a little, and started making (pretty unpleasant) noises… well, for that I’m sorry. Because that was gross. 😆

If you were one of the tables that sat next to us for a solid 45 minutes of whining and music and crying and all of it – and kept your feelings about it to yourself… you probably didn’t realize how INCREDIBLY grateful these tired parents felt toward you. Simply for your silence and understanding. But may I please offer you a Thieves Hard Lozenge so you stop coughing? 😆😆😆

If you were in the vicinity when It Finally Happened, I know you heard it. I know you heard the man who had been seated next to us for no more than five minutes yell at us to get her out of there. That we should have left her at home. I know you heard his wife ask him to please stop. I know you heard me lose my crap, voice trembling, words biting. I know you watched as three other tables leapt to our defense and asked us to stay, tell us we had every right. I know you saw my husband whisk her away. I know you saw me held up for an extra five minutes as wait staff and and moms and special ed teachers stood up and hugged me and reassured me as I cried.

What you probably didn’t know:

That I’ve NEVER lost it like that in public.

That I’m NOT proud I yelled at the man. What an opportunity I had to demonstrate grace and REALLY make an impact on his life and way of thinking… but I didn’t. I bit back.

And I sincerely apologize.

That our waitress, Kristin, hugged me no less than three times, even though I was probably rude and snappy our whole meal because I was so focused on Libby.

That the manager, Dan, comped our meal, which was unbelievably kind, because the restaurant did absolutely nothing wrong, and we had a wonderful meal.

That my hands are still shaking and my heart is still racing an hour later.

That I truly wish the couple well, and pray that they were able to see past my nasty and emotionally charged reaction, and learned something today about people who are a little different, and mama bears with tempers.

That this little girl is one of the most amazing souls you will ever have the privilege to meet, in your whole life. And someday when she’s famous (have you HEARD this kid play piano?!?) you’ll be proud to say that one dreary Friday, you ate lunch with her at the Eau Claire Olive Garden.

*** Please tag *** any of the amazing wait staff and managers who made us feel so welcome. And if somehow it makes it that far… those who offered powerful hugs and words of support that I will carry for a lifetime.

Photo credit: ❤️❤️❤️


Here’s an infographic related to last week’s Culinary no-no:

One thought on “Culinary no-no #585

  1. Pingback: My Most Popular Blogs (10/29/18) | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

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