As you approach the Wooden Match, you see their sign: The Wooden Match. Tagline: Beer. Meat. Cigars. I like it when a place can tell you what it’s about in three short words, so I went in with some pretty high hopes.
I was not disappointed.
The Wooden Match, as you can guess from the aforementioned tagline, has cigars, and they do allow people to smoke them inside. We’re not big fans of smoke, so we were putting off going. They do boast a casino-grade ventilation system, but I have heard that on a busy night, it can still be pretty hazy. Because of this, we decided to test them out during lunch, when we guessed it would be fairly clear and less crowded. They also have a great patio area that would probably be pretty smoke-free, but it was too chilly the day that we went.
The main room has a laid-back bar area and a fair amount of tables. As we had hoped, there weren’t many
people there at lunch, and service was quick and pleasant. I opted for one of their special drafts that day, McKenzie’s black cherry cider (5% ABV). It was surprisingly light, and not too sweet. We decided to try some good old fashioned bar food and ordered the nachos and a burger. Let’s start with the nachos ($7 plus $2 for the beef). I’ve been burned by many a nacho, usually fooled by a pile of chips with many things on top, promising a plate full of deliciousness…only to find a great amount of nothing in the middle and the bottom. I’ve also been hurt by chips that were too stale or cheese that peeled off in hardened chunks. These nachos were none of those things. They were awesome. The chips were light and crispy, the cheese sauce tasted homemade (and not broken- see the sad sauce we had at Bell Hall), and the ground beef was cooked in a flavorful sauce with a little kick. They were accompanied by large chunks of jalapenos (jarred, but still tasty) and a nice dollop of sour cream (I hate when places skimp on sour cream). Honestly, they were the best nachos I have had in quite a while. I was already craving them again the next day. By the time we were done- yes, done, we ate them all– there were actually some toppings left over on the plate. That is just unheard of.
Damnit, now I want those nachos…
So then we went a little crazy and got a very naughty burger. If it helps to picture it, it was called the Dirty Rachet ($14 plus $2 to sub in fries). The dirty rachet is a patty made up of beef and sausage patty, topped with habanero jack cheese, hashbrowns, a fried egg, and sweet peach compote.
As the server approached with this monstrosity, it looked amazing. Cutting it open, we felt the crunch of the brioche bun, which had been fried on the flat top with some type of delicious fat, making it salty, buttery, crispy, and light. Yum. The egg was beautifully cooked- the yolk oooooozed out when cut in half. There was also lots of cheese, which we forgot was laced with habaneros- but we were very quickly reminded as we bit in. We actually thought the burger itself was overcooked after that first bite, but then we remembered it was made with sausage- there’s really no way to get a medium cook without the slightly tough texture that comes with a sausage patty.
A few small criticisms- with the spicy cheese and the bold flavor of the sausage in the patty, the amount of hashbrown on the burger was minimal. I actually forgot they were there until I was almost done. I would have also liked more of the peach chutney- the sweetness would have been great against the spice- but it was also overwhelmed by the cheese and sausage. The pickles that accompanied the burger were ok, but a bit too sweet and not very pickled. Also, the fries were battered, which is my least favorite. The insides were fluffy, bordering on mealy, and I am just not a fan of the texture you get on the outside of a battered fry.
Aside from what we ordered, the menu looked very creative and interesting- I look forward to returning and trying some other items. The space was cool and casual, and the service was pleasant and attentive (but not too attentive).
Food & Drinks: 17/20