Food in review: Timbers Restaurant

Allison Mueller

Abigail Derkson/ Winonan

Timbers Restaurant had all the makings of a small town, family diner. With a log cabin and wilderness décor and a typical menu with hometown favorites. The menu had a variety of options, which included sandwiches, burgers, pasta and other special dishes like walleye, steak and elk.

When I dined with three friends on a weeknight, the restaurant was not crowded. In the hour and a half we spent there, no more than six tables were occupied. The ambiance was welcoming and quaint. It reminded me of diners in my hometown, so I had high hopes.

I should have lowered them.

Our experience got off to a rocky start. Because of a miscommunication amongst the staff, my friends and I waited ten minutes for water. We ordered cheese curds, one of their best selling appetizers – Timbers Tizers. They were tasty and greasy, the way cheese curds should be.

Deciding what to eat was difficult. Timbers had typical entrées, but even their best sellers didn’t stand out. There was nothing daring or mouth watering.

Eventually we all decided on safe choices. I had a quarter pound cheeseburger with bacon and a side of potato bacon chowder soup.

The soup was excellent. It was the kind of soup I would have loved to have on a cold winter day.

My burger, on the other hand, was subpar. The Bloedow’s bun was delicious, and so was the bacon, but the patty reminded me of breakfast sausage. For a few seconds I actually thought it was.

Two of my friends had a similar dissatisfying experience.

One friend, Kristen Rasmussen, ordered a reuben sandwich. She added the soup and salad bar to her entrée for an extra two dollars and was glad she did.

“The soup and salad bar was probably the best part of the meal,” she said.

The soup and salad bar is one of the best sellers on Timbers’ menu. It’s one of the reasons why my other friend, Samantha Hildebrandt, goes there.

“It is my favorite thing about that place,” Hildebrandt said. “Everything is always fresh. There’s a variety of dressings that you get to choose from and a variety of toppings you can put on your salad.”

Hildebrandt had potato and pasta salad from the salad bar. “It was very flavorful,” she said. “It tasted like a homemade potato salad.”

Out of all the entrées we ordered, Hildebrandt had the best one. She ordered their Texas style BBQ sandwich, which was also served on a Bloedow’s toasted bun.

“The barbeque sauce was really good,” she said. “There was a lot of pulled pork, so the bun to pork ratio was good.”

For dessert, Hildebrandt had Timbers’ deep fried apple pie with ice cream.

“It was deep fried, so that was good,” Hildebrandt said. “It actually tasted like apple pie.”

“I’d say that I had the best well-rounded meal,” she said.

While my dining experience was not that great, there were some good items on the menu list.

Besides the soup and salad bar, Timbers’ breakfast options are actually quite good. I have eaten there for breakfast before, and loved it. The French toast was delicious and so were the pancakes. The portions are huge and well worth the money.

Would I go back for dinner? Probably not. Would I go for a weekend breakfast or brunch with my family? Maybe. And that may be the crowd that Timbers aims for. The restaurant definitely has the small town, family-oriented feel to it.

But is that enough?

For me it wasn’t.