Visiting old, downtown buildings in Custer always sends my mind into the past. I can’t help but wonder about the thousands of people who have walked across the same floor and looked up at the high, embossed ceiling. And how many hundreds of conversations have echoed off those old walls?
The buildings in this small town have seen a myriad of businesses come and go over the past hundred years or so. Drugstores, saloons, gift shops and restaurants have welcomed countless names and faces.
I found myself thinking of the past, as I walked into the Custer Wolf last night, but my mind quickly shifted from history to dinner as we found a table and sat down. It was my first visit, and I was starving – I hoped the food was as good as I’d heard it was.
The menu is simple. I like that. I always assume the food is going to be good, if the menu isn’t cluttered with dozens of choices. But even with just a few meals to choose from, I couldn’t decide what I wanted. (This is typical, on my part. I have a hard time making up my mind about everything. Don’t tell my husband I just confessed that, publicly.)
When our server returned with drinks, I asked his opinion. “Which sandwiches are your favorite?” He recommended two, then gave us another few minutes to make a decision. Taking his advice, I ordered the Pub and my husband got the Patty Melt. Which made me happy, because I really wanted to try them both.
The wait time was short, and when our meals arrived, both were accompanied by a generous side of fries. Chunky, piping hot fries – which I went for immediately. Carb counting, be damned. I love fresh, French fries.
My loaded sandwich, sat lopsided on the plate, coleslaw and peppers sliding out of the bun. Oh boy! This was definitely a I’d better eat this with a fork kind of sandwich.
Forgive me for attempting to sound like a food critic, but it was the perfect combination of flavor and texture. The soft bun (nicely toasted, by the way) and the crisp, red cabbage and yellow peppers made this turkey/ham combo extra-special.
And I know my husband was enjoying the huge patty melt he was holding with both hands, because he was smiling and had stopped talking. He handed it across the table to me, so I could take a bite. Yep, if that were my last meal, I would die happy. It was everything a patty melt is supposed to be. Hand patted beef topped with cheese, grilled onions and mushrooms. All sandwiched between thick slices of wholegrain bread.
The service, food, and atmosphere exceeded my expectations and I’ll be going back to the Custer Wolf – not just to reimagine the building’s history – there’s a Reuben sandwich on the menu with my name on it.