The first smell that hit my nostrils was that of whatever was dying in the trashcan behind the store. Whatever it was, it wasn’t pleasant . My attention then shifted to two large gentlemen sitting in a truck. Maybe this WAS where the big boys ate. Hey, it was a good sign. I got Bernardo out of the car and we went inside to meet my wife and youngest son. The odors changed to that of real food, and I was satisfied that I my food wouldn’t smell anything like that coming out of the dumpster.

Inside wasn’t what I expected. I saw no signs of lumberjack paraphernalia anywhere. No saws on the walls, no pictures of lumberjacks inside 50-foot redwood stumps, nothing. The waiters and waitresses didn’t even have plaid on. It looked like the restaurant did when it was still Lyon’s. The only difference was the layout was different, the walls were made to look like logs, and the counter had a pie display, and an ice cream area. What I wanted was dudes in plaid shirts with beanie’s on and gruff beards, toting a saw on their back, and taking my order with a pencil carved out of a tree limb. Or at very least I wanted a full size Bluto wandering about handing out balloons and scaring children.

Our server was nice. He would have made a fabulous lumberjack if you get my meaning. The silverware was normal too. I was a little disappointed. I wanted the token “giant” knife, or a little axe to eat with.

Now in my booth, I had the task of mulling over the menu (which was pretty large as far as menu sizes go), and deciding on what to eat. The menu was a cross between outback steakhouse, and Denny’s… typical lunch and breakfast foods, and a dinner menu of steaks, chicken, and some other items you’d expect to find at your local coffee shop. I decided on the Rib-eye steak, and baked potato. I was a little perplexed that I had my choice of potato, or vegetable. I would have expected to get the vegetable on the side anyway. I did get a salad bar however, and it was pretty paltry in it’s selection, but I managed.

Bernardo decided he was going to spend the entire meal acting like he was a dog. I suggested we tie him up outside, but my wife wouldn’t let me. He sniffed things, whined…tried to drink out of the cup with his tongue. It was really “cute.” If you tried to scold him, he’d growl at you. When he wanted a bite of my salad, he whined, and nuzzled my shoulder. I had only taken about 5 bites of my salad,Bernardo had about 10, when low and behold my meal was there. Had they made it before I got there? It was a little too fast for food to show up.

The plates were rather large, although 2 inches of the circumference was border. The steak looked about how I pictured it to look It wasn’t a fantastic piece of meat, nor was it BBQ’d or anything. It looked like typical “diner” steak, with a baked potato on the side. (Although my “giant” kinfe finally showed up.) The weirdest thing was this massive loaf of bread that adorned each plate. Do the big boys require a whole loaf of bread with each meal?

I started looking around to see what others were doing with this loaf of bread. It turns out a lot of people were asking to NOT have the bread with their meal. I heard at least 4 people decline the bread with their meal. I even saw one man ask that his bread be removed from his plate. Was there something wrong with the bread? I couldn’t be sure. I did what every other normal person does with questionable food. I fed it to the “dog”.

When the meal was over we discussed the event. The meal set us back about $40 for a family of four. (three of which ate their food) The food was decent. I wouldn’t say it was great, but it was good. I ate it all, and didn’t get ill. My wife said her food was good, but wasn’t overly impressed. The “dog” wouldn’t answer us, and he ate off my plate the whole time…who knows how his food tasted. The baby liked the crackers, and the piece of bread he ate. The bathrooms were clean, and single occupant, which is always good.

Would I go back? Maybe. I wouldn’t plan a nice evening out at their place or anything. I would go though if I were in the mood to gaze at the flocks of elderly that ate there, or if I had a hankerin’ for a huge loaf of bread.