Wild Rose Cafe (Closed)

2 Nov 2010
Average Cost ($8-$14)
Downtown Huntsville
1 out of 5

Melanie’s Take

A few years ago, I worked for a company off the square in Huntsville. Unless I wanted to give up my spot in the parking deck at lunch, there were only a few options for dining. One of those options was Wild Rose. Its food is an eclectic mix of downhome southern and creole cooking. You can order a meat and two or a vegetable plate with choices that rotate daily. They also offer a variety of soups and sandwiches. When Shane and I visited for lunch, I chose a meat and two: bacon cheddar bbq chicken with mashed potatoes and watergate salad (a piece of cornbread is thrown in with each lunch plate).

Bacon Cheddar Barbeque ChickenAfter placing our order at the walk-up counter, it was spooned into a takeout container (you’ll get this for to go or dine in orders). Nothing that we ordered was made upon ordering, but had all been prepared ahead of time for quick service. Rather than eating at the diner counter, we took our meals upstairs to their larger dining area. The only truly tasty morsel on my plate was the watergate salad, a mix of whipped topping, marshmallows, pineapples, and pistachio pudding. My chicken, although drenched in bbq sauce, was dry. Its dryness was only topped by the cornbread which was so dry that I couldn’t even pick it up with my fork without it crumbling into powder. My mashed potatoes were the add-water-to-box-variety, a disappointment for a dish that can be prepared so simply from scratch. I’ve used Wild Rose before for catering and only have rave reviews for my experience on that front for both the food and the attentive service, but for a downtown lunch eatery, I’d skip Wild Rose.

Shane’s Take

Wild Rose is a neat place to eat. The lower floor is a classic diner hallway design; walk in the door, and you’ll see the grill area lining the left, a bar countertop leading down the middle, some stools attached to the bar, and a few 2-place tables lining the right wall. The store shows its age, but it’s clean. The grill area is drab, but the walls opposite it are covered with a multitude of colorful poster advertisements of plays and concerts hosted in town over the years. The store also has an upstairs area, which is colorful but has little character and seems forgotten. The coolest part of the upstairs is the poster-lined walls leading up the stairwell. Despite the appealing setting, our food was terrible. I opted for a meat-and-two, choosing the cajun spiced chicken, bacon sour cream potato salad, and turnip greens. The chicken tasted okay, but it was dry and was dominated by the flavor of the barbecue potato chips that encrusted it. Although I’d never had it before, I’ve long hated the idea of coating chicken with any kind of chip; this experience increased my hate. The potato salad tasted okay and was the best food I had, but it was nearly too sour creamy; on a return trip I’d choose traditional potato salad. The turnip greens were poured from a can, which is forgivable, but they were not seasoned in any way, which is unforgivable. The accompanying cornbread was awful and belonged in a sawdust bin. I was terribly frustrated by our Wild Rose experience. I’m frustrated by the food, and I’m frustrated that such a potentially cool venue is wasted. Things to see:

  • Check out the countless stainless dishes that cover the grill during lunch. Your food will come out of one of those.
  • $6.25 for a meat-and-two is too much. You’d easily be better off at Mama Annie’s or Blue Plate.
  • The sweet tea wins no points. It’s just tea.
Wild Rose Cafe on Urbanspoon

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