Wednesday, September 22, 2010

O’Marro’s Revives the Saloon Lunch Buffet

There was a time in Oshkosh when you could wander into most any tavern around noon and find a lunch counter loaded-up with everything from roast pig to oysters. Lunch buffets were commonplace in Oshkosh saloons in the late 1800s and early 1900s, but with the arrival of Prohibition the sample-room lunch spread became a thing of the past. Now, almost 100 years later, Shawn O’Marro is trying to revive the tradition. A couple weeks ago O’Marro’s Pub introduced their delicately named Gut Busters Buffet and it’s everything a saloon lunch should be. Each weekday, starting at 11 am and going until 2 pm, they put out a great spread of homemade food that’s a dead-ringer for the traditional sample-room buffets that were once served in Oshkosh. When I was there last Wednesday they had fried chicken, pork roast, baked beans, stuffing, mashed potatoes, roasted chicken, chili, salads and absolutely the best meatloaf I’ve ever tasted. It’s all down-home fare and Shawn O’Marro says “Everything is made from scratch. Brandy and Nate are put together the recipes and they’re going to continue to develop them based on the feedback we get.” If you’re up for a hearty lunch, this one will certainly hit the spot.

From 1884
From 1900
There’s just one problem with all of this. The day I was there, there was a good-sized crowd and I happened to notice that my lunch partner and I were the only people in the place enjoying a beer with our meal. Has it come to this? Have the good people of our fine city grown so timid and tight that they can no longer enjoy a simple beer with their mid-day meal? I hope not. I felt bad for all those people eating that fine chow and chasing it with the spiritless chemistry in their soda cups. I think we can all do better than that. If you get to O’Marro’s anytime soon for lunch try the meatloaf and pair it with the excellent Bell’s Amber Ale they have on tap. You’ll leave with that satisfied glow our forefathers took for granted.

No comments:

Post a Comment