Waldron Lodge, the newest restaurant in Bishop Arts, screams meat, meat, and more meat. About a week and a half ago, Rick Lopez reported its opening and told us about the 1930s residence-turned-restaurant that looks like the inside of a hunting cabin. It’s all wooden floors, wooden tables, wooden bar (made from what looks like recycled wood), and Paul Bunyan-esque wall decoration.
As far as man caves go, Waldron Lodge tops the cake.
Last week I stopped in for a bite to eat with two friends, and the first thing we did was plonk down on the rectangular stool chairs. It was furry. It had hair on it. When I asked our server if it was real, she said it was real cowhide. She might as well have said, “Welcome to Waldron Lodge where you eat animals and sit on animals.”
Waldron Lodge’s menu isn’t vegetarian-friendly, nor does it pretend to be. There are three salad options (house salad, chef’s salad, and Caesar), and none of them look particularly interesting. If you’re at Waldron, you’re there to eat wild game, The restaurant, after all, is an homage to owner Kenneth Cross’ father, who used to enjoy hunting. All the game trail entree items are between $10-$12ish. There’s even a fish section with salmon, trout, and fried catfish that chef Beau Johnson has whipped together.
Maybe I’m a wimp, but something about sitting on fur and eating cow at the same time makes my stomach queasy. “It’s overkill,” as ShopTalk editor Raya likes to say. My party of three moved outside to the bar area where the chairs are made of slick material (NOT animal), and we started off with an order of addicting fried black-eyed peas that came in a mason jar. Not exactly the prettiest presentation of all time, but dang! Those peas were good. Ever-so-slightly crunchy on the outside from a fluffy light batter, the black-eyed peas could’ve kept me occupied until who-knows-when if my pulled boar BBQ sandwich hadn’t arrived soon after.
The pulled boar was drenched in a sweet, tangy barbecue sauce that covered the gamey taste of the stringy meat. Topped with a light coleslaw and pretzel bun, the pulled boar BBQ sandwich definitely needed those hearty buns to keep all the wetness of the sandwich contained. Not bad, but not a blow-me-away sandwich, either. On the other hand, my friend who ordered duck tacos was pleasantly surprised. The orange chipotle sauce and pickled red onions paired well with the juicy, fatty duck pieces, and it reminded me almost of a Korean taco with its sweet-and-sour balance.
Next time I’ll try the lodge bison burger with caramelized onions. It also comes on a pretzel bun.