Sunday, January 19, 2014

Milwaukee Restaurant Review: Hom Wood Fired Grill

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Hom (pronounced "Home") Wood Fired Grill has recently opened in Brookfield in the greater Milwaukee area, so we decided to make a stop in to see if it was worthwhile.  It is located in a location that has been operated by their parent company for years as several other restaurants that have come and gone, including the Ryan Braun/Aaron Rodgers-themed sports restaurant, "8-twelve" as well as pan-Latin type restaurant "Charro" and Asian-themed "Monsoon" to name a few.  SURG Restaurant Group, the parent company of Hom Wood Fired Grill, operates at least eight establishments in the Milwaukee area, and also plans to open a second Hom Wood Fired Grill at Bayshore Town Center on the Northeast side of Milwaukee County early in 2014.  Other bars/restaurants under their management in the Milwaukee area include Carnevor (steaks), Mikey's (American), Distil (bourbon/wine), and Umami Moto (Asian).

As a self-proclaimed "farm-to-table" restaurant, the d├ęcor supports the rustic "barn-chic" feel, with pictures from local farm landscape.  Here is what we ate off the menu, and our thoughts on each item:

Cornbread: Warm cornbread is served to every table.  It was good, but would have loved it if it was slightly more firm and served with flavored butter.  I prefer the cornbread at Maxie's.

Mac N Cheese Risotto: Shredded Smoked Ham, Wood Grilled Green Onions, Sartori Bellavitano Gold Cheese, Cheddar Pie Crust Crumbles
As you may know, I do not pass up mac and cheese.  The ham was good, but the cheese sauce was a little too thin and soupy and the pie crust crumbles added a doughy topping that did not add anything.

Yukon Gold Potato Gnocchi: housemade smoked pork sausage, roasted poblano pepper, winter spinach, shaved garlic, Sarvecchio parmesan
This was our favorite dish of the night.  The pork sausage was good, and the garlic added great flavor.

Chicken and Waffles: Wisconsin Maple Syrup And Black Pepper Glazed Thick Cut Nueske’s Bacon, Cornmeal Waffles, House Churned Sassy Cow Butter, smoked honeycrisp apple butter
We wanted to like this, we did.  It felt more like waffles and fried (bone-in) chicken on the same plate, rather than a cohesive dish.  The bones made it hard to eat together, and the waffles were too small in size and lacking in flavor.  I would go to Meritage for a more amazing chicken and waffles.

"Hashbrown" Pancake: Creme Fraiche, Smoked Honeycrisp Apple Butter
This was a bit of a misnomer, because by hash brown I would have assumed more pronounced potato shreds or chunks, and by pancake, I would have assumed it was not so thick.  So, a slightly thicker almost mashed potato fritter was more accurate.  The apple butter was tasty.

Overall, the restaurant looked good on paper, but failed to execute in the end.  It has been my experience more often than not at the SURG restaurants that I walk in hopeful and leave feeling a bit let down based on what I expected from the menu and the service.  I would not need to go back to this restaurant, but you are encouraged to test it for yourself.

All menu descriptions were from the Hom Wood Fired Grill website.

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