Club Soda

235 East Superior Street
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46802

Although this is our first post on Club Soda and it's our first visit there this year, we have been swept up by all that is Club Soda two other times. Dining Al fresco on their patio is a sure fire way to be transported away from life's daily grind! With the cooler temps, Club Soda's patio is as close to paradise as one can get while still being surrounded by the urbanscape.

I was asked if I had a reservation, and of course, I didn't. The man at the host stand could hardly be bothered with me, but thankfully the man who would become our server, Dan, stepped up and explained that patio seating was all reserved but that we could sit outside until 7:30 (thanks Dan!). He showed me to the corner patio table where I waited for the other Elles to join me. Let the good times begin.

Apparently there is live music on Thursday & Friday evenings. On the night we were there, this guy was playing guitar and singing.

Allen L told me not to be too harsh and so I won't, but I utterly HATE background music. It's not personal to Guitar Guy, I HATE all music - this was no exception. The 3 Elles agreed we would have completely preferred enjoying the natural sounds, but that was not going to be the case on this night.

CS is known for one martini in particular . . .
The Timotini (as featured in the Journal Gazette)

Also on our sampling schedule, an Appletini

a Lemondrop (could also be mixed with raspberry or blueberry)

. . . and finally, slightly less posh, a Long Island Iced Tea

For starters, Allen L ordered something completely new to us and unexpectedly delicious, Smoked Gouda Dip. She must have said, "I'm loving it! I really really like it" no less than 20 times. Adams L also enjoyed it tremendously. The mushrooms and spinach swimming in the gooey melted cheese was like finding treasures in the ocean. Indeed, it was something unique and delicious. We recommend you try it on your next visit. The dish is accompanied with several types of breads - some hold up to a running start better than others, but the variety added to the interest of the dish.

And of course, we ordered the crab cakes. These cakes are not packed with lump crab meat, but they pack a tremendous amount of flavor into their generous portion size. The cakes come atop a raft of lettuce floating in a sea of red pepper aioli - perfect compliment. These cakes have a lot of veggie filler which adds an amazing texture. These cakes never disappoint! As a plus, if you are a party of 3, the kitchen will make 3 smaller cakes instead of the traditional 2 for individual tasting enjoyment.

With our meals, we were offered a choice between the Caesar Salad or the Spinach Salad. we chose the Spinach Salad complimented with candied pecans, strawberries, mandarin oranges, and blue cheese crumbles. Although the salad looked as if someone grabbed a handful of spinach and then threw a scoop of the "toppings" onto the middle (the presentation lacked a little finesse), it was a melodious mixture of flavors and textures in our mouths. The salad was served with Raspberry Vinegrette . . . though, I chose Blue Cheese dressing to play off of the crumbles.

Long time readers know how much we enjoy great bread! Look no further than CS for a plain white bread that is crusty on the outside and tenderly soft on the inside. It's simple, unadulterated, and hardy. It's simplicity makes it a perfect meal accessory.

Allen L and Adams L shared the Surf & Turf which was a 14 ounce Ribeye and 5 shrimp served on a sugar cane. For $5 more, the kitchen cut the steak in half and split the shrimp. The extra $5 also allowed both gals to get their own full size salad and side. Allen L chose the silky smooth aged white cheddar mashed potatoes. Adams L chose the rosemary citrus rice. Both enjoyed their food and noted that the portion size was still generous despite it being split. Both Elles took home part of their meal to enjoy the next day. The $5 splitting option is an economical way to try different CS's dishes.

I have always selected the walleye when dining at CS (which is an absolute MUST try!), but this time I chose their number 2 recommendation and went with the 6 ounce Fillet Mignon and paired it with 5 shrimp served on a sugar cane skewer. I chose the white cheddar mashed potatoes (as they are a palate pleaser indeed!). All 3 of us received the veggie of the day which was a comprehensive collection of steamed vegetables (I think there were at least 7 different veggies in the mix). The steak literally melted in my mouth. It's at the top of the list for best all time steaks. I really enjoy the "Twins" at Baker Street, but this sure gives all other steaks a run for their money. You won't be disappointed, I promise!

We were presented with the "dessert tray" (notice the tray is really a ceramic tile - they use the tiles to also serve group appetizers . . . certainly is an interesting presentation option).

Adams L shared the Chocolate Bourbon Cake with us (it was much better on this visit than in the past). To quote Rachel Ray, "De-lish!"

Dan was the man!!!! He really took care of us. Despite being warned about the 7:30 table reservation that would have sent us indoors to the bar, Dan was able to allow us to remain outside at our table the entire evening (thanks Dan!). The kitchen prepared the food extremely quickly and everything was served at the peak of perfection (side note: food arrives at the table with a metal hospital-like plate covering . . . honestly, that's a little disturbing - your mind thinks "YUCK hospital food" first before it has a chance to think "YUM CS food"). Dan was both funny and charming. He was extremely knowledgeable and demonstrated a great deal of patience. I recommend you ask to sit in Dan's section - for sure, you'll be taken care of!

Need to get away for a few hours from life's bothersome burdens? The 3 Elles strongly recommend you take a load off at Club Soda's patio.

Until the next bite -

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