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“Fantastic food, terrible service”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Back When Cafe

Back When Cafe
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Ranked #3 of 161 Restaurants in Wausau
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: Italian, American, Healthy
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Large groups, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Business meetings, Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: McClellan St.
Description: Farm to Table Style Cuisine...Using local seasonal fresh ingredients...Steaks, seafood, pasta and gluten free options.
Minocqua, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
44 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
“Fantastic food, terrible service”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 29, 2013

The food is great, and from the prices you would hope for outstanding food. The issue is the bartender/owner. He's always grumpy and will never give his non-regulars that special touch. The service is, at best, spotty. They must cut back on server training since basic concepts like placement of silver or how to pour a glass of wine is based on just blind luck.

While the food is outstanding, until the other issues are addressed it will be hard to convince me to go back.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank CabinBum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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179 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Wausau, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
19 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great atmosphere and delicious food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 22, 2013

This is my favorite place to take a friend for a special occasion. The menu has a nice variety of home-style dishes with a flair. You will not be disappointed.

Visited November 2012
3 Thank Lois M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antigo, Wisconsin, United States
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“5 Star Once Again”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 18, 2013

We came in the cafe and the bartender/host/waiter, master of all, Richard (whom we just love), greeted us with a welcome back guys, haven't seen you in a while. He remembered us yet again. They were busy but he set us up with some seats at the bar while they arranged a table for us. And he always finds a fancy drink for me of which I love either a fruity or exquisite drink loaded with flavor and out of the norm. I received a chocolate martini that was just delicious. We were seated within 10 minutes and waited on in less than five minutes by Brian. I had the saute chicken breasts, pan sauce, mushrooms and asparagus dinner special with the mushroom and rice soup and a side of citrus rice (probably not saying correctly). The soup was stupendous, so rich and robust and flavorful. My chicken, so tender and the flavor just delicious. Exquisite. A home run once again. And my husband loves the coffee encrusted fillet. My son tried their Italian homemade potato Gnocchi and the others in the group had the sauteed chicken with artichokes and the tomato basil pasta and meatballs, and loved their meals. They loved their tomato basil soup. The atmosphere is warm and and the staff is so friendly and professional. Yes it is on the "higher end" but more than worth it. You are pampered and the food will surpass your highest expectations. We love going to the Back When Cafe. We have been more than 4 times now and have not been disappointed at all. They take great care of us and their recommendations from wines to the soups to most fit your entree are spot on. It's a lovely time with family, not noisy, warm ambience, just lovely. Can't wait to get back again. And carrot cake that you will eat for 3 days it is huge. You will take it to go for sure. Thank you Back When Cafe once again for a lovely meal with the family. Please continue the fantastic service and the fine cooking. Our ticket was $200 for 5 people to eat with 2 cocktails for 3 of us, fancy cocktails of chocolate martinis, white russians and Jack Daniels Lemonades, not basic whiskey sodas, and two desserts of the chocolate cake and the carrot cake, both to go as you have no room! Please make the Back When Cafe a must see when in the Wausau area for dinner, you will not be disappointed, I guarantee it.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank Tina P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
196 reviews
120 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
“Simply Excelent”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 17, 2013

This is a top restaurant in the area. It features fresh ingredients for all dishes. That is what makes them great. Many organic dishes. The desserts are top notch as well and as always their soups are second to none. Can't wait to return.

Visited May 2013
2 Thank QCWilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Appleton, WI
Level Contributor
91 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Excellent service, excellent food, excellent evening”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 10, 2013

Where to start? I had not been to downtown Wausau in 15 years. We chose this restaurant based off a look at Google reviews a week ahead of time. We were celebrating my mother's birthday and early Mother's Day with a late dinner on Friday night. We arrived just before 7 and were greeted by a very friendly bar tender and quickly shown to our seats near the windows.
I'm not going to go into the detail but we just had one great experience after another though the evening. We left the restaurant just past 10. I NEVER expected to be able to enjoy a dining experience for 3 hours in Wausau! What a treat! The food was excellent. The seared tuna was the highlight though. I will rank it in the top 5 of all I've ever had. (We are foodies so my standards are high!)
So, look at the photos, make your reservation, and enjoy great service and a relaxed dining experience that rivals the quality and experience of Chicago or Minneapolis establishments. Sure, it's a little pricey, but this is quality from start to finish and well worth paying for. Great to have this in Wausau. We'll be back.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank pcguy74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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