NOTE: This restaurant is closed.
I have always had trouble pronouncing certain words and the prior name of this establishment was no exception. Being a WV transplant and not familiar with the restuarant I have always called it Bon-i-cals instead of Bo-win-kles. So I appreciate the name change to something easier for me, Mrs. Winkle’s. Now I have to assume the owner is married and not a feminist, because she went with the Mrs. and not the Miss or Ms. title. I’m glad she didn’t hyphenate, because that would be a mouthful. “Hey Susan, you want to go ‘fork’ Ms. Manchini-Winkle’s?”
Located in the East-end plaza across from Marty’s Tire, Mrs. Winkles is the only eating establishment (CAMC’s cafe doesn’t count) in the immediate area. It serves lunch and dinner from its corner location. Inside you can watch your food being prepared at a long deli counter and dine at one of the six tables. It is a small place. One might even call it a “hole in the wall”.
The menu is surprisingly large for such a small place. Hamburgers, hot dogs, BBQ’s and deli sandwiches will meet the needs of just about any lunch patron. Certain menu items bear a red “BH”, which stands for Boar’s Head. I like Boar’s Head deli meats so I decided to to try Mrs. W’s Club sandwich. The club set me back about $5.50. I procured an order of crinkle fries for $1.50. The club comes on a soft sub bun with turkey, ham, bacon, your choice of cheese and pile of fresh toppings. What is special about this sandwich is that its not trying to be special. It is just a simple sub on a simple bun. You’re not going to chip a tooth on a crusty bun or be overwhelmed by a tangy, sweet or hot sauce. This is a good sub.
You do get a good portion of fries for your money. I saw several orders of fries with different toppings. The chili cheese fries looked sinfully good. I bet they’ll throw some BBQ and slaw on a pile of fries if you wanted. My hot fries were a crispy golden brown, but there is no joy in Mudville– my fries had an off flavor. They really tasted like the fryer oil had a little age on it or it got too hot at some point. I still ate them all.
Mrs. Winkle’s has all kinds of fruit drinks and desserts. During our visit the owner came by and passed out samples of different house made fruit infused lemonades. There is ice cream and if you’re lucky, imported Gelato. The Mrs. was sold out of Gelato the day we stopped by but it is the middle of winter. Normal people eat less ice cream in the winter…not me.
I think people should give Mrs. Winkles a try for a quick lunch. I think it is a solid THREE forks.
We had heard a lot about Mrs. Winkles so I confess that my expectations were a bit high. They didn’t deflate any hearing the multi-syllabic description of the hot dog “experience” pour out of another customer’s mouth while we were contemplating our orders.
As I have said previously, I prefer a small-calibur weiner and the all-beef hot dogs served here are farily large. Besides, Stanton has forbade me to ever consume another hot dog with ketchup (four-letter word) in public so I was forced to veer in another direction. Read the WV Hot Dog Blog’s review of Mrs. Winkle’s here.
I think I let out a little shriek when I saw a fish sandwich on the menu. I was DEFINITELY ordering the fish. Um, no. They were out of fish. Damn. I pressed for more information and learned they were temporarily out of fish and expected more in the future. A lot of good that does me today.
So I settled for a burger priced at $3.25. This burger is eerily similar to the frozen Bubba burgers I have chowed down on at WVU Mountaineer tatilgates. They taste a lot better in Morgantown, especially when consumed in conjuntion with a half dozen beers. I was unimpressed and disappointed. If all you can muster is a frozen burger, just don’t put a burger on the menu. The bun was gigantic which would have been totally awesome if accompanied by a thick, juicy, freshly-pattied hunk of ground beef. With this thin pre-fab burger, the yummy sesame seed bun vastly overpowered it.
The $2.50 homemade onion rings couldn’t even save this lunch for me. The batter was yummy, but the onions were just too thick for my taste. I felt like I was biting into the whole onion, like taking a bite out of an apple or something. I ate all the thin ones and tried to pawn the rest off on my unsuspecting friends. Dan’s fries were better, even if they arrived at the restaurant in frozen form.
My Diet Coke was priced at $1.65 for the 24 oz styro cup with free refills in the dining room. Speaking of the dining room, it was clean. I was mesmerized by the care taken in preparing the other customer’s hot dogs – carefully squeezing an even flow of mustard along the weiner…evenly spooning the chili over every inch. I even spoke to Mrs. Winkle herself – smiling and friendly.
I am not opposed to coming back, but I won’t get the burger again. I’ll choose the fish sandwich and fries. Since they deliver, we might order in on a cold winter day. For today’s meal, however, I have to say TWO FORKS. The frozen burger really brings them down.
Since my other co-dinners were ordering the fries and onion rings, I passed on the sides. Susan and Daniel agreed that I could just “take a bite of theirs” for a tasting. This was beneficial for me twofold: 1. It was good for my diet plan. 2. It helps me save money! After all, I am a frugal (Daniel would say cheap) accountant.
After waiting just a few minutes, my BBQ was brought to the table. As an advocate of even food distribution (or an OCD obsession), I quickly opened the bun to re-arrange the BBQ and slaw. My immediate thoughts:
- The large, sesame seed bun was very soft and steamed.
- The bun to meat/slaw ratio was off. As I stated above the bun was a good size. However, there wasn’t much BBQ or slaw on the bun. Now, I really don’t like a lot of meat on my sandwiches, but this seemed to barely cover the bottom of the bun. Seems to me that all I was going to taste was bun.
- The BBQ was finely chopped and so was the slaw.
When I took my first bite, I was pleasantly surprised. Although the sandwich didn’t have much BBQ or slaw on it, I could actually taste both. The BBQ was flavorful. The slaw was not pickle-y, but had a sweet taste.
But the star of this sandwich for me was the bun- I cannot say enough about this bun. I usually like my sandwich bread a little toasted- this one was just steamed. It wasn’t made from scratch, but it was so soft and perfect and stayed that way until my last bite.
I did have a sampling of fries and onion rings. They were both hot and right out of the fryer. The fries were good for frozen ones…crispy on the outside; soft and potatoe-y on the inside. I thought the onion rings were tasty. They were also crispy on the outside and the onion seemed to melt in my mouth.
I liked my BBQ, but for $3.99, I felt it should have had more meat and slaw on it. The service was great- THREE Forks!
I would like to go back and try the hot dog or maybe get the BBQ again.