PULASKI A cold winters night found the WDT Reviewing Team in the middle of downtown Pulaski at one of its newer eateries, Sasha Jos.
Named after the owners two daughters, Sasha Jos opened in October. Strangely, there is no sign on the exterior of the restaurant, except the word restaurant with their phone number below it.
Inside, a sign requested us to Please wait to be seated. We waited and waited until finally a frazzled waitress appeared and invited us to seat ourselves. No problem finding a table since there was only one in the entire place occupied.
Much of the appealing interior looks the same as its previous incarnation, Margaritas. There are oak booths and benches with ceramic tile accents along with sombreros and other Mexican hodgepodge hanging on the walls.
Julie, the only waitress working that evening, welcomed us and took our drink orders. As we looked over the menu, three warm, buttered breadsticks arrived at the table, delivered by a cook from the kitchen.
A quick glance at the cosmopolitan menu left us puzzled. Burritos or enchiladas, chicken Parmesan sandwich or lasagna, ribs or wings, an Aloha burger or a peanut butter bacon burger.
Yep, dive into a peanut butter bacon burger and kick that cholesterol up a few notches. I know your mouths watering, but more on that later.
We decided to share two appetizers and settled on loaded potato skins ($6.99) and deep-fried pickles ($5.99)
The potatoes were large russets, hollowed out and filled with crumbled bacon, big cuts of green onion and a sprinkled with some cheddar. These were so-so. The potato could have been cooked a bit more (raw on the bottom) and the toppings were sparse (isnt that the reason you order potato skins in the first place for the toppings?). Thank goodness for sour cream.
Ah, deep-fried pickles. A generous portion of hand batter-dipped dill slices were served with a side of cool ranch dressing. Even though the coating was a little soggy, the pickles were nonetheless tasty. For some at the table, this was the culinary highlight of the evening.
Now that the only other occupied table had vacated the building, our waitress was beginning to calm down a little.
Our dinners were a cross-sampling of the offerings at Sasha Jos. Presentation of all the dishes was very simple, kinda just food-on-a-plate.
After what seemed like forever, our dinners arrived, delivered by some new faces from the kitchen.
Chicken enchiladas ($9.99) consisted of small chunks of chicken, sweet and hot peppers, black olives and corn wrapped in two flour tortillas and smothered in a cooked down spicy red-colored chili pepper sauce. Nice crunch from the canned corn.
It could have used some sour cream or salsa or guacamole.
The enchiladas were pretty burnt on the bottom. They came with a pleasant side dish of Mexican rice with a blob of refried beans in the middle and a sprinkle of shredded Monterey jack cheese on top.
Lasagna ($8.99) left quite a bit to be desired, from the charred pasta on the bottom to the lackluster filling to the mysterious orange color in the red sauce on top. The sauce had the taste and consistency of Chef Boyardee.
Hey, where were the meat and cheese? Overall, a disaster from the kitchen.
Chicken legs were on super-special for $1 each. How can you pass up a deal like that?
We ordered five.
Lucky we did. They were compete leg and thigh pieces, unusually small about the size of your fist. Must have come from Bantam chickens. Or mutant chickens.
They were nicely done on a char broiler and had a healthy slathering of tangy, smoky barbecue sauce. Pretty good, until I got to a bonus wing/breast combo on the plate. One bite told me there was a problem here it tasted spoiled, as if it had spent too long in the back of the cooler so I quietly and politely reached for my paper napkin to dispose of the evidence.
A bare bones side salad ($1.99) appeared to have been hastily assembled torn, wet iceberg lettuce with a plastic container of ranch dressing plopped on top.
I saved the weirdest thing for last the aforementioned peanut butter bacon burger.
It was a generous-sized burger topped with bacon, a leaf of lettuce and a slice of tomato. Peanut butter was slathered on the top half of the plain supermarket hamburger bun. There was a smear of bright orange something-or-other in there too that we guessed was melted processed cheese.
Wait I got it! The mysterious orange color on top of the lasagna was melted orange American cheese!!!
Back to the train wreck: Who in their right mind would put peanut butter on a burger with bacon? And more importantly, why? We said several times, Just because you can, doesnt mean you should. YUCK!
The menu promised complimentary vanilla, chocolate or strawberry ice cream for dessert, but our check came before we could ask. Probably just as well. There was a two-for-one deal on appetizers and entrees the night we were there, so the total tab came to $30.56 before tip.
Honestly, it felt like someone rifled through the fridge and reheated some leftovers.
This was a downright disappointing dinner.
Once she relaxed and got into her rhythm, Julie was a very sincere and functional waitress. She has the patience of a saint, dealing with that rowdy table that gave her a hard time and having to serve that strange, poorly prepared food
Finally, she told us that the restaurant was going to close for a period of time due to slow traffic this time of year. We then realized that she was likely distraught over her looming loss of employment.
The one fork in the rating is for Julies perseverance in the face of adversity. Other than that, this place is a zero.
You can contact restaurant reviewer Walter Siebel via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
4861 Jefferson St.
HOURS: Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.
Breakfast served Friday and Saturday; brunch on Sunday
NOTE: Temporarily closed due to slow traffic this time of year, but call 298-6900 for information regarding reopening