by Dan Newman
When you step inside the Wausau Mine Company, you feel like you’re walking straight into a mine shaft.
The walls and ceiling of the reception area and the bar are tin and wood, and the dining room looks like a cave. There are rock outcroppings, a mine cart, mining tools and a waterfall. The ceiling looks like rocks.
It’s also pretty dark in there, which suits the overall theme.
See for yourself in my video review, it’s a sight to behold.
The odd look of the building, even from the parking lot, stands out with its 1900’s gold mine theme. The angled canopy over the entrance as well as a dormer on the second floor look ready to fall off, but don’t worry; it was built that way.
Built in 1915, the building originally was called The White Eagle. It was a roadhouse between Wausau and Marathon that featured lodging for guests, a restaurant and bar – and the site of an unsolved murder, many years ago.
Over the years, the building changed hands several times. It was Mr. G’s before becoming the home of Sneaky Pete’s, a popular 70s disco. But it’s been the Wausau Mine since 1980, which underwent a major renovation about a decade ago.
Aside from the look of the place, the Wausau Mine is best known for their Italian fries, so you know your boy had to get an order. These are thick, with a fresh-made pizza crust cooked until it has just the slightest crunch and covered with as much mozzarella cheese as they can fit on the thing. They come with marinara dipping sauce, just as you’d expect.
When you bite into one, the cheese snaps at the same time as the crust comes apart and it’s a very satisfying sensation. These are some of the best pizza fries around, but I’ve always thought they needed some more garlic or Italian spices to add a little kick.
I also got a chicken breast fillet sandwich and fries. They offer it several ways, and I chose plain with BBQ sauce. I like simple things, what can I say?
The burger bun was kinda dense and fit the sandwich right. The lettuce and tomato slices were fresh, and the slab of grilled chicken breast was thick and juicy. No much spice on the meat either, which allowed more of the natural flavor of the chicken to stand out against the stronger flavors of the tomatoes and the bun. It’s a simple sandwich, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. The fries were seasoned with maybe a Cajun seasoning that added the slightest hint of heat. The pickle was a little squished, but it was no big deal.
This was a good, wholesome meal, so much I took some of it home. The cost was around $20. The waitress was friendly and accommodating, and the rest of the staff I talked to were the same.
I recommend you check out the Wausau Mine Company. Truth is, I’ve been recommending it for years. It’s a fun place to eat with family and friends or get a drink at the bar. And you might run into Virgil, Wausau Mine’s resident miner who spends his days luring customers into conversations about mining. Sort of.
Wausau Mine Company
3904 W Stewart Ave
Wausau, WI 54401