In Review: G Street Wunderbar
Hours: Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday through Sunday 9 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Food and ambience quality
**** I’m dining here every day
*** Almost like eating at home
** Better than my roommate’s cooking
* Only if I’m starving
$$$$ chancellor $20+
$$$ professor $15-20
$$ graduate student/alum $10-15
$ undergraduate $5-10
At around 8 p.m. on Friday night, accompanied by a group of friends, I walked into the new G Street Wunderbar. Situated between Second and Third Street, right across from Woodstock’s Pizza, the Wunderbar took over after the G Street Pub closed down last February.
As you walk in, the atmosphere is typical of a dive bar, with a spacious pool area and electronic dart boards, a full bar with bench stools, a small stage for bands to play and an area for group seating. My friends and I opted for the group seating. The tables were cleaner than one would expect at a bar, but at the same time slightly resembled card tables.
As my friends and I quickly learned, the Wunderbar has a few rules that patrons must follow. As with most restaurants in Davis that serve alcohol, the Wunderbar does a thorough ID check. A piece of advice to those (few) out-of-state students out there: make sure you have another form of ID besides your license, as it’s a requirement at the Wunderbar (I, unfortunately learned that the hard way). Further, the Wunderbar has a strict rule on beanies; they are not allowed to be worn inside the establishment, as a friend of mine quickly learned.
Once we had settled our attire and ID issues, we eagerly opened the menu ready to (hopefully) indulge in a great meal and drink. Wunderbar offers a variety of different drink options and even has Jäger on tap. As cheap college students, we decided that our drink of choice for the evening would be a pitcher of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. The beer lived up to our not-so-high expectations, and at $6.00 a pitcher was relatively cheap and good-tasting. Our beer glasses were frosted, which added a nice touch.
As we sat waiting for our food to come, we sensed a “pub” vibe mostly due to very dim lighting. The mix of people who frequent the restaurant and bar were much older and it seemed we were the only college students there.
Our food did not take very long to arrive and even though they brought each of our meals out separately, within 15 minutes everyone had their food. The Wunderbar offers a variety of American-style foods typically found at a bar — mostly a variety of different hamburgers that range in price from $7.95 to $12.95. The tri-tip sliders ($5.95) from the appetizer menu sounded excellent and one of my friends ordered them as her meal. Although the two sliders, which were topped with caramelized onions, were a decent amount of food for the money, my friend found them to be “uninspired” and “decent, but unmemorable.”
Another meal that sounded excellent from the menu description was the BBLT — Bacon and more Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato. But after eating this sandwich, my friend felt that it really didn’t live up to its extra “B” and needed more bacon to adhere to its name. Further, the French fries that accompanied the meal were nothing special and were, as my friend put it, “lacking in taste and originality.”
Because most of my friends ordered something in the meat category, I decided to explore a vegetarian meal and ordered the Grilled Cheese Margherita with a side salad for $7.95. I thought the sandwich was very good, and using a unique blend of cheeses — asiago, mozzarella, and fontina — as well as adding tomato slices and fresh pieces of basil, gave it an interesting twist to the traditional grilled cheese sandwich.
In comparison, the side salad did not live up to mine or my fellow diners’ expectations. All of us who ordered the side salad found the salad to be dry and the dressing to be unsavory. But they did provide other dressing options on request even after we had used the first one, which was nice.
Probably the biggest hit of the evening was a burger called “The Big Mess.” At $12.95, it’s the most expensive burger on the menu but also, in our opinion, the most delicious — so in this case the money might be worth it. The “Big Mess” is a charbroiled one-pound patty served open-faced on grilled sourdough topped with caramelized onions and pepper, roasted tomatoes and fries, and then completely covered with cheddar cheese.
Although Wunderbar just opened in late October, the restaurant and bar still has an unfinished, half-empty look to it. While we were eating, we were among only a few other people in the restaurant. But, as my friends and I were about to leave, the bar started to pick up, more people were flooding in and the stage was being set up for an event of some sort.
All in all, Wunderbar is a decent restaurant and bar and doesn’t cost too much — which, being a college student, is always a plus. But with all the other interesting restaurants and bars in town, it might need to add an extra something to help it stand out.
CLAIRE MALDARELLI can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.