Ben Keith / Lantern Photographer
Wednesday was wet and chilly, and hot comfort food was what I was looking for when I walked into the Blue Danube, a cozy restaurant just north of campus on High Street.
The Dube’s menu is modestly priced, as most items cost less than $10. Sandwiches, burgers, subs, salads, gyros and steaks are available from the restaurant’s menu, and there’s a fully-stocked bar for those in search of alcohol. I spent $11.70 on a Dube Chili Size Burger, fries and a glass of milk.
The Dube Chili Size Burger is one-third of a pound of beef patty on a hamburger bun with cheddar cheese, chili and chopped onion. It comes open-faced, with the two halves of the bun lying on the plate, the burger laid across both, and a generous helping of chili splashed across it. There’s no way you can eat it by hand without making a mess of yourself, but using a fork and knife doesn’t get in the way of the deliciousness.
The chili is a solid kidney bean and ground beef mix. It’s tangy and savory, with a consistency similar to the chili the non-first-year readers might remember being served at the North Campus Fresh Express. The beans are crisp, the beef is firm and it mingles excellently with the shredded cheddar and chopped onions. The burger was substantial and tasty, while the buns were your standard hamburger bun. It was delicious and filling food.
My fries were crinkle-cut and skinny, served fresh and hot with a small amount of salt. They suffered the usual fry-related issues of gradually losing temperature and crispness, but at the end of the meal they were still warm enough to mop up the leftover chili.
Milk is milk. What more is there to say? About three-quarters of a pint in a cup with a straw.
The staff was friendly and my meal was served quickly. The restaurant was emptier than usual, my waitress said, but that’s probably because it was 10 p.m. on a rainy Wednesday night. There were a couple of people at the bar and perhaps a dozen other customers scattered around the booths.
The Dube’s interior is dark, but still well-lit. Neon signs and backlit menus shine behind the bar, and every booth has a stained-glass lamp hanging overhead. A television hangs from the ceiling at each end of the bar, but one was muted, and the volume of the other wasn’t loud enough to compete with conversation. While I was there the TV’s played football, “Conan” and Comedy Central. Festive Latin music came from the kitchen, somewhat at odds with the Dube’s hipsterish decor.
The strangest thing about the Dube is a small item tucked away in the menu: two grilled cheese sandwiches with Roquefort cheese, a bottle of Dom Perignon and two souvenir champagne glasses for $150.
The Dube, located at 2439 N. High St., is open 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to midnight Sunday. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with an expanded menu including eggs Benedict, pancakes and French toast, but some breakfast items are on the daily late-night menu.