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Shannon and Brent Iwanski

Stops: Cafe Ole, SMOKE. Woodfire Grill

$91.80 Challenger
$91.80 Challenger
August 28, 2018

The Mission: So providing an envelope of cash and telling people to spend it in 48 hours isn’t exactly a challenge, but it makes this assignment sound a lot more interesting. Spend $91.80 (we used the local area code for the amount) in two days. And if they could find fun and free activities ... bonus. The only catch was that they had to spend it at places, events or shops profiled in the August 2018 issue of Preview 918.

The Team: Shannon and Brent Iwanski

Stop #1: The day we chose to eat at Café Ole was one of the milder, temperature-wise, that we have had in a while, so we sat on the covered patio. The patio is cozy and can even be utilized in winter. This was our first time eating here, and we were not disappointed.

We enjoyed the chips and salsa, but their queso was amazing. It’s made with cream cheese, which makes any food taste a million times better. Shannon loved the Southwest Lasagna. At first, he was skeptical of the addition of raisins, but they were not very sweet while still adding a nice complementary flavor to the dish. The accompanying salad was dressed with a thick balsamic vinaigrette that served as a nice counterpoint to the slightly spicy lasagna.

I enjoyed the shrimp street tacos. I did not want to eat the last one because then it would be gone, and I wouldn’t be able to enjoy them anymore.

After the meal we did not feel rushed to leave. The waitress, Angie, was very helpful in making suggestions that would enhance the experience and taste of the food.

Parking was also conveniently behind the restaurant, and there were spaces reserved just for those utilizing Café Ole and the businesses adjacent to it. We look forward to going back to Café Ole.
Cost: $28.33

Stop #2: We’ve both said multiple times that we wanted to try SMOKE., and this gave us the perfect excuse to finally do it. The paintings on the walls added nice local flair, and the cracked-glass partitions were beautiful.

We started with the bacon jam appetizer. It was big enough to feed three people, and it’s only $10. You can enjoy the bacon jam and goat cheese separately on the crostini, but they are better when enjoyed together.

Shannon had the cauliflower steak. It was grilled to perfection and was like eating delicious, crunchy heaven. The meal was flavorful and filling for consisting of nothing other than vegetables.

I loved the shrimp pasta. The shrimp were larger than what would typically be found in the dish.

As with most restaurants, the complimentary bread was warm and delicious, but the addition of the garlic butter with toasted rosemary set it apart from the competition.

We liked that the entrée portion sizes were consistent with the price paid for them. There was no lack of food, and we left full and happy. The waitress, Yvonne, was knowledgeable on the dishes served, and she readily answered all of our questions.
Cost: $57.11

Think you can blow our cash in an interesting way? Like us on Facebook and drop a message with some of your ideas. We might just lace your pockets with green and turn you loose.