The place is casual and interesting if not cool-seeming. They display attractive cuts of meat and the kitchen is exposed to show their work off to patrons. There's a small but interesting menu with many sandwiches listed. They take price in their sandwiches, and I assume, their meat. I’d been to this place once before and had The Ranger, another sandwich. I hadn’t previously been overwhelmed by the value I got with The Ranger and was hoping that the French dip was better. While eating The Ranger, I ran into my buddy Matt who was there eating the French dip. Mat had all great things to say about The Dipper (“best ever” if I recall) so my expectations were set pretty high for my experience.
I ordered from the counter and sat at the bar, right next to the cash register and watched the workers work. I wondered which sandwich they were preparing was The Dipper. Others were there for lunch that Wednesday and their sandwiches looked good and as if they were enjoying themselves. After quite some time of waiting I was served my sandwich.
The sandwich came on a rectangular white plate and came with a side of pickled vegetables, which aren't that delicious. The sandwich was visibly blackened (burnt?) but looked fancy and I assumed it was the chef’s intention to give it to me this way.
The jus smelled good and I studied the sandwich. I took a bite of the sandwich alone, without dipping it, and wasn’t overly impressed. I dipped it into the jus hoping for improvement and was still not impressed. The bread was extremely hard...roof-of-mouth-cutting hard. The jus had a sharp taste that I didn't really love.
The meat was nice looking in small bits and crispy. The cheese was there but kind of burnt. There were quite a few chopped, caramelized onions in there and the horseradish sauce looked like visible peppercorns.
The flavor of the sandwich with or without jus to me was actually bitter from the horseradish sauce and there was even an alcohol taste from the jus that I didn't enjoy. I wouldn't say that I suffered through this meal but it wasn't great.
For the price, this sandwich isn’t worth it and wasn't very enjoyable to me. Because it was kind of fancy and it seemed liked really cared in putting it together, I give them credit, but it didn't suit my liking.
So that leads me to the following set of conclusions:
- Bread: 2 of 5 for it being too hard and burnt
- Meat: 4 of 5 for its uniqueness and crispiness but it wasn’t succulent like a good prime rib
- Non-meat toppings: 2 of 5. The onions were burnt, the horseradish sauce was bitter, and the cheese didn’t do anything for me.
- Jus: 3 of 5. It was thick, smelled good but had an alcohol taste. It wasn’t all that delicious.
- Overall: 3 of 5. I didn’t care for this sandwich. It was too expensive and didn’t do it for me taste wise. It had bitterness, too hard of bread, and a flavor that I didn’t really love. I can’t rate it a 5 by any stretch. It could have been a 4 but I didn’t really love it, so it’s a 3 for being fancy and unique.