De Wese’s Tip Top Café is a little family owned restaurant on the Westside of town. Having been in business for over 70 years, the inside looks more like a hodge podge of a house (complete with a mounted deer head and bass fish) than a restaurant; you definitely expect some home cookin’ going on in this joint.
You need to know that the Tip Top Café does not take credit cards, only checks or cash. I overheard the cashier say that this is their response to the credit collapse and to “encourage people only spending the money they have.” Just make sure you have some greenbacks before you go in.
The restaurant has a cool neon sign outside, a little lean in the foundation on the inside, some old booths, old curtains on the windows, and even a bar that you can eat at. I will warn you, try not to take a seat to the immediate right when you walk in as you get a waft of mouth balls when a door opens and closes. Just an FYI.
There is an assortment of fried food, Mexican food, and sandwiches. There was special mention of the onion rings on the menu, but I decided to forgo them as an appetizer and just jumped right in with the chicken fried steak. After having a few plates of hot onion rings being carried by my table, I can tell you that this was definitely a mistake, and don’t advise you to make the same one that I did!
My chicken fried steak came out and it was pretty dang big! I ended up cutting it in half and split it with my roommate Serrano Pepper Aaron. The weird thing about it was that the cream gravy was served underneath the chicken fried steak; I had never seen that before! It makes sense because it keeps your breading from getting real soggy. The chicken fried steak was definitely better than average, but I wasn’t blown away. The side salad was really nice, and you got the feeling that it was actually made fresh instead of being from a bag. The mashed potatoes were, again, above average but nothing that actually rocked my world.
I guess overall, I had a nice time at the Tip Top Café; I enjoy getting to go to throwback diners and this definitely fit that bill. The food was good, but not mind blowing; it was also fairly reasonable (I think that the chicken fried steak was like $9, but was $7 on a particular night of the week (Tuesday I believe)) considering the portions that you got. I will return someday just to try those onion rings that I missed out on!
Value: 7/10 (pretty reasonably priced home cookin’)
Atmosphere: 7/10 (you feel like you are in your grandma’s house (if she lived out in the country); avoid the seats to the right of the entrance as you get whiffs of moth balls…)
Service: 7/10 (nothing to write home about; the guy at the register was a little terse)
Taste: 7/10 (above average, but definitely not mind blowing)
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