Tuesday, June 4, 2013

REVIEW: The Roma Lodge's Roast Beef Au Jus Bomber

Every Thursday at the Roma Lodge in Racine, Wisconsin, is Bingo Night, and I am NOT ashamed to say I've frequenting the joint for this certain event nearly every week with my grandmother for about a year now. We grab our daubers, our Sharpie pens, our good-luck possessions- whatever is required to win us some big bucks!
I don't think many teens my age realize that the Bingo played here this isn't your average, run-of-the-mill, "get five in a row" Bingo. No, rather, quite contrary to the sort: You have your Four Corners Bingo, your Arrow-Shaped Bingo, your Top & Bottom Row Bingo, and your Cover All Bingo, just to name a few (You can play about 20 different games, altogether). And what do you get if you win?A big wad of cash money, that's what! Most games pay out $75.00 to the winner, but some are even worth $200.00! With so much money at stake, the competitiveness is high. Which is why I think so many old people like the game: It's one of the only things they can compete at and not break a hip in the process.
That's not to say young people can't enjoy Bingo too. It can actually develop into something pretty fierce, believe it or not. Each game, your heart is pratically beating out of your chest. "What if the number you so desperately need is called next? But if it is called, will someone else shout out "Bingo" too? How close are all the other players to winning the game? What if the next number called ends it all? Or the next one? Or the one after that? Or the one after that?" Many thoughts swirl through your head as you stare intently at the paper sheet below you, dotted with the colorful ink of your dauber.
What I'm saying this, you gotta respect the game of Bingo. It's not just some chance for all the old bags out there to have their "ladies' night"- It's more than that. It's a high-risk game of luck and suspense! And, I think if more kids out there realized that their grandmothers are mainly playing for humongous cash prizes, they'd join in too. Of course, Bingo Night isn't free- You have to pay for your sets of Bingo sheets. And if you want dinner, you're going to have to pay for that too.
Which makes for a great segway into the main topic of this article- Roma Lodge's Roast Beef Au Jus Bomber: the greatest hot beef sandwich this young one has tasted in her short, fourteen (near fifteen, by the way) years.
The Roma Lodge has plenty of options for grub to eat during their Bingo Night- The selection varies from week to week, but there are a couple of staples- One of them being the Roast Beef Bomber. I can say, with the utmost certainty, that it will be available every Thursday. And that's good news for me, since I oh-so loooove this scrumptious sandwich. It's large, it's in charge, and it tastes like a big hunk of heaven!!! And one whale-sized sammy will only cost you $2.50, unless you're going to Bingo on the third week of the month, where all food items are priced at a discount $1.50. My Roast Beef Bomber (which I ordered with extra meat, because it is just that delicious), my Diet Mug, and my coffee only set me myself back $2.00, but this is because the cashier is sweet on kids. I may be reaching my age though- He used to even give me a free dessert- sometimes two even, but I'm not offered a single cookie anymore. Growing old is tough, and sometimes rather sad, when you think about it... Enjoy your youth while you can, kiddos!

So, what makes this Roast Beef from the Roma so darn heavenly? Well, a few things- Let me take you through them, one by one:
   1. The Roast Beef Itself: I'm even willing to call this "Italian Beef," even though the Roma Lodge doesn't refer to it as such. Why? Well, "Roast Beef", by my standards, is the cold-cut deli slices you'll find in just about any old sandwich. Nothing special- just Roast Beef. Italian Beef however, is savory, warm, and juicy: It's shredded (not sliced) beef flavored with its own spicy, tantalizing juices, which are almost thick enough to be comparable to gravy. Roma's Beef, even though it isn't labeled as such, is THE Italian Beef. It has all of the defining traits of this perfectly lovely meat. Roma's is so tasty, so full of flavor- And it's always warm, coming fresh out of it's buffet tray after slow-roasting in its puddle of Italian-seasoned, flavorful juices over time.

  2. The Bun: Fresh Italian Bomber bread right here: This is real, locally baked, bakery-quality bread. Not no lame, white bread. BLEH! What's the difference? White bread buns are soft and have a more brownish crust on the outside- Italian buns are always crusty on the outside, even if they haven't been toasted, and are an all-around pale-yellow color. The Roma Lodge uses some awesome bomber buns for their Roast Beef Bombers- They're crispy and crunchy, hold up well, and are very tasty- But it is even better when carrying the beef inside. The beef's juice soaks into the bread, enhancing its flavor and giving it a nice, salty taste- It's wonderful! Just always say "yes" when the server at the buffet table asks you if you want your bun dipped- He'll dunk the inside of your bun into the meat juice. You get much more gravy that way. The bottom of the bread practically becomes a pile of mush with all the savory juice and Roast Beef piled on top!

  3. The Size: This sandwich is BIG. And I mean, BIIIIIIG. It's nothing to snort at. I mean, THE BUN ALONE is close to the length of the paper plate used to carry it! Then, imagine that huge-a** bun being filled to the brim with juicy, shredded meat? It's hunormous! And both sides of the bomber bread are thick and dense as well. I have a bad habit of asking for extra meat whenever I order Roma's Roast Beef Au Jus Bomber, but I don't really need it- The sandwich is plenty big enough as is.

  4. The Price: You'd think for a sandwich this big, you'd be paying AT LEAST five bucks. But no- This sandwich is HALF that price! You get A LOT for what you're paying, no joke. I mean, for just one, little fiver, you could buy two of these things. That's a lot of meat!!! And if you were to go on the third Thursday of the month? Your bomber would only set you back $1.50. WOW!!! I have yet to find a better deal for a beef bomber around town...
As for the cons of the Roma Lodge's Roast Beef Bomber? Hmm... I'm really having trouble finding anything to complain about! I mean, this sandwich is nearly prefect!!! But if Roma had to improve SOMETHING about their Bomber, I guess it'd be nice if they offered hot and sweet peppers on the side. I always like toppings on my sandwich, and that'd be a nice touch. And I'm guessing this Bomber isn't THE HEALTHIEST thing in the world- I'm not sure what the exact calorie count of this sandwich comes out to... It could be around 500 or so. I think that's the average for Roast Beef Bombers. That's kind of high, sure, but think about how HUGE the serving size is! And I bet this baby is just bursting with protein! The Italian-style bun probably does little to contribute to the fiber count, but use any other bread, and it's no longer considered an "authentic" Roast Beef Bomber. But really, Roast Beef/Hot Beef/Italian Beef Sandwiches aren't as bad for you as you think. They can actually be some of the healthier choices at diners and burger joints and what-have-you. And besides, for dinner, 500 calories isn't that bad at all. It's just the right amount!

So, to conclude, I LOVE Roma Lodge's Roast Beef Au Jus Bomber. It's THE BEST Italian-style Roast Beef Sandwich I've ever had so far. It's the only thing I really, really want to order when I go to Bingo with G-Ma. Sadly, this bomber isn't something you can order from the Lodge if you go there for a sit-down lunch or dinner, but if you're ever in the area on Thursday and want to have a good time, why not stop at the Roma Lodge for Bingo Night? Not only will you have a chance of winning a whole bunch of money while playing a suspenseful and fun game, but you'll also be able to have a cheap, super-delicious dinner, no matter what you pick! And the people at Roma Lodge are soooo friendly- You'll make plenty of friends as you daub the night away.

Nutrition: 7.5/10
Taste: 9.5/10
Price: 9.5/10
Originality: 3/10 (It may be nothing new, but come on, the Roast Beef Bomber is a classic).
Overall Deliciousness Rating: 9.25/10

Roma Lodge's Roast Beef Bomber
  • Pros: Amaaaaazing Italian Beef, fresh Italian-style bomber bun, whole sandwich dripping in savory gravy, super-cheap price, tons of protein, huge portions, warm, full of flavor.
  • Cons: Little fiber...? Needs topping selections...? I don't know, I'm really coming up blank here.

Roast Beef not your thing? Fret not! The buffet served at Bingo Night at the Roma Lodge has much more than that- Take a look!

Every week, you can find Mostaccioli in Red Sauce (I've had it before; Very tasty)...

...Meatballs too (These can be plopped on top of your Mostaccioli, or be made into a tasty Meatball Bomber).

The rest of the food selection changes every week. This week, there was Baked Sliced Turkey Breast (My G-Ma says this is the best)...

...which you can order with Mashed Potatoes & Gravy...

...and Stuffing!!!

The Roma Lodge usually has some sort of soup available on Bingo Night as well. I've seen creations like Chicken Tortilla, Lasagna, and Cheesy Broccoli. This week, it was Chicken & Vegetable.

Not feeling like something hot? There's a big platter of cold sandwiches to choose from as well.

You can pick up a couple of ice-cold sodas or teas, or even some hot coffee...

...and let's not forget dessert! I've seen plenty of em'- German Chocolate Cake, Red Velvet Cake, M&M Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Double Chocolate Cookies, White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies... Whew! This list is gettin' long FAST! This week, Roma was serving Chocolate Cake, a Vanilla/Lemon Cake (not sure exactly which), and healthy Fruit Salad.

And there you have it! Plenty of picks for your palette! So come to the Roma Lodge every Thursday for Bingo Night! If you're interested, you can find some basic information here.

Till' next time, this has been RiRi Ri-porting!

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