Location: Kingdom Restaurant
Date: January 19, 2019
Kingdom Restaurant used to be located in a gas station on East Washington Avenue and have relocated to the Northside Town Center. That gas station was a magnet for shit heads so I don't blame them for finding a new spot.
With the recent openings of Beef Butter BBQ, Bierock and now Kingdom, the North side has a few more food options. This has been long overdue.
I came across Kingdom by accident when I dropped some clothes off for alterations next door. I stopped in to see the menu and learned they had opened the previous day. Any sensible person would go right to the African section of the menu, that's what they're known for, but the "Hangover Sandwich" caught my eye (as did the chicken wings) and I knew that was probably a breakfast sandwich. My pants were to be ready for pickup the following Saturday so I made a plan to find out what this Hangover Sandwich was all about.
While I wasn't planning on arriving with a hangover, I also hadn't planned for several inches of snow necessitating two solid hours of snow blowing and shoveling on Saturday morning. This is to say that by the time I got to Kingdom I had picked up my freshly tailored slacks and I had a hearty appetite.
|This may be one of my better menu photos which means nothing. I didn't ask if they'll throw a chicken egg on top of those gizzards to make a nice little breakfast plate.|
|That's a hunka-hunka of a sandwich right there. Jeepers.|
Disclaimer - I have never been to Philadelphia. I've never eaten a real Philly Cheesesteak and I don't have an opinion on the Geno's versus Pat's rivalry. This fills me with a deep shame that I'm unable to articulate in this space but please forgive me and know that one day I will go to Philadelphia, if only to eat cheesesteak sandwiches. There used to be a place called Big Red's here in Madison that served a tasty cheesesteak but they closed several years ago.
Anyway, the sandwich. You can see it's an impressive pile of sandwich if a bit messy. The egg is sorta fried and plopped in there. They don't ask if you want the sandwich "wit" (with onions) and the cheese is Cheez Whiz. Perhaps if you specify you can get it without onions or peppers and another kind of cheese. The steak was tender and not grisly, which honestly I thought might be the case. It's a messy sandwich for sure, and actually could have been a bit messier with a little more cheese. The bread was sturdy enough to keep everything together while not being too dense. Everybody will tell you the key to the Philly cheesesteaks is the Amoroso's bread but sadly I can't weigh in on that. It seems the more I write about sandwiches the less I know about sandwiches.
The fries were OK but unnecessary. If not for the shoveling I may have avoided them altogether but I ate about half of them.
The Result - 3.99 Harold Carmichaels out of 5 Harold Carmichaels. This rating might be a bit generous. On one hand this isn't at all what you expect when you think of a breakfast sandwich. On the other hand, it's a solid sandwich and if you know what you're getting it might fit the bill perfectly. I'll gave them points for creativity, I don't think anybody else around here is serving a breakfast sandwich like this. Overall, the sandwich wasn't quite as flavorful as I thought it would be - maybe that means it needs more grease and salt, which is probably a stupid thing to complain about, but I call it as I taste it. I do know that from what I remember of the Big Red's cheesesteaks I used to get, this wasn't as tasty, egg or not. It's probably not fair to compare a sandwich from fuzzy memories of 5 years ago but I'm doing it anyway. Packaging it as a "Combo" meal didn't work for me, it doesn't need those fries and I rarely want a soda. Serving it ala carte for $5.95 makes more sense to me. How does it fair against a hangover? I didn't find out, that's for your research team to dig into. I run a tight ship over here and have no time for the ramblings of bleary-eyed slackers.
Kingdom seems like it's still finding it's footing in a restaurant space rather than as a takeout joint. Small things like not having water and ketchup out so patrons can help themselves lessen the experience. I'm hoping they can tighten it up and get enough traffic to stay open. I want to go back to try the chicken wings, fufu and benachin.