At the height of the snowpocalypse, Lady A and I met up for lunch at The Cozy Cow in downtown. With a prime location on Big Spring lake (and free parking in the PNC garage), I couldn't help but think of summer, even with snow on the ground. I was apparently alone in my visions of ice cream and sunshine though, and we pretty much had the run of the place.
The restaurant had an old fashioned sweet shoppe vibe to the decor--distressed and painted furniture, vintage feeling signs, glass jars holding ice cream toppings. Dark brown shutters mounted on the walls gave the illusion of more space and chalkboard signs added a fun, trendy feel. A single small flat screen nodded to the modern world.
The menu was broader than I had anticipated--sandwiches, burgers, and soup cozied up with sundaes, malts, and baked goods. Beverages included coffee and tea as well as fountain drinks. And, of course, there was Bluebell ice cream. I was delighted to see that the side options for sandwich combos included not just chips and potato salad but also ice cream! Given that it was frosty enough outside, I settled on potato salad with my Big Cheese, but believe me, I thought twice about it. Lady A settled on a Chicken Salad Melt.
We ordered at the counter and settled in at our table. Our sandwiches featured Fred Bread and came in sporty wicker baskets lined with paper. My Big Cheese (shown at the top of this post) was made with a delightfully fragrant rosemary bread. The exterior was very lightly toasted and the tomato surprisingly tasty in the depths of winter. The menu listed the cheese as a blend of provolone, cheddar, and swiss. The flavors melded together, driven to the slightly tangier by the provolone and swiss. My only cheese related complaint was that while the cheese was melted to both sides of the bread, the tomato and bacon had apparently been added after the cheese was melted. This meant that the two halves of the sandwich were not melted together and my bacon was prone to falling out. The bacon itself was thin and crispy. Together with the the bread, this lent a nice crunch to the sandwich. The pickle spear was crunchy and vinegary, which balanced well with the saltier sandwich.
Lunch was going swimmingly (bread! cheese! bacon!) but it was when I tasted the potato salad that I hit the highlight. Made with red potatoes and loads of creamy mayo, the potato salad also sported a complex flavor that was absolutely fabulous. There were small bits of something (bacon?) that were just a bit chewy, but it worked. This will make the decision between ice cream and potato salad forever a fraught and complicated one.
Lady A's Chicken Salad melt earned multiple, enthusiastic "very good!" compliments which is high praise indeed.
I will absolutely be back. The Cozy Cow is a perfect place to linger. In the summer, enjoy the patio and the lake with a cup full of ice cream. In the winter, take shelter inside with a hot drink and a bowl of soup. And all year round, order that potato salad! (For those of you a little more to the east, they also have a location in Owens Cross Roads.)
Total for the meal: $7.29 (Includes one sandwich and one side)
View Larger Map