Many Upper Arlington residents have spent mealtimes at the Chef-O-Nette restaurant looking for bargain food in a family atmosphere. The Jenqster and I certainly were as we entered the restaurant, our first thoughts being, "Okay, I've been told not to eat the dinner roles here since they play catch with them on the back," and "I don't remember this much hatred in this particular restaurant," respectively.
Will someone please tell me what the hell is going on in that painting?
Okay, it's probably not that dirty (it had to have passed a food inspection here and there if it's still open, right?), but it's pretty clear that Chef-O-Nette may not make a very good first impression its on customers. Having said that, the customers will probably make a pretty good impression on the restaurant--or at least an indentation. On the dirt.
If you look closely you can see footprints in the carpet
It's also clear that they haven't changed a whole lot in the past 40 years (including the drapes). Everything from the decorations to the menus to the prices all reek of age. Or perhaps they reek of retro flair. It could totally go either way here.
I'm not gonna lie, that's a pretty awesome clock.
But the burger busters do not care for feeble attempts to create atmosphere. We are men. We eat meat. The gods smile on those who strut to the table, order the burgers, eat without speaking of any business aside from the task at hand, and depart with a firm handshake. And we did just that. After taking a pretty picture of the flower box, of course.
You can hardly tell it's fabric!
These particular buns at Chef O Nette were easily some of the most generic, archetypal buns we had ever seen. My bun could probably work for the FBI if he wanted to because he could blend in to a crowd of buns like a needle into a stack of needles. Unfortunately, my bun's task was instead to cover my burger, which it did a fine job at, but also it didn't add anything. Unless starchy white bread is your thing.
Looking at this is giving me cottonmouth
On another note, you may notice in some of the pictures that the bun looks toasted, however, it lacked any crunch or firmness whatsoever when put to the test. Either someone in the kitchen is an expert chemist who has discovered the secret to floppy toast, or that person just likes coloring on buns with a brown magic marker. Could be either.
Don't be fooled. Even though it looks toasted, I know the truth.
There's really not much to say about Chef O Nette's toppings. The vegetables are decent in that they add some crunch to what is otherwise a somewhat flimsy sandwich, and they taste pretty damn close to how they should. The cheese is orange... Yep... Everything's pretty much average here... The ketchup is--wait. Wait just a second, how do you even make ketchup out of the ordinary?
Alright, well this is interesting. They seem to have found a way to extract the ketchup from its native environment, and transported it into some kind of plastic container with a miniature shovel in it... What am I even supposed to do with this...? Am I supposed to trust that this has been cleaned since the last customer used it?
Alright, well now that shit is on your burger, so there's really not a whole lot you can do about it. It's also worth pointing out that the idiosyncrasies of Chef O Nette's ketchup don't end there. It had an odd, vinegary taste about it that made it feel like it was watered down. Or perhaps spat in. Just the thought was a bit unpleasant...
Yup, those are pickles.
I'm just going to come out and say right now that this was not an incredible patty. Sorry for ruining the suspense and probably your hopes and dreams. However, the one thing that the patty has going for it is that it's actually pretty normal. While the burger busters do not normally celebrate something that fits so well into a generic mold, in a restaurant that's just so quirky and weird (and not always in a good way) it's a bit of a relief to have some familiarity with good old fashioned ground beef. It was a fine size, and actually tasted like cow.
That's still pretty average.
At least we're certain about something
And now we have the burger score coming to a grand total of...
Patty: 4 +
Chef O Nette actually has a whole lot of other food aside from burgers, ranging from cooked carrots to cottage cheese. Basically anything mushy you could imagine your grandma eating as a snack because her gums ain't what they used to be. Also on the menu are crispy, succulent, surely trans-fat rich fries, that were probably the highlight of the meal. They had a perfect balance of potato and grease, which made for a great side dish worth a half tilt point.
This is actually making my mouth water, I'm not even joking.
Adding in that half tilt point brings the aggregate score up to...
So, if you're ever in old Upper Arlington and you want to have a nice family meal (or you're over 65), you could totally go to Chef-O-Nette for such fare. If you don't mind the dirty looks from the people in the kitchen or the dirty... er... dirt, then you might just have yourself a good time. Just make sure you wash your hands afterwards.