200716MRBPIC

Beth Webb, a member of The Gazette’s restaurant review team The Four Dishes, recently ordered this brisket sandwich along with baked beans and tater tots from Mr. B’s BBQ Subs & Infused Ice Cream Shop, 1334 Milton Ave., Janesville.

JANESVILLE

Some of us were busy supporting local restaurants during the “stay at home” mandate, but I chose to focus on improving my cooking skills.

When it was suggested we try Mr. B’s BBQ Subs & Infused Ice Cream Shop, I was more than ready to let someone else do the cooking.

Still wanting to play it safe, we phoned in an order for takeout and then ate it al fresco on my deck.

Mr. B’s opened late last fall, but this was the first time any of us had tried it. We’re always excited to try a new restaurant, so we ordered a slew of menu items to get a good feel as to what Mr. B’s is all about.

Locally owned, Mr. B’s occupies the space vacated by the Real Cheese Place, the iconic cheese store on Milton Avenue in Janesville. Right now, it has outdoor tables and limited inside seating with a retro ambiance and ‘50s music playing in the background.

The restaurant has a completely different feel from the cheese shop, with a spacious dining area and a long counter where you place your order. Mr. B’s and Steve’s Deli Dog House are owned by the same person, and the décor of both places is similar, with classic car memorabilia and chrome.

The menu is fairly straightforward, but you need to know how to order to get the perfect add-ons. And there is a huge selection of add-ons that allow you to really fine-tune your sandwich.

Subs are available in two sizes: 6-inch or 12-inch. You choose your meat—ham, turkey, meatballs and pulled pork to name a few—and then you load it up with toppings of your choice.

Here’s where you can get creative. In addition to the standard lettuce and tomato, Mr. B’s offers six different cheese options along with an assortment of peppers to satisfy whatever level of heat you’re looking for. Like pickles? You can get dill, hot and sweet or giardiniera.

I tend to prefer fresh vegetable-oriented meals, but I know many people who like nothing better than a meaty sandwich. Mr. B’s offers this in abundance. Even though it is a fast-food type of restaurant, Mr. B’s is not heavy on fried food—though the menu does offer tater tots and fried cheese curds.

I love a good brisket, so that’s what caught my eye on the menu. Mr. B’s brisket sandwich ($7) had a generous amount of smoky brisket on a plain white bun. I selected the additional barbecue sauce, but it could have used a little something more. I realized too late that I should have taken advantage of all the toppings, and it was my own fault for not piling them on.

Helene ordered the 12-inch turkey sub ($8) on a steak roll with bacon, pepper jack, avocado and light mayo. It was heavy on the mayo, which Helene didn’t mind, but she was disappointed in the roll because it was so bready that it overwhelmed the sandwich. Next time she plans to go heavier on the toppings and add dressing.

Jennifer thought the pulled pork sandwich ($5) was quite good. It was nicely seasoned with a sweet barbecue sauce.

Nikki got the grilled chicken sandwich ($5), adding red onions, lettuce and cheddar. The chicken was juicy and perfectly cooked.

To accompany our sandwiches, we ordered a few sides to share. We tried the baked beans ($2) and house-made coleslaw ($2) with crispy shredded cabbage, shredded carrots and celery seed in a creamy slaw dressing. We also sampled two types of tater tots ($2). The Cowboy Tots with ranch seasoning was our favorite, while the Tasty Tots were crispy and flavorful but a bit salty.

I admit to being confused by the “infused ice cream” terminology. Googling infused ice cream indicates something not yet legal in Wisconsin.

It turns out it’s more inventive, however. There are two basic flavors of ice cream that serve as the base. With an unlimited amount of ice cream toppings and flavors to “infuse” into those basics, you are left to your own devices as to how much you can handle.

Toppings are 50 cents each, and options include a wide assortment of fruits, nuts, candy and cereal. The large milkshake ($6) we ordered was prepared with rich, satisfying German chocolate with a hint of coconut (and maybe caramel?). We all agreed this was a delicious, sweet treat.

The Four Dishes—Nikki Bolka, Helene Ramsdell, Jennifer Spangler and Beth Webb—review regional restaurants for The Gazette.

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