Pretension with a side of prosciutto

Rachel Hoerman

Located just two blocks away from the Lawrence campus, and with College Ave. looking more and more like a ghost town each day, Peggy’s Caf should be an ideal alternative dining option for the Downer-weary Lawrentian. My friend and I decided to test this hypothesis Saturday night, and though she liked her meal, I found everything below par aside from their prices, and thus had the unfortunate experience of proving my own assumption wrong. Walking into Peggy’s, one is reminded of a European caf, in a pseudo-nice, “we’re-still-in-the-middle-of-Podunk-nowhere-Wisconsin-but-good-try-guys” kind of way. However, once seated with a basket of stale-bread, and a menu that makes you realize you should have walked across the street to Conkey’s where you would have been properly ripped off under the excuse of investing in your future, it only gets worse.

Being a vegetarian, and used to somewhat limited dining options, I ordered one of the two or three pasta dishes available without meat—what should have been portabella mushroom and cheese tortellini in a garlic cream sauce. What I got (and could barely see, thanks to the dimly lit interior) a full half an hour later, were eleven tri-colored ravioli with two canned mushrooms held together by a miniscule amount of congealed cream sauce, and topped with a handful of chopped bacon. And though I relish adventure like any other person, I don’t enjoy deriving it from an eagerly anticipated dinner where I have to treasure hunt for, and subsequently drag to the side of my plate, chunks of bacon which, stupid me, must have been the surprise ingredient of my chosen dish, and thus would not be listed in the menu’s description.

The only consolation to the meal came at the end, when I ordered, and was very pleased with, a slice of flourless chocolate cake. It tasted like a wedge of doughy fudge brownie, rich enough to send one into cardiac arrest after the first few bites. It was a masterpiece for chocolate lovers everywhere and a sweet conclusion to a meal that left me feeling rather bitter.

Somewhat fittingly, our waitress mixed up our credit cards at the end of the meal after pointedly asking which card was who’s, bringing the evening to a much-anticipated conclusion.

Still thinking of going to Peggy’s? Don’t. My advice would be to save your hard-earned cash, and either burn it in a small pile outside of their door, or buy a bus ticket that will take you to the mall, brave the dangers of the highway to run across to Woodman’s, buy some packaged tortellini, a cheap jar of white sauce, and some disposable bowls, and then risk death again by crossing the highway to catch your bus—either way, you’ll walk away less annoyed and with more money, satisfaction, and self-respect (by my math, I paid slightly over $1.27 per tortellini) than an evening at Peggy’s would provide.

Walking distance—YES
Address—125 E. College Ave.