On a recent Wednesday afternoon, I got my fill at The Filling Station in Wausau, WI. The Filling Station is located at 1314 N. 6th St on the east side of town. They are open from 6:30am-2:00pm, serving breakfast and lunch. They do not have a website and the menu I did find online is an old one.
I went with my mom for lunch. This is my first visit in a few years and I had heard that they had changed owners. When we pulled in we noticed that there was only one handicapped parking space. However, I think for the size of the parking lot, they are within the required amount of spaces. It would be nice if there were at least one more. The space was occupied, but we did find a space nearby.
The sidewalk is nice and wide and in great condition. The entrance is a double door and is not automatic. My mom held one door and a really sweet lady got up and held the other door for me. It was pretty easy to maneuver my wheelchair into the restaurant. Automatic doors are expensive and then there is the cost of maintenance and repair. I understand why we rarely see these doors in smaller businesses.
The restaurant has walk in ordering, meaning the restaurant has the menu items hung up for the customers in very large print which can be fantastic for someone like me who has poor eyesight. The floors are cement and the spacing of the restaurant tables is perfect for those of us in wheelchairs or other walking devices. Not a single toe was injured as I made my way to the counter to order! The counter is very wheelchair friendly! I am able to see everything, including all the pastries I can’t have due to my gluten free diet! The man behind the counter was very polite and patient while taking our order. As we were chatting, we discovered he was the owner, Roger Lovretich.
When I saw the menu I knew exactly what I was going to order, the Juicy Lucy burger on gluten free bread! Yes! They have gluten free options! My mom ordered the Grilled Cheese Panini. We ordered drinks as well, which they have a self service drink station set up next to the ordering counter. The drink station is not really accessible, but this is a pretty normal occurrence. My mom got the drinks for us. I missed the fact that they have Gold Peak Ice Tea, I am an Ice Tea addict! They even have mason jars for the tea! Good thing we loved this Wausau gem and will be returning!
We went to sit at a nearby table and discovered that I did not fit underneath. The tables are industry standard height, I just simply don’t fit. Good thing I always bring a backup!
The Filling Station was formerly an old gas station. They even have a picture of the old station on the wall. I’ve always loved the old fashioned atmosphere, it goes well with the southern like friendly hospitality of the staff. The restaurant is tastefully decorated with gas station charm. The nostalgia of seeing my Grandma Great’s yellowish, olive green, kitchen wall paint really makes it homey for me. There is so much to take in, you find yourself lost in the atmosphere as you are waiting for your food.
While we were waiting my mom checked out the restrooms. There were no family bathrooms, but they do have single gender specific bathrooms with a lock. This essentially functions like a family bathroom, as my opposite sex caregivers can still accompany me to the restroom. My mom said the restroom was exceptionally clean and nicely decorated.
While we were waiting we discovered The Filling Station also has outside seating. The door leading to the outside patio was accessible. However, the concrete picnic style tables have built in connected benches and I am unable to pull my wheelchair up to the table. Again, I always come prepared with my wheelchair tray, so I could still use this nice option of outside seating.
The food is brought to the table, which is really nice for anyone with mobility issues. As I said I ordered the artery clogging Juicy Lucy. This burger is topped with juicy, caramelized onions, along with the triple team of cheese, topped with ketchup and mustard. In my opinion, the Juicy Lucy is the Lobster Tail of this small restaurant. Both my meal and my mom’s came with awesome homemade chips. When I say homemade, I mean homemade, fresh right from the stove chips. Additionally there is a cup of homemade delicious coleslaw and a generous portion of fresh grapes. It truly goes beyond food into the realm of heaven! As we ate, one of the friendly workers came over to check on us as well as Roger, the owner.
Our experience here was truly remarkable and for me, it was nostalgic. I am changing my rating system to include all the facets of dining, not just accessibility. I am including a rating for accessibility, food, service, and atmosphere. I will then give the average rating for the overall experience.
My rating for The Filling Station is as follows:
Accessibility: 3.5 stars
Food: 5 stars
Service: 5 stars
Atmosphere: 5 stars
My Overall Experience rating is…drum roll please…
4.5 Wheelchair Stars!!
I highly recommend patronizing this local establishment. I don’t think you will be disappointed!
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Until next time…Keep on rollin, and keep smiling!!!