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About Back When Cafe
A charming cafe serving farm to table style cuisine, with inventive twists on classic dishes. Located in historic downtown Wausau since 1991.
Sustainable, regional cooking at its best in a causal yet elegant environment with full bar and multiple wines by the glass. Open for Dinner
Wausau, WI 54403
Contemporary American, Italian, French
Hours of Operation:
Tuesday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Closed Sunday & Monday
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Check us out on facebook or contact Jolene for all your catering needs!
Private Party Facilities:
Private and semi private rooms available, please contact us for details.
Private Party Contact:
Jolene Lucci: (715) 848-5668
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wine
Back When Cafe Ratings and Reviews
Service was good and quick. Food was overpriced for the quality and quantity. Since it was so expensive we thought the food would be fresh or made from scratch, but was obviously not. There was a hairball inside one of our cloth napkins and every beer we tried to order off the beer list, turns out you don't actually have that beer. The waitress even said the beer list was very outdated. Really? Pretty disappointed with the overall experience. After we left we went up the street and had another (better) dinner at another place.
This was our second visit and will be back. We were there for NYE dinner. Our reservation was at 8:30. Had appetizer, meal, desert and bottle of wine. They were out of our 2 first bottle choices, and were out of my first choice of entree. But what we had was delicious. My wife had Lobster Ravioli and I had Pesto stuffed Salmon.
It was great good! Unfortunately, my husband had to ask 3 times for his second glass of wine, and 4 times for a second cheese spread (to 2 different servers). They were busy, but wasn’t too busy, so not sure if that was just the the holidays. The food though, excellent!
Our waitress was able to split our bill with certain items we ordered between 2 of us and other items between 3 of us. She was great at not rushing us through our meal allowing us time to enjoy each other’s company. She checked on us several times during the course of the evening. It made the evening delightful. The food was delicious from appetizers to dessert. The atmosphere was relaxing.
The Salmon, Harvest Pasta and salads were outstanding! Casually elegant atmosphere with excellent service with friendly and professional staff. We were given a small cake (with chocolate ganache and a candle) in honor of my wife's birthday. It was delicious!
We met Joy, the original owner & founder, and she was delightful.
I travel all over the USA for business and this is a gem. I often take clients to dinner and always want them to have a good experience. This was my first trip to Wasau and I was told about this but was also told I’d need reservations. I though “It must be good”. That’s an understatement, from the unbelievable menu, to great service and a wine list that was also exceptional this place is one I won’t soon forget. Two things I know for sure, I will visit Wasau again on business and I’ll make reservations at Back When Cafe as soon as I book my flight. If you’re anywhere close out this place on you list, you won’t be disappointed.
Our dining experience at The Back When Cafe was outstanding!! We were celebrating my birthday and on our way to a concert at the Grand Theater. Our waiter was very personable and assisted us with our entree decisions, which turned out to be delicious!! We will definitely return ASAP. I just wish they were open for lunch!!!!
Although I have been to Back When on prior occasions, this visit was the best of all.... Food was excellent (menu variety was AMAZING), service was great, and the atmosphere charming. So appreciated our waitress asking if we were attending the show at the Grand that evening and making sure that we would make it there on time.
I dined here with four other people for a birthday. Several things were a problem. First of all, for the price , the service was lack luster. Several times we were handed our plates from overhead and the plates were announced instead of set in front of the diner. The scallops were great , the rest was fine. We had a bad table right by the back waiter area and had some water spill on my purse, some silverware go on the floor and some dishes break right by us. This won’t be my first pick the next time I am in Wausau
I have had many opportunities and special occasions,to dine at The Back When Cafe, I have never been disappointed. The moment you walk in the door, Jeff is there to greet you, and make one of his many awesome concoctions , or perhaps your usual.....the wonderful wait staff, that take your order, present it, yummy desserts and coffee, Back When Cafe, is the real deal...
We always try to have dinner at the Back When Cafe whenever we are visiting Wausau from Chicago. The food is always delicious and creative, the cocktails excellent, the wait staff knowledgeable, the wine list excellent (and red wine is not served at 74 degrees!). This time we caught it on a Friday night before a big concert at the theater on the square, so it was really busy, but still wonderful. A slight delay on the cocktails was explained and handled nicely by our waiter, who was awesome. Another fabulous experience.
The restaurant was very busy due to a show at the Grand Theater so it was crowded and loud with service slowed by the rush.
We decided to try the zucchini pasta with tomato basil sauce plus a grilled chicken breast. The sauce was obviously freshly made and delicious but the "pasta" (it was spiraled fresh zucchini) serving was more side dish size than entre portion. There was not enough to eat.
Great food and neat atmosphere. I am not a big fan of team table service because it can result in slow service or forgotten items. Back when uses this concept and it took some time for us to be noticed when we were first seated and overall service could've been a little more prompt. Otherwise the food was perfectly prepared and the evening was enjoyable.
Disappointing. I stopped in Wausau to visit an old friend and we went to dinner here. The ambiance of the place is comfortable. It was a good place to have a conversation. The wait staff is excellent. They were attentive without being intrusive. The food, however, was disappointing, especially for a place that obviously aspires to be a five star restaurant. The lobster bisque was thin and lacked any depth of flavor. The roast salmon with horseradish vinergrette was equally disappointing. The salmon was cooked well, but the sauce was bland. I expected a bit of sharpness from a horseradish sauce, but this lacked any noticeable sharpness or kick from the sauce. It was essentially a generic sauce with nothing unique about it.
We took my mom out for a special dinner to the Back When Cafe, and were very pleased with the experience. They found my mom a pillow for her chair and went above and beyond in service. The food was also great, and well presented--I was pleased to find a restaurant of this caliber in Wausau!
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