Sunday, July 29, 2007

$100 Hamburger - Janesville Airport, WI (JVL)

A week has past and I'm ready for another Hamburger. I went to Michigan last time, so this time I want to go somewhere else. Using Adventure Pilot, I found CAVU Cafe at the Janesville WI airport (JVL). They have good reviews and have a panoramic view of the airport. They are 95 miles from GYY, which will be an easy flight. Figure we can go and check them out.

The Flight
A direct flight to JVL from GYY would require that we overfly Midway and O'Hare Airports. Not likely to be approved. I filed IFR to JVL, so I can have the ORD controllers keep an eye on us (see FlightAware Log). The Class B airspace is quite busy. My route of flight was direct to the Chicago Heights VOR (CGT) and then direct to JVL. This kept us mostly out of the ORD airspace, but it did add about 30 miles or so to the trip.

The flight was uneventful and we made it to JVL averaging about 195 Miles Per Hour Ground Speed in cruise, which wasn't too bad considering I was only at 4000 ft. The efficiency of the Turbo kicks in over 10,000 ft, but it isn't practical to climb that high for a 100 mile journey.

The Airport
The JVL airport was very quiet. The ramp was nearly empty. This is probably because EAA AirVenture Oshkosh also started that weekend. We went later in the week to OSH. I will write about our EAA experience next time.

The CAVU Cafe Restaurant
The CAVU Cafe is in the JVL terminal, which was very clean. It is somewhat like going back in time. They have pictures and other items that have been around for a long, long time.

They weren't very busy, but the service was slow. I'm not sure if that is typical or just because we are there during OSH. The staff seemed to spend most of the time in the kitchen BS'ing. It was like pulling teeth to get them to refill a drink or take the order. The kitchen isn't very modern either. It is setup more like a collage dorm room with small plug-in appliances instead of what one would expect in a restaurant.

The menu was sparse, but they have what they call "The one-hundred dollar hamburger." I wasn't sure if it was actually the price of the burger or referencing the flying experience. I say that because every item added to the bread and meet was ala carte. They charged 10 cents for lettuce, 20 cents for a tomato, etc. This is the first time I've ever been to a restaurant where they charged for lettuce, pickles, etc. The bread, however, was included in the base price ;)

I ordered a burger with cheese and the whole 9-yards. I was hungry and a burger sounded good. Suffice it to say, it took 30+ minutes to get the order in and the food delivered to the table. I was a bit worried about what we'd receive considering that the service, kitchen, etc. wasn't the greatest. However, I was pleasantly surprised that the burger delivered was awesome. It was truly worthy of the 100 Dollar Hamburger title.

All in all the CAVU Cafe in JVL is worth a visit. The food was good, the airport is nice and there is plenty of parking on the ramp. When you go, just don't be in a hurry. They will get there eventually. Maybe the slow service was due to OSH or hitting them in between busy times. They just seemed to run at their own pace. Allocate plenty of time to hang around the airport and order the $100 Hamburger. It was worth the trip.

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