This is a very difficult post to write, because this meal was soooo expensive.
Raegan got a $100 gift certificate to Ranch Steakhouse from a students family, and we decided that this evening was a good time to use it. So we invited her parents, made a reservation, and met them there.
The four of us ate at Ranch maybe four years ago. It was pretty good, as I recall. I think we went on an evening in the middle of the week, and were there close to opening, and the restaurant was mostly empty while we were there.
No so tonight. We were probably the third group in there this evening, and by the time we left about 1930 the place was pretty much full.
We got there and perused menus and ordered a bunch of stuff. I started off with iced tea and a glass of White Zinfandel, both were good, and only the tea had free refills. My personal limit is one beer or glass of wine.
For appetizers, we got two shrimp cocktails and some of the “1051 Onion Rings” (at least, I think it was 1051, it was some four-digit number). This was a good start. The shrimp cocktails were really good, and the onion rings were excellent – perfectly breaded, slightly sweet onions, and huge! We were brought some ranch dressing to dip them in. Really liked these.
I’m going to run down what each of us got. One thing to bear in mind is that each of these items are ala carte, so even a baked sweet potato is $7, on top of the main course.
Raegan’s mom got the “pork two”, which was a thick pork chop and a couple spare ribs. They looked pretty good. Her Dad got beef medallions. Those were thinly sliced and looked pretty good also. They had no comments one way or the other.
Erin got a small lobster. This was the single most expensive item at $55. She had some, and all of the rest of us had at least one bite. I am no lobster expert, but the meat tasted like shrimp I have had before. Raegan’s parents have have lobster many times; her dad pronounced it “terrible”. I’ll take his word for it. She also got a cup of the baked potato soup, but she did not care for it. I ate most of it, and thought it was pretty darn good, there was a smoked bacon flavor.
Raegan got an appetizer for a meal, the smoked salmon, with a baked sweet potato to go with it. She said it was pretty good.
Ian got a 14 oz sirloin, with sides of steamed broccoli and creamed corn. I recommended he get his medium well after reading the description on the menu as “hot pink center”. The server recommended butterflying it, and I agreed. It came not butterflied, but it was also what I could say was medium well per the menu. Ian thought it was OK. He also said the creamed corn was too sweet, so Erin ate most of it. He said the broc needed some more steam time – I tried a piece and agreed.
I got a 14 oz New York strip, and also ordered it medium well based on the menu description. I asked for the Yukon Gold mashers (and got some pushback, why not get the garlic mashers?), but I held out for the Yukons. They were good. I also got the creamed corn and liked it. My steak arrived medium well per the menu (which I would have called medium), but the darn thing kept cooking, and ended up almost well done. There was some charring on it. I ate all of it, but it was not the most tender or flavorful steak I have had.
Overall, I was disappointed by this visit. When you visit a fairly classy place, and frankly, if the strip steak is $38, you expect perfection in all things. The more I think about it, the more I think I should have complained or sent some food back. I really feel that the quality we experienced this evening was about what I would expect from a Logan’s Roadhouse or a Cheddar’s. Those places make a decent steak, and that’s what I got tonight, a decent steak. Those places have good service, and that’s what we got tonight, good service.
One thing that I think might be indicative. One of the specials tonight was a bone-in strip, 16 oz. It was $58. I asked “That’s dry aged beef, right?”, and the answer was, surprising me, no. She said it was wet aged. Now, I eat a lot of steak, most of it strips, or porterhouse/t-bones, and in general, when you get into a price range north of $35/$40, you are talking dry aged beef. Certainly I would expect my steak to have NO charring on it.
So I do not recommend Ranch Steakhouse, in spite of our good first experience with it. If we had another gift card, we would probably eat there and keep the cost under the card amount, or give it to one of our single friends.
Given all that, the four adults, teenager, and pre-teen, ran up a tab of $287.06. That is the single most expensive family meal I have ever had. $55 lobster tails and $13 shrimp cocktails add up fast! The tip for this meal was more than what we spend at a typical family dinner for four. Even with the gift certificate, this is the most expensive family meal we’ve ever had.
I just do not think it was worth it. I was really disappointed with the quality of the food. And it was not just me. Raegan’s Dad and his comments on the lobster back up my thoughts on the steak. Can we afford to eat there? Yes. Will be eat there again? I doubt it. I would choose a consistent, flavorful steak at someplace like Longhorn Steakhouse first – we could eat six meals as a family there for the same price as Ranch, and the quality would be better.
If you go to Ranch Steakhouse, i would recommend ordering your steak one “level” less than you usually get. You can always send it back! Or maybe go in the middle of the week.