Saturday, January 7, 2012

Eh, Cowgirls Steakhouse

Back in the Spring of 2010 I lamented about how lack-luster Tagliani's Avondale restaurant was, when I ordered "meatballs" and got one golf ball sized "meatball" on a plate of pasta.  About 2 months later, Tagliani's closed their poorly performing Avondale location, and it remained vacant for over a year.  A new establishment took up roots there a few months ago Cowgirls Steakhouse and Saloon.  I drove past it before Christmas, and made a mental note "we should try that place sometime."

So last night, when Dr Desert Flower got home at nearly 8pm, and we were both hungry, I recommended not going to down town Phoenix as this is "First Friday" and the Gayborhood in Central Phoenix where we would normally enjoy eating would be jam packed with hour+ wait times and throngs of artsy people.  I recalled Cowgirls and we headed West to Dysart Road in Avondale.  When we arrived, the parking lot was PACKED, and the bar and restaurant were full or customers, but there was no wait.  The friendly hostess asked us if a "booth is ok?" (DDF always prefers a booth anyways, as most wives do) and seated us with the proviso of "we're out of silverware right now, but I'll bring you some in a minute, we've really been slammed with the dinner rush.  George will be your server".  We perused our menus, and listened to the cover band duo singing ZZ Top.  5 minutes later, George arrived to take our drink orders.  The "Uno" Argentinian Malbec for me, and a Absolute Mandarin Orange Vodka & Soda for the good Doctor.  5 minutes later, George returns to tell us the bar only has "3 Olives" and not Absolute.  DDF acquiesces and another 5 minutes pass as we hungrily waited for drinks to arrive, and heard both kinds of music, Country AND Western

From the oxidized harshness on the palate, I'd say the "Uno" was probably opened sometime in late 2011, but it was a Saloon, so I should have expected that.  I just didn't want a beer & the associated carbs.  DDF ordered the signature house entree mushroom chicken (menu here) and I got a 12 ounce (not the bigger 16 oz) Prime Rib, medium rare, a bowl of special house chili and "flat iron grilled vegetables" as sides.  Expectations were set low, with the slight chance of being delighted and surprised, despite the rocky start so far.

The chili arrived in a small coffee cup, with a dirty spoon.  Since our booth was adjacent to the restrooms and the server's station, it was easy to flag down a passing waitress who brought a clean (or at least it appeared cleaner) spoon.  Chili was nothing to rave about. No kick to it whatsoever, which was surprising for a "Saloon". It was not bad, but DDF and DDF's mother make a MUCH better ones.  As I finished the chili, the main courses arrived - but of course, we still have no silverware, so we get to watch them cool before our eyes.  The prime rib was cooked rare, not medium rare, which is fine if I was cooking it myself and it was a double check ranch grass fed steak... but I wanted it cooked more thoroughly since I did not know from which industrial meat factory the beef had been sourced.  As I used to work in food service in High School and College, I am familiar with how well the kitchen often takes return orders, and the things they do to the food that's been sent back, so I decided against sending the under cooked steak back and risking food poisoning instead.

5 minutes later, George did arrive with silverware, so we could begin to eat our now room temperature meal.  The prime rib (served only on Friday, Saturday & Sunday, ohhhhh!) on my plate was about 20 pure fat.  This was not marbled in fat, this was in 2 large peripheral chunks of fat, now cold, at the ends of the steak.  It was tender & juicy, sure, but it was not an AWESOME steak, sorry.  The vegetables, if they were "flat iron grilled", must have been the wettest flat iron in the universe, because the baby carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower were dripping wet from the pot in which they were boiled together before being plunked down next to my steak.  Perhaps the kitchen placed the vegetable boiling pot ON a flat iron grill to heat it?  I don't know.  DDF could not (or did not want to) finish her second chicken breast, so I had a taste.  It was flat, bland, and covered in a tan substance that was reminiscent of Sysco Systems Cafeteria Grade industrial canned brown sauce.  Oh well.  She said her baked potato was edible, and we had no shortage of sour cream at the table. 

George brought us our bill and offered to us to fill out a comment card that would be worth a "free appetizer" on our next visit.  DDF said "I don't want to give out my email address again" ... and since we won't be going back, we'll forgo the free appetizer.  Just before we got up to leave, the hostess came by to offer us silverware... um..  ok, but no thanks, we've finished eating.  As we exited the establishment, we noticed the Saloon was still very full, but the restaurant area was 1/3 full at most, the dinner crowd having dispersed.  From a quantity stand point, Cowgirls did MUCH better than Tagliani's had, but from a quality stand point (both on food and on customer service) we were more than a little disappointed.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.