Prime Rib, Medium Rare

Last weekend Kish and I visited a new steakhouse in town.  I was looking forward to the visit, because I was hungry and eager to tuck in to a well-prepared piece of beef.

That night I had a special hankering for one of my favorite cuts of meat: prime rib, medium rare.  Alas, when we arrived and I had the chance to carefully review the menu, I was disappointed to learn that prime rib wasn’t among the offerings.

oEh?  A self-proclaimed steakhouse that doesn’t offer prime rib?

Unfortunately, it’s becoming an increasingly common occurrence.  Most non-vegetarian, American-style restaurants have filets and ribeyes and New York strips on the menu.  Most steakhouses will offer different sizes of those staples, and typically a porterhouse, a Kansas City strip, or a hangar steak option, as well as lamb chops.  But prime rib, which was a common menu option in restaurants of days gone by, seems to have hit the cutting room floor.  It’s getting to the point that if you want to get some prime rib these days, you have to go to a medieval-themed eatery where suits of armor line the walls and the waitresses wear costumes with bodices.

Tastes change, sure, but nevertheless I’m mystified by this development.  I just don’t get the filet phenomenon.  Filets are too soft and mushy for my tastes.  They’re like the non-steak steak, eaten by weak-kneed, vegetarian-wannabe steak apologists.  The heck with that!  I want a cut of beef with some texture to it, that provides some resistance when you chew it and isn’t described as being like butter in your mouth.  Sometimes, only a prime rib, medium rare, thick and juicy and ready to be carved into bite-sized morsels by an oversized steak knife, with a side of horseradish, will really do the trick.  But good luck finding it these days!

That doesn’t mean I’ll stop looking.

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The Barn

IMG_3309Last night, the Carroll County Cousin, Kish, and I went to the newest restaurant in our neighborhood — The Barn at Rocky Fork Creek.  You’ll find it at the intersection of Route 62 and Morse Road, on the border between New Albany and Gahanna.

The Barn is located in a huge, barn-like structure that formerly was a Hoggy’s restaurant.  Hoggy’s, a barbecue joint, featured a large antique tractor hanging from the ceiling that I always assumed was designed to encourage table turnover by incentivizing diners to wolf down their food and get away from the presumed kill zone if the tractor ever were to fall.

IMG_3314Thankfully, The Barn has removed the Tractor of Damocles from the ceiling.  However, The Barn fortunately has kept the meatcentric orientation of the old Hoggy’s, with a few steps in the upscale direction.  It bills itself as a destination steakhouse, but it’s not the kind where the waiters wear black jackets.  Instead, it has a kind of rustic flair, with the servers sporting gingham shirts and the menu featuring some smokehouse and barbecue options as well as a fully array of steaks, seafood, salads, and sides.

I had a shrimp cocktail and the “king’s cut” of prime rib — a full 16 ounces — because sometimes only a red slab of beef with flavorful fat around the edges will do.  The shrimp cocktail was packed with shrimp and a sinus-clearing, horseradish-heavy cocktail sauce that let you know this restaurant isn’t afraid to offer bold flavors. The prime rib was great — a large, juicy, perfectly cooked cut that I savored bite by bite.  The prime rib is served with a large baked onion, and we got some very tasty creamed spinach for the table to complete a classic, old-line steakhouse meal.

The Barn just opened last weekend, and it’s still got some kinks to work out.  The place was packed when we were there, and it took too long for our food to arrive — which was a source of some concern because Kish and the Cousin were on their way to a show.  I’m hoping they iron out the kinks, because the food was quite good and we really need more restaurants — especially hearty, beef-oriented ones — in this neck of the woods.