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Old 11-14-2005, 04:14 PM   #1
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Default an interesting restaurant

I went to a restaurant Friday night with my wife. It's located in Raleigh and is called "The Angus Barn" (I was in the mood for a good steak.)

Anyway, this place was strange. The prices for a meal ranged from about $30 to about $60, and rumor had it that they have a large wine selection, so I was thinking it was more of an upscale joint.

When we arrived and walked in, I had the feeling that I had been mistaken about the place. It looked like we had walked into something like the Outback Steakhouse. Most of the people were very dressed down (jeans, sneakers, etc) and entire families were seated. (I don't know about you, but I probably wouldn't take my kids to an expensive restaurant very often. A $35 steak would be wasted on my son, who would just as soon eat mac & cheese for every single meal.)

We were seated and were given our menus and a wine list. I flipped directly to the back of the menu to select a beer and was delighted to see that they had a pretty damn good selection. Scottish Ale, ESB, a few varieties of Sammy Smith, some belgian ales, etc, etc, etc.

I decided on a Scottish Ale, and then flipped one more page toward the front to start looking at food selections. THERE WAS ANOTHER PAGE OF BEER SELECTIONS! (Did you know Sammy Smith made a lager? I didn't until that moment.)

After looking over both full pages of beer, it looked to me like they prettty much had at leats one representative for almost every class of beer. I was pretty damn impressed. Many MANY imports and micros, plus a tiny section where they offered the cruddy domestic american lagers.

The next few pages were their cocktails and martinis. At this point, my wife was only on chapter 5 of the wine list.

I stuck with the scottish ale and it washed down the filet mignon and lobster tail pretty well. It was outrageously priced ($5.25/bottle)

The whole meal was pretty expensive, but we were celebrating the fact that my sister in law was finally moving out of my house and into her own apartment, so we didn't care.

Anyway, I guess I just had to tell the story about the great beer joint I found that happens to devote 2 scant pages of their drink menu to actual food.

I still don't understand the down-dressing and large family groups at those prices, but whatever.....

-walker

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Old 11-14-2005, 04:27 PM   #2
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Haven't had a good steak in a while. Makes me hungry thinking about it Too bad it was pricey. Sounds like the kind of place I'd be at every week if the price was right.

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Old 11-14-2005, 04:32 PM   #3
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Yeah, we're trying to eat healthier at home, so we never have beef for dinner. I used to be a 3-cheeseburger/week guy, but I had not had any beef for over a month. Hence my craving for some bloody steak. (I eat them rare or medium rare.)

We knew the place was pricey going in, but as parents with 2 children under the age of 4, we don't get to go out often and usually make a big night out of it when we DO get a chance to go out.

I did feel that we were a bit overdressed when we got there, though, but it seemed like the staff was used to this srt of thing, and they seated us in one of the side rooms where the other nicely dressed folks were sitting (no kids in that room that I could see.)

Like I said, it was a weird place. Not what I expected, but the beer selection was a great surprise!

-walker

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Old 11-14-2005, 04:39 PM   #4
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My only complaint is that they served my ale to me in an ice cold, frosted mug. I had to cup my hands around the thing during the appetizer and salad to warm it up to a good temp.

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Old 11-14-2005, 04:43 PM   #5
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Around here (Madison, WI has one of the highest number of resturants per capita in the US), it is not uncommon to see people in tuxes seated not far from people in tie dye and shorts. With a strong liberal community tradition (see many references from the 1960s) as well as the seat of a relatively conservative state government (see 'Tommy Thompson' from both WI state gov't and Bush's 1st administration), you end up with an ecclectic group of folks at any given location.

As far as the expense--- while I'm working class and can understnad your point of view with respect to kids at expensive resturants, I have an uncle who is a Ford executive. He thought nothing of taking his kids to an expensive place to eat. It's all relative. When $40 is half your normal weekly grocery trip (like it is for me) that $40 a plate joint is pricy. When $40 is your kid's weekly allowance that place seems pretty reasonable.

It's just a question of perspective.

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Old 11-14-2005, 04:51 PM   #6
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yup, I can see your point.

I also just noticed (looking at their website) that there *IS* a children's menu. $11 for a kids plate, with all the things a typical kid might ask for (chicken strips, mac&cheese, hamburger, ravioli, hotdogs, etc.)

-walker

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Old 11-14-2005, 04:54 PM   #7
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The Angus Barn is kind of a Raleigh tradition and very popular with the business types (partucularly as it's close to the airport). I think it has suffered from the other high-$ steakhouses that have popped up in the area and perhaps it's shifting its image a bit. The food is usually consistently good, but not outstanding. We don't go there unless it's a business function...we have a couple other restaurants we usually hit when we celebrate someting.

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Old 11-14-2005, 04:55 PM   #8
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for anyone interested, here's their beer list .

It doesn't look 'complete' with respect to what I saw on the printed menu, but it's close.

-walker

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Old 11-14-2005, 04:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walker
My only complaint is that they served my ale to me in an ice cold, frosted mug. I had to cup my hands around the thing during the appetizer and salad to warm it up to a good temp.

-walker

Don't you HATE that?

I love the marketing thing that the big breweries have going on. Freeze your beer to dilute the taste even more. Genius.

Have you seen Bud's latest gimmick? "Pour down the center"....yeah, it makes sense (rids the beer of the CO2 faster), but have you ever tried to pour an entire beer right down the center? Yeah....Bob, cleanup on aisle 3....
At any rate, I don't understand that latest gimmick in the least.
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Old 11-14-2005, 04:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeGee
we have a couple other restaurants we usually hit when we celebrate someting.
Can you lay the names on me? I'm sure we'll celebrate something else in the future, and will be looking for a different place to go.

-walker
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