an interesting restaurant

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Walker

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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
 

Darth Konvel

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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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Walker

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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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Walker

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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.

-walker
 

kornkob

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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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Walker

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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
 

Baron von BeeGee

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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.
 

Dude

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Walker said:
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. :rolleyes:

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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Walker

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BeeGee said:
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
 

kornkob

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ORRELSE said:
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.
10 years ago when I was a bar manager I had several regualrs who drank various forms of bud products who would order like this:

"Gimme a Bud, a pint glass and a salt shaker."

Then they'd Pour their beer with one hand while shaking salt into it with the other. Same reason--- dropping the CO2 as rapidly as possible.
 

Baron von BeeGee

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Sullivan's downtown is, IMO, a better steakhouse than the Angus Barn.

We just went to The Melting Pot to celebrate an anniversary if you like fondue. It's a small chain, but very good for fondue. They even have a coupon for M-Th $59.99 4 courses + a bottle of house wine (that's for two).

2nd Empire on Hillsborough St. is excellent, but pricey.

Nana's Chophouse downtown is very good.

5 Star is a downtown Chinese restaurant, but not typical. It's very trendy and not your typical "combo #3" with fried rice type place. Very neat interpretations of Chinese food, decent wine list.

Humble Pie is downtown and a good trendy place for tapas if that's your thing, and they serve quite late.

518 West on Glenwood (near Sullivan's) is a fantastic Italian restaurant and actually not very expensive (more more than Macaroni Grill!)...that's our "go to" restaurant when we need to please lots of different palates and be sure the food will be good.

I'm also quite enamored with the Brazilian steakhouses that are popping up (Rio Churrascaria, por ejemplo). I'm sure a seasoned fine diner might find them cheesy, but $25-30 for as much meat as you can eat, including filet? Let me at it!
 
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Walker

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BeeGee said:
Sullivan's downtown is, IMO, a better steakhouse than the Angus Barn.
Yeah, I should have noted that the steak and lobster were just 'ok'. Not worth the price I payed.

BeeGee said:
We just went to The Melting Pot to celebrate an anniversary if you like fondue. It's a small chain, but very good for fondue. They even have a coupon for M-Th $59.99 4 courses + a bottle of house wine (that's for two).
There's one of these just down the street from my house (I live pretty much at the corner of Strickland and Falls of Neuse). Been thinking about hitting that one for a few weeks now. I'm not a a big fondue person, but they do make for a nice, slow-paced meal.... which is often what we're after when we go out. No kids, no rush, 'big people' conversation...

BeeGee said:
518 West on Glenwood (near Sullivan's) is a fantastic Italian restaurant and actually not very expensive (more more than Macaroni Grill!)...that's our "go to" restaurant when we need to please lots of different palates and be sure the food will be good.
We don't even try to go to Italian places anymore. My wife is italian, and (no matter how good it is) she complains about lots of things and tells me how her Nona (grandmother) could make it better. :)

BeeGee said:
I'm also quite enamored with the Brazilian steakhouses that are popping up (Rio Churrascaria, por ejemplo). I'm sure a seasoned fine diner might find them cheesy, but $25-30 for as much meat as you can eat, including filet? Let me at it!
Gaucho style, baby! I went to one of these in Las Vegas a few years back. They just kept bringing that big ass skewer of filet out, and I kept taking chunks of it. Gotta love that!

-walker
 

BootYtRappeR

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BeeGee said:
Sullivan's downtown is, IMO, a better steakhouse than the Angus Barn.
If you like Sushi.... across the Street and up from Sullivans is a place called Sushi Blue's...the best in the state.
 
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Walker

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bootytrapper said:
If you like Sushi.... across the Street and up from Sullivans is a place called Sushi Blue's...the best in the state.

I'll DEFINATLEY be giving that place a shot then. We got spoiled with excellent sushi (and mexican food) while living in California for 7 years. Haven't even TRIED sushi since we got here, but we're both been craving that, too.

-walker
 

Baron von BeeGee

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Walker said:
We don't even try to go to Italian places anymore. My wife is italian, and (no matter how good it is) she complains about lots of things and tells me how her Nona (grandmother) could make it better. :)
Totally understand that. My wife is Mexican and we both agree going out for Mexican food in the States is almost pointless.
 

Baron von BeeGee

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bootytrapper said:
If you like Sushi.... across the Street and up from Sullivans is a place called Sushi Blue's...the best in the state.
I don't eat anything that swims but the wifie does. I've been there before and usually get some kind of teriyaki pork or some such. I've also been to Waraji (sp?) on Glenwood & Duraleigh. Can't speak to the sushi, but the teriyaki pork is good there, too!
 
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amen there, brother.

As far as us and mexican food, we actually lived right across the street from a small restaurant in San Jose called "Delphin". It was a tiny place with cheap prices, but the food was excellent. After eating there for 3 years, we found out that it was voted Best Mexican Food in San Jose repeatedly, and a few California tourism guides we owned suggested it for superb authentic mexican food.

Little did I know I was getting such good food there until I started trying to go other places. :)

-walker
 

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The Italian food around here is odd (except for the Holy Cannoli). It's basically pasta with mexican sauces. Imagine lasagna noodles with ground beef, enchilada gravy, cheddar cheese and black olives. That's what I had for lunch Saturday. I had a pint of Dave Will's (Oregon Trails) Brown Ale with the meal and another as a chaser! Much better.
 
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