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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Carnivores Do Ybor

In the mood for a juicy grilled steak to celebrate the 4th, but not in the mood to grill it, I suggested to my bride that we let someone else do the honors. She agreed, and it was a most propitious decision as the storm clouds were heading our way.

I have been wanting to try a new restaurant in Ybor City that my friend and fellow blogger Sweet Polly, Epicurean Perils of [...], had recently written about, so the Belle of Ballast Point and I hopped in Gus the Truck and beat feet to the Carne ChopHouse.

We arrived but minutes before the heavens opened up and flooded the area, but we did have a moment to peruse the menu with a guy waiting just outside the restaurant. He wasn't very receptive to our looking over his shoulders, but about then the rains came and we wandered inside the chop house.

Walking up the stairs and into Carne ChopHouse was like taking a few steps back in time - specifically the year 2009. The chop house looked pretty much the same as it did when it was occupied by L'Olivier Restaurant and Cabaret. Gone was the Eiffel Tower and so were the can-can girls.

Anyway, to miss a good soaking, we arrived a half hour prior to the reservation I had made earlier so we headed to the bar to enjoy a couple of adult beverages.

For me, a Sazerac with rye whiskey, absinthe, and simple syrup. Not bad, but a little heavy on the absinthe as the rye got lost.

My bride enjoyed her Kir Royale as she watched the Rays blowing a late inning lead over the Yankees in a game on the TV.

We finished our drinks and found our way to the table. Déjà vu all over again. We were seated in almost the exact spot when we dined at L'Olivier's, but without the can-can dancers.

Jake was our very charming and knowledgeable server for the evening. We were promptly presented with menus (in addition to the one on the wall), Jake took our beverage order (a bottle of Montemassi Le Focaie, Sangiovese, Italy) and answered any questions we may have had, and never did we feel rushed.

We eschewed appetizers, this time out, but both of us chose a Wedgie...sorry, that should read Wedge Salad – Iceberg Lettuce, Grape Tomatoes, Shaved Red Onion, Crispy Bacon, Roquefort Bleu Cheese Dressing since that was included in the price of the meal. We both like a good wedge from time to time and this was a good wedge.

Feeling carnivorous, both the Belle and I order red meat - a delicious 7 ounce filet for her and an 18 ounce, bone-in Cowboy Ribeye for me. Yippie-kai-yay, buckaroos!

Both steaks were cooked as ordered and were simply scrumptious - juicy, tender, and tasty to the buds.

As her side, my bride had the baked potato - loaded, and loaded it was!

For my side, I requested the collard greens with smoked ham hock. Even though Jake brought over a bottle of hot sauce that I requested for the greens, they actually needed nothing what so ever.

As an added treat, the sides were included with the entrées. How nice and refreshing is that?

Like we really needed dessert - right? But Jake was persuasive and my bride has rarely seen a desert that she could turn down.

So, what Jake presented to us was a Baked Alaska pert-near the size of the state itself.

Sitting next to that mountain of dessert was a glass of Patron XO Café - Patron Silver Tequila combined with a light essence of coffee and chocolate.

Oh my, was that ever good!

Actually, everything was good - the food, the drinks, the service, and the fact that we didn't feel like we were being nickle and dimed to death.

Our total for the evening including our drinks in the bar and optional gratuities came to $175.52.

If that seems like a lot of money I should mention that for the quality of food and service, plus the quantity of food, not to mention the adult beverages, we have plopped down $300 at some area eateries. We consider the Carne ChopHouse to be a real bargain, and a treat for the taste buds.

Carne ChopHouse on Urbanspoon

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