Archive for the ‘Castle Rock’ Tag

Chicken Champion   Leave a comment

castle-chicken

I have a hard time ignoring a restaurant’s boastful claims and proclamations. Even though I’d never heard of the Castle Café before, this meant I had little choice but to order its “World Famous Pan-Fried Chicken.”

I’m glad I did.

The menu and our server noted that the order takes 30 minutes to prepare. Fortunately, I was in good company, so time passed quickly; it was my order delaying our meal. When it arrived, I wasn’t disappointed. Chicken Fried Chicken is also on the menu; what distinguishes the pan-fried version is that it’s cooked on the bone – part of what contributes to the half-hour prep. The former is a chicken breast pounded thin.

For the famous rendition, it’s possible to order all white, all dark or a combination. I opted for the latter. Four pieces of golden, crispy chicken served with real mash potatoes, cracklin’ gravy, mixed fresh vegetables, and cole slaw made this a hearty meal. Homemade, hot-out-of-the-oven Parker House rolls made this a complete feast.

The juicy chicken and gravy made from the pan remnants evoke images of Sunday dinner. This was an impressive meal.

castle-brisket

Other offerings include burgers, grilled and fried entrees and house-smoked meats for pulled pork or brisket sandwiches. A metal tray served as the plate for the brisket topped with tangy barbecue sauce served on a brioche bun with French fries; this was clever plating.

If anyone asks, I’ll agree the fried chicken deserves its accolades – even if it is a small world, afterall.

Castle Cafe
Four-and-half Plates
403 Wilcox
Castle Rock, Colorado

A Night at the Bistro   Leave a comment

unionsign

A bistro is most often associated with Europe. It’s typically a small, neighborhood eatery emphasizing good food in a casual atmosphere. Except for the first part of the definition, Union An American Bistro in Castle Rock fits the bill, but the effort is strained – and it’s difficult to explain why. The service is great, the menu vast, and the beautiful wood floors and brick walls create a contemporary, albeit noisy, ambiance. Yet, Union lacks a sense of natural ease with itself. Maybe it’s the menu.

There’s Thai, Mexican, Italian; there’s blackened, sticky, grilled, roasted; there’s flatbread, salads, sandwiches, entrees. And, there’s too much cleverness: salmon tots, poke tuna nachos, jalapeno bratwurst burger. In the end, the more traditional fare is what we found appealing: a Bacon Cheeseburger, the Cobb Blackened Chicken Salad, Chicken Salad Club Sandwich and Salmon with Risotto.

Again, the service was exemplary: attentive and no trace of judgment in our request for substitutions or alterations to our decisions. Further, we never felt rushed to order or to eat even though there was a wait for tables.

The flakey salmon was the perfect vehicle for the velvety dill sauce augmented by fresh ground pepper. The risotto was creamy and the bits of smoked applewood bacon provide texture – and, well, you can’t go wrong with bacon.

I usually drive past Castle Rock to or from Denver. Although I may not return to Union, it made me realize the town offers more than the fast food places visible from the interstate.

Union An American Bistro
Three plates
3 Wilcox St.
Castle Rock, CO