Archive for the ‘steaks’ Tag

Forget Turkey   1 comment

mackfilet

Everyone’s been talking turkey for the past week, so MacKenzie’s Chop House is a welcome change. Although there are a few tempting seafood dishes, the real focus is on red meat. The menu features an array of steaks, from New York to Porterhouse, from Filet Mignon to Ribeye. Prime Rib, Buffalo Steak, Rack of Lamb and Pork Chops round out the menu along with several side salads.

mackprimerib

Although MacKenzie’s clearly emphasizes beef, and ours was cooked to perfection, there’s also an impressive attention to detail when it comes to service. Without hovering, the staff executed perfect timing knowing just the right moment to answer a question, to refill glasses, to remove plates, to provide a new utensil. Anticipation was personified.

Of course, this might have been for naught had the food been substandard; it wasn’t. The Spinach Salad with roasted red peppers and bacon was dressed with maple-balsamic vinaigrette. Even the House Salad was above average: mixed greens sharing the plate with balsamic-marinated apples and croutons.

Our entrees, the Prime Rib and Filet Mignon, were juicy, pink in the middle and tender. Yes, it’s true that bacon with anything is almost nirvana, but when wrapped around a piece of beef tenderloin the flavors are intensified. A baked potato and a large quantity of broccoli filled out the rest of the plate.

There were two regrettable aspects of the meal: not being informed until we were done that Crème Brulee is a house specialty and being too sated to try it.

MacKenzie’s Chop House

Four+ Plates
128 S. Tejon St.
Colorado Springs, CO

Steaks and Ants   Leave a comment

stagecoach

Normally, ants don’t garner much attention, but one dashing across a table where I’ve just finished eating is disconcerting. Ants are for picnics, not restaurants, except, apparently, at the Stagecoach Inn.

The Stagecoach in Manitou Springs is one of those places I walk or drive past more times than I can count. It has a steady stream of diners coming and going; in the summer, the patio, which faces Manitou Avenue, is always filled. There must be some explanation for its longevity. Yet, it’d been years, many years, since I last ate there; I decided it was time to give it another try.

The unwieldy, Western-themed menu, with photos of the food and brief descriptions, features steaks, chicken and fish. We started with Caesar Salads, full of more withered pieces of Romaine than I like.
I opted for the Black and Bleu Steak, sirloin with a blackened crust, comprised mostly of pepper, sea salt and thyme, then topped with bleu cheese crumbles. I always order medium rare. The dead center of the cut was perfectly cooked, but the rest of the steak was overdone. My husband’s New York Strip was fine and he enjoyed the onion rings as much as I liked the baked potato: more than the meat.

stagecoachsteak

We ordered dessert: bland cherry cobbler topped with mushy oat topping. Then came the ant.

My husband and I jokingly argued whether it was 20 or 25 years since our last visit; we agreed we can wait that long again before returning again – if ever.

Stagecoach Inn
Two Plates
702 Manitou Ave.
Manitou Springs, CO

Bar Food and Dessert on Overdrive   2 comments

The Keg Lounge is a bar that’s really a restaurant in disguise. Sure, there’s
lots of beer on tap and liquor bottles filled with every flavor and proof desired.
A jukebox features a range of music genres, TVs placed strategically around the
room are tuned to sports channels. Everything identifies this dark, noisy place
as a drinking establishment; everything, that is, except the food.

Through the years, I’ve ordered burgers, grilled chicken sandwiches and the sig-
nature Keg Berry Salad (greens with an array of colorful, mixed berries dressed
with a creamy raspberry honey vinaigrette). My most recent visit was a special
occasion: to celebrate an anniversary. It was also an opportunity to do our part
to help extinguish the economic burn experienced by Manitou Springs following
the Waldo Canyon Fire. (I encourage everyone to try to shop local where ever
you live.) With this in mind, my husband and I ordered steaks.

When the food arrived, the ambiance somehow changed. It didn’t seem as loud
and the lighting was just right. My perfectly-grilled steak was topped with blue
cheese and walnut oil. Sides of garlic mashers and steamed broccoli were excell-
ent complements to the juicy beef.

After dinner, we wandered down the street to The Cliff House at Pikes Peak.
We sat on the veranda where I enjoyed Crème Brulee, our traditional anniversary
dessert. My husband broke with our marital convention by ordering Raspberry
Souffle with White Chocolate Almond Cream Anglaise. He not only still surprises
me, but he shares.

The Keg Lounge
Nearly Four Plates (dinner)
730 Manitou Ave.
Manitou Springs, CO

The Cliff House at Pikes Peak
Four Plates (dessert)
306 Canon Ave.
Manitou Springs, CO