Thursday, January 10, 2008

Review: Ranch House Grille, Phoenix AZ

The recent buzz on the Chowhound board has been about a new breakfast place in the Arcadia district called Overeasy.  I was all set to go and try it this morning... and whoever told me that they open at 6 AM is a dirty stinker.  We got there a little after 6 and saw that the chairs were still up on the tables.  My roommate and I were a little downtrodden, until he remembered that Ranch House Grille was definitely open.

I was looking over the menu, trying to figure out what to try this time, when I remembered the words of the great Seth Chadwick the last time we spoke.  Those words were to get the green chili covered chicken fried steak.  I'm already a fan of Ranch House's CFS; it's seriously one of the best in town.  Little did I know, with their pork green chili stew instead of gravy, it's even better.  The cooks turn out a damn fine green chili, with a nice blend of spice and herbaceousness, and it complements the chicken fried steak incredibly well.  I got pancakes instead of toast, and was certainly pleased with them.  My roommate decided to get biscuits and gravy with his meal, and as we chatted with the waitress I found out that the cooks changed up the biscuit recipe so they weren't the dry mammoth clunkers they were serving before.  This is a good thing; something about those biscuits seemed like they were made somewhere else and trucked in.  The new biscuits... still need work.  They need to bring in a Southern grandma to show the proper light touch with biscuits.  These ones were a little tough, but they were still a minor improvement over the previous biscuits.

I'm finding more and more that Ranch House is one of my favorite regular stops for breakfast.  The food is excellent and hearty, the cooks know how to cook an over easy egg (really, I'm amazed at the hit-to-miss ratio on something that they'd have to do dozens of times daily), the waitress is down-home and friendly, the prices are right, and it just has that right feel that makes you want to come back time and time again.

Now to wait until 6:30 next time so I can at least try Overeasy next time.