Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Colorado's Prime Steak - Sanford

It's hard to find a place to eat when you don't know what you want. This was the situation a few Friday nights ago when Kim and I hopped in the car and just started driving around. We were deep into the Lake Mary/Sanford area when we spotted a glowing sign off the side of the road.

Colorado Prime Steak is a modest little place but by the looks of the parking lot, I had a feeling that I was in for something good. I'd guess there were maybe 30 spots total, give or take a few...with perhaps two available when we pulled in.

The place smells like a champ as you approach the door. You know when you go to the mall, and you happen to stroll by the Abercrombie store and you get a whiff of that pungent cologne they are pumping out into the walk way? Well imagine that odor is replaced with the aroma of sweet, smoked meats. This is what greeted us as we entered...delicious.

Walked in and the hostess promptly sat us down. This was a surprise. I thought, judging by the lack of spots in the lot, we'd have a little bit of a wait on our hands. Nope, despite the number of cars outside, there were still several tables available.

Sat down at our booth and had a chance to size up the interior. Lots of small farm equipment hanging from the walls, a collection of Ansel Adams portraits, some metal-work art and a deer head as big as a house. Apparently "Buster" is the mascot for CPS, and watches all as he rests against the back wall of the bar.

Like I said, it was a Friday night so I expected the place to be busy. However, our server was quite attentive, even with the 10 top table next to us running her around.
We started with an appetizer, the rib basket. Nicely smoked half rack with a plate of fries. Juicy and flavorful, the ribs were awesome and the fries had a nice seasoning, went quite well together. I was getting nervous that the basket seemed to be taking a little longer than expected. One thing I hate when dining out is when you order an app. and it's served at the same time as your meal. However, throughout the night, our server was on point and everything came out at a nice pace so as not to cramp the other plate's style. That said, my salad came first, then the app and then eventually or main entrees.

After perusing the menu, Kim decided on the smoked prime rib and I chose the Silver City chicken. When the plates arrived, it was evident that they didn't skimp on the portions...but how would it taste?

After a few bites, I could tell Kim was not too pleased with her selection. She said it tasted too smoky. I scoffed, too smoky you say? No such thing, I tried a bite and it was a delight. Savory, tender meat and the smoked flavor was deep, like the poetry of Shel Silverstein. Apparently she ordered it hoping for a milder taste than what she got. Not a chance, this baby was probably chilling in the smoker for eight hours--engulfed.

My Silver City chicken was huge and delicious. Melted cheese on top of onions and mushrooms that were nice and juicy. It almost tasted like they poured the best part of a French onion soup on the chicken with melted cheese on top.

We each had a loaded baked potato on the side, awesome. Hard to mess up a baked potato I know, but what can usually be considered a "same ol same ol" starch was actually a lot better than I expected. I think they must have rolled the whole spud in salt before heating it up, because even the skin tasted good.

After settling up our tab, we got outta there under $40, including a nice tip for the server, who was still getting mangled by that huge table next to us. We both got water which, of course, always shaves a few bucks offa the top.

Looking back, there's not a whole lot to say about this place in a negative light. They forgot Kim's mixed veggie side, but we didn't even realize it until after we had left, seeing how the huge prime rib plate was enough for two anyways.

The service, atmosphere and food were all warm and inviting. The clientele was obviously that of the Bass Pro Shop persuasion. That didn't surprise me though..after all we were in Sanford.

In hindsight, I wish I would have tried the steak, since it is a part of the restaurant's name. Oh well, gives us a reason to go back, a full rack of them ribs wouldn't be too shabby either.