More of a “Carrot Incident” than a Dining Experience.
F- or 1 out of 5 stars
We were so excited to once again gather as a family and celebrate. It was my fiancée’s birthday and her parents invited us to try the recently opened and renovated steak house in Tucson called Bob’s Steak and Chop House. Lucky us, because for the first time in a food review I get to use the words “phallic” and “girth”! Just in case you are doing a quick search for a place to eat tonight, I’ll preface this review with an opinion: If you are looking for a “Golden Corral” experience (as far as level of service, quality of meat, and capabilities out of the chef and wait staff), but would like to pay more than $30 a plate, Bob’s House of Glop is for you!
We ordered the Rack of Lamb, the crab cake appetizer, and on my advice regarding the best cut of steak when it comes to taste, three of us jumped on the Rib Eye steaks. I live to regret that decision. For sides we each picked one of the three varieties of potatoes they offer. Smashed, baked, and pan fried which comes smothered in glop.
The baked potatoes were over cooked and dry, and as I have begun to allude to, the pan fried potatoes with the gravy glop appeared to be the first attempt ever of that particular cook to put together a sauce. Dear Bob, there are not so subtle differences between what the rest of us know as “sauce” and the amateurish attempt at making gravy you allowed to escape from your kitchen on our visit. Serving them with a third-world cut of beef does not help the glop shine.
Not that long ago I stumbled upon a steak in Los Angeles cooked Argentine style. It ruined me. It was the best steak ever and was about 30 bucks. Thick, juicy, with just a little salt crust. I have been on a search for one like it ever since. So when Bob’s House of Glop served us a wisp of a steak that reminded me of an early bird special at Waffle House, I was really thrown off. By the way, Waffle House is in total culinary integrity with me because you get exactly what you pay for with service far beyond the current capabilities of Bob’s. Yet, Bob whacked us for $33 bucks for a $4.50 wisp of a cut of rib eye, ripe with gristle and fat. I was looking for a properly aged and marbled piece of beef and was denied.
Now, let’s address the Carrot Incident. Dearest Bob, you allowed giant over-sweetened glazed and comically phallic-like carrots of impressive girth to escape your kitchen and end up as part of every meal served to our table. I’m not kidding. One giant laughably penile carrot proudly garnished the center of every plate brought to the table, and was served pointed directly at the diner. As a food reviewer, I want to thank you for those phallic carrots. Dear Bob, what exactly is your intent in putting a carrot that would make a porn star blush as a center piece on every plate? I checked mine for batteries before cutting into it.
For any of you out there considering opening a “high end” steak house, you need: a source of good and reliable cuts of beef, to train your staff (at least 5 minutes would be good) on how to serve, make wine recommendations and how to keep the meal flowing, and last but not least, to hire a chef and a manager. I’m pretty sure that on the night we stopped in at Bob’s, they had decided to forego all of the above. Ironically, not a chef or manager was to be found (even when my fiancée got up and asked for one), nor a decent cut of beef for that matter, at this place called Bob’s Steak and Chop house. Dear Bob, I can’t imagine this is what you had in mind.
I hate to be so brutal here, but the incident continued to escalate and they truly didn’t stop disappointing right up until the end. Nothing says “go screw yourself” on your birthday like a giant stale wedge of chocolate cake that tasted like it had been exposed to the Arizona Desert Sun for about an hour before setting it on my table. Oh, and let’s not forget to mention the molten hot handle on the coffee cup. Dude?!? Did you really just microwave that cup of coffee?
Now, I feel bad for any server who is thrown onto a floor and assigned tables who has obviously not been trained at all. Never mind my lofty expectation of snooty service or impeccable knowledge about the wine list; just teach the kid how to serve, to be attentive and then support him. Yo Bob, when someone at a table in your supposedly fine dining establishment expresses even a ripple of a complaint, your manager needs to get his/her happy ass over to the table and apologize, ask what the issue is, and offer a solution. Our server didn’t have a clue, as evidence by his offer to take our already free overly stale birthday cake off of our substantial dining bill.
I’ll close the review with the crab cake. Not sure if the Chef has ever seen or tasted a crab cake. What they served was, well, weird. It did have a ton of crab in it. And my father in law liked it. But I have met, prepared, and eaten a variety of crab cakes. That was not a crab cake. By the way, they did not screw up the rack of lamb and I attribute that to divine intervention or just plain dumb luck.
In the past, when I run into this kind of dining experience I usually offer some snarky closing thoughts for improvement. You know, things like if you want people to sit at a bar and order drinks you should hire a bartender and put them behind your bar. But in this case I’ve got only two suggestions. Find my father in law and give him back his money, and then close the place. At the very least, someone needs to take over and ban the current managers/owners from walking on the property. It is not OK to take money away from people that way. How did this become a national chain of “fine” dining establishments? Awful cuts of meat, bad potatoes, comically phallic treatment of vegetables, poorly trained staff with no support, and obviously the place can’t be bothered to hire a chef, yet they still managed to get themselves paid.