Monday, February 22, 2010

Stoney River Legendary Steaks

By the Saturday after Snowpocalypse I and II, Mr Minx and I were completely stir crazy and ventured out of the neighborhood for dinner. His thought was that we should go to a place that would have shoveled out enough parking spaces to accommodate a possibly larger-than-average Saturday night crowd. I suggested Cheesecake Factory, since it was at the mall. And face it - any place was better than sitting home for yet another evening.

Despite setting out at an hour much too early for dinner, we encountered a Christmas-sized mob pouring into and out of every door and parking space at Towson Town Center. With all of the insanity, we found CF to be teeming with folks waiting for tables. There were at least 20 parties ahead of us, so we walked right back out the door and across the hall to Stoney River Legendary Steaks. I've mentioned before on this blog that we are not steakhouse people, but we weren't about to lose our hard-won parking space or blow our money on bogus Chinese food at P.F. Chang's.

The steakhouse was practically deserted, so we were surprised to hear the parties ahead of us in line being told that there was a 2.5 hour wait. We were told the same thing, but I noticed space in the bar and asked if we could eat there. Indeed we could.

I was prepared to shell out CF prices, not steakhouse prices, so we opted for bowls of lobster bisque followed by a burger and a steak sandwich, washed down by glasses of Ravenswood Zinfandel. While we were waiting for our soup, we were presented with a basket of "rolls" which could be more appropriately described as piping hot balls of fried dough, accompanied by a rosette of honeyed butter. Possibly addictive and definitely appetite-killing, so we limited ourselves to one each of the tasty morsels.

When the bisque arrived, we found it to be the typical pasty flour-thickened soup, a la Maryland cream of crab, rather than a true bisque, but it had actual bits of lobster in it and it tasted well enough. I would probably not order it again though.

Our sandwiches, on the other hand, made us very happy. My 10oz Prime Burger came with Gruyere cheese and sautéed onions and was cooked to a perfect medium-rare. The meat was well-seasoned, with a nice crust and lots of drippy juices. My only complaint was that it came on a Kaiser-type roll, and I find those are more likely to fall apart than other types of rolls.

Mr Minx's steak sandwich was full of so much sliced tenderloin, again perfectly medium rare, it fell out of the sides of the roll. It was topped with caramelized onions and mushrooms. Again my complaint with this sandwich was the roll - it was a rather clunky, baguette-shaped roll with a too-soft texture. Something with a little crunch would have been nicer.

Accompanying both sandwiches was a cup of thick-cut fries dusted with Parmesan cheese and drizzled with truffle oil. I'm not a big fan of the thick fry, but these had so much flavor I could forgive the somewhat cottony texture.

I'm glad we ate at the bar. The bartenders were all very nice and friendly, the music was of a volume that one could choose to either sing along or ignore it, and the overall ambiance was much higher than one would normally find in a shopping mall. I'd go back, definitely for the burger. And if that was so good, perhaps I'd attempt a splurge on a steak. The fried lobster tail enjoyed by the young man seated next to me looked pretty good, too.

Stoney River Legendary Steaks
Towson Town Center
825 Dulaney Valley Rd.
Suite 1157
Towson, MD 21204
Phone: (410) 583-5250

Stoney River on Urbanspoon