My best friend recently took me to J&J’s House of Prime Rib in Parker, Colorado for my birthday dinner. Neither of us had been to this venue and we were eager to try it out. J&J’s menu is arranged like that of an upscale steak house, which would be fine if the surroundings and food quality backed it up.
If you are going to charge $30 for a 10 oz prime rib and a cluster of snow crab (basically a half a crab) and a salad as your special, then the food better be top quality and there should be ambiance. This meal and location had neither. The interior of the restaurant was simple and clean, but the expected touches were missing, there were no table cloths, the seating was basic padded wall booths and wooden tables that you would see in any Chili’s or Applebee’s and our table kept shifting every time it was touched.
I ordered the special, and my friend ordered a 10 oz, prime rib with a Caesar salad, and we shared an order of wine and leek sautéed mushrooms. Our Caesar salads turned out to be a pile of romaine lettuce ribs piled up with a splash of Caesar dressing poorly mixed in, and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese and croutons; all the ingredients were there, but the execution failed. For the most part until we got to the ribs of lettuce in the middle there was really no dressing to be found and the cheese simply feel to the plate. This dish would have been much more successful had the ribs been chopped into bite sized pieces and the salad tossed correctly. As for the mushrooms, the taste was there, although I think it would have been better had there been a little less or smaller chunks of leek. When someone puts a Crimini mushroom in their mouth they expect to taste the earthiness of a Crimini mushroom, not a mouth full of onion. The flavor of the prime rib was good however the cut of meat was very fatty. I left at least 2 oz. of fat sitting on my plate and inadvertently ate another ounce of fat trying to get the meat separated from the marbling. I think my crab was anorexic. For all the battle to get the shell apart there was very little meat inside of the 4 leg portion and the meat in the body was uneatable.
The server was very sweet, attentive and probably the best part of the experience. My only recommendation to her is to be a little less nervous. She was so flustered that it seemed she had a hard time getting out what she wanted to say, and then accidentally splashed very hot Au Jus on my arm. A little more confidence is all she needs though to be a top notch server.
Over all this steak house has potential to be a good little neighborhood eatery, but it is far from the upscale high end restaurant it is trying to pass itself off as.
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