Wednesday, June 13, 2012 | 3:32 p.m.
- Ranch House Kitchen
- Town Square, 749-6400
- Daily, 8 a.m.-2 a.m.
Oh, Town Square. What are we going to do with you? You can’t seem to sustain above-average restaurants—casualties include Louis’ Fish Camp, Nu Sanctuary and Caña Kitchen & Bar—while mediocre-at-best chains like Claim Jumper and Brio have long lines at lunch. Wait, Tommy Bahama is a restaurant?
Let’s take the mystery out of what’s happening here: Town Square is a mall. Mall people come here and they want mall food. Acting accordingly is the new tenant in the cavernous 14,000-square-foot space formerly known as Cadillac Ranch, above Yard House. It’s called Ranch House Kitchen, and it’s a big party of a meal at breakfast, lunch or dinner. They even kept the mechanical bull.
Comfort food is the name of the game. Think steak and eggs, grilled cheese, shrimp po’ boys, and big, spicy chili cheeseburgers. Appetizers are bar-food favorites (wings, fingers and poppers); lunch combos ($8.95) provide plenty of soup, salad and sandwich options; and there are even kid-sized hand-spun milkshakes. That’s nice.
Things get interesting, or out of hand, in the pizza and potato sections. The apple walnut pizza ($13.95) has both of those foods on it, along with cranberries, blue cheese crumbles and fig butter. Yum? You can totally get a normal pizza … like taco or Texas brisket. “Potato Heaven” offers up BBQ potato chip nachos ($11.95), but those sound boring, so you might need to add pulled pork. And you can.
For every one plate of normal, healthy human food—there are tons of big, pretty salads, and a perfectly decent piece of grilled mahi mahi ($16.95) comes with sautéed kale—there are two objects of insanity, desperate attention seekers like the Bloomin’ Onion sliders ($10.95). Those would be deep-fried mini-burgers, topped with bacon and cheese. If you want middle of the road, try the scary-but-tasty fried green tomato stack ($8.95), a sandwich of those crisp, weird veggie-fruits with goat cheese and hot sauce on sourdough.
Ranch House Kitchen aims to provide something for everybody, morning, noon and night. It might be just crazy enough to work in this fickle, funny food mall.