Bay Area Reviews
I'll admit it, I'm a sucker for glossy ads featuring yummy-looking foods. And I'm also a sucker for coupons, so I've been wanting to go to Black Angus to take "advantage" of their promotion of one appetizer, two main dishes and a dessert for $40 or so (I no longer have the coupon). Those huge portions of cake with ice cream, sure looked good in the ad. I convinced Mike to go there for dinner an evening in November 2008 - and while the meal was fine, we probably won't be rushing back there.
The first thing I should tell you about Black Angus, is that you should make a reservation. Indeed, despite the ongoing financial recession/depression, it probably pays to make reservations at whatever restaurant you want to eat. It may be because at holiday time nobody wants to cook, but most restaurants I've been to lately, including Black Angus, were pretty full. Fortunately the Monday night wait wasn't too long, but there was a wait nonetheless.
I can't tell you anything about what the restaurant looks like, for our booth was placed by itself to the side, albeit close to the waiters' path, and seemed disconnected from the rest of the place. Hey, we have two small children, so I don't begrudge them putting us there. The booth was comfortable enough. There is a general western/ cowboy theme. Service was adequate - we were neglected for quite a while at the beginning of the meal, bread and drinks weren't as forthcoming as they should have been, but things did improve later. What I wasn't happy with was how interminably long it took for our meals to arrive. The kids were starving and nothing was being produced - at least the dark, sweet bread, was quite good - though we didn't manage to get a refill until our entrees were served. But to leave little children unserved for over half an hour is really unpardonable. How long does it take to make some mac & cheese?
When the food finally came, it was fine. Our onion rings had a strange, overly crispy, gritty breading - which was distracting and weird to eat, but they tasted well enough with ranch sauce. They were a bit bland without it. My NY steak was nicely cooked medium rare, and it tasted great. It wasn't overly large, but then again, it didn't have to be. Mike's salmon was another matter. It was fine, salmon rarely is not, but the portion was tiny (which is strange, as salmon is a pretty cheap fish all in all). He was still hungry after eating it.
For dessert we chose the chocolate cake with ice cream that is always featured on Black Angus' ads, and which I have so often drooled over. What a disappointment! The cake came directly from a very cold fridge, and had the consistency of cake kept in a very cold fridge, tight and dense. It was overwhelmingly sweet with the hot fudge, and yet it needed something to warm it up! Would it have been so hard for them to put it in the microwave for 20 seconds before serving it? It'd have made a huge difference. Taste wise it wasn't that great, you couldn't taste much chocolate behind the sweetness. I wouldn't bother ordering it again.
In all, it was a mediocre dining experience. I wouldn't be rushing there any time soon, though I rarely go out for steak as it's easy enough to cook them at home. But I wouldn't mind going there if my picky family wanted to avoid more interesting restaurants.
Black Angus Steakhouse
15800 Hesperian Blvd
San Lorenzo, CA