126 George ST, Ottawa, 613-562-9865 – Website
Date of visit: March 24, 2012
The Lone Star Grill is part of a chain but the only one I have ever visited (twice so far) is the one in Ottawa’s Byward Market On my first visit, I tried some of their ribs, which were not that bad, but, this time, I decided to extend to them a chance to be a competitor in my ongoing Rib Steak challenge…
Ambience and Service
The Lone Star on George Street is a very open and airy place with comfortable booths and tables. There is a bar, with a television overhead and the kitchen is partly visible from some of the seats.
I arrived about 12:45 but the place, despite being Saturday lunchtime, was almost empty. This makes me think that it is more of an evening spot. The service I received, as on my first visit was excellent and it is obvious that the staff at this place undergo a vigorous and standardized training, I was met by pleasant and friendly greeters and the table staff who served me were super polite and professional.
Before I even ordered, I was served with a complimentary dish of tortilla chips and a dish of salsa. The salsa was quite nice, and made by the chain, I presume, but it contained cilantro, which is not one of my favorites. It was still pretty good, though, and I ate most of it before my entrée arrived.
12 oz Boneless rib steak : I generally prefer a ‘bone-in’ steak but that was not available with the rib-steak here. As always, I ordered my steak medium rare and well charred. The menu also promises that the steak comes with onion rings, vegetables and ‘chuck wagon side’. The chuck wagon section of the menu allows a few different things and I ordered coleslaw.
The vegetable on this occasion was broccoli with red pepper strips and it was very tender and tasty. The coleslaw, however, was not good. It hovered midaway between a mayonannaise and a vinegar-based slaw and the cabbage was very tired and old. The onion rings, on the other hand, were really tasty but they only gave me two, which seemed a little chintzy, seeing that they were supposed to be a side dish rather than a mere garnish. Had I known how cheap they were with is part of the meal I would have ordered another more substantial ‘side’.
Thankfully, the steak made up for the shortcomings of the ‘sides’. It was a nice cut and cooked to order (although I prefer just a ‘tad’ more char). It was very juicy and provided the perfect balance between chewiness and tenderness. I gave it a rib-steak rating of 4 out of 5.
By the way, although I wasn’t tempted (and likely never will be), I was definitely intrigued by the 72oz Steak Challenge this place offers. On my first visit, I asked my waiter about it and he told me he had actually seen a couple of people give it a try (although I can’t remember if he said whether they finished successfully). I can’t even imagine putting away that much meat in one sitting but it would be interesting to order this with a group of people just to see a steak this size!
This is a nice ‘homey’ restaurant with good, hearty fare. I don’t know what it is like in the evenings but I would certainly recommend it as a decent place to take the family during the daytime. I enjoyed my meal here and received the same good service as I did on my first visit. A would definitely return again.