Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tanglefoot Steakhouse

Oct 10, 2009

1198 Gannon Drive
Festus MO 63028
http://www.tanglefootsteakhouse.com/

The place:
Located near Interstate 55 in Festus, just across the parking lot from Home Depot and next to a large hotel, Tanglefoot is a busy place.(for an explanation of the name, go to their well designed and maintained out web site) Nothing fancy about the building or interior, somewhat Spartan. It was large though and could easily accommodate large groups. High ceilings and nearly bare walls made it a bit echoey, but not too bad. There were a few framed Basketball jerseys from local high schools on the walls, and several CRT TV’s mounted on the wall. The TV’s were all playing the dismal Cardinal playoff game. The sound was muted, which spared us the details of the sad game.
We were seated immediately and greeted by our host who mentioned the day’s special, some sort of chicken dish. The menu was laid out well and not too clumsy. A large assortment of appetizers and main courses took a while to go through and choose from.

The food:

We broke with tradition a couple of times. Instead of two ice teas and a Coke Angel opted for a Diet Coke for herself. I expressed my confusion and disappointment to no avail. The beverages arrived and I was pleased to see that the tea was crystal clear. It was fresh, not poured out of the middle of a thirty cup batch. It was not Luzianne, but still better than we had been served at our previous meals.
We also ordered appetizers, something we rarely do. It was the Lobster Rangoon that tipped us to sin this way. Adam does not like lobster, or even the essence of lobster so to be fair we let him order some mozzarella sticks.
For the main course, Angel ordered the Tilapia and shrimp, I ordered a Flat Iron Steak, rare, and Adam asked for the Cajun Chicken Sandwich. Angel and I asked for house salads, which were available for only ninety nine cents each. (compared to $2.95 at TGI Fridays)
The appetizers arrived and were fantastic. Nicely plated the Rangoons were served on a leaf of lettuce and drizzled with just a drip or two of sweet and sour sauce. They were expertly folded and crimped and arranged symmetrically. (The eyes always eat first). They were to die for. They oozed with flavors, lobster, onions, butter, cream cheese. They were sweet and rich but only perfectly so. The Mozzarella sticks were fine, served with the standard Marinara sauce. We saved a few of each to take home.
The salads arrived and were pretty large. They were fresh and individually made, we could tell by the equal proportions of cherry tomatoes and cucumber slices. The croutons were made in house, toasted to a light brown and not too hard or dry.
The main courses were served in excellent time and were still sizzling. The steak was cooked perfectly and was bleeding a bit, the baked potato was sliced open and two generous scoops of butter were starting to melt into it.
Angel’s Tilapia and shrimp was accompanied by a cheese and spinach gratine, which was beautifully browned and very well made. I tried a half shrimp dipped into it and wanted much, much more. The shrimp was delightful in itself, but adding that gratine dip made them extraordinarily good.
The steak was very, very good. It required no sauce, though I did cheat a little by letting a chunk or two slide through the potato’s ample butter supply. Having the salad made a big difference as far as the dining experience, something to break up the steak-potato-steak-potato monotony.
Adam said his Chicken sandwich was ‘fine’. I could tell it was pretty good by the way he went at it, devouring it.
When I asked Angel about her fish she responded “It was tilapia” meaning it was fine for a light fish meal. She had wanted something light and apparently this filled the bill perfectly. I wanted more of her shrimp and dip but the bowl was cleaned out.
The refill of my tea confirmed my initial opinion. It too was crystal clear. Excellent.

The service:

Or server was professional, courteous and responsive. I did notice that the average age of the staff was older than most of the chains. I recall no teenagers, mostly people in their late twenties to thirties. I only mention this because it was so noticeable. There was no confusion or delays or errors. The food was brought out in a very timely manner and the check was handled quickly as well. All A’s as far as I am concerned.
The total for this meal was higher than our other outings. This was due solely to the addition of the two appetizers. These at eight dollars and six and a half dollars respectively were in my opinion overpriced, even though they were excellent. The appetizers added about fifteen dollars to our meal, the total coming to seventy eight dollars including the tip.

Summary:
The food was all excellent to superb. The service was professional, tidy and courteous. The only criticisms I really have were the price of the appetizers and the lack of a vegetable with the main course. I polled the family and they agreed with my own assessment, that we would indeed go back and we could indeed recommend Tanglefoot to others. I give them a ninety four out of a possible one hundred, the first ‘A’ I’ve awarded so far.


Adam’s Comments:

I agree, though I would like to input something other than "fine" for my meal.

As mentioned, I was given the Cajun Chicken Sandwich, as well as a side of fries. I was thoroughly pleased with my fries, which may sound unusual since they are... fries. But they were just about perfect. Each piece was salted well and all were crunchy, not, for lack of better word, potato-y. I was served a plentiful amount - not too much or too little. It may seem minor, but as half of my two part meal, it is rather important.

As for my chicken, I am a bit less enthused. I believe, though, that this may have more to do with personal preference rather than a general dislike. I didn't hate it, but it wasn't too my taste. I liked the spice, and the spicy sauce that they put on it was okay, but the chicken slice I was served was thin, and was only big in a manner that it was long - it stretched further than the bun. This is neither a good or bad thing, really. I liked having more, but I would rather it be all under the bun. It cancels out, I guess you could say. The meal was good for what it was, just not what I would normally have.


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