The Ranch House (Red Deer, AB) – Burger with a Second Chance on Steak

The Ranch House is situated on the north side of Red Deer and due to geography, I never drive pass and thus, hardly ever think to go there. One day a co-worker reminded me of the place and I decided to go there while it was still on my mind.

The Ranch House’s address puts it on 50 Avenue, but you can see it on Gaetz Avenue as the small 50 Avenue is parallel to it. Taco Time is next door as is McDonalds.

Upon entering, the host directed us to the dining room with a high ceiling. The interior has a woods-y atmosphere, bordering on a log cabin vibe.

The Ranch House Interior

My wife ordered a Margarita made with Tequila, Triple Sec, Lime Juice, and Salt. Not a drinker myself, I have no comments.

The Ranch House - Margarita

We decided to start with Stuffed Snails as my wife ate escargots growing up and never seem to let it go when finding it on a menu.

The Ranch House - Stuffed Snails

The snails were presented in a ceramic escargot plate, swimming in garlic butter oil. Each mushroom cap was stuffed with an escargot. The dish was tasty, helped by the generous amount of garlic butter.

The Ranch House - Stuffed Snails Closeup

The Ranch House - Stuffed Snails Closeup 2

The escargots maintained a slight chewy texture while the mushroom caps helped make the appetizer more filling. We slathered the slice of focaccia bread in the remaining garlic butter and gobbled it up.

The Ranch House - Ceramic Escargot Plate

My wife decided to have the 8 oz Sirloin Steak. Like all steaks at the Ranch House, mushrooms and garlic focaccia bread were served on the side. Moreover, every steak comes with a soup, a salad, vegetables, and either a steamed (Really? Does anyone order it this way?) or stuffed baked potato. My wife requested medium rare for the steak though I warned her that my steak came well-done the first time I ate here.

The soup and salad came shortly after the appetizer. We missed the name of the soup, but whatever it was, it was light and tasted homemade. The salad was simple, but different as it was the first time that both of us have ever seen bean sprouts in a salad. As I have stated before in my Vietnamese restaurant blogs, I don’t like bean sprouts so I ate around them. My wife, who enjoyed bean sprouts, didn’t think much of them in the salad. There was another slice of focaccia bread which we used to soak up the leftover garlic butter from the previous dish.

The Ranch House - Salad

The Ranch House - Soup

The sirloin steak arrived in a dish packed full with yet another slice of focaccio bread (somebody in the kitchen loves focaccio bread!), stuffed baked potato, cooked vegetables and a slice of canteloupe (odd addition).

The Ranch House - 8 oz Sirloin Steak

The Ranch House - Focaccia Bread

We checked the steak and it was indeed cooked to medium rare, reminding me never to write off a restaurant on the first try. The steak was juicy and well-seasoned with beautiful charred marks that further elevated the steak.

The Ranch House - 8 oz Sirloin Steak Closeup

The Ranch House - 8 oz Sirloin Steak Medium Rare

Despite the appearance, the vegetables were not overcooked and retained a natural crunch. They were as simple as sides go, but so long as they have the right texture and flavor, it’s a thumbs up in my book.

The Ranch House - Vegetables

The stuffed baked potato came plain though the waitress was ready with a tray of toppings, including bacon bits, chives, butter, and sour cream. My wife chose the traditional toppings of sour cream, bacon bits, and chives. We appreciated the option to customize our stuffed baked potato and requested liberal amounts of bacon bits (no such thing as too much). Taste-wise, the stuffed baked potato was almost as delicious as the twice-baked potato at the Keg Steakhouse.

The Ranch House - Stuffed Baked Potato

I loved the contrast of how simple one side was (vegetables) while the other took several extra steps to make. Clearly, the chef was not taking the easy way though I am still puzzled by the slice of cantaloupe. It’s like playing a game of “What-does-not-belong?”.

The Ranch House - Cantaloupe Slice

This was a far superior dish than the one that I had the first time I ate here.

Because of my bad experience with the steak the first time (though completely absolved by this time), I decided to see how their burger stacked up to the competition and ordered The Classic. It is a broiled angus beef patty with the option of adding cheese, mushroom and swiss, or bacon for additional cost. I decided to keep it simple. Interestingly, for sides, the menu had “[a]ppropriately garnished with one choice of the following: fries, baby steamed, stuffed, plain baked, small tossed, caesar, daily soup or fruit cup”. Without further attempts to decipher that sentence, I went with my usual choice of fries.

The Ranch House - The Classic

The Classic burger was served open-faced (that trend yet again if you read my past blogs) and topped with mayo, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and pickles with a good helping of steak fries. A slice of cantaloupe was present which again looked like the odd man out.

The way the burger presented drove my gaze to the charred surface of the beef patty. I knew right away that a key component of a good burger was achieved. It tasted beefy and moist with the charred flavor coming through. Size-wise, I wish the patty was a bit bigger so that it didn’t disappear within the bun when stacked. Ultimately, it was a simple, but satisfying burger.

The Ranch House - The Classic Burger Patty

The Ranch House - The Classic Burger Closeup

The steak fries were naturally thick which resulted in minimal crispness, just like the ones at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers. Taste-wise, they had plenty of flavor thanks a good dusting of salt.

The Ranch House - Fries

This was a good meal though not without confusion over some ingredient choices. To finsh, the candy served with the bill was similar to the ones served at the Keg Steakhouse: mint with a chocolate center.

The Ranch House - Candy

 

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