Last Friday, Tracie Stevens McDaniel, myself, and the Purrrrrrrl found ourselves in Vernonia around dinner time. So, we settled into the outdoor seating of The Black Iron Grill. There was a beautiful breeze wafting across the courtyard as we sat and ordered our drinks, and peruse the menu. I went here to try The BLAST (Bacon, Lettuce, Avacado, Swiss, Tomato) sandwich, but unbeknownst to me, they were offering Prime Rib that night.
So, I ordered up the prime rib with a potato, dinner salad, and veggies. The plate showed up with a generous cut of meat (about 6″x9″x 1″) a baked potato, and green beans. The salad was presented in a separate bowl, not enough room on the plate for that. The salad was just that, a dinner salad. The greens were fresh, crisp, and healthy-looking. One thing that stood out to me about the salad was the pickled onions (I LOVE pickled eggs and veggies). Tart, tangy, vibrant pink, flavorful, and the beloved pickled aroma. Loved them.
The cut of meat was a little more in-depth as it had three “layers” to it, the crust, the cooked, and the red. The crust was a nice black rind that was about 1/8-1/4 thick, while the cooked held the patina of medium steak (135*F), and was about one inch thick (from the crust) while the red had the color of a medium-rare (around 130*F) steak, and was about the size of a large potato. The crust was made of salt, black pepper, and garlic rub, and was carried the aroma of all three ingredients in a perfect blend. The cooked and the red had a nice beef aroma, that paired nicely with the crust aroma. I turned the plate and smelt the potato (I mean, who doesn’t like the aroma of a fresh-baked potato?) and was greeted by a faint, earthy aroma of the cooked veggie. So far the meal was looking good, smelling like real food cooked the right way.
Next was to dive in and taste it. The first cut of meat was the crust. I will say that no two bites of this are the same. The first bite was garlic forward, and I mean forward. The next bite of the crust was saltier than the first, but less garlic, and touch of pepper on the back end of your tongue. Each bite carried the flavor of the three ingredients nicely. Now the cooked ring was a little more tender than the crust (as it should be), more beef flavor, and juicier, but the cut of meat didn’t stop there. Cutting a piece of the red you instantly notice that the meat is very tender, very juicy, increased beef flavor, with little to no crust flavor. Just shy of melt in your mouth, but nothing to frown at. The best way to enjoy this cut was to separate the three rings, take a section of each, and pop in it your mouth. The crust flavor blended well with the cooked flavor, and the red texture tied the whole cut together. Wash it down with a pull from the Cavatica Stout, Robert is your dad’s brother, Bob is your Uncle. Even paired a small section of each ring with the chunk of potato, the dish held its own.
The only downside to the meal was that as tender as the red was, my fork bent, badly when I was cutting it. Had to rebend it back so I could finish the meal. Will that stop me from going again? nope, not one bit. Oh, what about the green beans you ask? Don’t know, didn’t try them, didn’t smell them. I’m allergic to them so I don’t engage with them. I do know they were served with bacon.
In conclusion, the place serves a pretty tasty Prime Rib for a decent price, and good serving. If you are garlic sensitive (either via food allergy or dislike of flavor) you may want to scrape some of it off the crust before you indulge. Pair this cut of meat with a nice heavy Stout or a saucy Cabernet Sauv and you just might enjoy life for that day.
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