Thursday, November 08, 2007

Review: Saddle Ranch Chop House

You can really tell a restaurant is going to be successful by how it treats its customers.

And after spending so many enjoyable hours at the Saddle Ranch Chop House last weekend, I can tell you they have a unique approach in generating demand.

The Saddle Ranch, one of the new The Legends theme restaurants, features old-timey saloon decor with a genuine mechanical bull, big-screen TVs, an 8 brazillion decibel sound system and a horses ass sticking out of the wall.

One would think all this manufactured ambiance would be enough to maintain huge nightly crowds of loyal customers. One would be wrong.

Saddle Ranch takes it to the next level. There are several techniques they use to make sure everyone at the Saddle Ranch really really wants to be at the Saddle Ranch.

It starts as soon as you walk in the door and put your name on the list for a table. You see, despite the fact there there are three or four tables sitting empty, they still ask you to put your name on the waiting list and wait (and wait, and wait).

When they finally seat you at the table that's been vacant for the past 40 minutes, they know you're not the type to get all pissy and frustrated and walk out over a little thing like standing around not doing anything.

And this is good, because they want to you stay for a while and have a good time. There's never any rush to, say, get you your drinks, or menus. Once you've ordered, you're encouraged to sit back and keep your kids under control for the next 40 minutes while the servers ignore you and wait for your dinner to arrive.

You can take this time to admire the aforementioned decorations which include servers dressed in supertight t-shirts with even tighter Daisy Dukes. Our server's shorts were so tight you could read the label on her underwear. It read "Thursday" which was strange because we were there on a Saturday.

And kudos to the Saddle Ranch management for making sure you don't have to engage in banal conversation with the other people in your party. Thanks to a sound system blaring the latest hits from the early '90s, you're not bothered with conversational pleasantries with friends that you haven't seen in months.

Finally, when your food arrives, the wait staff makes sure you're really paying attention by selecting a couple of people at your table to receive the wrong order. Of course when you discover this fun little trick, everyone has a nice laugh and your actual order come out only 15 minutes later.

Yes, the staff and management of Saddle Rance Chop House really go out of their way to ensure that you want to be there.

It's reflected in their motto: "If you don't have a good time, it's your own damn fault."

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  1. I'll be sure to add that to the top of my list of places to try. Thanks for the tip!

    (You should totally send this to their home office, BTW)

  2. Were there any cowboys? I swear I just read your post, but that place still looks like fun! And like there'd be cowboys... :)

  3. You made your first mistake when you decided to eat at the Legends.

  4. There's a point where incompetence morphs into malevolence.

    You found it.


  5. Who care about all that stuff. Above the bar they have a glass walk way. I think that is all I need to say. BTW I've never eaten there just drunk.

  6. the legends?

    isn't that the one where bradd pitt turns down julia ormond for a bear (NO ZOOPHILIA) in a manly effort to, manly?

    not that there's anything wrong with that, being manly i mean. and there are a bunch of manly men in springfield where pitt grew up so he probably comes (NO ZOOPHILIA) by it naturally...

    still, pitt does an about face later in the movie and sparks (NO FIRE) that comely karina lombard who, IMHO, is waaaaaaaay hotter than julia ormond [sorry, julia]. but it WAS taking a risk as gordon tootoosis wasn't known as 'one-stab' for nothing {okay, not true: he gave himself that nickname when he was 13 because, really, who wants to be named gordon tootoosis?}.

    even then pitt had to be true to his manly man heritage and go back to his bear who, of course, killed him. and then ate (NO ZOOPHILIA) him.

    i guess what i'm trying to ask is -

    was there a bear at this place you went? or, failing that, karina lombard?

  7. I read a review in the Pitch about this place, and I thought "sounds like the premier meeting spot for trailer park hipsters".

    After reading your review, I'm definitely going to avoid this place like the plague.

    I should send this post to corporate.

  8. Jeez, Feds. Chickflick much?

    Anyway, no bears, though there were plenty of bare (midriffs) and beers.

  9. hmmmm - no bears? or karina lombard? not goin' then.

    and vis a vis the chick flics - it is part of the spousal contract: for every three guy movies {No Country For Old Men, Pi, Brazil} there HAS to be one picked by spouse.

    In several states it is actually the law.

  10. AND the food sucks. Except for the crap dip. Waiter didn't give a rats about us but still made a $14 tip off the $92 bill because we thought the steaks MUST BE GOOD at a place called SADDLE RANCH CHOP HOUSE! WRONG!!!! They sucked AND we spent more money than we ever have on steak.


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