Update: Tuff Ranch is now McNary Restaurant & Lounge
Oh my word! How long had it been since N and I enjoyed a good date night?! There are no good excuses, other than stresses at his work making it tough to justify taking him out of the comfort of home. Aha! This calls for his favorite--barbecue!
After a recent comment on Tuff Ranch's preview post I wanted to see how things were going now that they'd been open for a few months . We arrived on the late side, around 7:45 PM. We were surprised to see 3 or 4 tables still occupied in the dining room. It was tempting to go sit in the bar, where most of the diners were, but a table by the inviting fire was even more tempting. Perfect for a chilly, rainy day!
We both chose a glass of Widmer Pitchblack. It didn't have the complex flavors I'm accustomed to when drinking a porter or stout, but it was smooth and rich. A good match for barbecue. I ordered the barbecued chicken with a side of green beans ("greenies") and a side of sliced apples cooked in amaretto and cinnamon ("saloon apples"). N picked their tri-tip, with a side of green beans and a side of baked beans. Instead of our usual salad we couldn't resist the German beer and cheese soup.
The rich and flavorful soup didn't disappoint. The cheese flavor was strong enough to balance with the beer--savory and hearty. Our nicely put together plates arrived a short while later with a basket of corn bread. My green beans, cooked with onions and bacon, were young and tender, but still with a slight crunch. The saloon apples were a welcome change from the usual barbecue sides. They also were cooked just to my liking, with just a slight crunch without being mushy. The cinnamon flavor overpowered the amaretto, but was still delicious. My barbecued chicken leg was succulent served with a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce. While I enjoyed my dinner and the atmosphere, I'm not swayed by my belief that Adam's Rib does bbq better. Although, next time I'd like to try their ribs to see if that will change my mind.
N's experience was different from mine. He attributes it to his brain still dealing with work, but I think it's only fair to add his opinions. Over eight years ago, we ate at a then popular bbq spot in Eugene, West Brother's BBQ. Ever since that meal, we haven't found a tri-tip that can match theirs (not even at the present day West Bros). He wished that his tri-tip had been served with the sauce on the side and that the sauce had been less sweet. N also wished his tri-tip had been more tender. Plus, he said it was too much with the same barbecue sauce in the baked beans.
We decided to share a piece of their carrot cake. The two of us agreed, it was a delicious ending.
165 McNary Est. Dr.
Keizer, OR, 97303
Mon - Wed: 10:00 am - 10:00 pm
Thurs - Fri: 10:00 am - 12:00 am
Sat: 8:00 am - 12:00 am
Sun: 8:00 am - 10:00 pm