For a place so close to home, I am glad we finally tried it. It was a pleasant surprise. The place is neat and clean, the service was prompt and accurate, the prices were moderate, and the food is on the high end of good -- not great -- but good.
I was surprised there was a wait, about 15 minutes to be seated (for 2). We spent the time looking over the menu. It's very impressive and has most of the standard fare and a few less familiar concoctions, listed as "Signature" items. They are probably the best items to try. Still combination dishes of various seafood, meat, and poultry are available for you to mix and match to get just what you might want. A very nice menu.
Once seated we were greeted by two service staff members, one to handle drinks and general setup, and a waitress who made sure we got what we wanted. She was well versed on the menu, picked up on suggestions based on our comments, and was very upbeat and efficient. My wife got steamed clams (about 18 little neck) for an appetizer. I ended up getting prime rib, ordered rare, and my wife got stuffed shrimp. Mine turned out to be an actually rare 10oz. prime rib, with a portion of smashed garlic potatoes. The stuffed shrimp turned out to be a row of large shrimps with crab cake filling. The side was green beans. We both opted for the salad bar instead of soup. The steamed clams were excellent, and she ate them all, especially enjoying the clam juice dip. The salad bar was a large variety of salad fixin's, which were cleaned, fresh, and plentiful. They were replenished often and more than the standard stuff. It's not often you get choice of several kinds of beans and salsa-like bean mixtures. Vegetables galore, a choice of six or seven dressings and vinegar and oil choices. And ... all you want! I am sure the salad could easily make a full and enjoyable meal all by itself. I think they agree, because the menu had a special (I think only at lunch, or perhaps only on Tuesday, or just during the 50th Anniversary, I got confused on this) of add a cheeseburger to a salad meal for a $1. Looked like a bargain to me!
After the salad we eventually got our entrees. I say "eventually" because there was a small wait. The waitress stopped by a couple of times to clear dishes and apologize for the wait, which she wasn't sure of the cause. But she was going to look into it. I trusted her. The main courses were then brought out by another staff member and I was completely blown away by the RARE steak. I always order it rare because it often is overcooked and I then get a medium, which I can tolerate. It is almost never truly rare, but if any effort is made it can usually be rated as medium rare, usually. The steak I got at CB's (as the door handle had it) was actually rare. Growing up in Kansas City and going to places like the Golden Ox at the stockyards has taught me what rare is. This was rare. The downside is it wasn't seasoned at all that I could tell, so dipping it in au jus became a requirement. And that was too salty. However, using just a bit and enjoying the meat became an event for me. It is one of my favorite's when out since I don't make it at home.
My wife made only one comment about her meal: the beans were too salty. Well, maybe it's a pattern. But she finished everything else. This is unusual for her and we almost always have take-home portions. Not here. Go prepared to eat it all and enjoy.
The waitress suggested a dessert, and though we were fairly full, the apple pie sundae couldn't be passed up. It is apple pie, crunched up in pieces and mixed in a top quality vanilla ice cream with a pile of whipped cream and a cherry. What's not to like? The pie was warm, the ice cream as good as it gets, and whipped cream is always welcome. I must also mention the heavy drizzle of caramel over the ice cream. I helped a little with this, but my wife finished it off. And it's served in a large dessert bowl! My wife had a coffee, as well.
A few minor issues kept this from being a full five star meal. The entire meal came to $63! Since we had a $10 coupon it came to $50.63 plus tip. Since this is a national restaurant I can only recommend the one in Springfield, but hopefully they are all close. Give them a try and let us know how they did! I know we'll be back at our local CB's from time to time.
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