Everyone I know in Alamosa has been excited about the prospect of a new restaurant opening here. Especially because this restaurant was not strictly Mexican cuisine. Everyone waited while the old Valley Courier building began the slow tranformation from a newspaper office to a dining establishment.
The day finally arrived, and Harleez Steakhouse has opened for business.
Let me take this opportunity to say that the steakhouse scene in this town is bleak. I mean bleak. I suppose the steaks are ok at the two other steakhouses- but the side items are dismal at best. I'm talking canned corn here. And don't even get me started on the decor. Ancient, torn up carpeting, dark shadowy corners and early 70's formica abound.
Given the state of things, I couldn't wait for the new place to open. I didn't have lofty expectations. I just wanted it to be better than what we already had. I wasn't expecting Ruth Chris or The Famous.
I guess I should also say that the place has been open less than 3 days. I'm sure there are kinks to be worked out and issues with which to be dealt.
With that said- here is my first blush opinion of Harleez.
Upon entering the establishment, the decor is pleasant- nice warm colors, festive Christmas tree, impressive tv's over the bar. We are immediately greeted by the hostess and seated with the rest of our party (Tonya and Shane). The table linens are nice and crisp (a lovely burgundy).
Our waiter approaches the table to take our drink orders. Tonya has gone the Bailey's and coffee route, Shane and I have Corona's and Dev orders water. It takes 3 trips to get the drinks there, then another to actually take our orders- not a good sign. The bread that came to the table was respectable. It was a mixed basket of rolls. I chose the ciabatta roll, Dev's was a whole wheat roll and I think Shane's may have been sourdough, but I'm not sure.
Our orders were as follows: Tonya had the 1/2 roasted chicken and a salad. Shane ordered the buffalo burger and shrimp/corn chowder, Dev ordered the lamb chops and a salad and I ordered the 8oz prime rib with French Onion Soup. Our waiter then disappears.
Fast forward about 20 minutes. The 2 salads and my soup appear. 2 minutes later the entrees arrive. I hate that. I really do. That was way too long to wait. Plus- give me time to eat the appetizer it took 20 minutes to get before you park 4 huge plates on the table. And to make it worse- my french onion soup was terrible. I would almost bet it was granulated beef boullion. There was no cheese broiled on the top- and it had 3 anemic croutons floating in it.
On the positive side, my prime rib was absolutely perfect. I ate every single molecule of it. It came with mashed potatoes and gravy and some steamed veggies. The veggies were frozen, but still ok. The potatoes were pretty good and the gravy was acceptable. Dev's lamb chops were excellent as well. Tonya and Shane seemed pleased with their orders.
Here are my soup and prime rib:
Please note the aforementioned pathetic croutons and LACK OF CHEESE...
The less than adequate service issue reared itself again when I had to ask a different server to please find our waiter and ask him to come fill water glasses.
Now- with all these snarky things said....I suppose these are grand opening kinks that can be worked out. And I do plan to wait a month or two and give them another try. After all, my entree was very good...and it met my original expectation (low as it was) in that it was exponentially better than the other 2 steakhouses here in town.
Is it too much to ask to have a mind-blowing dining experience in Alamosa???