It’s a Pub. I Like Pubs. And now, it’s even better.
Latest visit: March 7, 2013
First visit: March 2, 2010
Go back and read about my first few visits. Corned beef and cabbage. Steaks. Lovely prime rib. I have been there almost a dozen times. The review on the page you are reading now is from my first visit after new owners and management took over.
Pubs are fun. I love them. Pubs are places where you can get some good food. Pubs are places where you can get some bad food, and anything in between, and the quality is often unpredictable. No matter, Pubs are to be enjoyed with your friends. Watch a game. Scream and shout. Meet new friends. Have fun.
During my latest visit, I noticed that the menu looked different. As some of us were sipping a pint of Moose Drool (a superb dark brown ale from Blue Sky Brewery in Montana, my daughter, visiting us from El Paso, blurted out, “Holy crap, dad. They have a cheeseburger named after you. “
Shre enough, the mesn read
” el McGoldrick – Named after local burger afficianado Larry McGoldrick. Prepared “competition style” this patty is prepared on the flat top for extra flavor, topped with Cheddar Cheese and Roasted Hatch Green Chile. That’s the way Larry gets it and how we recommend it, but if you want extras for $1 ea. we will oblige.”
Well, I had to have me some of that namesake GCCB. I asked our server to have the kitchen make it medium rare, you know, like three-napkins juicy. Well, that’s what I got, and it was perfectly cooked on a lightly toasted bun. Delicious, though I would prefer the green chile to be much more piquant (I am a fire eater, an affliction that I share with my ssesquipedalian sybarite fiend Gil Garduño). Makes me proud to be a New Mexican. You need to try this beauty.
You might also want to try the plate of sliders so you can sample more new signature burgers in smaller portions. The menu desgribes this plate as
“Slider Trio Platter – For those that like a little variety, we offer up 3 of our most popular signature Burgers in miniature form. The Jameson, Belfast and El McGoldrick served along side a mound of Fries.”
This is what my daughter had, and she was wowed. Bowled over. She, of course, liked the el McGoldrick best.
Why the new menu? Because Fat Squirrel has new owners, my friends Greg and Nicole Villareal. Nicole is the light behind another of my favorite restaurants in the Duke City, Nicky V’s Neighborhood Pizzeria. Greg and Nicole have full management control and will be co-owners as soon as some legal details are completed. They knew long ago that I like my GCCBs competition style, and …. I am honored. The new menu retains many of the very popular items from the old menu. Fine fish ‘n chips (my friend Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos thinks that the FS version is best in town) , corned beef and cabbage, steaks and prime rib, and other great pup food.
So what else did we have?
Jane had a lovely bowl of Guinness beef stew that she raved about. Thick and rich, the hearty portion was too big for her to finish, so I had the rest for lunch two days later. Absolutely delicious.
Linda had the corned beef and cabbage, which is one of my old standbys. Get a double order of the apple and bacon laced concoction. Among the very best in town.
Bob had a great plate of Jägerschnitzel: “Hunter’s Schnitzel”—depending on the area in which it is served, it may or may not be breaded, and is served with cream mushroom sauce. (Jägerschnitzel may also refer to an eastern German variant made of Jagdwurst, which originated in the former East Germany.) He also had the apple-bacon cabbage.
Nine-ounce Pub Sirloin
Nine-ounce Pub Sirloin with a red wine and mushroom reduction. This comes with grilled veggies (carrots, onions, sweet red peppers, broccoli) and I had a side of Smoky Apple Cabbage while Jane settled for a house salad with some oil and vinegar.
The steak was perfectly grilled to our exact specifications: medium rare. Juicy, tender and delicious. The mushroom-red wine reduction added a nicely finished taste to a really good piece of choice beef. You should now order this with the new Signature Side: Smoked Gouda Scalloped Potatos.
Smoked Gouda Scalloped Potatos
This is one of the Signature Sides on the new menu. It goes great with steaks and prime rib. Wonderfully rich and tasty, it should not be missed.
Jeff, our server, told me how to put it together. Get some smoky Gouda (I get it from Sam’s Club), grate it with some Parmesan, and layer it, some cream, and thinly sliced potatos several times in a glass baking dish, and bake it until it looks right and the spuds start to soften. Don’t overcook lets the spuds get mushy. If you, like me, prefer a crusty scalloped potato dish, turn up the oven heat and bake until the top gets crusty. Heavenly.
Not that we need resserts, but I can’t pass by a bread pudding, and several others (especially Bob, can’t pass by apple crisp.
Bread pudding was good, but not good enough to earn a spot on my Bread Pudding Hall of Fame (competition for a spot here is fierce). On the other hand, If I maintained an Apple Crisp Hall of Fame, this version would place well. Not too sweet, but just right. Try both of these desserts.
Until the new menus are posted on the updated Web site, you can see what’s new in the burger department. This is fine stuff.
I feel that Greg and Nocole will make one of my favorite Friday night places even favoriter.
Read my earlier review.
Fat Squirrel Pub & Grille
3755 Southern Blvd SE
Rio Rancho, NM 87124