October 28, 2009
After cheering on my brother during his Marine Corps marathon, it was a no-brainer that he would be craving a highly fattening meal.
No, I didn’t run 26.2 miles, but I was willing to take one for the team and go out to eat with him.
We headed to Tyson II (the fancier mall, if you will) and took the elevator up to the Woodfire Grill restaurant. The doors opened and we were greeted by…no one. Instead, a sign read “please keep walking to the hostess.” Weird, I thought.
After passing by a few random tables and a bar we were greeted by the advertised hostess. She quickly told us to follow her as she took us down a hallway. Private booths with curtains were lined along our left and right. We turned the corner and were suddenly in a larger dining room with an open kitchen in the limelight. The place is huge.
We started off the with spinach and artichoke fondue. Essentially, it was spinach and artichoke dip but with a flame underneath. Served with cracker bread, the dip delivered. Nothing out of this world, but nonetheless a delicious starter to a meal.
I then decided to try and outdo my brother’s calorie intake and ordered a house salad with house dressing. The salad featured egg, celery, tomato and cucumber. My balsamic dressing was served on the side, on a separate plate. It made me feel fancy.
The restaurant, originally out of Chicago, is known for their steaks. I immediately decided to get the blue cheese crusted filet with my included side of red skin mashed potatoes. A feature I liked about Woodfire’s menu was the description of how their steaks were cooked. Medium rare, the menu read, was warm with a red center. That’s how I like it, and that’s how I got it.
When ordering a steak, (and you should), you can watch the cooks place it into their oven and test the temperature to make sure it’s to you’re liking. Like I said, the kitchen is out in the open, so there is no guess to when you’re food it going to arrive. You can watch your meal from start to finish.
So, when it comes to your meal, what could be better than adding blue cheese to a perfectly cooked steak? How about adding a slice of french bread underneath it to soak up all the juice. At this point I didn’t care about my carb intake, so the thought of adding bread seemed like a genius idea. It still is. The meat was perfect and my addition of sauteed onions brought out all the flavor.
After scooping up some buttery red skin mashed potatoes in my separate bowl, I proceeded to move on to dessert. Pumpkin pie with a layer of whipped cream outweighing the pumpkin underneath. Perhaps that was a good thing (or purposeful) because the pumpkin portion had too much spice to it. I found myself having to scoop up the caramel drizzle and walnuts in order to drown out the overpowering flavor of the pumpkin spice.
My brother went with the most popular dessert item at the restaurant, the cookie skillet.
The portions of these desserts are huge. Maybe they knew they had a marathoner coming in, but you should have seen the size of the apple pie dessert. Literally, it was a pie. The cookie skillet dish was hot with the chocolate chips melting around. You can’t go wrong with a cookie that tastes like it’s right out of the oven.
Overall, the Woodfire Grill delivered — despite the crumbs of food scattered on the floor before I even sat down. It took 30 minutes into my meal for someone to come and clean that up. Not trying to be picky, but if you’re giving off the upscale ambiance then you need to follow it up.
Despite the floor (don’t let that deter you), order a steak at Woodfire and you’ll be happy. You’ll be even happier when you can make your way out of the maze of a restaurant and into the mall. A good meal and some shopping? It’s every girl’s dream.