If you're the sort of person who balks at forking over $32.95 for a steak dinner (albeit a great steak dinner), you may want to skip this review—because $32.95 is the least you'll get away with paying at Bob's Steak and Chop House at the Omni Tucson National Resort.
That's the cost of a 12-ounce prime ribeye steak. Should your tastes be more along the lines of, say, a monster 28-ounce prime porterhouse, the tab will run you $58.95. Your meal includes a choice of potato (smashed, baked or skillet-fried with sautéed onions and peppercorn gravy) and a gigantic glazed carrot.
Heavy leather chairs, plush carpeting, crisp white tablecloths and subdued lighting make up what might be called a "masculine" but lovely décor. An expansive patio overlooks well-established palm trees and a small pond. The music didn't seem to fit the room—we heard lots of rock songs—but we didn't mind.
A big jar of pickled cucumbers and red peppers sat on the table. They were garlicky with a slight kick, and I could only really eat one. A small, golden round loaf of bread arrived at the table to counter the piquancy of the pickles.
Steaks come in various cuts and sizes. The New York strip comes in 12-ounce ($36.95) and 16-ounce ($42.95) varieties. The filet mignon comes in three weights: 9 ounces ($34.95), 12 ounces ($41.95) and 16 ounces ($52.95). There's even a 22-ounce cote de boeuf, or bone-in ribeye ($48.95). The "Chop House" part of the name is fulfilled by the 16-ounce veal chop ($44.95) and pork chops ($27.95). There's also rack of lamb ($38), duck ($26.95) and an assortment of seafood.
Bob's is a small chain out of Texas—and you know how Texans are about their beef, which could explain those lofty prices. That also explains why all the food is prepared in the finest fashion. The veal chop is well-seasoned and pan-fried to seal in the flavor, before being finished off in the oven. The result? A sweet, succulent chop that makes one want to pick up the bone and gnaw away every last bit of meat.
The New York strip steak is another great choice, prepared in similar fashion to the veal chop. The resulting meat is so tender that one barely needs to use the beautiful hefty knives found on the table.
When you order the baked potato, the side waiter arrives carrying a serving dish with four compartments, filled with chopped bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and chopped scallions. One? Two? All four? He carefully ladles each on your potato. The smashed potatoes are fragrant with garlic and flecked with bits of potato skin. These touches hearken back to a more elegant time, when going out to dinner was always a special occasion.
The glazed carrot adds a nice touch; even though the carrot stretches completely across the plate, it is tender and sweet.
A great way to try some of the appetizer choices is to order the shrimp sampler ($22.95). Six shrimp are prepared three ways: fried in a crumb coating, as shrimp cocktail and topped with a creamy, tangy remoulade sauce. (Separately, the shrimp remoulade is $14.95; the cocktail is $14.95; a full dinner of fried shrimp is $29.95.)
The available sides are typical chop-house fare, with good-sized portions. They include the various potato options mentioned above ($5.95 separately) and the carrot ($2.95 separately). The creamed spinach ($6.95), a chop-house classic, is topped with cheddar.
Desserts are the only items that don't pop. The key lime pie ($8.95) was pretty ordinary.
No matter your opinion of the cost, one can't deny that the food at Bob's Steak and Chop House is full of flavor and well-prepared. Yes, it's pricey, and for most of us mere mortals, dining here will be reserved for very special occasions. So be it.