Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Black Angus Steakhouse (fka Stuart Anderson's Restaurant)

Years ago, I used to go to Stuart Anderson's with some friends to enjoy the dancing and the atmosphere. We weren't really into the club scene and didn't particularly care for the thump-thump pounding that often passed itself off as dance music, and Stuart Anderson's actually played music that we liked. We generally went as a group of several people, so it wasn't really to meet other people - we just went to have a good time. Stuart Anderson's has subsequently done away with their dance floor, so now it's just a nice restaurant that we go to on occasion.

Our last visit was about two weeks ago. There is generally some kind of wait as it can get very crowded in the restaurant, and we don't usually decide to go enough ahead of time to make a reservation and then we forget that they offer call-ahead seating. We generally go to the one in West Covina, but we've been to other locations as well. One of the things I love about them is that they have great bread. It's a sort of honey squaw bread with whole wheat flakes on the crusted top - yummy. It also serves as a good dessert if there's any left over by that point. The husband is also partial to what is now called Three Cheese Garlic Bread (I think it used to just be called Cheesy Bread), and I think it's pretty tasty too.

They also have a terrific, and fairly potent, Long Island Iced Tea. I think they technically call it Texas Tea there. It's made with the good stuff, so you can barely taste the alcohol, which makes it tasty AND dangerous.

As one would expect, they have a selection of great steaks, prime rib and seafood, along with other items. I've had the Steakhouse Salad as well, which was quite good.

This night, I opted for the grilled salmon, which was delicious.

The entrees come with two sides, and they also offer the option, for an additional charge, of substituting one of the sides with grilled asparagus instead, so since I love asparagus, I had grilled asparagus and grilled vegetables as my sides. I sometimes like the soup they have on certain days, but this night, I opted for the salad instead. As expected, it was a terrific dinner, and our server was quite attentive.

I like the restaurant a lot, and we've generally gotten good food and service with nice atmosphere. However, there was a surprise on this particular evening. As we were enjoying our dinner, a man came up to our table and asked if we had any food that we could share with him or any money that we could give him. I was a bit stunned when I realized it was a homeless person wandering around inside the restaurant. He obviously wasn't well dressed, but then neither was I. We don't generally dress up to have dinner there, and usually, I'm in jeans and a t-shirt or a blouse. This man was more underdressed than that, but he wasn't as raggedy as some homeless people you might see on the street. A hostess or server, I wasn't sure which, then asked him to follow her, and he said he would happily follow her but first stopped at the next table to ask them if they had any food. Now, I will give him points for trying. I mean, what better place to ask for food than inside a restaurant, where people actually have food, and since it's a bit of a nicer restaurant, you might presume the patrons have some extra money as well. However, I have no idea how or why he managed to be able to roam the restaurant or how many other tables he had stopped at. We were fairly deep into the restaurant - we were about the second table from the kitchen, so you had to make a few turns to get to where we were. Was there no one at the hostess podium when he arrived, so he was able to just wander through? Or was it that he wasn't disheveled enough, so they might not have known that he was a homeless person and thought he was just joining his party until they noticed him asking dining patrons for food? Last year, they changed the name of the restaurant from Stuart Anderson's to simply Black Angus Steakhouse. (They can call it whatever they want. It will always be Stuart Anderson's to me.) The husband was speculating that they were trying to go a bit more upscale by emphasizing the steakhouse nature of the restaurant, also evidenced by their changing the name of the garlic bread starter. Well, if they're going to try to be a more upscale restaurant, they might want to make sure that random people aren't allowed to wander the restaurant asking people for food and money.

Black Angus Steakhouse
455 N. Azusa Ave
West Covina CA 91791
(626) 331-5381

Here's the official website where you can find more information, including other locations.

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