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"If a fellow isn't thankful for what he's got, he isn't likely to be thankful for what he's going to get."
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  Volume No. 15 Issue No. 11 November 2018  

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  The Grill at Latigo
  By Robin Widmar

   When people are looking for a place to have dinner, a small restaurant at an equestrian center is probably not their first choice. But it is a good choice if the eatery is the Grill at Latigo.
   
   Tucked into the corner of a building that houses an indoor riding arena, specialty shops and offices, the Grill serves up ample portions of good food at fair prices.
   
   On weekends, the lower-level dining area serves breakfast, lunch, snacks and beverages. The upper level seating area and bar hosts guests for dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. Thursdays are themed buffets that change weekly, and the Grill offers prime rib on Saturdays. The Grill also opens for some events at Latigo.
   
   Upon arriving at the Grill, staff members cheerfully accommodated our large group, which included adults and children. Although the dated décor and worn furnishings have clearly seen better days, the place has the comfortable feel of a neighborhood gathering spot, where, to quote an old TV tag line, “Everybody knows your name.” The staff was attentive to our needs and requests, even as the restaurant became busy.
   
   We started with appetizers. The beef “super nachos” were standard corn tortilla chips topped with ground beef that lacked seasoning but had real cheese (not the gooey, synthetic stuff served at the ball park). Salsa that tasted fresh and homemade, hearty green chili and a huge dollop of sour cream accompanied the nachos. Our party noticed a hint of oregano in the salsa; whether intentional or accidental, it added a unique and tasty twist. The nachos were missing the tomatoes and jalapeños promised on the menu, but the salsa and green chili compensated for the omission so they weren’t missed. This appetizer easily serves four to six people. The hot buffalo chicken wings were about average. Because of the varied sizes, smaller pieces were overcooked and tougher than the larger pieces.
   
   Our group had a good-natured discussion about the green chili, which, like salsa, means different things to different diners. Some liked the flavors of the thick stew of chiles, tomatoes and onions, along with the fact that it did not have a lot of heat. Others found it bland. We recommend that diners give it a try and come to their own conclusions.
   
   The entrées were mostly well-prepared and satisfying. The sirloin steak was tender and cooked as ordered. The fried jumbo Louisiana shrimp had a crunchy, golden breading; and the pork green chili smothered burrito was large enough to feed two people. A thin-cut prime beef dish was fork tender. The chicken breast cooked with garlic, mushrooms and wine really stood out to our group. The chicken was moist and tender, while the creamy sauce carried just enough of the wine’s flavor to complement the chicken without overpowering it. Several members of the group said they would happily come back just to order that item.
   
   The jumbo Louisiana shrimp scampi with penne pasta was a little disappointing. It looked appealing on the plate — and both the shrimp and the pasta were properly cooked. However, one person felt it needed more sauce to kick up the butter and garlic flavors.
   
   For side dishes, the salad bar wasn’t stocked with a large number of items, but the lettuce and other veggies all seemed fresh. The beef vegetable soup drew mixed reviews, ranging from hearty and delicious to a bit too salty. Mixed vegetables added great color to the plate and were cooked properly, but only scored a bit above average in taste. Mashed potatoes were made with skins on, and they were tasty.
   
   One of the side dish options is green chili cheese enchiladas. While it sounds like an odd choice, our server assured us it was a good pairing. We concurred because the enchiladas were freshly cooked and provided a refreshing change from the usual potatoes and vegetables served at most restaurants.
   
   A warm slice of apple pie was a good dessert choice, with its delicious filling and just the right amount of cinnamon. The crust was fresh and soft, not soggy. The chocolate brownie ice cream sundae was also a hit, with a warm brownie underlying vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and a chocolate syrup drizzle.
   
   As an added bonus, patrons of the restaurant can watch events in the indoor arena from an upper level enclosed observation area, which is fun for both kids and adults.
   
   The Grill at Latigo may be off the proverbial beaten path, but that is part of its appeal. The restaurant offers good homestyle cooking and a staff that works hard to make diners feel like part of the family.
   
   Check the website (http://latigogrill.com/) or the Grill’s Facebook page for menus.
  
The thin-cut prime beef dish as the Grill at Latigo was fork tender and served with mashed potatoes and veggies. Photo by Lindsey Harrison
 
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