Saturday, April 16, 2011

Alexander's Steakhouse -- Corpus Christi, TX

Alexander's Steakhouse is a brand new restaurant in Corpus Christi, located at 5013 Everhart, in the old Gallagers restaurant building. It has a definite Greek theme, showcased in blues and golds, yet I'm not sure they've realized their true identity yet. The decor and the staff present themselves as decidedly formal, yet there are televisions mounted on the walls. That may not bother you, but I hate televisions in restaurants, even very casual restaurants. Personally, if I want to watch TV while I eat, I'll eat at home. Bars are fine, but restaurants, no, and especially not in a "formal" setting! But, before I leave you with an ugly picture of the place, I found out as we were leaving that the televisions are only in one room, and you can request to be seated in another. Those of you who remember Gallagers or have eaten at any of the restaurants that followed in that location, the building is divided into several rooms.

The waiter arrived with bread and asked for our drink orders. We asked for the wine list. He told us that the bar is not yet open, but he could bring us a complimentary glass of red or white wine. That was our choice, so we went with it. I sampled the bread and thought it a bit dry, even with butter. I tried to keep my eyes from straying to the basketball game above my head, while I perused the extensive menu (did I mention that I hate televisions in restaurants?). I expected to see more Greek choices, given the theme, and had I been looking forward to Greek, I may have been disappointed, but I was thinking seafood. The menu is divided into four sections (not necessarily arranged the same in each menu): Steak Lovers, Seafood Lovers, Texas Lovers (chicken fried steak, etc), and I don't recall the heading of the last section, but it listed several Greek dishes and Italian dishes among other specialties. Rob decided on the ten ounce ribeye and I chose the grilled salmon. We saw on the menu that the dinners came with a choice of soup or salad, choice of vegetables, and choice of potato. We had to ask what those choices were, because we could not find them listed on the menu.

We both chose salad with the Feta Cheese Vinaigrette. The salad was very basic -- lettuce, two wedges of tomato, and two slices of cucumber -- but the dressing was very nice, and plentiful. Just as we finished our salads, our food arrived and we dug right in. Now, I know you have to give a little slack to a new restaurant as they work out the kinks, but my baked potato was overdone. You know the kind: skin is shriveled and dry, along with about a quarter inch of potato that's attached to it. I'm one of those people who like to eat the potato skin, well, not this time. Rob had chosen the California vegetables (a squash medley) and fries with his meal. I chose corn. We both got corn, but with good reason. The waiter said that there were some fresh vegetables almost ready to come out and he didn't like the looks of what had been sitting in the warmer, so he brought Rob corn and would bring the other as soon as they were ready. (Too bad he didn't feel that way about my potato.) Rob declined and said that he would be fine with the corn (even though it was obviously out of a can).

Enough about what was not good. What was good were the meat portions of our dishes. Rob's steak and my salmon were generous cuts, nicely seasoned and grilled to our liking. Both were moist and had great flavor that helped to make up for the shortcomings of the rest of the meal. And, Robs steak fries had some crunch. That was a plus.

I stated before that Alexander's tries to present itself as a fine dining establishment. I don't think it quite lives up to that expectation. The food is definitely not gourmet, but overall, it's not bad for a moderately priced restaurant. If they raised the quality of their side dishes up to that of the entrees and our waiter, they may come closer to achieving that "fine dining" status.

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