Eating is one of our favourite things about being in America and this year was no exception: Ruby’s, a traditional old-fashioned American diner in town, El Mirasol the authentic Mexican a couple of blocks walk from the hotel and Manhattan in the Desert with its amazing bakery and 50% off all prices for the whole of September, all ranked in our ‘must visit’ list.
We also tried a few new places including Davey’s Hideaway, a 10 minute walk from our room. From the outside it never held much kerb appeal for us, the conservatory always looked like it was a bit lacking in atmosphere and was often empty early evening as we went out for dinner. We had heard rumours of fabulous steaks so decided to give it a try and we were in for a shock! We walked through the doors into a warm, candlelit and snug interior with a real pianist playing softly in the background, providing wonderful ambience. It was not at all what we had expected and I could see Other Half was immediately worried about the dress code in his smart yet casual polo top and shorts. The fact they didn’t turn us away at the door obviously meant a jacket and tie was not required to eat here, so we relaxed into our booths and perused the menu in search of the fabled steaks.
Whilst reading, I heard a little squeak from an unknown source and looked up but nothing caught my eye. Moments later another squeak and this time I realised it was Other Half specific. I looked at him and then my menu before the squeak was revealed… I had simply started reading about each dish on the menu – Other Half, as wallet holder had checked out the prices first! As my eyes fell onto the $32.95 filet steak I fancied, I understood the squeak! In my most reassuring tone, I reasoned we don’t eat out much (at those prices anyway) and so could afford a one off although I nervously checked he had brought enough funds (note to self: always carry some emergency money myself!) He had about $100 so didn’t need to wash up or do a runner at the end of the night.
The waitress came over to ask if we were ready to order and if we had read the special menu. We hadn’t and suddenly discovered that Monday to Thursday you could get a three course meal including the filet steak for only $23.95! What a turnaround! We both took advantage and I went especially wild ordering a glass of non-alcoholic wine. For once in my 34 year old life, I felt like a proper grown up at the dinner table and certainly must have looked like one without my ever-present orange juice or diet coke. The beef broth and Caesar salad starters arrived and my salad was huge. I had totally forgotten that entre means starter, not side dish, as I never like to waste valuable tummy space or calories on two savoury meals when a dessert is in the offing. The trouble is in America, wait staff look at you like you are a nutcase if you ask to miss out a course, the chef ends up getting confused and upset at our funny foreign ways so I to prevent this, I ordered Caesar salad without ever dreaming I would have to eat it. For a start, I don’t like parmesan and those leaves are covered in the stuff. My dinner plate sized pile of greens was put in front of me and so I ate the crutons and some leaves from underneath the main pile that had not be tainted by the smelly cheese. It was a token effort to get onto the steak.
Once our filets had arrived (medium rare for Other Half and well done for
me, yes, I’m sure the chef was weeping into his hat when he heard that), I sneaked a quick photo before tucking in. Although I don’t eat much meat, it was deliciously cooked along with the vegetable accompaniments. The dessert menu was short and sweet and I jumped in and ordered my first piece of Keylime Pie. Other Half, ever the gentleman, ordered Mud Pie so we could swap if I didn’t like mine, he knows the importance of good dessert in my life! A teeny, tiny square of pie arrived which was very limey and perhaps slightly disappointing after the lovely main course but when the bill only came to $69 including tip (originally the cost of just two filet steaks), it was a great end to a lovely night.