September 2, 2008

I Heart Steak

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I'm no camper. Or really outdoorsy at all. My idea of camping is sleeping with my bedroom window open. So when I was talking to my brother a couple of weeks ago and he asked when I was going to visit him in his little cabin-like dwelling with no plumbing up in Goldendale, Washington, I wanted to come up with an excuse. But I heard myself telling him that I would be up over Labor Day weekend. I wanted to slap myself for committing to something like that, knowing that I was going to be miserable with no shower, toilet or mattress.

We made a deal that they would take me to their favorite restaurant in Goldendale, or thereabouts, if I came to visit. So, we planned to meet up on Saturday night at Huntington's Bar in Klickitat. I got there really fast - in an hour and a half - and they were running late, so I had some time to settle in and check out my surroundings.

The waitress, in a green t-shirt that said "Huntington's Bar" on it and denim shorts, showed me to a booth. I told her I just wanted water, so she brought me a glass and poured the water out of an old plastic milk jug. I looked around on the walls, papered with pictures of men in sleeveless shirts and long ponytails, holding up giant fish in triumphant poses, with captions like "Single Sexy Sizzling".

I looked up at the ceiling. It was covered in black Sharpie writing, from end to end. "Lance loves Kristi for life", "Darin Weaver kicks ass", "Dirty Dave was here with Jeff", and other such things that are fun to write on walls and ceilings. Lots of "____ was here", and "_____ has a big ____" and some disturbing poems written in what one can only hope was a drunken stupor.

"Don't look too close," the waitress said laughing a little and tossing her permed, brassy, blonde hair as she saw me crane my neck a bit to read something that I wish I hadn't. I distracted myself by ordering and consuming an order of greasy, soggily breaded mozzarella sticks, just one of the many fried offerings at Huntington's.

On the menu it says "Home of the Biggest Best Steaks in the Gorge." I was skeptical. It was the milk jug and the mozzarella sticks feeding my doubt. When Michael and Audrey finally arrived I was ready to satisfy my curiosity and skepticism. I ordered a 12 oz. New York Strip Steak - I just had to taste their tagline. Michael ordered the seafood platter, which was basically everything in the sea battered and deep fried served with fries. Audrey ordered catfish - grilled and served with rice. She was the healthy one.

We chatted and caught up. It seemed like forever. The waitress occasionally filled our glasses with ice from a scoop that she filled at the bar, walking with both the full scoop and the milk jug in her hands over to our table. It seems like that would be a good obstacle course game.

Our food finally arrived. I was pleasantly surprised. My steak was really good. It was cooked medium-rare, just like I cook them at home. The baked potato was not over cooked and the peas were sweet and fresh. The seafood platter and catfish proved tasty as well.

The place was getting packed the later it got and the waitress was working hard for her money. There was only one chef, I think, which must be why our food took so long. It was worth it, though. The steak was perfect.

I haven't been to all the restaurants in the Gorge to see if Huntington's has the best and biggest steaks, but I see a restaurant road trip in my future and perhaps that will be something I can research. I'm willing to taste a few steaks. If I have to.

Huntington's Bar
95 Main St.
Klickitat, WA


todd said...

I may not know about steak, but I sure know about Goldendale and Klickitat. I was surprised to see those two little towns mentioned in your blog.

One of the prettiest drives in the state, for my money, is the one-lane road that winds from G-dale through the hills and down along the river to K-tat. Nice.

That sounds like a super fun trip!

Lizzy said...

Oh my gosh, I drove that road and it was beautiful. It also scared the hell out of me. Driving in the daytime is good.

todd said...

It certainly makes you feel alive, doesn't it? :) I can't imagine driving that at night.