Yesterday was a regular day at work; prepping, smoking, flipping. But after work I felt like going out for a bit to grab a drink and a bite. I originally started out at the Salty Dog, got a vodka tonic from my girl Leslie and chilled out on the patio for a bit talking to my cousin. I was really hungry; I hadn’t eaten much all day, so I had come upon a small dilemma… where to eat? I could’ve eaten there and grabbed one of their Dog Bowls or a Burger; but earlier that day I had talked to one of my friends I went to culinary school with and he is now one of the head chefs at 135 prime. Chef Cayman Colunga, he has been bugging me for months to come out there and try out the 135 experience, but I was hesitant due to the prices. Tonight that didn’t matter; I was hungry, had some vodka running through my veins and decided ‘who cares about the price.’ So I paid my tab at the Dog and headed over to 135 prime; dressed in my nice cargo shorts and official USA soccer jersey. (USA did beat Italy for the first time ever)
The place has a nice crowd, but I get to pick where I want to sit… which is always nice. I sit in one of the retarded booths that are formed out of the middle wall, that way I can see everything going on from my side…. And no one can sneak up on me. My waiter/server is Thomas, real nice guy and on his game. He recommended some wines, but I went with a Fratelli Moscato-- which is a sweet, semi carbonated wine. I looked over the menu and there were several things I would love to eat, but I went with the item that would allow me to try out a little bit of everything; the Chef’s Weekly Special.
This consisted of a 4 course meal;
+First: Seasoned prime ground beef empanada, served with chili con queso sauce.
+Second: Spinach salad. Fresh spinach, dried cherries, candied pecans and freshly sliced strawberries, tossed with strawberry vinaigrette.
+Third: 12oz New York Strip, with sweet caramelized onions and smoked Gouda. Served with dauphinoise potatoes. (Dauphinoise potatoes are, simply put, like Gratin: using thinly sliced and layered potatoes and cream cooked in a buttered dish rubbed with garlic)
+Fourth: Layered lemon meringue Tart-our-Tart. Layered with a cherry compote and lemon curd, and topped with a meringue, garnished with candied citrus peels.
The ground beef empanadas were awesome; the ground beef was tender, juicy and seasoned perfectly. The pastry dough was dainty and flakey, perfectly cooked and great flavor. Along with the fresh queso and jalapenos, I could’ve eaten a whole plate of these for my dinner alone. I tried to eat them slowly and savor them…. But they were sooo good they didn’t last very long.
The salad consisted of a couple hand-full of fresh spinach, couple of sliced strawberries, a few dried cherries thrown in, the dressing on the side and I had them hold the pecans. It was a fairly basic salad, but nothing like the salad the lady across from me was eating, which consisted of 4 tomatoes slices and a ¼ head of Lettuce… left intact. I really enjoyed the strawberry vinaigrette, which seemed like it had a bit of cream added to it. IT had fantastic flavor and consistency that paired perfectly with the spinach and berries thrown in. I’ve always been a fan of strawberry dressings; they are great for the summer months.
Now for the main course, the big ole steak and potatoes. The potatoes were great; cooking nice al dente. The cream sauce had great consistency and cheesy flavor, and a hint of garlic and butter. Though I nearly burned my mouth diving in, that would’ve ruined the rest of the meal, but I saved it. I ordered my steak med-rare, hot, juicy and pink on the inside. Pretty much every time I’ve ever ordered a steak anywhere they get it wrong (Outback Steak House is horrible at this)… but 135 prime nailed it. Cooked it just I would have, had I cooked it at home or for a customer even. There was a little excess fat on the steak, but that wasn’t too bad. What mattered was that it was tender and juicy and tasted great. Topped off with those grilled onions and the tasty tasty smoked Gouda. Was one hell of a steak.
Last but not so much the least, was dessert. A mini pie looking gadget, topped with lightly toasted meringue. I dive in and I get an initial hit of lemon (reminds me of my mother’s lemon chess pie), then come along hints of orange and then blast of the cherries that are thrown in. It was a nice little finish to the meal. Thank goodness it wasn’t very big either, I was stuffed by the time I was done with everything.
Over all I had a really good time. I ran into some people I know, got to enjoy a great meal, and kinda caught up with my culinary friend (and thank god he didn’t burn my steak… haha). The waiter, Thomas, did a great job; was on top of it the whole time, great to talk too about food and wine. Got out of there for just under $60, and it was well worth every penny in my opinion. I can see why they stay so steady; heck they were packed on this Wednesday night. I’ve now eaten at every high end restaurant in Waco, and since my favorite one closed down, the 135 Prime has now become number 1. So if you haven’t been yet, stop by for a nice special occasion or pull a “for the hell of it” like me. Ask to be sat in Thomas area and then yell at Cayman to not drop your steak on the floor ;)