My family and I ate at Samuel’s Roadhouse in Crestview on Sunday, Labor Day Eve, a calculated risk. We arrived just early enough (around 5:30 PM). The place was nearly full, but there were some free four-top tables. By the time we had our drinks and ordered an appetizer, the waiting area was packed. If you are bringing a large party, I would advise calling ahead.
The restaurant sits off the main road, on a small hill. The spacious waiting area is inside the door. There’s a main dining room, with booths and tables, an adjoining dining room, more tables in the bar (marked “Saloon”), and a room set aside for banquets and private meetings.
The decor is a mix of Americana and Hollywood Western, done in beige and brown, with posters, paintings, and wood paneling. Country and Country Western music constitutes the soundtrack. When full, it can get a little loud, but it’s happy noise.
Our friendly server (Jesse) brought us menus. Samuel’s offers a lot of stuff. There are appetizers, salads, sandwiches, steak burgers, soup, jambalaya, chicken and pork, but the emphasis is on straight-up, open flame-grilled steaks. Samuel’s steak list includes ribeye, New York strip, filet, chopped steak, and country fried steak. There are also specials, but steak was why we’d come.
Appetizer choices include deep fried or sautéed crab claws, spicy deep-fried Boom Boom shrimp, mozzarella sticks, fried mushrooms, onion rings, potato soup, and fried or sautéed crawfish tails. We got the crawfish, deep-fried.
One thing I have noticed about dining in a busy restaurant is that, while you might have to wait a few more minutes for your food, when it comes, it’s usually fresh and very hot (the servers have to keep everything moving and cleared). Such was the case with the crawfish. The tails were too hot to handle right away, but a fork solved that, and the spicy sauce on the side added more bite to the tender and crunchy morsels. There were plenty to share.
My daughter Grace ordered a kid’s meal of pizza, with (surprisingly) green beans. My wife chose a 12-ounce ribeye, I ordered a nine-ounce filet. For sides we each got a salad, with a twice-baked potato for me and a baked sweet potato for my wife.
Between the app and the salads Jesse brought out a small hot loaf of black pumpernickel bread with butter. It was gone by the time the salads showed up. Grace even ate some. They do a fine mixed salad, with a wide range of dressings.
By this time it was standing room only in the lobby area. Even so, neither we (nor anyone else I could see) were rushed or ignored. Jesse had a number of tables to cover, including one with around 12 diners (some of them kids), but he saw to our requirements without having to be flagged down.
The entrees came, all at the same time. My daughter’s pizza was hot (she waits for everything to cool, even ice cream). Both steaks were done as requested. The kitchen seasons its steaks with what they call a “signature sauce” (ingredients not revealed). Whatever is in it, you really don’t need any other sauce.
Both cuts were lean and tender, the ribeye nicely chewy and my filet perfectly tender. For $23, that’s a great deal on filet. My twice-baked potato—an old-time steakhouse classic—brought back memories of eating out with my parents in Ohio. My wife ate all her sweet potato, which can be ordered with butter and/or brown sugar as well.
Other main course options include surf and turf with steak, shrimp, oysters, chicken, fish or lobster tail, fried or grilled fish or shrimp, fried oysters, fried seafood combos, red snapper, grilled lobster tail, grilled or fried chicken, St. Louis style pork ribs, and combos of ribs with steak or chicken.
Sandwich options are grilled or fried fish or chicken; bacon cheddar ranch chicken; pepper jack chicken; and classic, BBQ, mushroom and swiss, pepper jack, black and blue (cheese), and surf and turf burgers. Dinner salads come with chicken, steak, crawfish, or shrimp, and there are vegetable plates of four to six vegetable combinations.
Dessert choices were cheesecake, key lime pie, peach cobbler, and a brownie with ice cream and chocolate sauce. My daughter and I shared the creamy New York-style cheesecake.
Samuel’s food is great, and the entire staff is hard working, organized and well-coordinated. It’s a go-to kind of place.
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