After Saturday's show we headed out into Anaheim to do a little exploring. A friend had told us about the Packing District in downtown, where refurbished historic structures were now home to modern restaurants and live music along with a view of Disneyland's fireworks. After a day of walking the expo, the place was just too much of a scene reminiscent of a crowded mall food court and we had to bail. Up the street was the Promenade but again, had only some frou frou and fancy looking joints hocking organic junk food or oysters. We're simple folk, The Lazy Dog Cafe suits us fine so Yelp helped me find The Ranch Restaurant and off we went. I'm glad the Packing District didn't work out, otherwise we would have never had such a randomly good time at The Ranch. Pulling up to an office building, we were greeted by the sight of two different establishments, the Restaurant and the Saloon. Not looking to break the bank on a steak, we were there to check out the bar. Security was surprisingly heavy and asked if I was carrying any knives or weapons which caught me extremely off guard.
Inside the place was dark and constructed from wood. There was a $5 cover charge but we soon learned that a band was playing. Sidling up to the bar we watched as an instructor took patrons through basic line dancing and there were more than a few folks wearing Stetsons and cowboy boots. I didn't feel too out of place though as there were several Asians and Mexicans around. The staff was excellent; funny, attentive and cordial, cracking jokes at people who couldn't handle their beer and complimenting me on my awesome Captain America shirt. I still couldn't get over the locale as we were in Anaheim, former home of Orange groves, for a Disney convention, sitting in the bottom of a Class A office building that housed a Saloon where people were wearing cowboy gear and line dancing. The live band was solid and I couldn't help but think I'd stumbled into a modern version of Patrick Swayze and Sam Elliot classic, Road House. The film was shot in Anaheim back in the 80's even. I was hoping the band would play one song from the movie (Jeff Healy Band, Bob Seger, Cruzados) to cement our surreal evening but it was fun watching people dance, chatting with locals and hearing the band play.
The Ranch is famous for their 3lb Bone-In Rib Chop, that's the meat weight minus fat and bone so the whole thing is close to 5lbs! Photos of the meal are ridiculous and I was sad no one around us was taking the challenge. Our Prime Rib sammich and Chicken Tenders were really good though. As were our Jameson cockatils. Several of my Orange County friends commented that they loved the joint so I'm glad we randomly chose so well. See you down the road, mijo.