Re:High Plains Drifters
Thu, 07/7/11 9:14 AM
Tuesday June 14, 2011 cont. Instead of taking ten days worth of clothes on these vacations, Johnny and I always take about half that and then do laundry sometime in the middle of the trip. We arrived in Rapid City a couple hours before check-in time, so we took advantage of the opportunity to find a laundromat and get the laundry out of the way. Once finished, we checked in at the Hotel Alex Johnson in downtown Rapid City. This historic hotel goes back to 1928 and is one of the bigger buildings in Rapid City. The hotel is imposing looking as seen from the parking garage and here is the attractive lobby. We purposely scheduled very little on this day, to give us a chance to recharge our batteries. Johnny took a long nap, while I relaxed and watched tv. About 6:00PM, we went out for dinner to Colonial House Restaurant and Bar, as suggested by zataar and paintman. The outside didn't look interesting, but after a five minute wait, we were led past a pie case on the way to our table. Okay, this place now has my full attention! We both started off with the spinach mushroom soup. This soup was thick, with a strong taste of both spinach and mushroom and we both enjoyed it very much. They also make their own bread here and on this night, it was craisin nut bread. I can't remember if it was walnuts or pecans, but I don't like either, so I just had a small slice of the end. It was not warm, which would have made it better, but Johnny liked it so much, he ate almost the entire small loaf. As an appetizer, we got the walleye strips. This was a huge portion of small, crunchy walleye bits, with tarter sauce on the side. We both said we would order it again. For his entree, Johnny went for the chicken fried steak. With a cup of white gravy on the side, the CFS was decent size and thick, tender and covered in a delicious breading. I was very happy to help Johnny with his steamed broccoli. Unfortunately, I completely whiffed on my meal. Did you ever have one of those times when you just have no idea what to order? That was me here. My first thought was the buffalo burger, but I knew I was having one for lunch the next day. I had already asked the waitress to come back twice
and then finally just blurted out fried shrimp. Not exactly the thing to order in South Dakota, huh? Anyway, there was nothing wrong with what was brought to me,
but I'm sure there were much better choices on the menu. The excellent side of sweet potato fries were hot, crispy, with maximum yammy flavor. Time to make our pie selections. Actually, I had already made mine. Probably the most important lesson I have learned from Jane & Michael Stern is to choose your pie as soon as you sit down. Don't take any chances that they will run out of your favorite while you are eating the rest of your food. Even before ordering the drinks, I told the waitress to bring a slice of sour cream raisin out and put it on our table. When she brought out the drinks and no pie, I asked where it was and she told me it should be refrigerated and that she did set it aside for me. Good thinking! Here is the pie list that Johnny mulled over and he decided on the banana cream. Which was great for me, because now I get to sample my two favorites! With some brown banana parts sticking out, his pie could have easily been mistaken for sour cream raisin, but it was indeed banana cream. It did have lots of sliced bananas in it and he approved of the very light, flaky crust, but thought it was a little too heavy on the whipped topping. My sour cream raisin was clearly the best of the trip. Loaded with raisins, it had the perfect consistency and thankfully, no cinnamon flavor in it. The Colonial House doesn't really look like what I think of Roadfood, but there is a lot to like about this place. Our service was excellent. In the corner of the back dining room, they have a table labeled the worst table in the house. Even though you do get a discount if you sit here, I still think I would rather sit elsewhere. While eating, there was a large family of about 10 walk past us and the one woman was wearing a Pittsburgh Steeler shirt. I made a comment and we ended up talking Stiller football for a few minutes before she left to rejoin her family. She quickly returned with her very young granddaughter, who she prodded to sing, "Here We Go Steelers, Here We Go." She then remarked, with a big smile on her face, "It is never too early to start brainwashing them!" Colonial House Restaurant 2501 Mount Rushmore Road Rapid City, SD 605-342-4640 After paintman mentioned that Robbinsdale Bowling Alley Cafe was also a good place to get homemade pie, we stopped in hoping to get a slice. Unfortunately, we were told they were already sold out of pie for the night. We took this as a good sign and vowed to return the next day. We returned to the hotel for the night. Much more to come.....
<message edited by buffetbuster on Thu, 07/7/11 9:42 AM>