Thursday, November 17, 2016

Wood Ranch BBQ

I've been on a quest to compile a list of great kid-friendly restaurants in San Diego. There are plenty of places that are welcoming to children, but many of them aren't exactly interesting for parents. Luckily, San Diego's dining scene is evolving to create a marriage of restaurants appealing to patrons of all ages, without sacrificing cuisine and ambiance.
Wood Ranch joins the list of great places with delicious food that everyone in the family will enjoy. In the former location of the All-American Grill, Wood Ranch has made extensive renovations to the location to create a beautiful atmosphere that combines family restaurant and sports bar.

Besides the bar area, there are a host of booths that are perfect for a nice date or a family outing.

The specialty of the house is house-made barbecue dishes, slathered in homemade sauces. However, if you're not a barbecue person, there are plenty of salads and sandwiches to choose from, as well as steaks and fish. The children's menu contains a bit of everything, appealing to all appetites, with smaller versions of the adult menu -- not just "kiddie favorites."

The most impressive part for me as a parent, was the "amuse bouche" for kids that was brought out at the beginning of the evening. A small plate of Cheerios, banana slices, and orange slices kept P delighted and busy (and not starving!) throughout the meal.

We started with some of their garlic parmesan soft rolls. I usually don't go for the complimentary bread offerings (low carb, ya'll!), but these were so soft and delicious, they were worth the calories! I couldn't stop eating them!

Keeping with the kid-friendly theme, P's meal was brought out before ours so that she had plenty of time to eat it (littles tend to be slow eaters). She got her favorite -- a grilled cheese sandwich and fries, although there are lots of choices on the kids' menu.

For my dinner, I chose one of their signature dishes, the Wood Ranch tri-tip, a California classic cut. Cooked to a perfect medium temperature, this huge swath of meat was slathered in their homemade sauce and served with two sides -- I chose the mashed sweet potatoes and the steamed broccoli (to keep it healthy!). The beef was tender and the sauce was an unexpected but enchanting accompaniment. The mashed sweet potatoes were swoon-worthy. So sweet and creamy, almost a dessert!

Steve was more of the "go big or go home" philosophy, so he had to have Wood Ranch Combo with beef brisket, ribs, and Carolina pulled pork! The plate also comes with two sides, and is enormous! The two sides, a loaded baked potato and grilled asparagus -- were just as good as the mains. This plate was epic, and certainly a good way to gain a couple of pounds, but so, so worth it! The brisket was cooked to perfect temperature and seasoned with a flavorful rub. The Carolina barbecue, was the closest that I've ever tasted to the vinegar-infused spirit of North Carolina spit, tender and slightly spicy. The ribs were very messy, which is exactly how ribs should be -- dripping with sweet, spicy sauce and tender to touch. The sides were delicious as well, and a perfect match to the rich meat.

After all of that food, of course we had dessert! And of course, we took home leftovers. Wood Ranch offers a few dessert options, but upon recommendation from our server, we chose the Oreo Cookie Crunch. It's a very simple dessert, but so much more than the sum of its parts. It's vanilla ice cream rolled in crushed Oreo cookies, then dressed with chocolate syrup and caramel. It was ambrosial, food of the gods good. 

I highly recommend Wood Ranch for families and singles alike! It's a great casual place for dinner, or just to catch the game and munch on some great food. 

November 17, 2016 / by / 0 Comments

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