SADDLE UP FOR AN EVENING OF CASUAL DINING - The Explorer: Import

SADDLE UP FOR AN EVENING OF CASUAL DINING

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Posted: Tuesday, September 4, 2001 11:00 pm | Updated: 7:46 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Everyone will find their dining favorite in Catalina. If you are a rib lover, something very pleasant happens when you pull your car up on the dirt parking lot to a hitchin post replica in front of the Hitchin Post Restaurant, 16010 North Oracle in Catalina.

We went on a Thursday not knowing it was "all you can eat Bar-B-Que beef ribs" night. The tantalizing aroma from the mesquite-fired grill greets you like a friendly pup as do the owners David Chase and his wife Pamela Becken.

The ambience is western cozy with western art, Indian blankets, and John Wayne keeping an eye on you as you dine.

"We like it when our guests say that they feel like they're coming home when they come here," says David happily. "We are proud of our ability to know our customers - and we have many regulars from SaddleBrooke, Sun City and Catalina." It's evident that nearby residents have beaten a path to an eatery known for moderately priced meals.

The appetizer we chose to share could be a dinner for one. It was a splendid rendition of a shrimp quesadilla ($5.95). Other appetizer choices include buffalo wings ($5.95), pork rib sampler ($5.95) and fried zucchini, fried mozzarella, or jalapeno poppers ($4.50.)

The Hitchin Post is famous for its soups and customers call in to find out the special of the day. We sampled the Mushroom Florentine ($1.50 cup, $2.50 bowl). This soup was impressive. We consumed it with warm potato rolls. Salad dressings are made in house. I chose a honey mustard to top my dinner salad.

The entrees range from down-home country favorites including chicken fried steak or liver and onions ($8.25) to sophisticated shrimp scampi in casserole ($11.95) - a generous serving of shrimp sauted in seasoned lemon butter with a splash of wine. My partner found this choice thoughtfully prepared and delicious.

Rib-lover that I am, the pork ribs (the menu reads, "This one is the specialty of the house") beckoned me. I ordered a half rack ($11.95) and couldn't imagine eating a full rack ($16.95) although I found them luscious. The "all-you-can eat beef ribs" were priced at $11.95.

The broiler offers seven choice beef items. On Friday and Saturday nights Certified Angus Beef prime rib, slow cooked to seal in the flavor and served with horseradish and au jus await the hungry eater. Regular cut ($12.95), cowboy cut ($14.95.)

In addition to the shrimp my partner ordered, the seafood menu includes Rocky Mountain Trout Almandine ($10.95), baked or grilled salmon ($10.95) and sole stuffed with crab and shrimp ($11.95). Or order a combination plate of beef and shrimp ($15.95) or chicken and ribs ($15.95) or chicken and T-bone ($18.95).

There is truly something for everyone - chicken, pastas, burgers ($6.95 for 1/2 lb.) and for the little buckaroos, 12 and under, all the things they love: hamburgers and fries, hot dogs and fries, grilled cheese and fries, macaroni and cheese and more all for $3.95.

Arrive between four and six through September and get $1 off the country favorites as well as the sandwiches.

It was amazing to me to learn that the Sunday night special is the seasonal (and a favorite of mine) corned beef and cabbage. Monday its all you can eat spaghetti, Tuesday closed, Wednesday Mexican, Thursday it's "All You Can Eat Beef Ribs", Friday the catch of the day as well as prime rib which as noted above is also served on Saturday nights.

We managed to find room for a few bites of the Hitchin Post creation of refreshing lemonade ice cream pie. Apple and cherry pies, cheese cake, chocolate cake and mud pie are priced from $2.50 to $3.50.

Saturday morning from 7:00 a.m. to noon and Sunday from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The Hitchin Post offers standard breakfast fare including omelets and seafood fritatas. Lunch, which includes as wide a variety of menu items as dinner, is served from 11 a.m. to 5: p.m. every day except Tuesday with prices ranging from $4.95 to $6.25.

Come as early as 4:30 for dinner every day except Tuesday. Reservations may be made for parties of six or more by calling 825-3161. Call ahead for carry out available for all menu items. Saddle up and enjoy a casual evening at the Hitchin Post.

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