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Prime Time Prime Rib #1 – Roots & Rye

A new series exploring Prime Rib all over California and why a night out alone might be the best thing ever.

by Alexander Quebec

On a rainy evening in mid-January I made my way to Roots and Rye restaurant in Santana Row. The roads were slick and treacherous, but by the time I arrived the rain had let up leaving the South Bay with a cold and crisp January evening to enjoy.

Many eateries don’t see heavy crowds when it rains, but this restaurant appeared to have bucked that trend that night as crowds surrounded tables and poured over the day with friends and colleagues. As an added bonus, a live jazz band was playing inside, adding another inviting facet to the already bustling atmosphere.

For this visit, however, I decided to go alone. It’s one of the best ways to maintain an objective mindset when writing articles, and I sometimes enjoy my own company.

On that note, there seems to be this stigma regarding dining by oneself. Granted, I’d love to have the opportunity to have a friend or other companion with every meal, but in my 34 years on planet Earth, it seems very hard to find friends who are able to join me each and every time, so oftentimes, I eat alone.

It isn’t so bad really. Again, going back to the objectivity part, dining alone doesn’t imply that you are a loser with no friends (like I always teased myself about), but rather that you might either be comfortable spending time by yourself or you truly do value your alone time. Whatever the case may be, I encourage those who usually eat out with friends to give going solo a try once in a great while. I know, its a tough idea to wrap around for many of us, seeing as dining is typically a group event, but think about it, one of the best parts about it? You don’t have to argue about where and what to eat, just get in the car and go wherever the wind and your appetite take you.

The Review

I am not much of a carnivore so I hadn’t had prime rib in a long time. The last time I remember, I dined at a place that served it rather dry and salty, reminiscent of jerky more than anything else.  The prime rib, dry aged for 21 days in an in-house, proprietary process, made this cut tender and juicy. I speciifcally ordered the R&R cut, which was a nice sized, 12 oz cut. The au jus used for the meat was flavorful, but rather than dunking a large amount of salt and calling it a day, I could taste more of the aromatics used in the au jus preparation.

Of course, you can’t have prime rib without sides. The creamed spinach had a very rich consistency, and it paired well with the meat and some of the fat. The Yorkshire pudding added a much needed starchy consistency to the meal, plus it’s a great way to sop up all of the au jus and sides.

If there was anything I had to be critical about, it would have to be the blood. I would’ve loved to have something that was a little bit on the rarer side. In all fairness, I didn’t specify the doneness of the meat. I can also understand that there’s the need to strike a balance between the rareness the guest wants vs what the health department will allow.

The Prime rib right before before cooking via Roots & Rye Facebook page

After years of living off fast food and convenience foods served in Hot Pocket form, it was nice to try something that took time and effort to make, and it showed. Like Plato’s Cave allegory, I have stepped outside the cave and seen what lay beyond the edge, and maybe this time, I might try to stay out of the cave more.

Or not, but maybe less often?

Anyways, This prime rib dinner was pretty solid experience overall; but in an effort to elevate the kinds of food I normally eat, I am determined to see what else is out there. My goal is to traverse the state to find the best and most interesting prime rib out there. I have no clue what I will find along the way, nor do I have any gaurentees that each place will be a winner like this one, but I can say with absolute certainty it will be an interesting journey.

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