Ricardo’s Restaurant

   March 20, 2012 1:37 pm    4

 

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This week, I got to try a restaurant in Erie that I’d never been to before. Ricardo’s Restaurant has been an eastside Erie favorite since 1943. The family-style dining, as well as the homecooked food, really hits a sweet spot for patrons. Amanda and I met up with our friend Joel Brennan around 7:30 last night, and we were all ready to eat. When we arrived, a few big families were seated throughout, along with some other, smaller parties. This really is a popular spot any night of the week. Our server, Vicky, got us our drinks and came back for our order. Joel went with Peter’s Special Steak, Amanda chose the filet mignon and butterflied shrimp combo, and I ordered the New York strip steak.

Every dinner comes with a good amount of food. With your entree, you get a sample of their pasta with the house red sauce, fried zucchini, and your choice of two of the following: salad, home fries, French fries, baked potato, or the daily vegetable. Our food came out in stages. First were the bread and our pasta samplers. The bowls are small and do a fantastic job of preparing your taste buds for the meal to come. The red sauce was obviously homemade and very flavorful. My bowl was clean after I used the rest of the sauce on my bread. The fried zucchini and our salads came out next. The zucchini had a light coating of breading and wasn’t greasy at all. The slices of zucchini tasted fresh and were delicious. We all ordered our salads with the house dressing, which is a homemade Italian with blue cheese crumbles. It was very tasty and complimented the fresh greens wonderfully.

Joel’s Peter’s Steak Special was a big bowl of deliciousness. The steak is sautéed with mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes in a sauce made with Worcestershire sauce, oregano, basil, and garlic. The steak was super tender and trimmed well. The only improvement that could have been made was if they’d added a bit more salt. The plate is filled with the sauce and vegetables so, by Joel’s suggestion, order it with a baked potato. When the steak is gone, open the potato on top of the sauce and let it absorb all the delicious juices. Joel topped the potato with some butter, sour cream, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese, and it really was amazing. His plate was completely clean when he was done.

Amanda’s filet mignon was a four -ounce cut, but paired with the shrimp, it was just the right size. The shrimp, unbeknownst to the table, was butterflied and fried. Though it wasn’t what Amanda was expecting, it was still very good. The steak was cooked to a perfect medium-rare and was so tender a knife was almost unnecessary. Amanda had the home fries as her side, and they were delicious.

My New York strip was just slightly overcooked from my medium-rare order, but it was still tasty. I topped my steak with some extra Worcestershire and a pinch of salt. The steak had some really nice marbling throughout and only one piece of external fat that I set aside. The meat was loaded with flavor from the simple seasoning. It was incredibly juicy and, as with my pasta, I used the rest of the bread to soak up the remaining juices on the plate. I didn’t want to waste any of that liquid gold.

Thank you to Vicky for the great service and hospitality. With Joel’s steak being the most expensive at $17.25, the prices are very affordable and worth it.  I am looking forward to coming back and trying some of the other food from the menu.

The phone number for reservations and information is 814-455-4947. Ricardo’s is located at 2112 East Lake Road, close to the GE building. The restaurant opens daily at 11 AM and closes at 9PM Monday through Saturday and is closed on Sundays.

Until next time,

Andrew — Beard vs. Food

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4 Responses to “Ricardo’s Restaurant”

  1. Kevin says:

    Beard,

    Sure sounds great! And if memory serves me right, the prices at Ricardo’s are very reasonable. Can’t wait to get back there and support them (especially after their fire).

    Keep up the great work!

  2. Cara says:

    I was there last week with the Grandparents (their early-bird crowd is pretty good) … enjoyed a great filet and glass of wine! No complaints at Ricardos!

  3. Jan says:

    Ricardo’s is my “go-to” place and my favorite steak restaurant of all time. I have NEVER had even an A- meal there, it’s always A++. I get the 8 oz filet, medium-rare and the salad with the house dressing, which is delicious. The restaurant does get very crowded so I am one of the first in the door for dinner and there is a line from 6:00 on, sometimes out the door. I love this place and eat here several times a year.

  4. Nick Palun says:

    Glad the food is returning to past years rep. I ate there B4 the fire, less than fair.But we need Eastside places since Waterfall closed and Pio’s folded.

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