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Aug 28, 2011 06:43 AM

Vernon's Hidden Valley Steakhouse ?? Los Ranchos/ABQ

Groupon has a deal for this restaurant. I have never been, know only one person that's eaten there and they aren't all that fussy about food.

Prices are really high, more than Ranchers Club. Is it worth the cost to dine there, chow-wise?

Groupon is $40 dollar for $80 of food. That will barely get 2 entrees.

Insights? Thanks.

Vernon's Hidden Valley Steakhouse
6855 4th Street NW, Los Ranchos De Albuquerque, NM 87107

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  1. Didn't I post on this here? I know I put up a review on TripAdvisor. Hang on, I'll go copy and modify it.

    We visited in mid-December 2010. I gave it 4 stars, with 5 for service and 3 for value. I titled my review, "Not really as classy as they try to bill it - but good food and serviceā€

    The negatives first: The "dinner theater" aspect of the doorman dressed as a '30s Mafioso and speaking in what he imagined was a Brooklyn accent was embarrassing and annoying. Almost enough to make me turn around and leave before dining. Almost enough to make me vow not return. I note that I have NOT returned since that December visit, and the first thing that keeps me from it is that idiocy. Next is the price for value, and next is how crowded and loud the place is.

    Vernon's Hidden Valley Steakhouse is pretty wildly popular (we were lucky to get the one space remaining in the lot when we arrived at 6:30 on a Saturday night - someone had just pulled out of it) and it's crowded in there - I was brushed by apologetic waitstaff more than once. It doesn't have the relaxed upscale feel of other nearby restaurants in this market niche - plan on a loud, dark dining room and lines by the restrooms (which needed better ventilation). With an attached lounge and a band.

    The positives were that the food was solidly good to very good (I had a medium NY Strip, wedge salad, German chocolate cake, accompanied by their nice-smelling-but-disappointing bread and oil goop and iced tea and coffee - I was the DD), and service was really on-it. Waters, teas and coffees were refilled promptly and the waitress took good care of those in our party needing wine and other alcoholic beverages. There were a couple of small hiccups - an extra coffee and iced tea were added to the bill of our party of six and entrees took a ridiculous amount of time to arrive (we had ordered just behind a large party) - but these could happen anywhere on a Saturday night. We were not rushed even as we socialized a little past what many restaurants would have considered "long enough." Nice menu, nice specials, nice wine and cocktail menus. The food was on the pricey side for what it was, but the value for the money is not terrible.

    On the other hand, as I note, we've not been back since our December visit, so the downsides are outweighing the upsides. We had a nice time visiting and enjoyed our food and the service. Vernon's is fine, but I wouldn't recommend it as a "must do".

    I really was put off due to that ridiculous "speakeasy" theater right inside the front door. That Groupon might get us back there, but I'd bet that if I ran it by Gina she'd say, "Meh . . . ." It was awfully loud, dark and cramped, and that's not the environment that I seek when I want a meal. The crowds suggest hoi polloi gobble it up, though, so I appear to be in the minority.

    Vernon's Hidden Valley Steakhouse
    6855 4th Street NW, Los Ranchos De Albuquerque, NM 87107

    3 Replies
    1. re: Erich

      Thanks Erich. I did a search but nothing turned up. Think I will take a pass on it.

      1. re: DebitNM

        Sheesh - to think that I'd forget to post here but post on TA. Must have been during one of my grumpy periods where I was fed-up with disappearing posts or something. ;-) Anyhow, when I consider going back to Vernon's, I think that the irritation quotient (between the guy up front and the loud/crowd issue) is just too high. Really, though, since you'd be getting a fair chunk of change off, the Groupon might be a decent way for you to try it out, just to see the place. And it's not nearly the inconvenient drive for you that it was for us.

        Seriously, though, I was thinking today about how much I've enjoyed meals at the Ranchers Club (it went downhill for a few years but then seemed to be back up), and thinking how G and I need to get back over there. (I heard the Hilton is becoming a Crowne Plaza, and hope that the Ranchers Club continues as it has.) Gosh, we even had our wedding reception there, years and years ago. What a different experience in terms of atmosphere.

        Had a great meal at Seasons last night, BTW.

      2. re: Erich

        This ties with my experience there too. It's a highish-end steakhouse, with the competently-executed "do no harm" menu you would expect. Quality is good, value is poor, and the speakeasy theme is preposterous, with the actor in the front being about as grating and un-ABQ as you could possibly imagine [the 80s called, they want their idiotic theme restaurant back].

        I would seldom choose to spend my money on any steakhouse, let alone this one, but if you can mitigate the poor value with a Groupon, you could do a lot worse for a night out.

        The jazz and blues in the lounge are routinely pretty good.