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Copper Canyon - Atlantic Highlands NJ - Review

jrvedivici Aug 22, 2012 11:01 AM

I decided to dine there for the first time this past Saturday Aug. 18th. with my wife. Although I have heard good things about this place in the past it was actually a thread on here regarding the best Rib Eye steak in Monmouth County in which corvette Johnny kept posting about how good the steak was here that motivated me to give this place a try.

While this was my first time eating here I have been here once before but just for cocktails. The bar and restaurant made a favorable impression with me on my first visit so with corvette Johnny recommendation ringing in my head I decided to go back and try it for dinner. We arrived at about 6:45 without a reservation and the hostess told us we could have a table as long as we understood they had a reservation for it at 8:15pm….that seemed like sufficient time so we agreed and were immediately seated. Although the hostess made this comment throughout the night the restaurant always seemed to have 1 or 2 tables vacant so I’m not sure what the sense of urgency was unless this specific table was requested.

Although I knew it was a tex-mex theme I didn’t realize it really is a more Mexican restaurant than I anticipated. Even though I was set on having steak the rest of the menu was rather unappealing to me as Mexican is about the only ethnic food that does NOTHING to excite me. We ordered a couple of cocktails (they don’t carry Stoli vodka so I had to settle for Kettle One they do however have an extensive tequila list) we ordered the chips and salsa and also the guacamole as starters. The chips were nice, fresh, crisp with a nice seasoning on them…the guacamole was delicious although I was hoping they made it table side as I have seen done a few times in NY……the salsa I was not a big fan of. Upon looking back at the menu it does describe it as being made from “Charred” tomatoes and that char flavor carries through and didn’t appeal to me. But it was accurately described on the menu so I can’t blame them for it not being prepared correctly.

Although I went there with the steak as my entrée after listening to the specials they had braised short ribs as a special and I couldn’t pass it up. My wife ordered the Mahi Mahi off the menu. When the entrée’s arrived the Mahi Mahi was a very large portion…they sure didn’t skimp on that serving size. The fish was fresh and very tasty. My braised short rib while tender and prepared excellent….it came with a heavy bbq-esq type sauce on it which really didn’t do the meat much justice. I prefer my shortribs with a port wine reduction or something along those lines…..not a heavy thick sauce….which is how these were served. The sauce’s flavor didn’t seem to compliment the very tasty and well prepared short ribs……the dish wasn’t bad…but just didn’t compliment each other in my opinion. It was served with a jalapeño mashed potato which was delicious.

The Giants pre-season game against the Jets was being recorded at home thus we skipped desert and just headed home well before our 8:15pm eviction notice. The service/waitress was very good…..the bus people and runners were excellent water glass always refilled etc. Overall if you are into Mexican food I would strongly recommend this place. I myself might go back to try that steak….but other than for that reason I’m doubtful I would return strictly because I’m not a huge fan of Mexican cuisine…but that is no fault of Copper Canyon.

http://www.thecoppercanyon.com/

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  1. corvette johnny RE: jrvedivici Aug 22, 2012 11:17 AM

    Your'e killing me! You didn't try the steak? LOL Hopefully you can get back and give it a shot. I get it every time.

    I love the salsa there but salsa types/flavors are obviously all over the place. You can ask ten people how they like salsa and you will get 10 answers, much like a cheeseburger or pizza slice.

    gauc is good IMO (very good) but overpriced in my eyes.

    behind at work....be back later...

    I just got back from maine last night. I need to post of pic of the 4 poundah hard shell I demolished!

    Edit...ps, it is good to see a substantial review of a place and not a 2 sentence rant about an establishment....well done.

    3 Replies
    1. re: corvette johnny
      jrvedivici RE: corvette johnny Aug 22, 2012 11:59 AM

      yeah yeah yeah.....I know I should have gotten the steak!!! lol I guess I got what I deserved by not listening to the advice given!! lol

      I like to give people their money's worth with my reviews. Again I feel bad although I didn't particularly care for things.....it's not a bad place.

      Hey I better see you and your Vette tonight at the meet and greet !!!

      1. re: jrvedivici
        angelo04 RE: jrvedivici Aug 23, 2012 05:53 AM

        Also you missed the lamb lolly pops!! They rock, i could probably eat 3 orders myself. Nice review

        1. re: angelo04
          jrvedivici RE: angelo04 Aug 23, 2012 07:34 AM

          Wow your right I did miss that.....had I seen it I would have ordered it for sure. I guess the chip's and guac just caught my eye given the nature of the place. Looks like I will have to go back at least one more time for the lamb and steak!

    2. n
      NYCPA RE: jrvedivici Aug 23, 2012 07:40 AM

      I have dined there on a Saturday night as well as on a Sunday night, and both times I was disappointed by the service. When I made the reservations, I was informed of the two hour limit on the table. I didn't need to be constantly reminded of it by the hostess and the wait staff. Your comment about the hostess and the questionable sense of urgency is so true! During both visits the wait staff started clearing plates before everyone at the table had finished their meal. They presented us with the check within 75 minutes, so I am not even sure why they bother to mention the 2 hour policy.

      6 Replies
      1. re: NYCPA
        corvette johnny RE: NYCPA Aug 23, 2012 12:02 PM

        Here is a review of the place I did....

        Here is a legit review from a person who has been here well over 40 times, probably more over the course of several years. After reading some of these bozo reviews, I figured I owe this place an honest review to help travelers decide if this is the right spot for them. I am a local and frequent the Copper Canyon. I am a big fan and it deserves a REAL review, not these 2 sentence 1 star reviews.from disgruntled people with questionable taste.

        This is really a culinary experience if you enjoy bold flavors and a new twist on food. It kind of has a southwest flare, for lack of a better description. It is defintely not Mexican food.

        To start, I will say that this place has one of the best steaks I have ever had. At $31.95 it is a NY strip steak seasoned to perfection with a unique blend of spices, It is well worth the average price tag for a phenomenal steak. It is cooked to your liking and when you order medium rare, you get a medium rare steak. I get this steak every single time I go, without fail. The seasoning is unique and completely balanced. It doesn't overpower the taste of the steak. It is bold yet subtle enough to let the true beef flavor take reign. Trust me on this, it is a world class steak! I have had steak all over the world, including real kobe beef whlle in Japanese steak houses (which, by the way, is worth every hundred you will spend on a single piece!) So back to the steak at hand....it is a NY strip folks. This is the way it is done and I am sorry for you filet lovers, but the NY strip is where the flavor is at. If you only eat filets and and wont cut a little fat off a steak, this place is probably not for you. This is NOT a steakhouse. They have one steak and it is done exceptionally well. Rumor has it the chef covets his special blend so much that he prepares the rub at home so people can't see what goes into it, and I believe it.

        So here is where I will help people decide whether this place is right for them. Here are some factors that people may not like:

        a) This place gets crowded and on a friday/sat you will have to wait for a table most likely. Even with some negative reviews here on trip advisor, they have not affected the fan club of this restaruant. This place has lines to get in and has a cult like following. I see the same people here over and over. In fact, many know me by name.

        b) the price is not "expensive" as some people have said. An epic steak for 31.95 is not bad. You get nailed if you drink heavily. I like to indulge and at 11.00 a pop for a margarita, you can rack up a bill. Expensive is subjective so based on these prices, the place may not be for you. The steak is the most expensive thing on the menu so it is not bad in my eyes.

        c) The place is LOUD. It gets crowded and due to the amount of people, and most likely acoustics of the room, the volume will rise. It will be loud on a friday or saturday...mark my word. If you want a romantic and quiet night, look elsewhere.

        So onto some other tips for lighter fare (remember, don't go here without getting the steak if you are a NY strip lover!)...

        The chips and salsa are really top notch! Defintely order this and you won't be dissapointed. It is smokey, spicy and a bargain at 2 or 3 bucks. The guacamole is really good but a rip off for what you pay. The crab cake is serious! I recommend that and the baked brie with salsa is so good that I now make it at home and strive to replicate it. It is a baked cast iron pan filled with salsa while brie is melted into the salsa. Whole garlic cloves are the icing on the cake. You put all of this melted goodness inside a warm flour tortilla. I don't even like brie but this dish is just outrageous! The arugula salad with thick chucks of bacon is my wife's favorite and at 11.00 it is a fair price. If you feel like the steak isn't going to fill you up, maybe try the charcoal grilled lamb chops with tropical salsa or the pork taco if you feel really hungry. Normally the steak, chips and salsa, and an app like the salsa/brie fill my strong appetite.

        As for the service, they have excellent staff. There is one clown I know of, but every place has one or two. Ask for Fernando and he is a great guy. He will take good care of you.

        In summation, this place is a great restaurant that is unlike any place I have been to. It is not for everyone but hopefully my review will help some of you decide if it is a spot you will like. Remember, GET THE STEAK! Why not 5 stars you ask? Well here is my news flash for the owner. I would have given this 5 stars but after a certain point in time the drinks went down hill. In a nut shell, they skimped out on the liquor and jacked the prices up. I like a strong drink and the margaritas now are not strong. An ounce of tequlia in a full cup of ice for 11 bucks is steep and I am sure he knows it. They are delicious and made with fresh lime juice but they need some backbone. The old bar tenders used to have a heavy hand and now with the regiment of measuring out a single ounce of tequila, I am left ordering several drinks when I used to get 2 and be fine. I still love this place but the drinks need to be stiffened. Even my friends noticed this and agreed with my opinion.

        Now, please read on if you want to hear my review on tequila in particular. This place has a fine selection of Anejo, Reposado, and blancos....even the small batch extra anejo like Don Julio Real. They have dozens and dozens of tequilas. I am a tequila fan so if you like to slowly sip a fine glass of tequila, this place has you covered. I highly suggest a glass of Don Julio 1942. At 20.00 for a glass, a snifter of this will leave you wanting more! Sometimes you deserve a treat and this is my treat after a long work week. Sip it slow gents as it is an epic glass of tequila and wonderfully complex. Every few trips I will have a glass and it is like candy. I even buy a bottle or two once in a while online and it is my favorite tequila in the world.

        Corvette Johnny

        1. re: corvette johnny
          jrvedivici RE: corvette johnny Aug 23, 2012 12:44 PM

          Ok...ok...ok......enough already!! I'm going back tonight!!! I'll have the steak and report back tomorrow!!!! As you stated this place isn't for everyone and that was exactly my impression it's not a bad place at all.....but it just wasn't for me. I'm going to try the steak tonight and maybe that alone will win me over.

          1. re: jrvedivici
            corvette johnny RE: jrvedivici Aug 23, 2012 01:29 PM

            The steak is seriously tasty and very different than anything around here. If you don't think so, we are on two different planets then LOL

            If you like raw tuna, the tuna carpaccio is really good. (heavy on cilantro so make sure you like that as well)

            The smoky margarita is another one I love there. Again, not for everyone but a cool drink if you like some heat. It is made with jalapeno infused tequila. The first few sips are a little "eye opening" but after it waters down a tad it becomes smoother.

            They have saw tooth ale as a fine beer choice. That is a mighty fine brew from Colorado that recently made its way out here to the east in the last year or so.

            I infuse my own tequila at home to mimic this and my margaritas come out top notch!

            Fish tacos are decent too. My wife gets them once in a while and I will have a bite or two.

          2. re: corvette johnny
            d
            drubenero RE: corvette johnny Aug 23, 2012 01:30 PM

            corvette johnny - I understand that you are trying to give a more in depth review of CC, but after 40+ visits you've only mention a handful of the menu items! I think that I'd like to add a list of my favorites - to go along with yours. I'd also like to add, and this has been a topic for debate in the past, that chips & salsa are menu items - they are not free! I don't have a problem with that at all, because these items that are prepared by the kitchen, not taken out of a bag or a jar. I don't have too much time to elaborate on these dishes, they're just what I fell deserves mention. Fish Taco's, Crab Cake (mentioned previously on this thread - seconded here) Jalapeno Caesar Salad, Chile Rellenos - interesting combo of shitake, black beans & goat cheese. While CC does have it's menu roots planted south of the border, I wouldn't necessarily go as far as to call it a Mexican restaurant. To sum it all up - TRY THE STEAK!!!!!!

            1. re: drubenero
              bgut1 RE: drubenero Aug 23, 2012 02:02 PM

              I agree that it would be wrong to classify CC as a Mexican restaurant. I would say it's more southwestern then anything else (e.g. Mark Miller and Coyote Cafe).

              1. re: drubenero
                corvette johnny RE: drubenero Aug 23, 2012 02:10 PM

                When I think about it, I have been here way more than 40 times. That was a light estimate. Yes I agree, I tend to stick with what works. I have tried many of the items there but have my favorites. The rellenos are tasty too : )

                Do you remember the old chips? They were outrageous! They were much thicker and more "substantial." Those were the days....killer chips, lower cost drinks and heavy handed bar tenders. I still like it but a few years back was their time to shine. Back then it was much easier to get a table too. Word is out now....

                For people that don't know, this place doesn't even have a sign saying its name...seriously. There is simply a horseshoe above the building and nothing else. No fancy big sign or advertising anywhere...just word of mouth.

          3. angelo04 RE: jrvedivici Aug 23, 2012 01:46 PM

            Also worth mentioning the chef was a recent James Beard Nominee which may also explain. The long waits for tables.

            2 Replies
            1. re: angelo04
              corvette johnny RE: angelo04 Aug 23, 2012 02:12 PM

              I sit at the bar a lot and believe it or not, people from NY take the ferry over and eat there. I have talked to quite a few folks from NYC.

              1. re: angelo04
                d
                drubenero RE: angelo04 Aug 23, 2012 06:33 PM

                I'd have to agree with angelo04, the James Beard nomination probably is playing a part in the long waits. In fairness though, I still think it was harder to get a table when CC was located across the street. (the same location that most recently was home to AMA) The first time I tried to get in without a reservation, I asked to sit at the bar, to which the reply was 'It's reserved'. Here's to continued success, and more great food from Copper Canyon!

              2. drongo RE: jrvedivici Aug 23, 2012 06:14 PM

                Here's a Pat Tanner review: http://njmonthly.com/restaurantreviews/copper-canyon.html

                If you're asking "who is Pat Tanner" see http://dinewithpat.com

                1 Reply
                1. re: drongo
                  corvette johnny RE: drongo Aug 24, 2012 08:46 AM

                  Interesting review by Pat....

                  JR, For your info, I just posted the review I did a while back. I didn't just write that up now. I wrote that a while back for another site.

                  I thought it was "relevant" so I put it into this thread. I wasn't trying to hijack your thread.

                  Anyway, hopefully you find this steak to be a tasty one!

                2. jrvedivici RE: jrvedivici Aug 24, 2012 09:39 AM

                  Ok being the man of my word that I try to be I did in fact pay a visit to Copper Canyon again last night to try the steak which Corvette Johnny has been so very persistent in his accolades. The Corvette Johnny Canyon Steak or CJCCS.

                  I arrived at about 5:30pm which was still happy hour for them which includes some $7.00 appetizers and drink specials. I hadn’t had a thing to eat all day and I was starving....I ordered the brie which I read somewhere here was excellent however the bartender having heard me mention how starving I was noted the brie would take a little while and suggested I order the chips and salsa and guacamole as an appetizer as it would be much quicker…..in my state of hunger I agreed and ordered both appetizers off the $ 7.00 happy hour menu. Again the chips and guacamole were excellent…..the salsa has that char/smoky taste which I don’t particularly care for but it’s still fresh and good just not my favorite combination of flavors for a salsa.

                  I had a few chips and guacamole to take the edge of my hunger and soon enough the brie arrived. As I said I ordered it simply because I read someone brag about it on here and it was on the happy hour menu……well this is what I get for not reading…..the brie is prepared in the same charred salsa that the chips are served with!! Again my own fault! It is a very interesting combination and the brie and garlic seem to off set that char taste which is so prevalent in the salsa alone…..the combination turned out to be good after about the 3rd one though I had enough of the charred salsa and was ready to try the infamous CJCCS.

                  The CCJCCS is a decent sized cut…..not to big not to small I would say a 14/16oz which is adequate for a strip. As noted it does come with some type of a heavy rub on it….at first I thought they had charred the hell out of the steak which I ordered medium but it looked over-well done by the outside. I skeptically cut into the middle of the steak and to my relief it was the pure pink center with some natural juices flowing to the plate. The ease of the cut alone let any experienced steak eater that this was a very…VERY tender strip and upon the first bite the tenderness combined full flavors of the rub do make this an EXCELLENT steak. No question or doubt about it the CJCCS does live up to the hype. With as good as it is though.....similar to the salsa after a while about ½ - ¾ of the way through I felt that perhaps the rub was taking away from….or overshadowing the natural steak flavors. I guess I’m more of a steak purist and while this is an excellent it certainly dominates the flavor and I think almost starts to do a steak of this quality a disservice by dominating the flavor. Please understand I am in NO way trying to discredit the quality of the steak….flavors and tastes vary I just personally don’t think a steak of this quality needs such a bold rub. BUT I will gladly go back and try it a time or two more before rendering my final verdict. The seasoned shoe string fries served with the steak I think is a complete waste/mismatch for a steak of this nature……but it is what it is and at this point in the meal the accompaniment wasn’t a concern at all I was more than full.

                  I have to agree with the Pat Turner review above which says it seems certain dishes are a hit or miss. This is only based on my two dining experiences there and my out right admission that Tex-Mex (Mexican) in general is my least favorite dinning choice.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: jrvedivici
                    corvette johnny RE: jrvedivici Aug 24, 2012 11:21 AM

                    Nicely done! I like reading legit reviews from people that have a clue....good, bad or indifferent. So at least you finally got to try it out. I am glad you thought it was decent!

                    If you did notice, they do not have salt and pepper shakers. They will offer a small glass filled with kosher salt if asked. I usually give my steak a nice light dusting as I am one who prefers food on the saltier side.

                    And I do agree, they could do more with the side dish too but for what it is, I really enjoy the steak there and the rub is definitely speaking my language. To me, a good 31.95 steak is not all that much money. I hear rants about people explaining how it is so expensive. If you drink like me, then yeah, you can rack up a bill in no time! I might have to go tonight : )

                    1. re: corvette johnny
                      jrvedivici RE: corvette johnny Aug 24, 2012 12:08 PM

                      The steak is excellent no doubt about it.......I'm just torn on my personal taste(s) for it. As you said the rub is truly unique I'm just not sure if it compliments or takes away from the steak itself....but regardless it is very very good.

                      One thing I forgot to mention as you had previously brought up......I sat at the bar and was very mindful of watching their pours. I did not see one drink measured with a shot glass or any means of proper measurment. Everything was a free pour by the bartender and they seemed like decent pours. Mind you I sat at the end of the bar closest to the entrance so I have no idea what they were doing at the service end of the bar. Maybe the measuring was just a phase or trial they were going through. My drink is just straight vodka chilled so it's impossible to get a short pour on that. lol (Although I notice they only carry Kettle and Goose...I'm a stoli guy)

                      One other notable mention the hostess who last time warned me about my table time remembered me and made a point to come over and welcome me back, nice touch.

                      I will certainly be back especially to just try the steak a time or two more to draw a more conclusive opinion on how much I like the rub. lol

                  2. s
                    sockster RE: jrvedivici Aug 30, 2012 06:38 AM

                    After reading recent reviews for CC, we decided to give it a try again after a few years away from here. We started at the bar with outstanding margaritas! We ordered chips and salsa which the bartender said we could take to our table. When we moved to our table in the dining room to eat, our waiter couldn't believe he had to go into the bar to get our chips. We had to ask him three times for them. The drinks we ordered came out lightening fast....but not so the chips and salsa.

                    Well from there on he had a "chip" on his shoulder. He barely acknowleged us, and when we asked him if he had a problem, he told us he was working from 11AM and he was tired....IMO, he should have left before serving dinner!

                    Anyway, onto the disappointing food. The lamb chops were good, not great.The old great crispness was missing as was most of the flavor. They were perfectly cooked to MR however....the sausage queso, was just fine....and our finale, of their famous "steak", first came out raw, (instead of our med-rare), and then reappeared with ice cold fries. All the waiter wanted to know, is we wanted another drink; certainly he could have cared less how everything was. It was a bother for him to take the steak back.

                    This was a really disappointing night. One more note....I had met Chef Mike on numerous occasions and wanted to congratulate him on his nomination for the James Beard nomination. When I told the waiter I was there and to please ask him to come out and say hello, he told me he would.....but he never did....

                    It was just a bizarre night at CC, and IMHO, I would pass on this place and go somewhere they are happy to have you as a guest....

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: sockster
                      jrvedivici RE: sockster Aug 30, 2012 07:14 AM

                      Just out of curiosity......your waiter.......mid 20's, thin, tall-ish, dark hair glasses? When I was last there and wrote my last review there was a waiter who was "working" however he spent more time sitting at the bar socializing with some women patron's who were sitting at the bar also and the entire time this waiters demeanor was that of his job of serving seemed to really interfere with his ability to socialize with the women. There were several occasions were other servers would have to come and get him to attend to his tables and each time he made it obvious what a nuisance it was for him to have to get up from the bar and go tend to his customers.

                      I will also add when I was there were two bartenders working one was excellent and the other seemed to be team-mates with the waiter mentioned above. I assume the 3 women at the bar were friends of the bartender and waiter because the bartender also never took her attention away from socializing with the 3 girls and playing around with the waiter every time he came and sat at the bar.

                      I didn’t mention this in my reviews because as stated the one bartender did the job of the two of them and my service in particular was good even though the work wasn’t balanced between the two people working the bar. I did however take note to the lack of attention to work the one bartender and the waiter were demonstrating and found it particularly odd that none of the other employees or managers seemed to notice or care for that matter.

                      1. re: jrvedivici
                        s
                        sockster RE: jrvedivici Aug 30, 2012 07:25 AM

                        Actually, the female bartender took care of us in the bar (there was one female and one male bartender). She took care of us quickly and promptly. However, when my friend wanted to taste a different tequila, she was busy talking to the other bartender...really wasn't a problem.

                        Our waiter was actually a bit older than 20...and he told us he's been there for "years". I think his time is UP there. Mike should really evaluate his staff from top to bottom, (and maybe even look in the mirror), and upgrade the entire service side of his restaurant.

                        1. re: sockster
                          m
                          MarlboroMan RE: sockster Aug 30, 2012 08:07 AM

                          Did you still tip the waiter 20%? Just curious. (I wouldn't have, myself).

                          1. re: MarlboroMan
                            s
                            sockster RE: MarlboroMan Aug 30, 2012 08:24 AM

                            Nope....gave him a flat # which was about 12% of the food. I actually tipped the bartender for the great drinks.

                            1. re: sockster
                              r
                              RGR RE: sockster Aug 30, 2012 08:32 AM

                              sockster,

                              You were way too generous. Mr. R. and I would have tipped him a big fat 0!

                              http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                            2. re: MarlboroMan
                              jrvedivici RE: MarlboroMan Aug 30, 2012 10:48 AM

                              I have to say after being in or around the industry my entire life I find it difficult to ever tip below 20%....................It has to be fairly egregious service to make me leave less.

                              1. re: jrvedivici
                                s
                                sockster RE: jrvedivici Aug 30, 2012 03:14 PM

                                And it was!!

                      2. jrvedivici RE: jrvedivici Aug 31, 2012 07:03 AM

                        I’m back!!! Lol even I have to laugh at myself sometimes…….ok I was in the area with a buddy of mine and I decided to stop back in and give the steak another try hopefully with a little less “rub” than last.

                        We arrived around 7:30 pm and grabbed the last two seats at the bar. The place was pretty crowded a near full dining room and now full bar. The bartender was the same excellent woman I posted about previously she remembered both my drink and the temperature of my steak which again is a sign of a good bartender or server especially after having just served me one time prior. At one point around 8pm the bar was a good two people deep which really surprised me this place seems to have almost a “cult” following. One thing I did notice which I read somewhere along this chain of comments is the entire time we were at the bar it was loud. You had to speak in an elevated voice just to hear each other…..I’m not sure why after all the money they seem to have put into the décor of the restaurant they don’t put some sound dampening materials to try and keep the decimals down a bit.

                        Anyway on to the food….for appetizers we ordered the Tuna Carpaccio and I finally decided to try the lamb chops. The Tuna was excellent…..very thin sliced and very fresh tasting. It was covered with chopped cilantro and herbs and drizzled with a dijonaisse type dressing. All the flavors combined wonderfully for a very satisfying appetizer especially if you’re a fan of tuna. The lamb chops are grilled and served over/with a mango pineapple type salsa. While the lamb chops weren’t bad….they were just blah. No seasoning what so ever and just grilled. They were good….but I didn’t enjoy the company of the salsa with the lamb….just didn’t come together for me.

                        On to the steak…..we both ordered the steak however I did request mine to be a little light on the rub. This time I wanted to try and experience more of the natural steak flavor and less rub. To my chagrin you can only go all in on the rub or no rub at all. This obviously means the steaks are pre-rubbed/marinated in advance and they can’t customize one on the spot….that’s fine no big deal. I ordered mine al’ natural no rub nothing but me and my true carnivore desires. Although as stated above the bartender did remember I like my steak a perfect medium it did come out fairly undercooked certainly a medium rare to potentially rare in the middle. Being a steak lover I don’t care too much if you under cook my steak in my opinion under is always better than over so I accepted it and didn’t send it back or make any mention of it. Cutting into it again it’s immediate that for a strip it is so tender and the natural juices started to trickle upon the plate……I took the first bite and it was EVERYTHING I was hoping for since Corvette Johnny said to try the steak here. Again I’m not saying the steak with the rub is a bad thing…..I’m just saying this is an EXCELLENT steak and in my opinion a steak of this nature needs nothing…..perhaps a little sea salt and pepper before grilling but in my opinion just keep it simple. (KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid)

                        After this experience I can say I will be back. I will be back to keep trying different app’s but I will only order the steak, no rub, on all future visits. The place draws a good crowd and is doing enough right combined with that steak to keep me satisfied. It took a few visits to win me over but consider me one of the “cult” now….Copper Canyon gets a thumbs up.

                        On a side note……there was a peculiar vat of some liquid behind the bar with what looked to be pickles or something inside. I inquired and it was jalapeño pepper infused tequila. When it comes to alcohol I am but like a child whom once Mom tells me “Do not touch that” all I can think about is “I have to touch that…….oh Dear God if I don’t touch it I will die!!!”. I asked the bartender a couple questions about it….how hot….what kind of tequila etc. Apparently it is used for one of their margarita’s and not really intended to be a stand alone drink…….well that’s all I needed to hear…..give me 1 shot chilled barkeep!! (I should mention Stoli Vodka my drink of choice has recently come out with Stoli Pepper which is interesting and I have enjoyed it on occasion in the past). The bartender poured…..chilled…..served my shot after which I did as intended and drank the shot. I should have listened to mother and not touched that…….it was putrid…..it was hot…..it was tequila….and it was HORRIBLE. Lol lesson learned.

                        20 Replies
                        1. re: jrvedivici
                          MGZ RE: jrvedivici Aug 31, 2012 07:19 AM

                          Funny stuff about the tequila. I infuse reposado with jalapenos from the garden every summer - sometimes I use habaneros too. If the chiles stay in the tequila too long, they will impart a bitter flavor. It can be masked by the sweet-sour margarita flavor, but it's tough to drink neat if you don't like the spirit of agave. Admittedly, I do like to eat the jalapenos when the infusion is done, or occasionally, chopped them up along with some fresh ones into a salsa.

                          This thread has made me want to get to CC. We love tequila and coupled with a good steak, well . . . . , that sounds just fantastic to me.* Anyone available to drive us back to the bottom of the county afterwards?

                          * It's a great pairing in my book. When I do it at home, I use oak for the meat and drink the reposado neat.

                          1. re: MGZ
                            n
                            NYCPA RE: MGZ Aug 31, 2012 09:44 AM

                            You should ask Corvette Johnny, he's the only one on this thread that seems to get good service when he goes there.

                            1. re: NYCPA
                              MGZ RE: NYCPA Aug 31, 2012 10:45 AM

                              No worries. Over the last thirty years or so, I've only had bad service twice. Once was because I was a drunken ass.

                              1. re: NYCPA
                                corvette johnny RE: NYCPA Sep 4, 2012 12:37 PM

                                I go there a lot so people kind of know me and I tip well. Try to get Fernando as a waiter. He is really good. Do me a favor and ask this: "has anyone told you that you look like a celebrity? "He will start laughing. You will see exactly what I mean LOL

                                MGZ, do you ever use run of the mill grocery store jalapenos? I use dried chipotle peppers and I like the results.

                                I would love to see the chef's take on a ribeye! I had a filet he did one time a while back...years ago. It was done with the same seasoning but it just didn't bring the bold beef flavor that the strip cut brings to the palate.

                                1. re: corvette johnny
                                  jrvedivici RE: corvette johnny Sep 4, 2012 01:04 PM

                                  I should also mention upon my last visit the manager had advised me they are opening a new restaurant tapas style next door at the physical location of the hotel.

                                  1. re: jrvedivici
                                    corvette johnny RE: jrvedivici Sep 4, 2012 07:37 PM

                                    Jr , i just got back from key west. Its good to see you are warming up to the copper canyon. As I mentioned, this place isn't for everyone. I am glad you are having some decent food there!

                                    I have not had the lamb in months so i need to try it again.

                                    Did they elaborate at all on the tapas offshoot? I always thought of their current menu as "tapas centric."

                                    Ps had some real nice dining experiences in key west :)

                                    1. re: corvette johnny
                                      jrvedivici RE: corvette johnny Sep 5, 2012 06:03 AM

                                      The conversation was rather brief about the new restaurant he just said "he and chef Mike" are opening a new place next door in the hotel based on a tapas theme. It turns out I know the manager from some past ventures so our conversation was based on catching up a bit.

                                      The steak is excellent as you had said all along. Being more of a steak purist I LOVE it without the distraction of the rub.......but that again is just me I suggest people try it and decide for themselves.

                                  2. re: corvette johnny
                                    MGZ RE: corvette johnny Sep 5, 2012 05:47 AM

                                    I don't think I have bought jalapenos from a supermarket in a few years. They don't really have much heat anymore. I find that I can still get "real" jalapenos from any one of the Mexican groceries in the area - they usually pretty cheap, as well.

                                    1. re: MGZ
                                      equal_Mark RE: MGZ Sep 5, 2012 10:45 AM

                                      Have noticed the same thing in recent years and have wondered if there was inadvertent (or deliberate) cross fertilization with TAM heatless jalapenos at the commercial growers.

                                      1. re: equal_Mark
                                        corvette johnny RE: equal_Mark Sep 6, 2012 09:32 AM

                                        yeah that was why I was asking. The ones at the local stores like stop/shop, foodtown etc don't really pack any heat.

                                        JR, so any chance you are going to back to walter mihms or are you done with that?

                                        I still need to get back to La Cipollina to try that ribeye again!

                                        1. re: corvette johnny
                                          jrvedivici RE: corvette johnny Sep 7, 2012 06:38 AM

                                          As far as a dining location I am done with Walter Mihms, there is nothing there to warrant my going back.

                                          If I'm in that area CC will is the only location I would care to patronize. The Harborside (or something similar) accross the street is a decent enough place for a cocktail or burger but that's not my kind of grub.

                                          FYI word on the street is something/one might be moving into AMA's old location soon...remember you heard it here first!!!

                                          1. re: jrvedivici
                                            corvette johnny RE: jrvedivici Sep 7, 2012 10:30 AM

                                            I had a cheeseburger the other day at the harborside and it was pretty darn good! I had not been there in while. They completely overcooked it for being "medium rare" but I really enjoyed it. Give it a shot if you haven't had one recently.

                                            @mgz, thanks for the link

                                            Hmmm, new joint at the old AMA. I am standing by for info : )

                                          2. re: corvette johnny
                                            MGZ RE: corvette johnny Sep 7, 2012 06:48 AM

                                            It was a studied and conscious effort that reduced the heat of the chiles that are sold in many supermarkets.

                                            http://news.tamus.edu/extra/2011/12/1...

                                            1. re: MGZ
                                              equal_Mark RE: MGZ Sep 7, 2012 10:55 AM

                                              Those are the TAM chiles I was referring to.

                                              1. re: equal_Mark
                                                MGZ RE: equal_Mark Sep 7, 2012 11:20 AM

                                                Yep.

                                                1. re: MGZ
                                                  corvette johnny RE: MGZ Sep 10, 2012 10:32 AM

                                                  If anyone is a beer drinker, they now have Carton Brewings "Carton Canyon" on tap. This is a new beer they made special for Copper Canyon. It is definitely a unique brew and made with blue agave extract (syrup)

                                                  I was at Carton Brewing yesterday and tried it...quite an interesting beer that should pair well with those southwest flavors there.

                                                  1. re: corvette johnny
                                                    g
                                                    gigotz RE: corvette johnny Sep 10, 2012 11:28 AM

                                                    You don't happen to know if this can be found anywhere else besides the restaurant, do you?

                                                    1. re: gigotz
                                                      corvette johnny RE: gigotz Sep 10, 2012 12:26 PM

                                                      They only have this beer at the copper canyon and obviously at the brewery which is about 2 blocks from the restaurant. They brew is specifically for the Copper Canyon.

                                                      1. re: corvette johnny
                                                        jrvedivici RE: corvette johnny Sep 13, 2012 07:11 AM

                                                        Ok so I went back last night with a buddy of mine who frequently enjoys steak dinners with me either at Char or NY. I have been telling him about this place and last night we finally had matching schedules to meet up.

                                                        Kind of quiet for a Wednesday based on my past experiences. Quick note regarding your beer comment it looked like that is the only beer they carry is that correct? I only spotted one tap which actually ran out while I was there and I got to watch the manager skillfully replace the keg. (Yes secretly I was hoping it would be a geyser moment…….I love when that happens…..well to others not to me)

                                                        Anyway…..I tried the jalapeño caeser salad….it was ehhh ok nothing special and nothing near as adventurous as I was hoping for. The romaine lettuce was way to finely chopped for my preference and the flavor was rather bland.

                                                        Of course we both ordered the steaks which as anticipated were excellent. Although as previously mentioned when ordered medium they came out medium rare again. Not a problem for me…….next time I am going to order medium well just to see how it comes out. First comment out of my buddies mouth regarding the steak was “What’s with these fries”?? lol. Something that surprised me though is he asked if he could get a side dish of risotto…..there were a few dishes offering risotto as an accompaniment. He asked the bartender if he could get a side and she said “no”. He explained….he is willing to pay for it but he would prefer something else as an accompaniment to his steak besides the fries and she still replied “no”. lol Kind of taken back we just shrugged and enjoyed the rest of the steak. Oh and just to clarify this was not the same female bartender I have had in the past....this one’s service was still good just odd with the risotto answer.

                                                        On a side note my sources tell me the old AMA location is under a new lease and will be some form of an Italian restaurant again. More details to follow. (and maybe a new thread)

                                                        1. re: jrvedivici
                                                          corvette johnny RE: jrvedivici Sep 13, 2012 08:06 AM

                                                          The Carton Canyon is the only beer on tap, correct. They do have bottles, including sawtooth ale, which is a nice brew.

                                                          Did you notice a rib eye? I was over at carton brewery and someone mentioned a ribeye. It caught my ear! LOL

                                                          I may have to go investigate that but my guess is the person was just wrong.

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