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Angus Barn in Raleigh What to have and what to avoid

Anyone here been plenty of times to know what items they do well and what they don't? Please don't just say steak.

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  1. My father is a steak and potatoes kind of guy so we took him there for his birthday a couple years ago. We were all in agreement that while nothing was bad it certainly wasn't worth the money we spent. The few times I've been there over the last 25ish years thought the service has always been great but if you're strictly after a great steak you can do better elsewhere. Just my.02. My dad much prefers the steak entrees at Vin Rouge.

    8 Replies
    1. re: LBD

      I've never been to the Angus Barn and it was on a list of father's day choices my wife asked me to give her. Should I politely ask to go to another place or would that be rude? I just haven't been so it was like "well we've never been lets see what the hoopla is about".

      1. re: burgeoningfoodie

        LulusDad would agree with LBD about the steak at Vin Rouge vs. the steak at Angus Barn. I've never had either, so can't really say myself, but of course I trust my husband. Was Bin 54 not one of your options? That is definitely a special occasion place (price-wise) for a good steak.

        1. re: LulusMom

          Naw I didn't think about it. Guess I should have. What do you get at B54 when you go for entree?

          1. re: burgeoningfoodie

            Normally what I do is go during the happy hour special (M-Th during happy hour time) and sit at the bar. All apps are half price. I love the tuna tartar, and pretty much always get that. Another thing I often get is the truffled mac and cheese (which isn't an appetizer but a side, and is not half price). Lulu likes the sliders and the cheese plate which are *more* than enough for her (and I'd guess for most of us). They also have a crabcake and I believe lobster gnocchi as apps that are more than serviceable (although the crabcake isn't totally up to Ches. bay standards). Lots of nice wines by the glass, although I'm guessing this doesn't appeal so much to you, and a very nice, clubby, steakhouse atmosphere.

        2. re: burgeoningfoodie

          I think we need to scrutinize this "list of father's day choices my wife asked me to give her" :-).

          They are famous for their wine list, and if you are in the market for Romanee Conti Burgundy you will pay less there than in the retail market.

          1. re: D R C

            Neither of us drink alcohol. Oh I had Stanbury, One, and Little Hen since two of those I hadn't been to and one of them I hadn't been to in a long time.

            1. re: burgeoningfoodie

              Cool! I still need to try Little Hen sometime.

              1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                I've never even heard of Little Hen. What have I been missing out on??

        3. I haven't been there for many many moons (I was taken there for high school prom...as a vegetarian no less (!), so my opinion on their food cannot be stated) however I do know that one of my favorite pastured meat producers (Ray Family Farms out of Bunn, NC) recently started supplying pork to the Angus Barn. Even though they're a primary beef restaurant, I might consider ordering pork because of this if I went.

          1. Here are some thoughts that myself and others had about Angus Barn somewhat recently.

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8647...

            I'll also add that, in the steakhouse category, my experiences at Bin 54 far exceeded those I had The Angus Barn.

            1. I like your list with AB, Stanbury, One, etc. As you'll note in the thread that Tooth Tooth sent, I'm a big fan (and defender here) of the Angus Barn and really do think it worth a visit for those in the area. Not sure I'm qualified to judge who has the best steak but I think AB does a nice job, service is great and the whole thing is I think a worthwhile experience even if you don't go back.

              To answer your specific question, I typically get the same thing there so have not tried all the various menu items will share my advice. First, one thing I like about AB is that each steak / meal comes with a choice of soup or salad and choice of potato, etc. My general advice on the salad if helpful for future reference is I prefer the spinach salad to the regular garden salad because I always prefer that but particularly like the warm poppy seed dressing they bring in a little cup; I also like the wooden bowls they serve the salads in. The french onion soup is good but I really prefer just a salad given all the other food you're likely to be eating.

              I always end up getting the regular baked potato. The stuffed potato is very good and would be my next choice but then I'm a traditionalist. I've never had their french fries or onion rings.

              For the entree, I prefer the single steaks (rib eye or ny strip) to the chateaubriand although the cb is very good and comes with lots of vegetables and some extra presentation. (Note, I've only ever gotten the cb that is split among two people as that used to be the only way to get it--i think they now offer it for one but I haven't tried.)

              I did try the prime rib once (special i think) and it was good but I regretted not getting a steak. I've been with others who got ribs--they said they were good but didn't rave about them so I think probably hard to go very wrong with any choice but I'd recommend the rib eye.

              I'm not a huge dessert fan but they have all been really good. I'd say the chocolate chess pie is the best and is justly famous but others are good too. We usually get a slice of the chocolate chess and an apple crisp for the table to share when with my family.

              As others have mentioned, the wine choices are great so if you have an interest in that, there are tons of choices.

              One thing to think about is skipping the main dining room and just eating at the Wild Turkey Lounge as that can often be a faster and easier seat. You can get steaks there in addition to sandwiches and I think the steaks there are a little less expensive (don't think they include the salad).

              On a somewhat related topic, my sons took me to Bin 54 for fathers day as that was at the top of my list as I had not been for steak there. We had a very good meal and the steak was great but I did not find it any better than the AB. It was right there with the AB quality-wise but I was not blown away and did not leave feeling the AB paled in comparison meat-wise. The atmosphere was very nice and very different of course from the AB but I think both serve their purpose depending on what you are looking for. I got the bone-in rib eye, other son got the hangar steak and youngest got a small filet. We all got to sample each others steaks so I think I got a pretty good feel for the steaks at Bin 54. The filet really did almost melt in your mouth but my favorite taste wise was my bone-in rib eye. The hangar steak was ok too but I wasn't all that impressed with it. The salads and sides we got at Bin 54 (grits / mashed potatoes) were good but nothing special really and I sort of missed the old school salad and potato being included with each steak. My wife got a vermillion snapper special which she did not really care for. She said it was "fine" but not worth the money. One thing that is a constant between both AB and Bin 54 is that it will be expensive.

              To be perfectly honest, the best steak I've had in NC in recent memory was one that I got at the Bistro by the Sea in Morehead City a couple of years ago. I'd put that one steak above Bin 54 and Angus Barn but I've unfortunately not been back there so not sure whether that was just a lucky night or they are always that good. Sounds like I need to try Vin Rouge next.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Guilty Gourmand

                I'll back up your wife - the seafood entrees at Bin 54 are not their strong point. I've found the fish is normally over-cooked (even when I specifically ask that it not be).

                1. re: LulusMom

                  Thanks. She doesn't eat red meat so takes one for the team generally when we eat at steak houses. I feel badly though because I basically talked her into the snapper over something else (maybe vegetable gnocchi?) that she probably would have enjoyed more. She did enjoy the beet salad as did the rest of us--wow, they put a lot of beets on that thing.

                  1. re: Guilty Gourmand

                    I eat *very* little red meat, so when we go I find other things too. Probably it was the lobster gnocchi which is on the appetizer menu but is a pretty good size dish (especially with a salad on the side).

                    I feel like every restaurant in town serves a salad with chevre and beets.

              2. I haven't been to the Angus Barn in years - not since my Dad died. We used to go there when he was in town on business.

                I always got their prime rib - fabulous - I loved it! And a salad and stuffed potato. No dessert for me but oftentimes would get some type of after dinner drink.

                I'd love to go back and try it again sometime but haven't. I don't get all the bad posts you see about the place - I loved it.

                1. Just wanted to let you all know that I'm not looking for the best steak in town. It was just a place I'd not been to since I've been in the area (since I've lived all my life in NC).. of course I still want to go to Peter Luger's or the like in NY.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                    My guess from everything I've heard is that PL's would be leaps and bounds better (even if its better days are somewhat behind it).

                    Considered Black House? Mateo? We went to both in the last few weeks and both were excellent meals.

                    1. re: LulusMom

                      I think I would consider Black House and Piedmont over Mateo since I've been recently.

                      1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                        If you make it to Piedmont I'd love to hear about it. We haven't been in years, and I'm wondering how real the resurgence is.

                        We were at Mateo two weeks ago; if my husband suggested it for date night this weekend I'd be on it like a big dog.

                  2. I've always liked their cowboy ribeye. If this weren't a high class restaurant I'd have eaten the steak caveman style.

                    I heard their checkered board pie is good.

                    1. Their chocolate chess pie is a big favorite. It's an extremely pricey restaurant, for what that's worth.

                      1. Angus Barn is about the experience. Sit in the turkey lounge, get the spinach salad and the beef of your choice and soak in the atmosphere. The chocolate chess pie warmed a la mode is tremendous as is the blackberry cobbler. It is an institution and you should go.

                        1. We lived in Raleigh for almost ten years, in Fort Mill SC. now, but you can't go wrong with the prime rib, perfect every time. And the creme brulee'
                          We took our oldest daughter there to celebrate her 12th birthday. She mentioned to our server that she wanted to be a chef and he took her back into the kitchen and let her decorate her birthday cake. get service every time we've been.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: uneed2eat

                            Ugh I hate creme brulee.. not the actual dessert but because everyone has creme brulee around here it seem or at least that used to be the case. It's like the molten lava chocolate cakes.. Like oooo we are fancy and expensive(ish) and our desserts include creme brulee and a chocolate molten lava cake.. how creative :-p

                            1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                              Desserts, like most anything are market driven. These items are on the menu because that's what many people want.

                              I know several pastry chefs who would love to be able to expand their dessert menu but the sales figures just don't support it. They are creative as hell but the offerings that are less familiar don't sell as well.

                              The Angus Barn has lasted a long time partly because of smart management decisions. Their menu is a good primer on what works in this area for that type of niche.

                              1. re: meatn3

                                Wife has set up to have try the Chef's Table.

                          2. I'm not a big fan of desserts, I rarely order them, I just know that the Angus Barn has really good creme brulee.