Friday, February 20, 2009

Ken Martin’s Safari Grill – Bryan, TX

Chicken Fried Road Trip: College Station (Part 2 of 3)

Seeking sustenance after a long day, I journeyed to Ken Martin’s Safari Grill. With only hunger as my guide, I sought to eat a third CFS in as many days. The place is tucked away in north Bryan in a grouping of office buildings and apartments.

There isn’t anything particularly “safari” about the restaurant other than the fact that the booths have a jungle animal print and the walls are staked with occasional tiki torches. The menu is pretty standard diner/café fare– no exotic animals available on the menu.

The CFS: Not good. The steak had a bit of an odd odor and the taste was a bit off. The steak was sufficiently juicy and chewy but the flavor was just not right, so I chose not to finish it. It also appeared to be pre-cooked and came out to my table minutes (say, six) after I ordered it. So, either my reputation had preceded me or it was ready to go even if I had come in hours earlier.
Breading: Southern style. It was a little hard, making it difficult to cut properly. The taste was fine but nothing memorable.

Gravy: The pride of the house, according to the waiter. It was yellow (yellow like the yellow sunset picture on the menu, according to my waiter). But, it was flavorless (like the sunset picture on the menu). I’ve had yellow gravy before which was good, but this version was not good. It was nearly tasteless and added virtually nothing to the dish.

Knife: A more sizable steak knife was brought – useful for cutting through the tough outer shell of the breading.

Sides: Choose two – I chose the green beans and mashed potatoes. The beans were from a can and a bit on the soggy side (even for beans from a can). The potatoes were actually pretty good, lumpy, well seasoned and the hint of an occasional skin. But, they were slathered with the infamous yellow gravy, making them less appealing. Still, after abandoning my CFS, I happily finished my starch.

Cost: $ 6.99 plus a dinner salad for $ 1.99. Not a bad price (if the food were good).

Service: Very nice! My waiter was helpful, efficient, gracious and enthusiastic. It’s not his fault the food was bad. I felt bad knowing I would write a bad review, so I tipped him big (also it occurred to me that they wouldn’t be in business much longer).

Music Selection: None.

No sense dwelling on it, but this was the worst CFS of my still young quest. I’ve never been on safari, but if this is the food one receives, I’m happy to stay in Houston.

3231 E. 29th St.; Bryan, TX 77802
(979) 776-7500


Ken Martin said...

Dear friend, I'm sorry you were disappointed with our chicken fried steak and homemade gray. This is my 40th year serving folks in the Brazos Valley and am grateful they have been more pleased than you. Our cutlets are fresh from Ruffino Meats and hand breaded every day and our gravy made from scratch, making our own rue and using chicken base and seasonings. You didn't mention it but I hope you got one of our hot, homemade rolls to sop up the gravy with; most folks really enjoy these! Nonetheless, I am sorry for your disappointment but glad you got good service; we work hard on that, too.Please come in again. Feel free to ask for me or my manager, Joe Ruiz, who has been with me 38 years. Sincerely, ken martin

Chicken Fried Texan said...

Many thanks for your gracious note. On your recommendation I will come back when next in BCS. I'll write a follow up review afterwards.

maskedhobo said...

We eat here every time my parents are down and it is never bad food. I always get the fish and CFS. I am guessing the cook may have had an off day. When we eat there it is always a good experience, oh and they have some good sweet tea, it isn't too sweet or too bland. Feel free to contact me next time you are in town. I work down the road from Ken Martin's.

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