On my first visit to Copper Canyon I was impressed, not with elaborate décor, beautifully plated cuisine that you would find in an upscale restaurant which you had to wait weeks for a reservation to be available. I was impressed with the “Old School” feel of their atmosphere, the solid fundamental flavors and textures of their house-made Sausage Patties, and the warm and friendly welcome that I received by the wait staff after I entered the restaurant. For many people, even if the food is mediocre, when you are welcomed as family you feel good enough to come back and make a habit of it. As does many of the local military veterans that live in the area, as well as the ones that visit the nearby VA Medical Center, and other clinics. I loved the fact that many if not most of their customers are my Moms age, and this lead me to believe that she would love to be here as much as I did. So I did return on one occasion to pick-up a to-go box of Tilapia with Rice, Veggies, a Salad and Ice Cream. As I was leaving I had forgotten an item that I had ordered, and a member of the wait Staff ran out to catch me and alerted me of the discrepancy. Most, would’ve not even gone to the door after I had left. The Tilapia was over cooked, but that didn’t bother me too much because that is the way my mom liked it. The rice and Veggies were well prepared and well-seasoned. Not only did I like the fact that the staff gave me options, but they took the time to actually ask what my preferences were, this sealed the deal for me.
I decided to bring my mom in for breakfast yesterday, when we arrived again the staff was consistent and welcoming us which was consistent with the other visits that I had. I saw some regulars that I had seen before so I knew that this would be a regular spot for my mom and me to wind down, and for me to think when I needed to get away. My mom had their Biscuits and Gravy along with their House-made Sausage Patty, Hot Chocolate, and a Tall glass of Cold Milk. Typically a finicky eater, she eat her entire meal and then asked for a slice of Chocolate Cake! That disappeared too. I was pleased to see that she was enjoying herself. I ordered the “Whole Hog Skillet” is comes with Ham, Bacon, Sausage, tomato, Mushroom, Topped with Melted Cheese, Two Eggs (any style), and Diced Potatoes for $8.50. The dish looked impressive in the Porcelain Skillet that it arrived in. While eating I noticed that most of the dish was comprised of Diced Potatoes, but I continued with my meal and as I eat I noticed that I only had three cubes of diced tomatoes, about four or five slices of mushroom, and almost no meat at all. The cheese was barely visible but I eat what I wanted. I called for the waitress and let her know that I wanted to talk with the manager, it turns out that she was part owner. I explained my dilemma, she notified her husband and they gave me a small discount. I also spoke with the chef and showed him what I meant, but he had this smirk on his face and blamed the matter on… “The man in charge”. This is when I reviled that I was a critic (Howell, 2014), of course no one but the waitress believed me. I guess I don’t look like the typical critic! Humm, what does a critic look like? Anyway, I would suggest that if you order a skillet or any dish that is covered with other items, that you check to make sure that you recieved what was on the menu. It seems that controlling food cost is at the expense of the customer by covering up what is really expected. I am hoping that Copper Canyon can rectify their issues in the back of the house, because the front of the house is clearly supporting them.
Bacon Cheese Grits with Collard Greens Recipe
Recipe courtesy of Patrick and Gina Neely
Recipe courtesy The Neelys
Down Home with the Neelys
Yield:4 to 6 servings
Grits Side Dish Sauteing
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups whole milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup quick cooking grits
1 cup grated smoked Gouda
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Butter, to finish
Chopped chives, for garnish
1 large bundle collard greens (about 1 pound), washed well
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chicken stock
For the Grits:
Add the bacon to medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon until some of the fat is rendered. Add the onion and saute until tender and the bacon is cooked and crisp, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the chicken stock, milk, and salt and pepper, to taste, and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, gradually add the grits in a low steady stream, whisking continually. Reduce the heat to low and stir frequently until the liquid is almost absorbed and the grits are thick, about 10 minutes.
Add the smoked Gouda, whisking all the while to melt the cheese. Stir in heavy cream and butter. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper, if needed. Sprinkle with chives and serve immediately with the Collard Greens.
For the Collard Greens:
Remove and discard the tough stems and center ribs of the collard greens. Stack the leaves and roll tightly into a cylinder. Thinly slice the collards into ribbons about 1/16th of an inch thick. Repeat with any remaining collard greens.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. When the oil shimmers add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add the collard greens, toss quickly with tongs, and saute until bright green, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the chicken stock and cook until the liquid evaporates, another 2 minutes. Serve immediately with the Grits.
Howell, K. &. (2014, January 08). YELP critics must be identified, court rules in online landscape altering decision. Retrieved from Washington Times: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jan/8/court-rules-yelp-website-...