Red Horse Diner is passable diner food.

The title says it all, doesn’t it?

The first time I ate at Red Horse Diner I thought it was pretty decent diner fare. My husband and I both had sandwiches that were satisfying but nothing to blog about. The next time the sandwiches seemed a little bit less than good. The fries must be fried in the seventh circle of Hell because they’re served ungodly hot. However, once they’ve cooled enough as to not melt one’s fingernails (ew, I just grossed myself out), they taste good. I’m pretty sure they’re frozen but they’re fat and crispy and doused in seasoning so I can’t stay mad at them. I’m a sucker for fry sauce, too.

Breakfast. Why can no one in this town get breakfast right? I’m asking that question sincerely and without judgement. If you know, please tell me. I don’t get it and it makes me sad. Of the five of us who thought breakfast at Red Horse was a good idea, only the baby enjoyed his meal, which was just hash browns. Not a single egg was cooked properly and I can’t even talk about the eggs benedict. It wasn’t good, guys. Also, I couldn’t help notice that the floors seemed to have been mopped with the contents of the previous day’s grease trap.

I will gladly admit that Red Horse is bursting with the Americana charm that one expects from a restaurant that was once an old-timey gas station. Service is fast and the waitstaff is competent and likable. It’s not a bad place to go, really, but don’t expect to be amazed, and probably stick to lunch (or maybe just potatoes). A pit stop at the weed store next door might make the whole experience a lot more enjoyable though.

I just don’t have it in me tell anyone not to go to Red Horse Diner because it’s a fun place and the food isn’t terrible. So, with that I’ll say Red Horse Diner is a:

Go if...

 

Red Horse Diner,  1518 W University Way, (509) 925-1956. redhorsediner.com

WTF? Oyama Japanese Steakhouse is shockingly good.

Since moving to Ellensburg in August, I have heard many different things about Oyama Steakhouse, so my expectations weren’t clear when we took my parents there a few weeks ago. I should note that my husband is of Japanese heritage and we both grew up in places so rich with truly incredible seafood that we pretty much never order seafood unless we can practically see the ocean from where we’re sitting.  Maybe that makes us seafood snobs but I’m fine with being known as someone who prefers to not eat old fish. However, sometimes a girl gets brave and needs her sushi fix, and of course I’ll try anything once and tell you all about it, so we decided to head to Oyama on a Saturday night for dinner.

My first impression was that is was really crowded–almost always a good sign. My second thought was, “oh, that’s where the 3.2% of the population of Ellensburg that are listed as Asian on the most recent census are.” Despite the crowd and being a party of five, we were seated promptly and began poring over the menu and feeding the baby goldfish crackers to keep him happy.

We ordered some rolls and appetizers for the table. All of them were really good, especially the tempura-fried scallop with a drizzle of spicy sauce. I actually thought all of their sauces were very subtle and not the syrupy mess most Americanized Asian restaurants offer. The miso soup was similarly understated and delicious. We were all quite content with the selection of drinks offered and the service was efficient and super friendly.

For my entree I selected the sushi and sashimi combination. It came with an assortment of individual pieces of sushi, several pieces of sashimi (that’s raw fish without the rice), and a spicy tuna roll. It was all quite good. I was shocked and really, really happy. The rest of my family felt the same way about their meals. Overall, it was just a great dinner.

Alas, but nothing is perfect. I wasn’t nuts about my mom’s seafood udon noodle plate (I’m sorry for not knowing the actual name). There was nothing wrong with it, and the assorted seafood seemed quite fresh, but it just didn’t come together as anything special. She enjoyed it though, and my husband and dad’s pork tonkatsu and teriyaki chicken, respectively, were totally good. I make better teriyaki and my husband makes better pork tonkatsu but now I’m just bragging.

So, check out Oyama Japanese Steakhouse. I think it would be just as good for a casual lunch as a special dinner. It’s the best non-western food I’ve had in Ellensburg so far and we will be back again and again. Don’t go a-changin’, Oyama.

GO!

Oyama Japanese Steakhouse. 506 South Main Street, Ste 1. Ellensburg, WA 98926.  509- 933-3389

 

Ok, we’re back.

Hi, everyone (all five of you)! Sorry I haven’t posted in awhile. My excuses are weak but include being busy with out of town guests and my tiny baby turning 1, my computer acting a fool, and being lazy. All but one of those has passed but I’ll overcome my laziness and continue to write restaurant reviews that almost literally no one reads, because I’m selfless like that. Onward!