Southern Comfort: Rodeo’s dishes will make you say ’Yeeee-haw’
Rodeo Restaurant & Bar is bringing some southern charm to Wilton Drive. Open for lunch and dinner, the new establishment specializes in Southwestern, Tex-Mex, Barbeque, and Cajun/Creole dishes. With that variety, it is definitely hard to choose just one dish from their menu.
I went there a few Tuesdays ago for dinner with my favorite dining companion, John. He is a lover of anything carnivorous and especially adores barbecue and Cajun dishes. He had been waiting for Rodeo to open ever since we saw an ad months ago declaring its specialties.
When we entered, we were impressed by how large the restaurant is. With its original terrazzo flooring and attractive woodsy interior, Rodeo is a very handsome, manly restaurant.
We sat by the front window and ordered iced teas to keep with the relaxing Southern vibe. There was a nice crowd there for a Tuesday night and there were several guys hanging out by the bar, which has a large variety of specialty beers and creative cocktails like a Winarita and a Beergarita.
John and I met Rodeo’s co-owner Trent Baker, who told us that he is originally from Beaumont, Texas. He said that the menu items were inspired from what he ate growing up. Beaumont, located outside Houston, is only minutes away from Louisiana, so Baker grew up with a delicious variety of food types. When we were trying to choose an appetizer, he recommended Fried Green Tomatoes ($10.25), which were lightly breaded in a corn-tasting coating and topped with lump crab meat and a remoulade sauce. They were very light tasting and not greasy at all.
Another appetizer that looked phenomenal to us was the Mac & Cheese Trio - sharp cheddar & bacon, smoked gouda and southwestern spiced macaroni ($10.55) - we decided that it’s definitely something we will sample on our next visit.
We then ordered some of their soup ($5.25 a bowl) - I tried their Chipotle Chicken Soup and John ordered their Gumbo. John, who is not much of a soup person, really enjoyed the flavors in his Gumbo. I am a soupaholic and completely loved their Chipotle Chicken Soup, it had a nice kick to it and fantastic flavor.
Our server Brittney was very knowledgeable about the menu and was great about recommendations for our main course. If it wasn’t for her, we might still be sitting there trying to decide because there was so much on the menu that sounded enticing. Rodeo has a variety of sandwiches (including a catfish po’boy!), burgers and amazing entrees like Chicken Fried Steak and Shrimp & Grits. I went with Brittney’s enthusiastic recommendation for Southern Pecan Chicken ($14.25), which was molasses chicken with pecan-honey sauce, green bean casserole, roasted corn on the cob and molasses butter.
She didn’t steer me wrong - the roasted corn and molasses butter alone was reason enough to order this dish! That fantastic sidedish, along with a serving of comforting green bean casserole and tasty chicken in a sweet and savory sauce, was amazing and I highly recommend it.
John is a burger fiend, so, of course, he had to try Rodeo’s Tex Mex Burger ($11.95) which is chorizo & beef, with an avocado spread and chili con queso with a side of sweet potato tater tots. All burgers are cooked medium unless otherwise specified and their patties contain a small amount of ground pork. John said his burger was juicy and flavorful and he loved the unique sweet potato tater tots.
For dessert, we split a piece of Key Lime Pie, which was a perfect combination of sweetness and tart and a fantastic way to end our experience at Rodeo.
With its variety of delicious dishes and its handsome interior design, this welcome addition to The Drive is a Rodeo you won’t want to miss.
2033 Wilton Drive
Wilton Manors, FL 33305