Harris Ranch

Written by on March 1, 2011 in I Eat America, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

(harrisranch.com) – Coalinga, California

How I heard of this place: From the time I was eight years old and my family moved to Bellingham, Washington from Orange County, California, we have made numerous road trips back and forth between the two cities in order to enjoy the company of family and friends in the Los Angeles area. On most all of these occasions, my parents would stop at the Harris Ranch Restaurant for lunch, dinner or a quick snack and pit stop. This occasion, although my parents were not there, was no different.

Type of cuisine: The restaurant opened up on the thousands of acres owned by the Harris family since 1937. Originally growing primarily cotton and grain, Harris Ranch now also produces a wide variety of vegetables, fruit and nut crops – about thirty-three in all. These include everything from carrots, lettuce, garlic, onions, tomatoes, and melons to oranges, lemons, walnuts, almonds, and wine grapes. Today Harris Farms is one of the largest integrated farming operations in the Central San Joaquin Valley which is one of the largest and most productive farming regions in the world. The Harris Family has always taken great pride in their crops and their beef, and raised both to be as pure and great tasting as nature intended.” The food is no different, offering hearty meals including Tex-Mex inspired dishes (beef nachos and cajun filet tail), as well as specialties like their Mountain Oysters and grilled crab cakes, fried green beans and spinach & artichoke dip. For the main entree, patrons are invited to enjoy large portions of flank steak over a Caesar salad, grilled farm fresh vegetables, soups & chilis, pot roast, tri-tip, liver & onions, fish n’ chips, turkey wraps, chicken sandwiches, hamburgers, flatbread pizzas, pasta and a plethora of steak options. “Known as the home of great tasting and nutritional beef that is aged to tender perfection, the Harris Ranch Beef Company is part of the Harris Farms group of companies. For nearly 50 years, Harris Ranch has raised natural, grain-fed beef that’s always tender, well marbled and delicious. That’s why from one generation to the next, people who know great beef say Harris Ranch beef is the best you can buy.”

Ambiance: The Wild West! A family venue with a southwestern feel, the Inn & Country Store welcomes patrons into a large, cobble-stoned area, with large cow-hide chairs and couches. Making your way to the right, one walks down a long hallway, ending at the restaurant, where you are greeted immediately, and seated as soon as space is available in the large dining area. Large booths line the restaurant and families, groups of men bonding over lunch and many other diners can be found with hands full of food, plates piled high and smiles on their faces!

What I ordered: Knowing we were about to make this stop at Harris Ranch, I prepared myself for the flank steak salad, something I have not eaten in at least four years! We were offered, first two freshly baked cheese rolls, soft and warm, with whipped butter. I selected the Horseradish Flank Caesar ($13.95) and my dining companion ordered the 14-ounce Ribeye Steak ($29.95), which was served with farm fresh vegetables (broccoli and carrots), garlic mashed red-skin potatoes and choice of soup or salad. He chose the baked onion soup with a large fried herb-cheese ravioli (typically $4.95). Even though it seemed the meals were so large we could not even take one more bite, we had to check out the dessert menu; off of which we ordered the Brownie Cheesecake ($5.95) with white chocolate peppermint ice cream on the side.

What I loved: I loved the horseradish-flavored Caesar dressing on my salad. My favorite of the meal, however, was the warm, fresh cheese rolls dipped into the flavorful onion soup.

Why I loved it: Most of all, I love the Harris Ranch Restaurant for the memories. I cannot remember a time my family has not stopped there on a road trip to California. It was especially nice to share the experience with a good friend. I love the food, the friendly staff, the largeness of everything associated with Harris Ranch and the happy stomach on the way out.

Cost: Average to high ($10-$30 per entree)

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