Flatiron Lunch: Rodeo’s Bar Lunch with a Side of Honky Tonk
Every Friday we go south of the ML boundaries in search of a delicious lunch. Sometimes it’s Murray Hill south or the Flatiron District, sometimes Gramercy and everything in between- but we just like to call it Flatiron Lunch.
Rodeo Bar has always intrigued me, with live music and honky tonk decor. But, the fear of it being like Brother Jimmy’s kept me away all these years…until recently.
This type of lunch specials menu is normally all it takes to draw me in.
Since one photo wouldn’t capture the vibe of the decor.
I had to take a photo of this amazing chandelier. I’m pretty sure it won’t work with my average height ceilings, but a girl can dream.
And the space is filled with old signs (or at least signs made to look old), and slogans like “make beans not war”. I mean, they are good for your heart so that must help peace. And free peanuts!
Basically, Rodeo has a very laid back atmosphere during lunch. Elvis playing from the speakers (sorry, no live music during the day.) My recommendation is to go with co-workers whose company you actually enjoy – I think you are going to want to sit and chat.
A basket of warm tortilla chips with salsa came out right away and sealed the deal for me. No matter how the food was, I would keep coming back to try more things based on that one serving of chips and salsa. Anyone who knows me well knows that a basket of tortilla chips and salsa is a dangerous proposition. It definitely impacted my ability to finish my meal. (This photo is the “before” I did my damage.)
On my first visit, I ate in house and went for burger and beer ($8.95). It was an extra dollar to add cheddar, which seems fair. They asked how I wanted the burger cooked – medium. The cold Coors Light got me ready to enjoy the burger when it arrived (you also have the option of one other beer, which I think was PBR). The cheeseburger was good and on par with other burgers from a bar. It isn’t making a list of top burgers in New York, but I probably would have finished it if it wasn’t for all of the chips I already ate.
The bun had a nice char to the bottom, adding an additional level of flavor. The fries weren’t great, but perhaps it was because I filled up on chips and salsa, but really it was because they weren’t crispy.
On my next visit, I ordered the fried catfish sandwich to go. In addition to my take out order lacking chips and salsa, the sandwich needed lettuce or something…anything. It was all-round too bland and had a faint taste of freezer burn. When I added hot sauce at my desk that helped a little, but what doesn’t hot sauce help?
It came with a significant serving of fries, but they were the same fries I didn’t care for on my previous visit.
THE + (What people who like this place will say)
- They had me at warm chips and salsa.
- Respectable burger and cold beer.
- I might start stealing decor elements from Rodeo.
THE – (What people who don’t like this place will say)
- Completely unenjoyable catfish sandwich.
- Disappointing and not crispy fries.
- This place is tacky looking.
Rodeo Bar , 375 3rd Avenue at the corner of 27th Street, (212) 683-6500