The County Line – Albuquerque, NM

by Nick
Categories: Bar, BBQ, Chain, Restaurant Reviews
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Comments: 1 Comment
Published on: April 28, 2010

When I was a kid, I remember going to the County Line with my family.  It was always a wonderful time, all the food I could eat, and as a growing young man who didn’t care for vegetables, this was the perfect solution.  An all you can eat buffet of Chicken, Beef and Pork Ribs, Brisket, Sausage and Turkey.  We didn’t have any Turkey because my Mom has never quite been the fan. 

It was a great deal for my parents too, with three boys who could eat mountains of roast beast, we frequented ‘All you can eat’ places.  It wasn’t often, but this was one of our favorites. 

So tonight a friend of mine sends a text, County Line it’s decided, we’ll just eat at the bar.  It’s amazing the number of bars I frequent for someone who doesn’t drink.  To start with, the location is amazing.  Maybe not the most amazing place to get to, but the view is spectacular.  Make sure you sit on one side of the building or the other, mountains, or city. 

Front

So I grow up, eventually it’s time for me to buy my own dinner.  It’s not just all you can eat, any combination in any amount of meat is available.  And YES, there are vegetarian options, though I imagine they are grilled on the same grill as the rest of the meat, so how vegetarian is it REALLY?  You’ll have to ask the Chefs.

The first thing I noticed when I sat down, which having never sat in the bar before, the tables.  They are made for drinking, not eating, just a little more than the size of dinner plate.  Two glasses of water the size of small buckets, 2 pairs of glasses, a phone and a napkin, the table is completely full.  It will be interesting to fit 5 people on 2 itty bitty tables. 

CheeseballsThe menu hasn’t change in 20 years, except for the things that have changed, like the garlic mashed potatoes and Fried Pepper Jack Cheese Bites.  I’m a big fan of Pepper Jack, so of COURSE I’m going to try those.  They are pretty good, bite size, slightly spicy, but not overly so.  Golden brown and crispy on the outside, melty gooey on the inside, the texture of the cheese was a little strange, but not so much that I wouldn’t order them again and again.  

Plate one comes, my girlfriends Salmon and there you go, more than half the table is now full.  We somehow manage to pack on the cheese bits, a salad and my wonderful plate of deliciousness, the combo platter.  Two meats and two sides.  Peppered turkey, sausage, garlic mashed potatoes and today’s veggie of the day, corn on the cob.  As with almost all turkey, it’s a little on the dry side, but packed with an amount of flavor that would never be possible in a home kitchen.  How?  How do they do that?  That is not for me to know, just for me to enjoy.  Sausage was alright, the casing a little tougher than I’d like, but tender on the inside and a good touch of spice. 

Food2 Now the reason I go in the first place, garlic mashed potatoes.  They’ve changed over the years, but I’m happy to say the flavor is back to what I remember.  Chunkier than once before, but that’s a good thing.  It’s like the grew up with me.  As a kid lumpy mashed potatoes would have been completely offensive. 

Overall the service was a bit lacking.  If you want dinner, don’t sit at the bar.  The food may not be the best out there, but it’s good and if you get the right seat, you can’t beat the view. 

View 

Ok, best for last, dessert.  Me and my sweet tooth have to tell you about the ice cream.  I love ice cream, I also love vanilla and I think this is the place that started it.  As with everything else the ice cream has changed, but the vanilla bean ice cream is still the best.  It’s woody like a vanilla bean, with a deep earthy flavor.  If you thought vanilla only came in a bottle and measured by the ounce, then you’ve never tried true vanilla.  This has the flavor you are used to as well though, a LOT of it.  It’s almost like they instead of a teaspoon, they used a quarter cup.  This is the best ice cream ever, I’ve yet to find another with as much flavor.  And yes, when it comes to vanilla, I really do what to be slapped in the face with it’s potency.  You can almost never have too much. 

So where is the picture?  Well, I ate it before I had a chance.  After I took a bite, I just couldn’t stop.  I highly suggest you go get a bowl of your own.  Maybe you can take a picture for me and send it to me to post. 


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