From its classy-but-warmly-Texan outpost on Loop 1604, Roaring Fork attracts crowds despite remaining a relatively underwhelming eating experience.
You’ll no doubt hear much about the “Big-Ass Burger,” which about two-thirds of diners seem to be eating at any given moment. Although it’s not one of the top burgers in town, it’s pretty good-ass (or at least decent-ass). The beef is juicy and wisely paired with bacon, cheddar, and more.
The bread basket is a treasure, with crisply crusted baguettes and currant-laden cornbread muffins. Green chile pork stew is served in its own cast-iron crockpot. It’s also hard to go wrong with white-wine-and-jack-cheese fondue, although its dipping partners—lamb chops and pumpkin—seem a bit too upmarket. Salads have always been a strong suit here; good news if you aren’t into all that cheesy meat.
As the menu gets more complex, it gets less successful. Our favorite mains are grilled and roasted meats such as the luscious pork shoulder “carnitas.” But seafood underwhelms, drowned in intensely flavored sauces like teriyaki-BBQ. Ribs, depending on your luck, can be tough and dry or divine. The wines are of the expense account genre—another reason we’d really only recommend dining here at happy hour (4–7 daily).
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