James Ranch Grill
Review by: Jess Dawson
Memorable | One of the Best
Driving into James Ranch, we feel like we’re pulling up to a friend’s house. In the distance are 400 acres of picturesque green pastures where cattle roam. Nearby are the farm’s chickens, which eat grass and grasshoppers for bright yellow yolks. There are also the pigs, which eat roots, grass and legumes as well as whey, making them extra tender. The Grill sources its main regenerative ingredients from the ranch itself, and for anything that doesn’t grow on the property, they turn to local farmers they know and trust. This is the freshest farm-to-table you can get.
Table on the farm
At the front, we walk up to the window, where you place your order next to Ghost and Buster. These two playful goats have a tendency to snatch cowboy hats and snuggle up to the children who come say hi. We find a place to sit on the lawn just past the restaurant. Here, families, friends and children are already relaxing with their own plates.
The tastiest, freshest burger
The grass-fed Angus cattle are raised on the ranch, and have been since 1991. Every day, they rotate to fresh grass and irrigated pastures to get the highest-quality feed. This results in rich, deeply flavorful meat in the Signature Burger. The toasted brioche bun is from Serious Delights, a local bakery that crafts its bread from organic whole wheat flour and farm-plucked eggs.
Next to the burger, the Winter Veggie Burger with grilled summer squash is not quite as flavorful, but simple and fresh. Beneath it are greens, caramelized onions, tomato and a rosemary garlic aioli. On top is a Belford cheese that is made by Dan James 10 yards from the restaurant. He uses milk from the Jersey cows we can see from our spot. It’s aged between three and 12 months, making it rich and creamy.
We also get the the Beet Salad with Goat Cheese, which has both raw golden beets and cooked red beets. There’s a tangy apple cider vinaigrette and sunflower sprouts, but the main event is the dollop of goat cheese from either Ghost or Buster.
Continue the experience at home
On our way out, we dip into the farm store, where they serve fresh produce, salsas, jams, goat cheese, sausage, beef, bone marrow and more. It’s a delightful way to continue the experience away from the Ranch.
For dessert, we grab three wrapped goodies to go. The huge ginger molasses cookie is chewy and rich. Then there’s a Cowboy Cookie with pecans and a Cheesecake Brownie with crisp edges. The desserts are amazing, but it’s the experience that really captivates us. It’s quite a revelation to eat the freshest farm-to-table food from animals and pastures that surround your dining table.
|Meals Served||Lunch, Dinner, Dessert|
|Credit Cards Accepted||Yes|