Matt and I are no strangers to Ale Houses here in central Florida, so when we visited recently, I decided to try something new. The Southwest Bistro Steak Salad has been on the menu for a while, but I finally decided to give it a try. The salad consists of “marinated thin sliced beef over fresh greens with Monterrey Jack and cheddar cheeses, tomatoes, cucumbers, black beans and corn tossed in vinaigrette dressing and topped with fried onions and bistro sauce.” Wow, that’s a lot going on there!
The salad was quite large, and there was a good amount of steak on it, hiding underneath those fried onions. The “marinade” used on the steak tasted exactly like A.1., and Matt agreed. The steak strips were also surprisingly tender.
The bistro sauce has a little kick to it, and it was more prominent (and plentiful) here on the salad than it is on the Bistro Burger I’ve had in the past. It gets lost on the burger. I would have liked to see more fried onions, and they tended to get soggy when they’d fall into the salad (which would be expected). There weren’t a lot of beans or corn, but I didn’t mind. The vinaigrette was a little on the bland side. I would have preferred to use the bistro sauce as the dressing. Also, the “mixed greens” were iceberg lettuce and radicchio, which I think attributed to the vinaigrette tasting bland and watered down. Using a spring mix with heartier leaves could have been a benefit to this salad.
The salad was a good value considering the amount of steak on it (I believe it was $8.95), and being a huge fan of A.1. sauce, the flavor was a win for me (and no, I don’t go to places like Yachtsman or Shula’s and ask for it ). Having a good experience trying a new-to-me item like this will make me more likely to stray from my normal order of wings, Caesar salad, or French onion soup in the future. While I had this particular salad at the Hunter’s Creek location, Ale House’s menu is standardized and you will be able to find it at the Lake Buena Vista location off of County Road 535 near Downtown Disney.
EDIT! 6.16.11: I thought I was crazy, but I remembered seeing on the menu that the salad was supposed to have “fire roasted red & green peppers”. And there were maybe three or four bits of them throughout the salad. Reading the website’s menu, perhaps they are nixing them in the future: