Northborough – Going out for lunch becomes a pleasure when your destination is C.J.’s Steakloft, where for a reasonable price, you get terrific food in a cozy setting.
Recently, my husband and I stopped in for a late lunch. We got the typical warm greeting and were seated at one of the dark-paneled booths, lit with its own hanging lamp. The extensive lunch menu is supplemented by several specials, making decisions even more difficult.
Our server, prompt and pleasant, brought us coff ee ($1.75 each) quickly, but urged us to take our time making up our minds. So we lingered a bit over the fresh coff ee, served in glass mugs.
Finally, I decided on one of the specials, a hot roast beef sandwich with au jus and mashed potatoes ($7.95), while my husband tried the pastrami melt ($6.95). As usual, we planned to split the sandwiches, so we could each enjoy both meals!
My sandwich came on a thick, chewy, Tuscan-style roll that was a perfect complement to the mound of perfectly-cooked and thinly-sliced roast beef. The au jus was amazing, a thick, rich gravy that reminded me of beef bourguignon. And, as usual, the presentation was lovely, with a healthy serving of smoothly mashed potatoes dusted with fresh parsley and dark green kale decorated with a wedge of fresh pineapple.
The pastrami sandwich was served on the same type of sturdy but delectable roll. The Swiss cheese melted into the tasty pastrami in a flavorful blend that made me happy we decided to share . My husband enjoyed the au jus so much he used it to dunk some of the hefty, seasoned Steakloft fries. Those crisp potato planks are delicious alone, but even tastier with the au jus, and that’s saying something.
One thing I enjoy about the Steakloft in particular is the privacy the booths provide. A quick afternoon lunch feels a little more like a date when you enjoy it in the walls of a quiet booth, with soft lighting and attentive – but never intrusive – service.
We enjoyed our meal so much that we decided to continue it with dessert. One of the homemade options that I had yet to try was the apple crisp ($4.25). Our server off ered to add ice cream or whipped cream, but we decided to go with the simplest version: apple crisp alone. So with coff ee from yet another freshly made pot, we enjoyed the thick slices of apple drenched with a cinnamon-sugar sauce and a tasty crisp topping. The large serving came in a sundae dish with two spoons, again with the presentation style so evident in everything the Steakloft serves.
The Steakloft, at 396 Main St., Northborough, is open Tuesday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Saturday through Monday, 4 to 11 p.m. For more information, visit www.thesteakloft.tripod.com or call 508-393-3459.
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