Several calls and e-mails came in response to “The Dish's” plea for information about Ron's Camino Real but the best one was a voicemail message from Ron himself. “I was looking at the current Alibi and you ... were wondering about Ron's Camino Real,” he said. “Well, I'm Ron Camden and that was my place for 27 years. Heck, now that I'm unemployed I could use a free meal! So if you're giving out gift certificates I'll tell you the story.” It turns out that Ron's had been struggling for years, trying to battle competition from other restaurants and chains closer to the University. Being four blocks south of Central, Ron said, was just far enough to make people want to drive but more and more he thinks folks were simply unwilling to drive to lunch and risk losing precious University area parking spots.
Ranchers Club (inside the Hilton Hotel at University and Menaul) has debuted a new fall/winter menu that features an eight-ounce filet of Kobe beef. The meat is supposed to be some of the world's most tender and flavorful. Interested? You'll pay $60 for the pleasure. Also on the new menu is a filet of ostrich with cranberry bread pudding, braised fennel and a reduction of port and quince marmalade. Sounds decadent.
Having carbohydrate withdrawal in the Northeast Heights? There is now a second location of Nothing But Noodles on the NW corner of Wyoming and Academy, next to Borders. Open from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. every day, Nothing But Noodles serves heaps of noodles in a wide range of styles and flavors, from udon to fettuccine. If you like pasta, you'll love this place.
Ambrozia will no longer be serving lunch after Thanksgiving. If you loved eating lunch there because it was outrageously cheap for such delectable food (bison rib-eye steak and cheese?) and because it was never so busy that you couldn't hear your dining companions, then you might already know why they decided to focus on their busy dinner clientele. In the wake of another popular restaurant's decision to quit doing lunch (Scalo), one might ask, “What's going on?”. Could it be that Americans have completely given up on lunch? Are we so focused on work that we would rather eat greasy burgers at our desks than take a real break, eat real food and have meaningful conversations with people we like? Are we sure that kind of life is worth living? Just a thought.