Bib Rustle

At Lobster Ranch, the main course claws its way to the top

But that's mostly all he would have heard, although I think I said something about putting a birthday candle in the lobster bisque and that the peel-and-eat shrimp (11 for 11 bucks) seemed a little high. I mean, when you see those shrimp lying there on the plate, moist, firm and sweet though they are, it's hard to see 11 bucks. The oysters, on the other hand, at a dozen for 12 bucks, seemed like a better deal, even though they are the same price. Maybe it's the fact that you get a sturdier shell with the oysters, one that you can paint and epoxy to the bottom of your pool. Or maybe it's just that stuff is cheaper by the dozen, in a perception-is-reality kind of way.

Shrimp go in other things, too, like the Rockefeller dip, a thick bowl of green ooze with chunks of shrimp and shards of bacon that gave it a smoky zest. Round chips clustered around the crock were a bit stale.

That certainly wasn't the problem with the tomato and onion salad, which resembled a salad oil tanker. A serving boat is filled roughly one-third full with oil and herb dressing into which are dunked quartered tomatoes and slivered red onions. It's all rather good, but not at all deft.

Ride 'em, lobster-boy: Sure, they look like big bugs, but Lobster Ranch's "cattle" are tasty.
Stephen Karlisch
Ride 'em, lobster-boy: Sure, they look like big bugs, but Lobster Ranch's "cattle" are tasty.

Location Info

Map

Lobster Ranch

8411 Preston Road
Dallas, TX 75225

Category: Restaurant > Seafood

Region: Park Cities

Details

214-346-0920. Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday. $$-$$$

Peel-and-eat shrimp: $11
Dozen blue point oysters: $12
Shrimp Rockefeller dip: $9
Crab cakes: $11
Ipswich steamers: $10
Tomato and onion salad: $4.50
Lotsa lobster pasta: $19
Roasted half chicken: $12
One-pound lobster: $18
Lobster and scallop kabob: $22
Halibut: $21
Pecan pie: $4

Closed Location

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The pecan pie was stiff, like axle grease thickened with cornstarch. On top was melted a sour-cream sauce. This wedge was dry and uninteresting.

What were interesting were the crab cakes. Two tiny disks, perched in a puddle of lemon-caper butter sauce, rested near a patch of greens. These cakes were not ground or minced into farina and clobbered with a buckshot blast of breadcrumbs. Rather, they were loosely adhered chunks of jumbo lump crabmeat with a barely perceptible application of panko breadcrumbs. "I just got this thing about crab cakes," Fleming says. "I don't like crab cakes all bready and kind of crackery. I want to taste the moisture of the crab."

And you do, maybe more so than any cake in the city. These are gems. But what I want to know is why there aren't more crabs on this ranch. Sure, it's hard to force a crab into a buckin' bronco logo. But you can do more with a crab than you can a lobster, like put it between a bun with the shell still on, for instance. And they go better with sausage than lobster does. Maybe it's because crabs are the swine of the sea (though some would argue that ski-dos are). And riding buckin' crabs just isn't as sexy as riding buckin' lobsters. At least not in Texas.

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