HeraldStandard.com and the Phantom Diner would like to thank Pechin Firehouse Restaurant for sponsoring this column. Be sure to stop by Pechin Firehouse Restaurant for some great flame broiled flavor.
The Phantom Diner received an email from Braxton Stedman, Head Executive Chef, Sweeney’s Steakhouse a couple of weeks ago requesting a visit. Sweeney’s is located right off Route 51 on Rostraver Rd. just past the Rostraver Shopping Center. I’ve been to Sweeney’s several times before but never in the Hardy Dining Room. When I first walked in, the decent sized dining room opened up to a very high ceiling that followed the roof in an awkward vaulted ceiling and a rather large chandelier in the middle of the room that reminded me of a tree spreading its limbs. Everywhere I looked there was another photo of Joe Hardy and Debra Hardy with their friends and family. The cherry wine wall color went well with the stone wall accents and jazz inspired upholstery.
I was greeted and seated by both my hostess and waitress immediately into an almost empty dining room where my waitress quickly took my drink order. With Pepsi products on tap, and a full bar in the next room over, they can accommodate just about any drink request you give them.
Right at the top of the menu was an appetizer I haven’t seen in a great while, the Flowering Onion, also known as the Blooming Onion. The Blooming Onion was made popular by the franchise restaurant Outback Steakhouse, but was originally invented in New Orleans by Chef Jeff Glowski.
Needless to say I started off with a Flowering Onion for an appetizer, and since it is a steakhouse, I wanted to try their steak. You know the saying, “When in Rome…” So decided to go with the 12 ounce Texas Sirloin for my main entrée that comes with 2 sides. I chose apple sauce and “loaded” fries for an additional cost. Sweeney’s online menu does not exactly match up to their menus in the restaurant but do a good job of explaining each entrée. Prices ranged from $14.00 to $23.00 for main entrées.
Before I knew it, my Flowering Onion arrived with that special sauce. The batter that covered the onion was very thin and non-existent towards the center, but added great flavor to the onion. It didn’t take long to go through the entire onion. My waitress quickly took my appetizer plates to get me ready for my steak. When my steak arrived, I was surprised to see the thickness and I can see why they call it the Texas Sirloin. It came topped with sautéed onions and mushrooms with my loaded fries and apple sauce on the side. The meat cut without any trouble and was seasoned and cooked exactly how I preferred it. For anyone else, the amount of fat could have been trimmed just a bit, but for me, that little bit of fat adds flavor. The loaded fresh cut fries were topped with cheddar cheese, bacon and scallions which was a great side dish for this steak.
I did take note that my waitress and the manager checked back often and were very polite and prompt. Perhaps even a bit too prompt, I wanted some extra napkins, and my guest wanted some tartar sauce for her shrimp. I asked for the napkins and before I could get out “and” she darted off.
I was browsing through the dessert menu while I was waiting for the Flowering Onion and found a dessert I haven’t had in years. Tiramisu, which is an Italian cake and dessert; it is made of ladyfingers dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of egg yolks and mascarpone, and flavored with liquor and cocoa. Sweeney’s Tiramisu was light, creamy and tasted amazing.
My thanks again to Pechin Firehouse Restaurant for sponsoring my column and Braxton for contacting the Phantom Diner for a review. If you have been to Sweeney’s Steakhouse and would like to share your experience, please don’t hesitate to comment on this article. Know a restaurant you would like to see a reviewed, submit your restaurant to email@example.com.