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Porter's Prime Steakhouse

Doubletree Hotel - Ontario
222 North Vineyard Ave
Ontario, CA 91764
Phone: 909.418.4808

Date of Visit: 31 January 2007


I was in Ontario to attend a training course, and decided that it was time for some Dead Cow. Having spent been to Ontario on several other occasions, I knew that there were limited Dead Cow offerings in the neighborhood. But I did remember that the local Doubletree Hotel had a steakhouse called Porter's. So off I went! (Actually, it was not a long trip, as the hotel/restaurant was across the street from the dump of a hotel in which I was temporarily residing.)

The decor inside Porter's is rather unremarkable. It is Basic Hotel Restaurant design, with lighting bright enough make you wish you had your sunglasses. Aesthetics notwithstanding, I was promptly seated at a table near the front. The waitress brought over the wine menu and dinner menu and asked if I would care for a cocktail. I ordered a glass of Chateau Sovereign cabernet ($8.25). I continued to study the menu as she skipped off to, no doubt, commence stomping my grapes.

Porter's menu says they serve "USDA Prime Midwestern" beef. Also printed prominently on the menu is, "Enjoy the most flavorful steak you will ever taste." We'll see. The menu features some dry aged beef, such as a rib eye chop ($37.00), along with non-branded Dead Cow like a 20-ounce Porterhouse ($40.00). Other menu items include swordfish (28.00), scampi ($30.00), two 7-ounce pork chops ($26.00). Sides dishes featured creamed corm, broccoli, potatoes au grain, spinach, baked potato, and asparagus. Appetizers included lobster bisque ($9.00), crab cakes ($10.00), and escargot ($9.00).

I ordered the beefsteak tomato salad ($8.00) and the 10-ounce filet ($38.00), along with the baked potato ($5.50). A nice assortment of bread and whipped butter, which were very good. My wine was served in an old-fashion bulb glass, which I did not like (the glass, not the wine). I like Chateau Sovereign cabernet, as I find it consistent and flavorful, and usually a good value at restaurants.

The beefsteak tomato salad was served with four large slices of tomato, lots of blue cheese, and sprinkled with red onion. The balsamic dressing was nice and robust, without being overpowering. It was a very enjoyable salad. The Dead Cow, on the other hand, was disappointing. I ordered it medium, and it was served well-done. It was also not hot (or warm) at all, which was the same for the baked potato. (A baked potato that has a rather difficult time melting the butter placed upon it is, in my opinion, not hot enough!) The Cow was tender but flavorless. It was not a Prime $38 piece of Dead Cow in my opinion.

Service was efficient but nothing special. If not for the very nice beefsteak tomato salad and glass of wine, the evening would have been a total waste. So if you're in Ontario, CA, and looking for great Dead Cow, you might want to keep driving. However, to be fair, I probably would return if in town again, and try one of their dry aged selections. One never knows....


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