Carrollwood has so many great dining destinations and Black Rock Bar + Grill is the latest addition to the neighborhood. Last week I was invited there for dinner and a week later, I am still thinking about my meal. This was my first time at this sizzling steakhouse concept and it definitely will not be my last. My son Rocco, who is a budding food blogger, came with me and we had a fantastic time.
If you have not heard of Black Rock, let me fill you in. This award winning steakhouse specializes in Certified Angus Beef steaks that are served to you on a sizzling stone right at the table. Guests can cook their own steaks on a 755 degree stone so that each steak is cooked just the way they like it. My son and I had such a great meal and he loved being able to cook his sirloin to his liking. It was an interactive experience like no other and we can’t wait to go back with my daughter who is sad to have missed dinner with us.
Their menu features a fantastic collection of starters, salads, sandwiches, entrees and desserts. Since my son was with me, I let him choose our appetizer. He selected the Black Rock Dueling Pretzel & Cheese Fondue and what a great choice it was, as we both thoroughly enjoyed it. Served on a sizzling black rock, it consists of a duo of garlic cream cheese and a nacho-style cheese paired with soft pretzel bites. Each cheese is nice and bubbly and they stay piping hot, unlike other places where the dip gets cold after a few minutes. We could not stop eating and I was reminded of how soft pretzels were my favorite snack as a child. They have such a great collection of starters and I can’t wait to go back and try some of the other items like Jamaican Jerk Wings, Lump Crab Cake, Fried Asparagus, Tuna Poke Nachos and more.
My son and I both went with a sirloin for dinner. Believe me, I was torn as to what to order because their menu is loaded with incredible options. I decided on a steak because I figured it would be the best way to experience this concept and as expected, I was blown away. Let’s just say that I was so excited by the presentation that I almost forgot to get a photo.
Our server was very detailed and explained to us how to slice and cook our sirloins to achieve our desired temperature. While I went with medium rare, Rocco preferred well done. I must say, this was one of the best steaks I have had in quite sometime. The last few steaks I have had at other places could not compete with the flavor of my sirloin at Black Rock.
If you are wondering how the steak cooks, as my son was asking our server a ton of questions, let me share the fascinating process with you. The steak (or any other protein that you choose) arrives to the table on an inch-thick piece of volcanic granite, or lava rock, that is heated to 755 degrees. I, myself, was wondering what is so magical about the number 755 and learned that lava rock that is a poor conductor of heat. This means that it tends to hold heat inside rather than release it quickly, thus making it an excellent cooking stone. The extreme heat seals in the juices for a tender and flavorful steak done exactly as you desire. You can even choose to alter the temperature for each slice, as I did. While most of my sirloin was medium rare, I tried a few bites more on the medium well side.
Each entree comes with a choice of two sides and let me just say, they have some great options such as long-bean almandine, sauteed garlic spinach, grilled asparagus, sweet potato fries, loaded potatoes, sweet potato souffle, grilled blue cheese peppercorn wedge and more.
As we were winding down after our meals, my son was eagerly asking for dessert. Thank goodness some fellow food bloggers were there so were were able to share their signature dessert……The Black Rock Volcano! They say a picture speaks a thousand words, so just take a look at this:
This massive plate of pure decadent bliss is more than enough of a reason for me to head back to Black Rock in a few weeks with some friends. My son was so happy he could not stop smiling, and quite frankly, neither could I. Made with a warm, freshly baked brownie topped with vanilla ice cream, a giant waffle cone, mounds of whip cream, chocolate, caramel and a marshmallow, it is topped off with a flaming sparkler that is sure to get anyone’s attention.
I had such a fantastic time at Black Rock and am anxious to try some of their seafood options, as well as an adult beverage, on my next visit. Have you been to Black Rock? If so, what were some of your favorite items?
**disclosure: My meal was provided at no charge in exchange for a post on my dining experience. All opinions are my own.
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