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Best Steakhouse for Republicans Denver 2007 - Northwoods Inn

Northwoods Inn
The steaks are big, the sides are big, the tables are big -- everything about the Northwoods Inn is big except the prices, which are reasonable if you consider that the meals are all-inclusive and portions can be measured by the pound. This is a family spot, owned by the same family for generations (and through two locations) and catering to big clans interested only in the simplicity of a bygone age, when Ronald Reagan was still a TV star. It's also an indisputably Western restaurant, with its penchant for square-state chuckwagon chic (soup is served communally in a cast-iron pot) and a decor comprising framed, folksy witticisms and the heads of dead animals hanging on the walls. Move 'em out!
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7 comments
Staver
Staver

Family Un-Friendly - North Woods Inn:

It had been over 12 years since I had been to North Woods Inn. Residing in Colorado since the early 70's, growing up, my family frequented the North Woods Inn (at it's previous location: on the West side of Santa Fe where Hudson Gardens is today). As a child, my siblings and I especially enjoyed eating the peanuts and being able to drop the shells on the floor! Through the years, we had many a special meal at the Inn with relatives, family friends & their children, etc. That's what makes this current review difficult to write.Sunday evening my family had plans to go to dinner with my mother. My mom suggested going to the North Woods Inn. She knew her granddaughters would get a kick out of it (peanut shells on the floor, after all!), and it had been so many years since we had been to the Inn.

We arrived at the restaurant shortly before 5pm. We were politely greeted by a young hostess and our party of 5 (3 adults; 2 kids - ages 4 & 2) were seated within 3 minutes. After being seated (we were at the first table situated at the entrance of the dining room), I popped quickly back up to the waiting area in the bar to grab some peanuts for the girls for "shells on the floor!" A white haired woman (I found out later this woman was the Owner/Manager) abruptly said "No,no,no!" as I was walking back to my table -- then another waiter next to her quickly stated that they don't allow peanuts in the dining room. It was a bummer, but hey, no problem. (I guess things had changed!)

Back at our table, our waiter was very friendly and efficient. He took our drink order promptly and kindly asked if I needed kid's drink glasses for our two girls' waters, which we did. After bringing our drinks, he took our dinner order and we were on our way to waiting for what we hoped would be a delicious meal.

Unfortunately, that's where our experience made a turn for the worse. Our 2 year picked up her spoon, and decided that now she wanted to tap her plate. After (maybe) 4 loud taps, I was on it, and quickly put my hand on her plate, catching her spoon and saying "No, we do not tap on plates!" This had no sooner left my lips when the white haired lady was at our table; grabbed my 2 year old's plate and stated "If you can't stop, then we will just take your plate from you." She left our table as quickly as she had stopped and I was left looking at my mom & husband wondering what just happened? We gave our 2 year old another plate (which she did NOT tap on) and when the lady returned past our table, I asked her to please not speak to my child like that again. To this she replied "Well, if you can't keep your child from banging on the plate, I will take it away again." My mom then stated "That's rude!", and the white haired lady replied to my mother "Well, it's rude to our other customers to have her tapping on her plate. And if she does it again, I WILL come and take her plate again." My husband then asked to see the manager, and the white haired lady replied "That's me." At this point, my two year old has started to cry, so I picked her up to soothe her and quickly took her away from the dining area.

My 2 year old and I were in the bar area (by the restroom entrance) for only a few minutes when I see my mom, 4 year old, and husband walking towards the front door of the restaurant. Grateful that we are in unspoken consensus to leave, I quickly walked back to our table to make sure we didn't forget anything. My husband followed me and remarked to the Owner/Manager (who was now standing at the end of the bar) that "This is a horrible way to run a business." To this, the Owner/Manager replied "I am sorry you feel that way, Sir" (What??? Now she is polite???). Please also know that obviously, before the encounter with the Owner/Manager (& our subsequent leaving the restaurant), we had been drinking our drinks (2 sodas, a glass of wine, and waters). Upon leaving, my husband did give his credit card to our waiter and was told we did not have to pay.

Unfortunately, due solely to the Owner of this establishment, our experience at North Woods Inn was as follows: Horrible, uncomfortable, shocking. Obviously, we will never return and will be sharing our experience with as many people as we can -- free negative advertising courtesy of THIS Mom, Dad, and Grandmother.

DG
DG

It's very unfortunate that the 'best of award' would even be considered a good thing to receive. Especially when a restaurant is inaccurately described and classified with any sort of political connotation. I wonder if it ever occurred to anyone that it really makes no difference what the political stance of an owner or consumer is in the first place. Northwoods Inn sells steaks, and ANYONE can go in and enjoy them. By the way, don't people just go out to eat anymore? I have many favorite restaurants that have bad days sometimes...it happens. Another shame after reading the comments posted here is that this establishment is known for their steaks...yet there are comments about the animal heads...explain that one. Animals die to make steaks and other meat delicacies we enjoy in this city....so is it better to hide the animal heads and live in denial? That sounds more democratic if we are bringing politics into it. I wonder if then it would be 'Best Steakhouse for Liberals.'

Vickie
Vickie

We had a birthday party with 25 guests saturday night. The food was horrible, every steak was full of fat and gristle. With the prices already so very high there, I am sick to my stomache at the amount of money we spent for this terrible food. We had asked the waiter to seperate the bills as there were 5 familys, he gave us hand written bills that said food with an amount next to it and drinks with an amount next to it. After talking to everyone the next day we all had been overcharged at least $25 a family. I will never ever eat there again. CONSUMER BEWARE AVOID THIS PLACE.

Sophia
Sophia

NOT KID FRIENDLY

I have eaten at the "North Woods Inns" in California for years. We are new to Denver and we thrilled to find that there was one here! When we arrived I was thrown off by the dim welcome we recieved from the staff. We were eventually sat, and again... the waiter had no people skills to speak of. The tea was horrible, the cottage cheese was "interesting" and the atmosphere was empty and cold. The meals were not Large as discribed as above, it was all average and uninteresting. I was there with my family, for a New Years dinner... along with my 2 year old daughter. Unfortunately she was a pill that night and we struggled to keep her in her seat. As the meal progressed so did her bad behavior. Embarressed, I walked around with her, and tried to calm her as we waited for her food to come. Finally it did, and she wasn't interested. She them got up and stood up in her highchair. I was trying to calmly coax her to sit as a woman walked up to me and rudely told me to sit my child, she cannot stand in the highchair. I was shocked by the woman's tone and stared at her in disbelief. Finally, I realized this was the manager. I completely understood her concern, but the tone was uncalled for. There was no excuse me, or would you please... I felt repremanded by my grandmother. She didn't even identify herself! That, along with my drink being mixed tea after a refill from the mindless waiter threw me over the edge. I did not feel welcomed in the least, and bolted from the door. By the way, the Northwoods Inns, in California may be immitations of this supposed "origional"...but one things for sure, There doing somthing MUCH better in Cali... this snobby place should take some notes!

Wes
Wes

Marc, you are a douche. Go eat a salad and shut up.

Tina
Tina

My family has been eating at Northwood's Inn for many years. Tonight, we went to celebrate a new job! We have never had any problems until tonight. My steak was simply overcooked, no big deal. Even before it came to the table, I was saying to our family how nice it is to go to a restaurant where you know you will always leave happy! HOWEVER, as I said, my steak was overcooked. I asked for a new one. The waiter was more than happy to help me out. When he returned with the new steak it was blood rare. Surprised, as this has never happend to us there before. I asked for a box. We also asked to talk to the manager. A lady came to our table. I began to explain what had happend. She yelled, "So, did you get another one?!" I told her yes, and explained that it was blood rare. She yelled to the waiter to just take it off the bill and left our table. We asked our waiter to give us the name of another manager. We were going to call later and explain how rude this manager was. He let us know that she was the owner. There was no one else to talk to. On the way out my husband approached her and told her that she didn't have to take it off the bill. That we would have been more than happy to pay for the meal since I did eat everything else. Everything else was wonderful. She yelled, "you just wanted a free meal, you got what you wanted and you still are not happy?!" He tried to explain that he is a food/beverage manager and just wanted to let her know that something was up with the kitchen tonight. We weren't even upset. She told him that the waiter should have told us to cook the rare steak longer on the hot plate. When my husband told her that he didn't tell us that she said, and I quote, "well he will be canned!" This upset my husband, as our waiter was great, he said that she didn't need to do that and she replied, " I have been in business for 40+ years...don't tell me how to run my business!" At this point I am in tears. Northwood's Inn has been my favorite restaurant for years. We even purchase the seasoning at King Soopers to attempt to make our home cooked steaks taste as good. I am shocked, disappointed, and saddend by our experience. What should have been a happy occasion has been turned into a nightmare. I am sad that I will not be able to return to this restaurant again. I am planning on writing her a letter tonight explaining that we were clearly mis understood. I will include a check paying for our meal with a tip for our waiter. We went to celebrate and have a good time...not to get a "free meal."

Marc
Marc

I am truly surprised this would make the best of list for Denver. I had a horrible experience here with a bland tasting slab of meat. I thought the atmosphere was awful and the service just so-so. Of course, I am not a Republican and find eating while surrounded by the heads of dead animals less than exhilirating. On second thought next time Bush comes into town I would recommend he eat here. He does have issues with choking right?

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