Lark Creek Steak: Where Cowboys Meet Rastafarians

We were enjoying lunch at Lark Creek Steak recently with a cowboy and a Rastafarian, and while you wouldn't think that these two would get along so swell, there we were, having the best time. Did we mention that these individuals were a burger and a cocktail? And no, don't worry, they weren't talking to us. Or us to them. Much.

While we were expecting a good burger, the fantastic Cowboy Steakburger really impressed ($18.50, 8 oz. beef patty, bacon, cheddar, BBQ sauce, crispy onions), with its thick-cut fries that nail down the crisp-exterior, creamy-interior standard great steakhouses aspire to. The half-pound patty sounds like overkill, fashioned from the leftover scraps and trimmings from prepping the restaurant's steaks, but after finishing one, we were almost convinced to have another. Its great char from the wood grill, light smoke, and perfect ratio of meat to bun were made even better with the Rastafari ($10, Blackwell rum, banana shrub, mint, soda water) cocktail.

The Rastafari is essentially a variation of a mojito, swapping the light rum with dark Jamaican rum, and using the banana shrub to sweeten and add the distinctive vinegar tang. While one might assume the cocktail started out as a mojito, it was actually bar manager Aaron "Ace" Chon's desire to add a banana cocktail to the menu that sparked the idea for a drink. Not wanting to deal with a blender and create slushy drinks, he got the idea to make a shrub, the old method of preserving fruit juices using vinegar and sugar.

Howdy, pardner: The Cowboy Steakburger at Lark Creek Steak.
Lou Bustamante
Howdy, pardner: The Cowboy Steakburger at Lark Creek Steak.

Combining balsamic with sugar and bananas didn't yield spectacular results. "Then I decided to cook it out and let it age for about a week or two," says Chon, and "the results were fantastic."

Chon was inspired to combine it with Jamaican rum made by the company owned by legendary reggae music producer Chris Blackwell, using the mint in the drink as the rasta "herb," and dubbed it the Rastafari. Have one at the with your burger and make everything irie.

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