Flatiron's American Bar & Grill has so many menu items that it feels like a variety show with too many acts. Yes, there is something for everybody, but that doesn't necessarily make the place a winner.
Nonetheless, this is a popular place, at least based on the night of our visit. It appeals to large and small families, couples on dates and groups of friends. Reservations are a good idea.
Whether by design or accident, the locally-owned and operated Flatiron's has the look and feel of a chain restaurant; so does the food: standard fare and decor.
The ambitious menu is reasonably priced. It includes pizza, tacos, an assortment of sandwich options ranging from a salmon BLT to a Chicken Cordon Bleu, pastas, enchiladas and several grilled options including, appropriately enough, a flatiron steak. The restaurant's claim is that it serves "American classics made from scratch."
Our meal got off to an interesting start when our server greeted us with a bowl of house-made chips coated with an onion dip. The thin chips were crispy but the sauce was bland with no trace of onion, and it didn't take long for the chips to get mushy.
Whether the menu is short or massive, I like to ask servers for their favorites. Ours pointed to the Scratch Mac & Cheese ($11.95), the Street Tacos ($10.95) and the burgers ($9.25 to $10.95).
The mac and cheese really should be fusilli (spiral pasta) and cheese; macaroni is a minor misnomer. The spiral-shaped noodles are bathed in a sauce made with a blend of white cheddar, mozzarella and Swiss cheeses. It's gooey and creamy. Bacon or chicken can be added for $2.50. I opted for bacon. The pieces of thick, smoky bacon added texture. What looked like crushed saltine crackers was sprinkled on top but contributed nothing to the dish. Slices of grilled flatbread served on the side made this a high-carb entrée.
The two-fisted Steak House burger ($10.95) was a battle for taste attention with no clear winner. The meat teetered on the edge of being too pink for my liking. The burger is advertised as having bacon, cheddar, arugula, roasted tomatoes and garlic aioli, which was impossible to identify.
Burgers and sandwiches are served with a choice of steak fries, house mashed potatoes, cole slaw, cottage cheese or green beans and carrots. We chose the mashers. When served in a scooped mound they don't offer much in the way of plate appeal, but they did taste good.
Garlic is not a flavor to be ignored, but it was nowhere to be found in the mashed potatoes or prime rib, both of which identified it as an ingredient. Prime rib ($17) is a house special offered on Saturday after 5 p.m. It's a generous serving, especially for the price, but none of our entrees was on the skimpy side.
Other daily specials include deals on drinks, Friday fish night and gluten-free Thursdays. The restaurant offers a children's menu, dedicated gluten-free menu and Sunday brunch. Flatiron's also boasts "75 impressive wines and beers by the bottle" along with 25 additional beers on tap, including many Colorado craft beers.
I was surprised that the dining area had several televisions; I expected them in the bar, which was practically lined with them.
Despite the TVs and packed tables, the noise level around our table wasn't overwhelming. It was easy to carry on conversations without having to yell or lip read.