In 1976, Ron Steigman opened the doors at Prairie Bar & Grill in Brush Prairie, and thus began a lifelong mission of serving great food and libations to Clark County. To this day, his efforts continue, now through his son Troy and even his grandchildren. The grill has become a go-to place for a huge number of fans.
We spent a cold and wet Saturday afternoon exploring this back-road eatery and came away delighted with the food and the service. The dining room exuded a comfortable “welcome back” feeling, even though it was our first visit.
We noticed the parking lot was jammed with cars and trucks. In addition to a large number of regular customers, there was a celebration of life going on in the dining room. Our server told us that the group made reservations for a party of 30 but it looked like more than 50 people came to celebrate someone’s life.
At first we were worried about having to wait to be served but were blown away when our server and her warm smile welcomed us to our table almost immediately. She was genuine, friendly and very helpful as we wandered our way through the regular and the pizza menus. We watched her speed off with our order, and bustle to help the other three servers dealing with the large crowd.
They zipped back and forth, never losing their smiles, as they smoothly took care of the group as well as the rest of the customers in the dining room and bar.
We had heard about the burgers. We decided the praise was well-earned as my partner received her Daybreak Burger (a quarter-pound beef patty stacked with generous slices of avocado, tomato, cheddar cheese, fresh lettuce, onion and perfectly cooked bacon slices). She passed on the offered Sriracha mayo, opting for the milder variety, but couldn’t stop praising the bacon.
“The bacon is awesome, crisp, smoky and generous. I can’t remember better bacon on a burger,” she declared. Several times.
The six named burgers ranged from $8.95 to $10 — a real bargain for restaurant burgers, especially when you pick it up and see the thick layers piled between the buns.
I hankered for a pizza but didn’t go for the house favorites, which include BlackBean TexMex, The Howling (hot Italian sausage, jalapenos, pepperoncinis, cayenne pepper), Got Meat (six kinds of meat!), Haminator (ham, sausage, pepperoni, pineapple), Supreme, BBQ Chicken and Thai Peanut.
So I custom-designed my own with zesty Italian red sauce, red onions, mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, and fresh basil. I added some very energetic shakes of Parmesan. The pizza was simple, old-fashioned and wonderful on the restaurant’s delicious thick crust — not thick like deep dish, just a nice chewy, moist-inside, crisp-outside thickness. I saved half for “later,” but left not a crumb of the crust on my plate. That was $17.99 for four nice slices consumed there, plus four eaten at home.
To my chagrin, I missed the chance to try one of the breakfast pizzas. They are served up until 2 p.m., but I had crafted my pizza before I knew of these. I was later told they are some of the most popular pizzas. Next time I’m going to order the pizza I photographed as a server swished by: pizza dough with a base of country gravy, bacon, ham, sausage, green peppers, pepperoncini, tater tots, onions, and “fried oozing eggs” on top.
The grill has a simple dessert selection: variations on brownies, chocolate chip cookies and ice cream. We chose the brownie and ice cream. Wow!
Of course it is a bar and grill, so brews are aplenty, as are well drinks. Growler hour is from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., when growler refills are half off. FYI, the owners also own Battle Ground’s Barrel Mountain Brewing.