This is a difficult review to write because it's the first time I have had such mixed feelings about a place. In order to be totally honest with my review, I must break it up into three sections.
1. I ordered the beef ribs (which are huge prime rib bones with approximately 3x4 cube of the most delicious, fork tender smoked meat on each bone). Mine couldn't have been better and though it was quite expensive, I enjoyed the beef very much. The side dishes were okay, but the beef was the super star.
2. Don, the owner and our server was gruff and not very personable. After he asked what we wanted, he asked where we were from. I smiled and told him we were about 2 hours away. He asked why we were in Castroville and I told him we came to have lunch with him.... which was true as a friend recommended his place. He said, "You must be out of your damned mind!" He was quite serious and sarcastic, and shook his head at us as he served our plates. If there was any humor intended, there was NONE shown.
3. The restaurant: The interior was coated in what appeared to be years of dust. It hung from the lights and photos on the wall....I was concerned that it would fall onto our table. The floor is covered in OLD sawdust. I've been to steak houses that have sawdust on the floor and you can see and smell the difference between fresh and old. This is OLD and I don't want to know what's beneath it. The bathrooms ... well, all I'll say is... use them if it's an emergency... otherwise wait and stop somewhere else.
So.... the beef was one of the best I've ever tasted, but I won't go back to this restaurant again because I'm concerned about cleanliness issues. It's been my experience that what you see in the front of the house is usually cleaner than what you don't see in the kitchen area.