Name: Christie's Steakhouse and Grill
Location: 560 Harry L Drive #2, Johnson City, NY 13790
Phone: (607) 729-3100
Price: $40+ for two for dinner
Christie's is a Johnson City establishment located right in the center of all the action. Its location diagonally opposite the Oakdale Mall makes it a pretty popular spot for lunch and dinner, particularly during the holiday season when the mall gets busy. Megan and I have stopped in for dinner quite a bit over the years, given that we pretty much have to pass right by the place to go anywhere. Overall, I am not thrilled with the food at Christie's, nor the value it provides, but there are certain aspects of the place that I really like.
If you're going to go to Christie's, I recommend going for lunch. They make a really nice sandwich and they offer a variety of soups that come with unlimited refills. Of particular note is the Cheddar Beer soup, which has become the stuff of legend among my friends and me. We have been known to call the restaurant just to find out if it's a Cheddar Beer day before making a decision to head over. It's a delicious creamy cheese soup served with oyster crackers. Doesn't sound like anything special but it is truly good. I've had the New England Clam Chowder many times over the years and have enjoyed it, ditto the Chicken and Rice; in fact, I can't recall a soup I've had there and didn't like. Actually, that's a lie: I did not care for the Cream of Asparagus that was brought to me in error (mistakes such as this have occurred on multiple visits). For sandwiches, I think their turkey sandwiches are the way to go. I recommend the turkey club, or the Rachel. Nothing to get too excited about, but good.
Dinner, on the other hand, I cannot recommend, for a variety of reasons. For starters, I find their menu to be a little limited if you are not in the mood for steak. They offer a rotisserie chicken entree that's pretty decent if you get it on a day that it's not all dried out. I've also gone with a seafood pasta dish (clams, mussels, scallops, shrimp over pasta) that sounded good in theory, but I didn't care for it at all. The best dinner I've had there was probably the rib dinner, which comes with a spicy barbecue sauce I enjoyed. As for the steaks, I have not been impressed. The times I've ordered steak it's always been too grisly or fatty and lacking in flavor. Maybe I've just been unlucky, as I have heard good thing from other folks about the steaks, but this hasn't just been a one-time thing. Additionally, I find dinner at Christie's to be way overpriced. The steak entrees jump well into the $20 range and there are only a handful of entrees on the menu that are less than $15. If I'm going to spend that kind of cash, I'd rather go someplace where I know I'm going to enjoy the food more.
One last thing I don't care for about Christie's is the ambiance. It feels too much like a chain restaurant to me. They've got the waiters who come to the table and write their name upside-down in crayon on the paper tablecloth and stuff. For whatever reason, I hate kitschy stuff like that. I don't know. I like local places that feel local, you know? This just isn't one of those places. And their outside seating is kind of a joke too. Who really wants to overlook a McDonald's parking lot while eating?
Christie's is one of those places that's tough to assign a grade to. It's a good lunch spot and I highly recommend checking out their soups (Cheddar Beer FTW!). For dinner, I am not a fan. It's overpriced and a little too chain-like for my tastes. To each his own, I suppose...