THE BROKEN BIT
ADDRESS: 41955 50th Street W, Lancaster, CA 93536
This past week, I spent some time out in the Palmdale area while on a business trip. The benefit of that kind of trip is that you get to eat out practically every night, offering the opportunity to explore the local restaurants. One particular steakhouse called The Broken Bit came highly recommended from my friend Tina, so I decided to head over there to give it a try with a couple of my friends after work.
The steakhouse is located at the end of a small strip mall in the Quartz Hill neighborhood. When you first walk in, you definitely get a sense of the Western décor theme, with plenty of wood utilized in both the tables and bar area. In one of the more private dining areas in the back, there was even a large wooden wine rack that added to the overall ambiance.
The hostess seated us not long after we arrived, although we asked to switch tables after our initial seating since our group got a little larger. She was very accommodating to the request and moved us from the booth over to the table. Our waitress, Ruthie, came by not long after to welcome us to the restaurant and start taking our drink orders before giving us a few minutes to look over the menu.
A wide range of options spanned across the menu, from sandwiches to burgers to salads. But of course, the predominant feature of the menu was the various cuts of steaks that were available. Filet mignon, ribeye, NY strip, just to name a few. There were even more options to help customize your steak on top of that, like adding a peppercorn crust or topping, such as fried onion straws or some melted bleu cheese. Their eclectic selection of appetizers were also quite appealing, so my friend Kevin and I decided to order two of them for the table to sample.
Both of the appetizers that we ordered arrived at the table around the same time, and both of them looked fantastic. The jalapeño “poppers” were whole jalapeño peppers sliced lengthwise and stuffed with goat cheese, roasted, and then topped with sautéed green and red peppers and bacon, finished off with a balsamic vinaigrette drizzle. Our other plate consisted of lightly fried calamari and shishito peppers, served with a garlic lemon aioli and mango chutney.
I was thoroughly impressed with both of the appetizers, from both a taste and presentation perspective. The calamari was nice and crispy, fried just right but not too overly breaded, with the two dipping sauces providing a contrast of a savory or sweet flavor. Funny enough, Kevin and I were both expecting the jalapeño poppers to be of the breaded variety, but the re-interpretation that we got was probably even better. It was an excellent marriage between savory and spicy flavors, with a hint of sweetness layered in there as well.
It wasn’t long after that when our main courses arrived to the table. I had gotten a hanger steak topped with fried onion straws and a side of jalapeño mac & cheese. On an initial impression, I was honestly expecting the piece of steak to be larger. My mental picture of the hanger steak was a little more flattened, but the cut of meat on the plate was tall and about the size of a filet mignon. Looks aside, the steak had great flavor, with pronounced char marks on the outside from the grill and still nice and moist on the inside. I had asked for a medium rare cook on the steak and it was spot on at the thickest part of the meat.
The mac & cheese was a nice compliment to the steak, with its creamy consistency as well as the kick that was provided by the jalapeños mixed right into the sauce. It was topped with a breadcrumb crust that also helped to provide a nice textural change to the relatively smooth aspect of each bite. The only item I think the dish could have used was just a touch more salt into the cheese sauce to help balance things out.
I trust my friend Tina’s recommendations when it comes to restaurants, and The Broken Bit did not disappoint. The overall ambiance was definitely a different feel than the other places I’ve been to in that area, almost like a slight bit upscale. For the food, I think that the appetizers wowed me more than the main course did; that is not to detract from the overall quality of the dishes, which I thought was excellent. I still left the restaurant feeling quite satisfied, and wouldn’t hesitate to return during a future trip out to that area again.
Let’s now take a look at The Broken Bit Dish Spotlight. Asterisks (*) below mark my recommended dishes.
And finally, here are my rankings for The Broken Bit:
Food: 4.25 / 5
The menu selection was pretty good, with a wide variety of items to choose from, depending on what you are in the mood to eat. Everything, from the complimentary bread to the appetizers to the main course, tasted very fresh as well.
Atmosphere: 4.75 / 5
Using the wood element to fully embrace the western décor was a really nice touch to the restaurant, with the lighting placement inside helping to bring out the natural color of the wood. Despite the fact that the restaurant was very busy, I did not once feel too crowded to the tables next to us.
Service: 5 / 5
Our waitress, Ruthie, was very hospitable to our entire group during the meal and returned often to check in and make sure we were happy with how things were. She was also very accommodating of our request to switch tables when our dining group size changed as well. The food itself also arrived in from the kitchen in a timely fashion.
Price: 4 / 5
When going to a steakhouse, you definitely have some expectations to be shelling out a little more than usual for your meal. My plate of the hanger steak and jalapeño mac & cheese totaled out to $34 by itself, which to me seemed like a little on the higher end than what I would have expected based on the plate of food.