Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.; closed Sunday. $1
Price Range: Platters for $5 to $6; sandwiches, $1 to $2.
Atmosphere: Friendly, unpretentious, clean.
Special Facilities: Plenty of parking; booster chairs and high chairs; no children's menu but extra plates will be provided for sharing dishes; accessible by wheelchair.
Credit Cards: None accepted.
Despite its name, the Crazy Horse Bar-B-Q Ranch is heavier on gemutlicheit than on the Great Southwest. Oh, there are a few steer horns hanging about, and some plastic horseshoes on the walls. There's a miniature covered wagon that lights up inside atop the cigarette machine. There's a fancy menu with lots of pictures of cowboys and cows.
But the crocheted plant hangers, the African violets in the windows, the portraits of W. C. Fields on the raspberry-red walls and the homey plaques dispensing kitschy wisdom make the place more like a neighborhood hangout.
Not to mention a juke box featuring Billy Eckstein, Glenn Miller and Artie Shaw. "Harvest Moon" was playing when we came in.
The strongest drink served is Coke, but the best is a milkshake: 95 cents, rich and very sweet.
The best way to chow down at the Crazy Horse is to order the ribs and anything with beans in it, such as chili, bean soup or barbeque beans.
The bean soup is a good starter. It's similar to the famous Senate bean soup, which means white beans stewed with a ham bone and spices. It's thick and homey and costs 80 cents a bowl.
The chili is rather mild and smokey, with a lot of tomato chunks and ground beef. Though not peppery, it was tasty.
The ribs are not spectacular, but are wholesome and of good quality. Don't expect the kind that have been roasted over wood for hours with sauce slowly simmering to a rich, aromatic flavor. The Crazy Horse bakes its beef and pork ribs plain, until juicy and tender, and serves them with sauce on the side. The sauce is mild, tomato-based and a bit sweet.
When it comes to prices, you can't beat the Crazy Horse. Whole platters in various combinations hover in and around the $5 range. Because the sliced meats seemed a bit dry and uninteresting, we thought the best buy was the barbequed pork rib platter, which comes with good cole slaw, fresh French fries and excellent, smokey beans. Price: $5.95.
For the sake of novelty, you might try the rib sandwich ($2.80), though you have to chew around a bone between the slices of bread.
Sandwiches cost $1 to $2. A good buy is the minced pork sandwich with French Fries and cole slaw: $2.25.
The Crazy Horse is famous for its fried onion rings, made to order. They are large, sweet and crisp, and well worth 95 cents an order.
If the service lags (we only saw one waitress), read the wisdom on the walls: "A taxpayer is a person who does not have to pass a civil service exam to work for the government," reads one sign. "A woman with horse sense never becomes a nag," says another, of about the same vintage as the Artie Shaw records on the juke box.
The owner of the Crazy Horse has some basic horse sense, though, as many a wife has pointed out to her husband.
A sign near the door reads, "Don't criticize your wife's judgment. Look who she married."