Ric’s Kountry Kitchen
Giant portions of American and Tex-Mex fare in Doha 1 Reviews
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Ric’s has been something of a Doha institution since 1997, serving up gargantuan portions to hungry diners eager for an American food fix. It has to be said that from the outside, Ric’s doesn’t look promising. Tucked away in a small shopping precinct off Ras Bu Aboud Street, it’s in an old part of town that appears pretty rough around the edges. Add to that the restaurant’s rather forbidding mirrored windows, and you’d think your average diner might steer well clear.
As we walk through the doors at 11am on a Friday morning, though, it’s like we’ve entered quite another restaurant altogether. There’s a large group patiently waiting for a table by the door, and we’re ushered to the last free table for two by a smiling waiter. The restaurant’s interior is definitely more functional than cosy, but we feel that the eclectic décor (US state flags, framed adverts for Qatar Airways, pictures of oil fields, autographed photos of various notable customers) actually works in its favour, creating a hybrid Qatari-Americana vibe that’s all its own.
Ric’s menu is standard small town diner fare. On offer are huge American and Tex-Mex breakfasts, burgers, soup, sandwiches, hot dogs and steak, lots of fruit juices and sodas, and free refills of coffee, tea, lemonade and iced tea. The restaurant opens early in the morning for breakfast, and serves lunch and dinner too, but those in the know all rave about Ric’s as a wallet friendly, waistline-busting alternative to the traditional Qatar five-star hotel brunch.
So it was, then, that we found ourselves sitting down in the bustling atmosphere of Ric’s on a Friday morning, making our choice from the large range of breakfast options. My dining partner had made a special early morning trip to the gym so that he could take full advantage of the restaurant’s huge portions, so he had no qualms in choosing ‘The Lumberjack’, which comprised three eggs cooked any style, breakfast steak, two sausage patties, toast, home fries and a separate plate of pancakes. Sadly I hadn’t burned off any excess calories that morning, so thought I was doing myself a favour by ordering what I hoped would be a modest omelette (three fillings free at no extra charge). This came with toast and hash browns, and we opted for a side order of baked beans too.
Our order was taken promptly, with the drinks arriving almost immediately and the food following shortly afterwards – an impressive achievement given that the restaurant was extremely busy. When the waiter brought our plates (which turned out to be more the size of serving platters), I realised I’d massively underestimated the size of my breakfast. Whilst my dining partner could easily have shared his with a posse of ravenous Lumberjacks, I could also certainly have done with at least one fellow diner to help me make the most of my huge three-egg omelette, two doorstops of toast, large homemade hash brown and baked beans. I’m fairly sure that my daily 2,000 calorie intake was sitting right there in front of me, and the fact that I was about to eat it willingly didn’t make me any less of a glutton.
However, undeterred, we tucked in. My dining partner was very pleased with the consistency of his scrambled eggs (not rubbery and not too dry) and loved the chunky home-fries. He was less impressed with the breakfast steak, which was slightly tough, but enjoyed the sausage and ‘Texas toast’, which is about twice the thickness of normal toast, and lightly fried on both sides. When he eventually graduated to the pancakes (after an impressive marathon effort), he found them to be thick, light and fluffy, and perfect eaten with the pancake syrup provided on every table. I’m sad to report, however, that even he didn’t manage to finish them. Shame!
For my part, the omelette was delicious. I’d chosen onion, jalapeno peppers and cheese as the fillings, and they were all present in ample quantities. It was juicy, flavoursome, and immense. I also enjoyed the Texas toast, and found the baked beans to be tangy and tasty, but was defeated by the hash brown, which was the size of a breakfast plate. The bit of it I did manage to eat, however, was crisp and well seasoned, if a little too oily for my taste.
Finally, having given the meal our best shot, we felt slightly full, but very happy – what more can you ask for from an indulgent brunch? Ric’s does serve dessert too (including, I’m told, some very nice blueberry pancakes), but we decided to save those for another visit.
One further pleasant aspect of brunch at Ric’s is the size of the bill. Those used to paying for hotel brunch will find their wallet far less challenged here. Our meal, which included two fruit juices and iced tea, came to QR139, which we felt was very good value.
Ric’s certainly isn’t elegant or gourmet by any means, and if you’re looking for a quiet spot for a romantic meal, then this definitely isn’t it. But if you want old-fashioned, comforting diner fare at a decent price in a relaxed locale, you would be hard pushed to find better in Doha.
The bill (for two)
2x fruit juices QR18
Iced tea (free refills) QR15
Three-egg omelette and
baked beans QR41
Lumberjack breakfast QR65
Time Out Doha,
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