Sunday, February 20, 2011

Colton's--a taste of Texas?

The other night my wife and I went to the new restaurant in Rolla, Colton's Steak House and Grill.

It tries to be very Texas-style.

Two Texas flags fly above the front door. Inside, there's a neon outline of The Lone Star State. There's a sign inside the front door that says something like, "We'z in Texas." The printed menu has a legend about the founder of Colton's, mythical Texas Ranger J.T. Colton.

The headquarters of Colton's is in Arkansas, and a check of the website shows there are no Colton's restaurants in Texas.

"Everybody wants to be a Texan," says my wife, a native of Texas who wasn't too impressed with the fare. She prefers the food of Matt's Steakhouse, a locally owned restaurant between Rolla and St. James.

She's apparently in the minority, though, for the place was packed, and every time I drive by there, the parking lot is full. Rolla residents and interstate travelers (probably a lot of Texans among them) love the faux Texas atmosphere.

It's a great marketing strategy.

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