Every Friday through the end of 2018, the Rant will feature a dish that stands out among Lee County’s restaurant scene. We’ll usually focus on lunch, but there aren’t any rules – we just want to let you know (if you don’t already) about the many dining options we have that are owned and operated by people right here in Lee County. Today we look at the salad bar meal at the Flame Steakhouse.

The Flame is your classic steakhouse, but it does a little bit of everything. You can have a New York strip or seafood dinner, or you can pop in at lunch for a completely affordable sandwich or bowl of soup. They boast what seems like the classiest bar around, with dim lights and beautiful wood paneling and quiet atmosphere. For Lee County, it’s about as upscale as it gets, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to enjoy a quality meal there. You can add their top shelf salad bar to any meal you get, though, and going through the line to do so shows you just how popular the option is – you’re usually behind at least a handful of people who are doing the same thing.

THE DISH:  $7.99 gets you a standalone salad bar meal, and that’s more that enough to keep you full until dinner – we’re not going to describe a salad bar to you in detail, but it’s safe to say that between the vegetable options, carby selections like the rich and crispy croutons, your standard dressings, and even healthy amounts of bacon and ham you’re going to be able to make a plate fit for more than your average rabbit. And you can go back if you’d like. The dish gets really interesting, though, when you opt to add your choice of grilled chicken ($9.99 for four ounces, $12.99 for eight), grilled shrimp or tuna ($12.99), beef tips ($13.99), or the “Bang’n” shrimp or scallops ($12.99). All are good, but the Bang’n scallops are the most, well, bangin’. Battered, fried and tossed in a rich, creamy sauce, they absolutely slap. You get a generous portion that pairs deliciously with the salad you put together while you were waiting for them to fry. $12.99 is probably more than you generally spend on your midday meal, but you’re going to leave satisfied, and it’s just money. We say go for it.

WHAT ELSE TO TRY: The lunch/early bird special menu has plenty of good sandwiches and wraps, from the chicken salad croissant ($7.99) to the shaved prime rib ($10.99). Feeling particularly rich at lunch? Go for the 6 ounce ribeye ($18.99). If you’re going to splurge on a steak, though, do it at dinner with their their New York strip ($21.99 for an eight ounce, although you can pay more for a bigger steak). The grilled tuna is ridiculously good ($13.99 for four ounces, get it as rare as they’ll cook it), and they of course do a great steak burger ($10.99). Lots of options. Show up hungry.

The Flame Steakhouse is located at 109 Carbonton Road. They’re open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and for dinner from 4 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Their lounge is open from 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4 to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Visit their website here.

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