White Rose Bar and Grill in York lets you cook food yourself
White Rose Bar and Grill
Location: 48 N. Beaver St., York
Jess' pick: Hereford Beef Filet Hot Rock with two sides, $28.95
Parking: Lot, street and parking garage
Hours: Lunch and dinner: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; Brunch: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday; Bar: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday
Price range: $3.95, cup of Soup of the Day; $49.95, Hot Rock Sampler for Two
Alcohol: Full bar
Accepts: Cash and credit
Kid's menu: No
Details: Call 717-848-5369 or visit whiterose barandgrill.com , follow @WhiteRoseBG on Twitter or search White Rose Bar and Grill on Facebook
Have an idea for an On The Menu column? Contact Jess Krout at email@example.com or find her on Twitter @JessKrout
You don't have to be a classically trained chef to cook your own dinner at this popular downtown York restaurant.
You don't even have to use technology like microwaves, stoves and ovens.
All you need is a hot rock.
Since May 2008, the White Rose Bar and Grill, which opened in the 1930s, has been serving up the rocks with your choice of beef or seafood, said Jeremiah Anderson, a partner at the restaurant.
The volcanic stone is warmed in the oven for six to eight hours before arriving at the table (so you should think twice about touching it).
On a recent Saturday for lunch, I ordered the stone with Hereford Beef Filet, which is Anderson's favorite item on the menu. It comes with two sides – I ordered the mashed red skin potatoes and marinated grilled vegetables -- for $28.95.
The Hereford beef is "one of the best you can buy," according to the menu. Anderson said the cattle is 100 percent true to its genetic line, unlike black angus which is often cross-bred. Because of this, the cattle consistently has a high fat content, producing excellent marbling.
Anderson remembers when he tried a hot rock -- at Flinchy's in Camp Hill. It was then -- and remains – one of the only other restaurants in the area to offer the dining experience.
There are six different rocks to choose from at White Rose -- while I picked the beef this time, I've had the Hot Rock Sampler for Two in the past for $49.95. It's a good deal for the amount of seafood -- scallops, shrimp, tuna – and beef.
The server brings the rock in the center of a large platter with tongs and raw meat on one side, veggies and salt on the other. The beef filet includes sliced mushrooms and red onions.
Sprinkle salt on the rock first, the server instructed, so the meat doesn't stick. Since the beef cooks at a slower speed on the rock, the juices begin to flow in a few minutes. That's the time to add vegetables.
There's much more to White Rose than hot rocks. The crab pretzel appetizer ($9.95) is the most popular item on the menu "hands-down," Anderson said. (On Thursdays, get the crab pretzel for $6 from 2 to 10 p.m.)
Burgers also get rave reviews, but if that's not what you're in the mood for, there are 20 more sandwich combinations available.
Entrees range from seafood dishes to pasta to Hereford Beef Filet Mignon that arrives at your table cooked – not the hot rock version ($27.95). But if you order this beef, you'll have to specify how you want it cooked.
If you order the hot rock, you can sear it well done or let it pink to the point it's still mooing. Your choice when you're the cook.