A sizzling steak house known for unique dining experience


GVL / Mary Racette

Mary Racette

It’s the first weekend since November where Michiganders can resume indoor dining and while I’ve spent months thinking about the first place I wanted to go, I found myself through the doors of the steak place I missed most of all. 

When we put our name in at the Woodland Mall Black Rock at 4:15 p.m., they told us it would be about a 50 minute wait. They don’t take formal reservations but if you call ahead you might be able to land priority seating, which they say cuts the wait time in half. 

Fortunately, we expected a longer wait so we had no issue with passing time at the mall.  After about 50 minutes of browsing, they were true to their word and had us seated shortly after 5 p.m. We finished up around 6:30 p.m. and by that time, the wait time had extended to over two hours.

Black Rock offers carry-out, but there is so much about the “sizzle experience” offered when dining-in that makes the meal worthwhile. I’ve never been one to order a steak when I eat out, but I love the way Black Rock offers the unique experience which gives me the power to make every bite as hot and flavorful as I want. 

After ordering the Signature Black Rock Sirloin, a 755-degree volcanic sizzling rock and hardly seared steak is placed in front of you, leaving the rest of the cooking to happen as it sits in front of you. It always comes with a side of Casino Butter and Signature Black Rock Steak Sauce, but you can ask for any of the other free sauces on the side. 

I always add a side of garlic rub to cook my food in. I can be very indecisive when it comes to eating, so I enjoy being able to mix up my topping or sauce of choice for each bite I take.

While the sizzling steak has never failed me, I found myself almost uneasy while eating my cup of clam chowder. My meal came with two sides and I ordered the chowder as one of them. If it wasn’t bordering on lukewarm, I would have been able to fully rave about its creamy consistency and sophisticated seafood flavor. 

Luckily the taste made it bearable, but it was by no means ideal soup temperature. I recommend to opt for the side salad or one of the other side options. 

It’s fun to order sides that you can stick on the rock to make toasty, such as the asparagus or baked potato. And of course using the Casino Butter on the potato is exactly as good as you would expect it to be.

The reopening of restaurants landed conveniently right in the middle of birthday season for my family, so naturally we treated ourselves to the Sizzling Black Rock Volcano for dessert. The tower of brownie, ice cream and whipped cream is a spectacle in itself, let alone the lit sparkler it is served with speared into the top. 

In this era of uncertainty, it’s valid for indoor dining to cause anxiety. In the last few months I have felt uncomfortable in a variety of places because I felt like the business and customers were not following safety precautions.

With it being the first weekend back to indoor dining, I did not know what to expect. But, my mind was eased when I saw the spaced out booths and wide aisleways at Black Rock. I felt appropriately isolated while sitting and I didn’t need to walk through crowds of people just to get to the bathroom. From what I could see they were enforcing face-covering policies for employees and people not sitting at a table. 

Under the circumstances, it appeared to me that Black Rock was taking all of the necessary precautions in order to make their customers feel comfortable to enjoy their meals. Eating out was an experience I missed and it was a relief to be able to experience each tasty course of my meal without feeling like I was going to get sick.