When an oil rig drill reaches its mark and oil is found, it's often called hitting pay dirt. The same thing holds true with the North Rig Grill in Denison. The restaurant, the signage of which is an oil rig, has hit its mark.

Building: The lawn out front was well manicured and the building is kept very clean. I appreciated that I had options in where I wanted to sit — the dining area, bar or a gorgeous deck with a TV. The interior of the building was nicely laid out. Tables set very classy yet not stuffy. I enjoyed the window that went into the kitchen. You could see everyone back there working. The owner was back there working with his employees and that spoke volumes to me. The restrooms were clean.

Staff: We were greeted immediately and given options on where we wished to dine. We chose the dining area where we were promptly seated and greeted by our waitress. Our waitress was professional and attentive. She answered our questions clearly and I could tell she believed in what she was selling. She bragged on the bartenders. She said it didn't matter who was back there they would do good. After delivering our drinks and our appetizers it was time for her to go. She came to the table to let us know someone else would be taking over. She then pointed her out so we would know who it was. The waitress who took over came to the table promptly to make sure we were OK and to introduce herself. I appreciated that the employees were in T-shirts supporting the business and jeans.

Service and wait time: The restaurant was steady but not crazy busy. We walked in at 4:32 p.m. After being seated, we ordered drinks and they were delivered within four minutes. We ordered fried mushrooms as an appetizer and they were delivered within seven minutes, hot and fresh. Our entrees were delivered within a few moments, as well.

Food: Our waitress stated they were known for their steaks, so I ordered an Angus rib-eye. My dinner guest, Lisa, ordered the original baked potato. The steak was available with two sides, so I ordered green beans and garlic mashed potatoes. My steak was cooked perfectly. It had wonderful seasonings and flavor. I enjoyed the garlic mashed potatoes and the garlic wasn't overwhelming. I didn't care for the green beans. They appeared to have tomatoes in them or possibly Rotel. I enjoy bread with my meal and a piece of toast was included with my meal. Lisa's potato was huge and loaded with butter, sour cream, cheese and bacon bits. The flavor was good and the presentation was outstanding.

When I asked the waitress for the dessert menu she stated they didn't have one. She said they have desserts, but it's different each day. She came back and told us the day's selections and we opted for the lava brownie. While this dessert had wonderful eye appeal, the brownie was more like cake to me. I like the gooey brownies. It had vanilla ice cream and all was delivered drizzled with chocolate.

Final words: We had all of our meal delivered and completed by 5:37 p.m. Incredible service. North Rig is well worth the time and money. Loved the relaxing atmosphere and the professionalism of the staff. They are doing a lot right. Great job to all of them. It also looks like a great place to watch sports and enjoy a cold beverage.

Meet the reviewer:

I traveled for 15 years and when it comes to meals away from home, I prefer privately-owned food establishments to the chains. Mom and pop establishments typically care more about the foods they're offering and how customers are taken care of. They work hard for their money and their profit margins are tight, so they have to be better than the run-of-the-mill chain restaurants and cafes to keep customers coming in. They typically offer some things that are different from what you'll find at chain restaurants and that's always a plus. You can go into a chain anywhere and get the same foods and tastes — unless it happens to be a bad one. With individually-owned restaurants, there's always a surprise — something different — and I've rarely had a totally bad experience at one.

I've been a manager of retail businesses for many years. I combine my love of food and varied eating experiences with my knowledge of business management when reviewing a restaurant. The grading system will take everything into consideration from the building and staff to the food itself, how it's presented, the time it took to be served, the price point and other key aspects.

I try to be fair to everyone I encounter, no matter who they are. If someone is putting out the effort, then I can appreciate that. On the flip-side of that coin though, if you are going to own a business, take pride in your business and run it accordingly. People still want a great value and great service for their hard-earned money.