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Missing Rib Neighborhood spot has all the trappings scorned by chains

Is the neighborhood restaurant an endangered species? I worry about that. Certainly there are plenty of cookie-cutter chains out there, and more seem to open every day.

Here's a neighborhood restaurant that's definitely among the living.

Adam's Rib is a small place, dimly lighted with a bar running along one side. It's one of those places where everybody seems to know everybody else.

No item on the menu is unusual; no item is "clever"; no item will rate a paragraph in Gourmet magazine. There's a substantial list of standard favorites -- filet is $26.95, barbecued spare ribs $18.95, two pork chops are $16.95. Prime rib is served Saturdays only, and the smaller cut is $25.95. This is comfort food.

We chose the Chopped Sirloin with Mushroom Sauce. It came with some good french fries and a pretty ordinary tossed salad for $13.95. A cup of Onion Soup, too, was pretty ordinary.

The Chopped Steak itself, however, was way better than ordinary. It was generously served and had a good beefy flavor that was much enhanced by the flour-thickened sauce. So far, so good.

I went for a special entree: steamed fresh clams with white wine, garlic and herb butter served over linguini ($16.95). I can't make up my mind about this one.

The clams were certainly delicious, about six of them standing, in open shells, over the pasta and sweet and tender as could be. The linguini itself, however, seemed dry to me without much sauce to nap it. And hence there was very little white wine, garlic, herb or any other flavor. Well, yes, I guess it was a disappointment. Blandness, too, was the word for my appetizer, BBQ Scallops Wrapped in Bacon ($7.95). The bacon was there, certainly, but if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn't have known. The meat had very little impact, and the scallops had a very mild taste.

But there are other options here if you want to sit a bit and relax amidst the boozy ambience. A long list of "lighter fare" with sandwiches and salads and even Welsh Rarebit ($8.95) is available.

And do not overlook the Open Steak served with potato or vegetable for $14.95, long a restaurant favorite. Or the Chef's Choice, a small filet with the same sides for $17.95.

ADAM'S RIB

REVIEW: 2 1/2 stars (Out of 4)

WHERE: 4517 Main St., Snyder (839-3846). A prime example of a comfy neighborhood restaurant. Homey food and steaks rule the day. Credit Cards: American Express, Master Card, Visa.

FAVORITE DISH: Chopped Sirloin with Mushroom Sauce

NEEDS WORK: Linguini with White Clam Sauce

PRICE RANGE: Entrees from $13.95 with vegetable and salad.

SERVICE: Very good

NOISE LEVEL: Moderate

HOURS: Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Dinner: 5 to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 5 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.

HEALTHY CHOICES: Baked White Fish, Vegetarian Fettuccine

WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: Yes

PARKING: On the street.

KID APPEAL: Really an adult place.

e-mail: jokun@buffnews.com

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