Saturday, October 9, 2010

Put a steak....I mean stake.....I mean fork in it!

 Yeah, that's the ticket! I'm talking about some grilled cow. A steak. A big one or a small one. A medium rare one or a medium well one. (Others are really not steak anymore if they are raw or shoe leather). Filet, Strip, T-bone, Ribeye, Porterhouse and Prime Rib. One of life's simple pleasures is sitting down to a nicely cooked, sizzling steak brought out with some complementary sides and begging to be eaten.

Steak sauce? Not if the place is any good. Maybe some fresh horseradish for the Prime or even one of the other cuts but A1 and Heinz 57 do not belong on my steak. Steak Oscar? Ok, I guess I can allow that one as long as the seafood is right out of the Gulf fresh and does not overpower the red meat.

Favorite steak places? Oh, let me see, there are many. I will highlight just a few here in this column. Some will be from days past and some will be from my current culinary life. I will also try to hit across the spectrum from fine dining to casual eats and anything in between. I may have to do a follow up at some point as this is a broad category with myriad good choices.

From their website: My choice is the filet
 So, first I will extol the virtues and consistency of one, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. My adventures in eating have taken me to many locations of this fine chain. I began the RC journey in New Orleans, then Mobile, on to Atlanta, up to NY, a stop off in Denver and then to Tampa. Out of all these only one has not been up to par, the one in Denver, and it was something about ownership as I recall. Other than that the steaks are top choice, the atmosphere and service remarkably consistent and the menu everything a steak lover could imagine and maybe a little more. Usually a filet man but have ventured into other territory as well for some change of pace. Some meals consist of just an app, salad and a glass or two of vino. The sides are always enough for at least two and spinach and fries fresh from the oil are two faves. They have great stuffed mushrooms, BBQ Shrimp, Crab Cakes and Ahi Tuna, a mouth watering chopped salad and the desserts always look fab but I am always already satisfied so it goes unordered. The sizzling platter and the sumptious sides are enough for this meat lover. If I had to rank the locations I would have to say the NY location is #1, maybe purely based on it's location in the Marriott where I stayed on business all the time. It was hard to only eat there once per trip up but I did it. Always a great meal here. Always. Save the Denver location where I hosted a group dinner.

From their website: Florida Style Steakhouse
Staying local here in the area, Charley's Steakhouse is on our list of favorites. This one is also on the top end of the scale pricewise and we always start in the bar for a cocktail before heading to our table for dinner. This is a nice spot for business dinners and have had more than a couple here. This location has a nice Florida feel and is upscale and laid back all at the same time. Aged steaks are presented at the table for your choice before you order. I have had the filet here often but have moved into other cuts as well as Lobster depending on whether it is on the expense account or not. The service is usually great here as well. I have had a couple of instances where the cuts of meat were not quite as I would like and once some rubbery (frozen?) lobster tails but for the most part Charley's delivers.

Other good steak places I have had the pleasure of frequenting are Del Frisco's in Ft. Worth, Seegars at the Sandestin Hilton, Smith and Wollensky along with Gallagher's in NYC, Chops in Buckhead and I am sure I will come up with more as we go.......

Also, will report in on some of the more inexpensive steak places and chains in another story.

For now I need a nap after all that red meat talk.

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