Saturday, February 24, 2007

Long Island Steakhouses

Before I begin, a couple of things:

First, I am sorry for the lack of posts this week. I've been busy. No greater excuse than that.

Second, after much time and consideration I realized that my personal life is very boring. I reviewed the previous blog posts and pretty much reached the conclusion that posts about what is going on in the world is good; posts about what is going on in my life is bad.

On Wednesday night, in a spur of the moment type of thing, I called up my Grandfather and asked him to have dinner in Long Island. I'm down on Long Island for a variety of reasons: the Jewish American Princess who think they are better looking than they actually are (Yo, if your 5-3 and 140 pounds--I'm sorry but you really ain't so fine); the lack of scenery (expensive, overpriced malls don't count) and the lack of quality of restaurants. Sure, on Northern Blvd they have a lot of famous steakhouses (to just quickly name three: Mortons, Peter Lugers and Bryant and Cooper). Yet, with the exception of Luger's, they are all over priced; stuffy and filled with people who are old, fat and boring. It sucks the life out of you. I know it sounds superficial but eating where the people are young and good looking makes a different in the quality of the meal.

For the second time in the last three months, I went to Bryant & Cooper in Rosyln. My initial thought when reviewing this restaurant was that their porterhouse for two that was $80 was overpriced. Not in terms of the quantity (which essentially enabled me and my parents to have leftovers for dinner the following night) but rather, with respect to quality. For $40 a head; the porterhouse really needs to be spectacular. Do not get me wrong: It was good. Probably closer to very good than good. But for that type of $$$--it really needs to blow me off my feet.

Overall, I thought Bryant and Cooper was overpriced and had to many mistakes to validate its prices. I'm pretty much sure all their side dishes (spinach, potatoes; tomato and onions) were at a minimum as expensive as Peter Lugers. Generally speaking, I don't think its fair to compare steakhouses to Lugers (it is sort of like comparing current basketball players to Michael Jordan). However, if you are going to charge more than Lugers--such an act warrants comparison.

Other blunders at Bryant: the waiter didn't do a good job understanding my request for home fries and as a result I ended up with a side full of potatoes that weren't really home fries but rather, just fairly well done potatoes with some crispy onions. We asked for creamed spinach and they gave us regular spinach. When we arrived at the restaurant; they tried to sit us directly in front of the kitchen/bus boy area even though the restaurant was essentially empty. I kept my cool when they attempted to do so but my Grandfather was rightfully annoyed.

While it was not a bad restaurant by any means, it was not worth $144 between two people before tip.

(In the interest of full disclosure, my grandfather and I ordered the following):


One glass of red Merlot Whine (in which was excellent as well as a generous portion)
one apple martini;

Chopped tomato and onions

Porterhouse for two
Home fries (sort of)
Sauteed Spinach

Two cups of coffee
No Desert

But not all my meals in Long Island left me so distraught: on Friday I went to Peter Lugers for lunch. I had the following: Peter Luger Burger; side of Luger French Fries; a nice dark Beck's Beer (the fact that they put in a cold beer glass is HUGE) and of course--a slice of Canadian Bacon to start. I was in heaven. The total bill: $19.75. It was such a good price I almost felt guilty leaving the waiter a bad tip.

An associate in my father's office said the Luger's creamed spinach is what makes them so special. At this point, it is really just a matter of one's own taste but I would have to disagree. I can go to Peter Luger's and survive without getting the creamed spinach. But to not have the Canadian Bacon would have me leaving feeling empty.

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