Are Steakhouses worth it?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills

Best Prime Steak Restaurant

Mortons
11
12%
Mortons
11
12%
Ruths Chris
23
26%
Flemings
3
3%
Del Fuscos
2
2%
Donovans
1
1%
Bohanans
0
No votes
Other
38
43%
 
Total votes: 89

Topic Author
Thetightfist
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:10 pm

Are Steakhouses worth it?

Post by Thetightfist »

I recently ate at a prime steak house to celebrate a special occasion. My wife and I like to dine out but after we both commented that while it was good, it was not all that much better than a good filet from costco grilled properly.

Does anyone have a premium chain (prime meats) they think offers a great steak meal worth the additional $$$ ???
drmeiners
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun May 01, 2011 6:47 pm

Post by drmeiners »

I think i can make a great steak, but I ate at morton's once and although it was crazy expensive, it might have been the best dining experience i've ever had.

I would do it once a year if it weren't for the fact that the morton's in town just shut down.
fishndoc
Posts: 2327
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 11:50 am

Post by fishndoc »

For about $25-30 each, I can buy dry aged Rib eyes at my local Whole Foods, season with a little sea salt, pepper and olive oil, then grill at 800 degrees on my charcoal grill - I've never had better steak anywhere at any price.
" Successful investing involves doing just a few things right, and avoiding serious mistakes." - J. Bogle
SP-diceman
Posts: 3968
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 9:17 am

Post by SP-diceman »

I have really cut back on red meat.

To be honest, I never really go out with the idea of being floored,
more for convenience. ( I don’t have to cook, or someone else doesn’t)

I find a lot of things can be better at home.


Thanks
SP-diceman
beareconomy
Posts: 461
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2010 9:01 am

Post by beareconomy »

I don't eat steak because it is unhealthy.
thechoson
Posts: 259
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:30 pm

Post by thechoson »

This is basically asking is any restaurant worth it?

Does the value added of a restaurant meal make it worth the extra $$$ you have to shell out?

I guess it all depends on what you are getting out of it. If all you focus on is the food, I doubt it's ever worth it.

Even for such "specialty" food like sushi, probably not worth it. You could probably buy your own fresh raw fish from a Japanese market, make your own sushi. It might only be 75% as good as a proper sushi meal from a restaurant, but it'll probably cost you only about 50%.

I think the entire bit about going to a restaurant, especially a pricey one, is the experience and the ambiance. If that is worth the extra $$$ to you, then I guess it's "worth it".

For me personally, if I am not cooking but still feel like a steak, I like going to non steak houses that still offer steak, like a brewery restaurant. Very good food for much less money, imo.
tim1999
Posts: 3768
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:16 am

Post by tim1999 »

I am horrible at cooking or grilling anything. I have completely ruined many good pieces of meat in my time.

I love steak and going to steakhouses. However, I usually only go the top-tier places where the steaks tend to be $35+ (like Ruth Chris, Morton's, Shula's, etc.) if my employer is paying for it. I may go once a year on my own dime to celebrate a special occasion, though. Once every few weeks I go to a moderately priced steakhouse (or restaurant that serves steak but does not specialize in it) for dinner, where the steak prices might be in the teens or low twenties, sides included.
gkaplan
Posts: 7034
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Post by gkaplan »

Miller's Pub on Adams Street in the Chicago Loop.
Gordon
User avatar
interplanetjanet
Posts: 2226
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:52 pm
Location: the wilds of central California

Post by interplanetjanet »

SP-diceman wrote:To be honest, I never really go out with the idea of being floored, more for convenience. ( I don’t have to cook, or someone else doesn’t)

I find a lot of things can be better at home.
I was much the same for most of my life. Then, when having to travel to Baltimore for business for a week, I decided to take my mom along (my marriage was coming unglued) and make a working vacation out of it.

We used my meal allowance to the hilt and found a few places that truly did dazzle - and gave some amazing inspiration for what to make when I came back home. My kids roll their eyes a bit at some of the efforts but appreciate them anyway (potato/manchego croquettes with shaved truffle come to mind) and their palates are getting very sophisticated. Now I see going out as kind of a way to get inspiration rather than just food - field research. There was this tandoori rack of lamb in saag this other week I've been meaning to draw some ideas from...

We only go out 2-3 times per month, so we can splurge a little and usually share a variety of small dishes. Tapas are wonderful. I do like Costco's prime ribeyes, though, for what it's worth - though they're a once in a while thing. Some things I never order in restaurants because I've been spoiled rotten - nowhere have I found a french onion soup that can compare to what I can do at home, after simmering a duck carcass for four hours.

-Janet
User avatar
norookie
Posts: 3016
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:55 pm

Post by norookie »

:D No........things can be better at home. As I pasted from another s post. The mind is a powerful thing. You buy a bleeding pice of meat and prepare it properly you get no better anywhere. Plus you know what your getting. Talipa(chicken of the sea) being a wise ass was being sold in mass in tourist areas as high end seafood in FL. Being sold as grouper, hogfish, bonefish .....and the like in restaurants. Take your chances with cuts of meat.........JMO. No restaurant is worth the mark up. Its a discretionary expenditure.
" Wealth usually leads to excess " Cicero 55 b.c
Dingle
Posts: 541
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:10 am

Post by Dingle »

Shula's has an excellent steak as far as chains go. Other than that I've ate at a few chains steakhouse that were not as good. There is a Brazilian steakhouse in Chicago that was awesome. Peter Lugars in NYC was incredible.

I too can cook a great steak with some salt, pepper and olive oil but when combined with the atmosphere of a steakhouse its just not something that can be done at home.
rayout
Posts: 368
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 11:30 am

Post by rayout »

beareconomy wrote:I don't eat steak because it is unhealthy.
What? Beef is healthy for you...

It's the dinner roll and dessert that kill you :P
User avatar
cowboyinasia
Posts: 168
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 7:55 am
Location: Seattle metro

Post by cowboyinasia »

When I was younger and single, going out to such meals didn't phase me. Now that I have two kids, and a practical wife thankfully, we find we have other priorities for spending our meal or entertainment dollars. In some ways I miss those meals, but now they are just not right for me.

The last time I was in a nice steak and fish restaurant, I asked if the beef was corn-fed, and of course it was. Since cows do not eat corn naturally, and doing so makes them sick so they must be pumped full of antibiotics, I turned my attention to fish. I'd guess much of the beef at steakhouses is corn fed, so I would not eat them for that reason alone.
DH287
Posts: 99
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2007 8:59 pm
Location: Shoemakersville, PA

Post by DH287 »

We almost never order steak out, primarily because we can make it better at home.

We are fortunate to live in an area where organically grown grass fed beef is available from our local butcher. Eight ounce filets (graded prime) cost $19-22/each. Once or twice a year, we splurge and enjoy them along with mushrooms, grilled onions, mashed sweet potatoes, grilled tomatoes, and a good bottle of Malbec or Bordeaux.

A comparable meal (though the meat would not be as tasty, in my opinion) would cost at least 3.5x at any of the steak houses listed above, not to mention the drive, potential wait (even with reservations), etc.

We enjoy going out to eat for special occasions, but, not for steak.
Triple digit golfer
Posts: 6159
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 5:57 pm

Post by Triple digit golfer »

rayout wrote:
beareconomy wrote:I don't eat steak because it is unhealthy.
What? Beef is healthy for you...

It's the dinner roll and dessert that kill you :P
No kidding. I eat 96% lean ground beef. It's awesome and very healthy.
John Bailout
Posts: 154
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 4:21 pm

Post by John Bailout »

Gibson's in Chicago is my favorite so far.

I can't quite replicate the 1200F sear at home... :)

Shula's is quite ok.

While I enjoy good steak, I enjoy good seafood even more (I find that harder to replicate, esp. the more involved dishes - bouillabaisse etc.). At home we only do simple fish dishes, lobster and oysters.
retiredjg
Posts: 42767
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:56 pm

Post by retiredjg »

fishndoc wrote:For about $25-30 each, I can buy dry aged Rib eyes at my local Whole Foods, season with a little sea salt, pepper and olive oil, then grill at 800 degrees on my charcoal grill - I've never had better steak anywhere at any price.
I bought one of these this week - it's in the freezer. I'm looking forward to trying it!
texas_archer
Posts: 425
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:20 am

Post by texas_archer »

Good cut of meat, my big green egg, and a cold drink. When it comes to steak I will do it myself.
renter
Posts: 368
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 2:14 pm

Post by renter »

beareconomy wrote:I don't eat steak because it is unhealthy.
Meat is actually quite healthy, and in fact our bodies are designed by evolution to be carnivores.
GammaPoint
Posts: 2622
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 10:25 am
Location: Washington

Post by GammaPoint »

I eat steak, but I do think the steakhouses are not worth the money. For that price you can go all out at the grocery store.
User avatar
FrugalInvestor
Posts: 5686
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:20 am

Post by FrugalInvestor »

We occasionally grill a steak at home but haven't eaten at a steak house in years. The last one I recall eating at was Ruth's Chris and I felt that it was wildly overpriced.
Last edited by FrugalInvestor on Sun May 01, 2011 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Have a plan, stay the course and simplify, but most importantly....Ignore the Noise!
maxinout
Posts: 426
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:03 pm

Post by maxinout »

I've never had a steak, whether cooked at home or at another restaurant, that I believed came close to the porterhouse at Peter Luger's in Brooklyn.

I've been to Ruth's Chris, I've been to Morton's, and I've had steak at dozens of other restaurants as well as at home and at friends; all of these steaks fall into one category, and then there is Luger's.

So to answer your question, yes, the steak for two is worth the $80 we paid and I've never tasted anything even close to that experience. Whether it's the suppliers they source, the aging process or the preparation, they've got something that I couldn't imagine matching at home.
Last edited by maxinout on Sun May 01, 2011 11:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Scott S
Posts: 1523
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:28 am
Location: CID

Post by Scott S »

Where are the options for Texas Roadhouse or Lone Star Steakhouse? :razz:

- Scott
555
Posts: 4955
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 7:21 am

Post by 555 »

Steak is so boring. I just don't understand the appeal.
StoutDrinker
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:18 am

Post by StoutDrinker »

I love steak and the best ones are the ones I cook myself. I've been to Ruth Chris and enjoyed the experience, but I'd rather be home where I feel most relaxed. If I had to go to a steakhouse I would choose a good Brazilian one where I can eat as much as I want.
Sulvar
Posts: 293
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 2:27 pm

Post by Sulvar »

I like steak, but it is so easy to prepare a great steak at home that I don't see the point of the very high end steak houses. if I was going out for an expensive dinner I would rather eat something much more complicated, such as a multi-course tasting menu with wine pairings, that I can't prepare at home.
User avatar
Jake46
Posts: 748
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:16 am
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado

Post by Jake46 »

maxinout wrote:I've never had a steak, whether cooked at home or at another restaurant, that I believed came close to the porterhouse at Peter Luger's in Brooklyn.

I've been to Ruth's Chris, I've been to Morton's, and I've had steak at dozens of other restaurants as well as at home and at friends; all of these steaks fall into one category, and then there is Luger's.

So to answer your question, yes, the steak for two is worth the $80 we paid and I've never tasted anything even close to that experience. Whether it's the suppliers they source, the aging process or the preparation, they've got something that I couldn't imagine matching at home.
I agree. I really like Ruth's Chris. I've been to several locations and they are uniformly very good. But Peter Luger's is in a class by itself. But beware, Peter Luger Steakhouse does not accept any credit cards except the Peter Luger Card. If you don't have a Peter Luger Card, bring lots of cash to the table.
BikeFan
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:58 am

Post by BikeFan »

555 wrote:Steak is so boring. I just don't understand the appeal.
I used to think that, because most of the ones I had were bland and boring, but once in a great while, I'll have a great steak, and remember why it's so popular. Some dishes are hard to screw up, but steak is not one of them.
User avatar
interplanetjanet
Posts: 2226
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:52 pm
Location: the wilds of central California

Post by interplanetjanet »

BikeFan wrote:
555 wrote:Steak is so boring. I just don't understand the appeal.
I used to think that, because most of the ones I had were bland and boring, but once in a great while, I'll have a great steak, and remember why it's so popular. Some dishes are hard to screw up, but steak is not one of them.
For me, a lot of it comes down to the cut and grade. Filet mignon bores me to tears, but a nice marbled ribeye...especially aged a bit, is a thing of wonder with simple preparation. Or good skirt steak, marinated and seared. I don't eat beef all that often, but I try to make it count.

Some people pass up the best parts! Like those gooey fat blobs on the edges of a ribeye...amazing. One of my daughters has a real fat phobia so I trim the edges of the piece I serve for her and keep it for myself. Really good beef fat can be in the same league as duck or lamb fat - marvelous and oozy when warm, like whipped beefy butter.

-Janet
sscritic
Posts: 21858
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:36 am

Post by sscritic »

While not literally steak, the Sunday night Prime Rib Special at Flemings is very good. It appears to have been replaced by the everyday $39.95 Chef's Nightly Prix Fixe. I am not sure about going and letting the Chef pick the entree for you. Knowing you were going to get the 3 course Prime Rib meal is what made the Sunday night special worthwhile (assuming you like prime rib).
maxinout
Posts: 426
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:03 pm

Post by maxinout »

Jake46 wrote:
maxinout wrote:I've never had a steak, whether cooked at home or at another restaurant, that I believed came close to the porterhouse at Peter Luger's in Brooklyn.

I've been to Ruth's Chris, I've been to Morton's, and I've had steak at dozens of other restaurants as well as at home and at friends; all of these steaks fall into one category, and then there is Luger's.

So to answer your question, yes, the steak for two is worth the $80 we paid and I've never tasted anything even close to that experience. Whether it's the suppliers they source, the aging process or the preparation, they've got something that I couldn't imagine matching at home.
I agree. I really like Ruth's Chris. I've been to several locations and they are uniformly very good. But Peter Luger's is in a class by itself. But beware, Peter Luger Steakhouse does not accept any credit cards except the Peter Luger Card. If you don't have a Peter Luger Card, bring lots of cash to the table.
There have been a couple Luger's spinoffs that do accept credit cards. One of my favorites is Wolfgang's. They have 3 locations in Manhattan and a couple others in other states. I couldn't tell the difference between their steak and Luger's.

Apparently, Wolfgang worked at Luger's for many years until he decided to open his own shop. He classed up the atmosphere, added some new menu items, but took the signature Luger steak with him. I go to Wolfgang's over Luger's when I have the choice.
jmbkb4
Posts: 280
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:47 pm

Post by jmbkb4 »

beareconomy wrote:I don't eat steak because it is unhealthy.
wrong.
User avatar
stemikger
Posts: 4950
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 5:02 am

Post by stemikger »

I totally agree with the OP. I don't think they are worth it. I recently ate at The Homstead in NYC. It used to be called The Old Homestead. It has a great reputation as being one of the best in New York.

While it was good, it was not great, especially for the prices they charge. Again, it was good, but I have had steaks just as good at home.

The price category was $$$$.
NYCPete
Posts: 810
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 1:24 pm
Location: New York, NY

Post by NYCPete »

renter wrote:
beareconomy wrote:I don't eat steak because it is unhealthy.
Meat is actually quite healthy, and in fact our bodies are designed by evolution to be carnivores.
Not to quibble, but humans did not evolve to be carnivores. Herbivore or omnivore maybe, but carnivore definitely not. Eating only meat, and not any plants, fruits, or vegetables would make us very very sick.

Best,
Peter
To the extent that a fool knows his foolishness, | He may be deemed wise | A fool who considers himself wise | Is indeed a fool. | | Buddha
User avatar
G12
Posts: 1537
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 2:35 pm

Post by G12 »

Good cut of meat, my big green egg, and a cold drink. When it comes to steak I will do it myself.
I second this with a Primo Oval XL, best investment ever. Meat, pizza, fish, chicken, smoking/drying peppers for rubs, smoking tomatoes and peppers for salsa----I could go on. 5-yrs and it is still like new. Triple thumbs up.

I have eaten at high end steakhouses in many metropolitan areas, including Bones, Chops, Morton's and the Palm here in ATL and have always come away wishing I had gone elsewhere for dishes that are much more time consuming to prepare like French or Italian. Great steak is too easy to cook at home if one can obtain good meat.
taurabora
Posts: 205
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:41 pm

Post by taurabora »

I prefer to order fish when I go out, because steak is fairly easy to get correct at home. Fish... makes the house smell, easy to overcook, pin bones... Much better to have it at a restaurant.
4strings
Posts: 160
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:49 pm

Post by 4strings »

Spark's Steak House in NYC is by far superior
S&L1940
Posts: 1658
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:19 pm
Location: South Florida

Post by S&L1940 »

beareconomy wrote:I don't eat steak because it is unhealthy.
plus one

but back in the day, the original Pete Luger's in Brooklyn was pretty good
Don't it always seem to go * That you don't know what you've got * Till it's gone
SDBoggled
Posts: 370
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:35 pm

Post by SDBoggled »

I love steak but prefer to order other dishes when out as in my not so humble opinion it is hard to beat the steak I cook at home. I used to BBQ rib-eye and still prefer it, but lately have been using the sous vide for filet mignon (1hour 139F) then a 1 minute sear, as I think the lower fat content is better for us.

Depending upon the grade of meat the texture can be amazing and the sous vide removes all guesswork.
User avatar
Jake46
Posts: 748
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:16 am
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado

Post by Jake46 »

4strings wrote:Spark's Steak House in NYC is by far superior
I forgot about Spark's. Went there once on a business dinner. Fantastic!
jerkstore
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:52 pm

Post by jerkstore »

gibson's in chicago has a great peppered fillet. it's worth the $$$.

steak chains are not worth the extra $$$.

some fish chains are worth the extra $$$.
User avatar
Taylor Larimore
Advisory Board
Posts: 30178
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:09 pm
Location: Miami FL

A very good steakhouse.

Post by Taylor Larimore »

Bogleheads:

Berns in Tampa, Florida, may be the best steakhouse I ever visited (the wine list contains over 8000 labels). This is a typical dinner menu:

http://www.bernssteakhouse.com/Portals/ ... 20Menu.pdf
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle
Sam I Am
Posts: 2062
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:58 pm

Post by Sam I Am »

Message deleted.
Last edited by Sam I Am on Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sam I Am
Posts: 2062
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:58 pm

Post by Sam I Am »

Message deleted.
Last edited by Sam I Am on Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
texas_archer
Posts: 425
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:20 am

Post by texas_archer »

If Im going to pay money for a steak its going to be at Saltgrass Steakhouse. Ribeye + Range Rattlers.
User avatar
Random Musings
Posts: 5889
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 4:24 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Post by Random Musings »

I cook 'em at home.

I do notice that a lot of our consultants eat at these locations - part of the $250 - $500/hr price that is paid for their services. I have rode on those steak coat tails a few times. :lol:

RM
Sam I Am
Posts: 2062
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:58 pm

Post by Sam I Am »

Message deleted.
Last edited by Sam I Am on Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
simplesimon
Posts: 4012
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:53 pm

Post by simplesimon »

Alexander's Steakhouse in Cupertino, CA is my favorite.
User avatar
ddb
Posts: 5511
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:37 pm
Location: American Gardens Building, West 81st St.

Post by ddb »

Steakhouse meals are one of my indulgences - I aim for 4 or so per year.

Peter Luger Steak House (not "Luger's" or "Lugers" as it is often called) is the crown jewel, IMO. I've eaten at enough other steakhouses to feel very confident about that opinion. I find it not to be overpriced, becuase there is nothing comparable for me at that pricepoint. I'll gladly drop $100 per head (for just the food, pre-tax/tip/alcohol) to enjoy this experience.

Having said that, the two Luger off-shoots I've been to, Wolfgang's and Ben & Jack's, offer comparable steak at similar pricing. Just not the same German beerhouse experience that you get at Peter Luger. Past few years, I've found myself more at these two Manhattan locations, because it's easier than getting over the Williamsburg, and the more upscale atmosphere at these two places is much more palatable to my wife.

- DDB
"We have to encourage a return to traditional moral values. Most importantly, we have to promote general social concern, and less materialism in young people." - PB
tim1999
Posts: 3768
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:16 am

Re: A very good steakhouse.

Post by tim1999 »

Taylor Larimore wrote:Bogleheads:

Berns in Tampa, Florida, may be the best steakhouse I ever visited (the wine list contains over 8000 labels). This is a typical dinner menu:

http://www.bernssteakhouse.com/Portals/ ... 20Menu.pdf
I must say, that is the most thorough and descriptive menu I've ever seen. I'll definitely go if I am ever in Tampa.
Post Reply