Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I Hope I Have Room

First off, for all us donkeys out there who want to learn from the king, take a look at Chad's latest post on how he plays the 26k and its ilk. Great post from the KOD. I was happy to see his strategy isn't far off from mine, and it shone a light on a couple holes of mine I can take care of.

That, and if I'm at a final table with him, now I'll know what he's up to.

Had a blast in the MATH last night, and not just because of my sick card run at the beginning. The chat was flying, and I won a decent last-longer bet that covered most of my costs on the night (50-50, MATH direct buy-in, and about 4 or 5 various lvl 1 peeps that I missed cashing in). Better than being down over $100 for the night on low buy-in events.

Methinks I won't see any virtual felt tonight as I'm off to Ruth's Chris for dinner. I imagine it'll be the standard fare of a great ribeye, some side, drinks, and the best Key Lime Pie I've had outside of Key West. I love Ruth's steaks, but I think they cheat by finishing them in butter. I mean, everything tastes better covered in melted sizzling butter. That said, I'm spoiled being in Toronto, which has more great steakhouses than I can keep track of. Damn, this is going to lead to a tangent.

I feel bad for my friends who haven't had a really good steak. Sorry, but The Keg (unless it's The Mansion) doesn't quite cut it. It's fine, but it's not a GREAT steak. Ponderosa? Sizzler? Might as well eat the tire off your car. Your local grill? Ummm.. nope. Go to a real steakhouse at least once, where they know that "medium-rare" means lots of red, not a line of pink in the center. One where they use spices only as an enhancement to the meat, not as the main flavour. Steak should taste like steak. One where the portions are big and your belt needs to be loosened a notch afterwards; 4 ounces isn't a steak, it's a condiment. Good wine must be available, and anything more than a baked potato as a side costs extra. You won't look at steak the same afterwards.

I was in Banff and bought my buddies dinner at Saltlik, a fairly decent steakhouse, and probably the best in that town. I almost smacked one for asking if the skirt steak was any good. Rule 1: If it's the only option that comes with multiple sides and is STILL cheaper than everything else, the answer is a resounding, "NO." Then I had to talk another buddy down from destroying a steak by getting it well done. I think I got him to medium, and I doubt he'll go back to that abomination of greyness. By the time everyone had their first bite, they finally understood what a real steak tasted like. I hope I set them on a long and enjoyable path.

And really people, it's not hard to do a decent steak at home. I can almost guarantee it won't be as good as at a restaurant though. Those guys get the pick of the meat before us lowly consumers. Maybe if you're friends with a good butcher, or know a cattle farmer, you can get some high-quality cuts, but chances are you're getting tier-2 meat. Regardless, don't overcook it, don't cut it and let all the juices out, and minimize your turning. Ideally you want to rotate it once on each side for grill marks, and flip it only once. High heat to sear, and medium to cook.

Anyway, if you're ever in Toronto and want a good chunk of cow, look for a few of these places: Bardi's, Harbour Sixty, Ruth's Chris (yes, it's a chain, but they know what they're doing), Tom Jones (good steak, but overpriced, do the other 3 first), and Barberian's. Hy's, Morton's, Carmen's and The Keg Mansion are also decent (although I can't personally speak for Morton's or Carmen's, but I've heard good things), but I've got to go with my first group above them. Bring your credit card, and leave the scale alone for a couple days.

Have I mentioned I'm a bit passionate about food?


Alan aka RecessRampage said...

Amen!!! I don't understand why anyone would get a nice steak if they're gonna order it to be cooked well done... while you're at it, just drown it in A1 sauce... what a way to ruin a good steak.

Mmmm... my personal favorite is the bone-in rib-eye, medium rare... only way to have a good steak, IMO.

Enjoy your dinner!

lj said...

i'm partial to any dry aged steak. melts in your mouth, barely needs seasoning. stick in the broiler, medium rare, yummmmmmmmm. also, the butcher around the corner from me sells a mean bacon wrapped filet mignon. [drool]

Irongirl01 said...

Smith and Wollensky and Peter Luger in NYC used to be two of the best steakhouses in NYC...

I have a great Italian butcher right down the street where I get all my meet.

and for the travelling gourmand check out the www.roadfood.com

Instant Tragedy: Just Add Sean said...

I started my meat eating with it well done, but I have come back to the meat eating fold with a medium steak selection.

The only problem sometimes is finding the meat that is tier 2 not tier crap.

As Alton Brown would say.

"Nothing better than Good Eats!"

Guin said...

I would have to say that I like Morton's over the other selections even if it is a chain. More of a guys feel to the place and the area has a good non bay st night life afterwards which is a good way to end the evening.

Have fun eating at Ruths... I am one that doesn't like the butter on my steak but I also like it cooked medium. At some places medium is more like medium rare due to thickness of steaks at good places being at least double the Keg style cuts.