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Atlanta Steakhouses


Dave the Cook
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I'm working on a project about steakhouse dishes, and I need a little help with the research. Where in the Atlanta area am I most likely to get the classic experience: wedge salad, creamed spinach, Lyonnaise potatoes -- that sort of stuff? Chain or independent -- doesn't matter.

Dave Scantland
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dscantland@eGstaff.org
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My favorite place for a steak in Atlanta is Hal's. It's about as old school as you can get - smoky bar, martinis, steaks and sides. The blue blazer and khaki pants crowd...but the filet there is the best I've ever had. Outside of that, I'd say Bones. Same deal...different street address. I dont like Bones as well as Hal's, though.

tami h.

food stylist and food blogger

Running With Tweezers

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Wow. I'd never heard of Hal's, even though I drive by the location twice a week. Definitely worth a try. I like the Creole-steakhouse vibe, but it's not quite what I'm after. Bones is closer to the experience I'm after. And though I'm not a chain fan, what about Palm, Morton's and Ruth's Chris? Or (not a chain) Rathbun Steak?

Dave Scantland
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dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There is very little about Hal's live and in person that would make you think "Creole Steakhouse". It is the classic upscale steakhouse experience...except it has carpet instead of wood floors.

I think both The Palm and Morton's are both overpriced and overrated...although thats a characteristic of steakhouses, for the most part. Of the two, I think The Palm was better. I have not yet been to Rathbun Steak, so I can't speak on that.

tami h.

food stylist and food blogger

Running With Tweezers

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I always thought The Highland Tap (in Virginia-Highlands) had a very good steak.

“The secret of good cooking is, first, having a love of it… If you’re convinced that cooking is drudgery, you’re never going to be good at it, and you might as well warm up something frozen.”

~ James Beard

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  • 3 months later...

I'd also go with Bones for the classic, old school approach to this type of restaurant. But all of the others that you mention offer very nearly identical food, because of course that's exactly what their clientele want. I've eaten at several of them and quite seriously cannot recall details that permit me to distinguish them reliably.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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had a killer au poivre ny strip at capitol grill in buckhead about 6 months ago. perfectly cooked and the potato gratin is great too. must have a pineapple martini too...house infused vodka, good stuff

watermelon lizards catch bass in charleston!

simplicity is the mother of all beauty - Big John's Tavern

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Wow. I thought I'd followed up on this, but I guess I didn't. Sorry.

I'd also go with Bones for the classic, old school approach to this type of restaurant. But all of the others that you mention offer very nearly identical food, because of course that's exactly what their clientele want. I've eaten at several of them and quite seriously cannot recall details that permit me to distinguish them reliably.

Spot on. I had to go through receipts to remind myself where I actually went: Bones.

The meat was good, and so huge that we ordered crabcakes as a second entree. They were also good. The sides were good, not to mention decadent; the creamed spinach was more white than green. Where Bones shone was in service: it was absolutely impeccable.

Overall, it confirmed my suspicion: a good cook with access to good meat (though it was hard to tell that what Bones served was anything much better than, say Certified Angus) and some technical support can serve a steak that's just as tasty as anything you can get at an Atlanta restaurant (okay, as good as anything at Bones, anyway). There's nothing wrong with wanting to be pampered, have access to a wine list that's beyond most folks' reach and eat very decent beef. It's just not where I want to spend my limited restaurant dollars.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Are you suggesting that Bone's is no better than any other steakhouse? I can say without a doubt that Bone's served me the best steak I have had anywhere. I do not order steak often, but I have had it at enough places that Bone's does it better. The steak I had at Bacchanalia, for example, did not compare. Nor have the ones I've had at Palm, Morton's or Ruth's Chris. If there are steaks as good as Bone's to be had at a price point cheaper than Bone's, then I'd like to know where. Great meat costs money.

Bone's waiters' announce that they only serve aged, prime beef after you are first seated.

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I have enjoyed many a wonderfully aged, rare steak at McKendrick's here in Dunwoody .. they offer the usual (large!) sidedishes which I love as much as the steak itself sometimes ....

McKendrick's Steakhouse

McKendrick's has a warm, clubby atmosphere with more than ample lush leather seating, solid oak walls and art deco lighting. The music is purely Frank, Dean Sammy and Tony.

Highly rated by the Zagat Survey 2003, 2004, 2005 as clearly one of the best steak houses, top quality beef and huge a'la carte side dishes are brought to table by a courteous staff.

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Are you suggesting that Bone's is no better than any other steakhouse?  I can say without a doubt that Bone's served me the best steak I have had anywhere.  I do not order steak often, but I have had it at enough places that Bone's does it better.  The steak I had at Bacchanalia, for example, did not compare.  Nor have the ones I've had at Palm, Morton's or Ruth's Chris.  If there are steaks as good as Bone's to be had at a price point cheaper than Bone's, then I'd like to know where.  Great meat costs money.

Bone's waiters' announce that they only serve aged, prime beef after you are first seated.

Hmm. I guess that is what I suggested, but it's not what I meant. I've been to Palm, Morton's and Ruth's Chris, all several years ago and always on business. I've also been to the highly-touted Bern's in Tampa. I don't find any of them memorable, which is why I started this topic. Six months or so later, I do remember Bone's, so maybe that's something.

There's only one dry-aged steak on the menu at Bone's, the 16-oz. strip. I didn't have that, I had the bone-in ribeye, a cut I much prefer to the homogeneous strip. Yes, the waiters trot out the prime line ("the top one percent of all beef"), but I just didn't detect a noticeable bump in quality from high-end choice like CAB or Coleman's. Neither did I notice a great surface from the broiler. I do know what dry aging does for good beef; I used to work in a restaurant that served it by the cow-load.

What I was trying to say was that 1) I've had better steaks, and while I agree that steakhouse steaks are usually better than steaks at otherwise excellent restaurants, I'd say that's either changing, or it's a matter of you or the restaurant choosing wisely. Restaurant Eugene serves a terrific hanger, for example. 2) most of the better steaks I've had I made myself. I don't have access to prime beef or an infrared broiler (something else a steakhouse will boast of). I just have good choice meat and I practice a lot.

I'll take your word for it that Bone's is head-and-shoulders above the rest (in Atlanta, anyway), but that only increases both my disappointment and my conviction to stick with cooking steak at home.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Like an iceberg wedge, you mean? I love those salads.

You missed steak night, since it was tonight: hanger with a really crispy-skinned baked russet and local cultured biutter; fresh peas.

So what's your preference: strip, ribeye, porterhouse? Something else?

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Are you suggesting that Bone's is no better than any other steakhouse?  I can say without a doubt that Bone's served me the best steak I have had anywhere.  I do not order steak often, but I have had it at enough places that Bone's does it better.  The steak I had at Bacchanalia, for example, did not compare.  Nor have the ones I've had at Palm, Morton's or Ruth's Chris.  If there are steaks as good as Bone's to be had at a price point cheaper than Bone's, then I'd like to know where.  Great meat costs money.

Bone's waiters' announce that they only serve aged, prime beef after you are first seated.

Hmm. I guess that is what I suggested, but it's not what I meant. I've been to Palm, Morton's and Ruth's Chris, all several years ago and always on business. I've also been to the highly-touted Bern's in Tampa. I don't find any of them memorable, which is why I started this topic. Six months or so later, I do remember Bone's, so maybe that's something.

There's only one dry-aged steak on the menu at Bone's, the 16-oz. strip. I didn't have that, I had the bone-in ribeye, a cut I much prefer to the homogeneous strip. Yes, the waiters trot out the prime line ("the top one percent of all beef"), but I just didn't detect a noticeable bump in quality from high-end choice like CAB or Coleman's. Neither did I notice a great surface from the broiler. I do know what dry aging does for good beef; I used to work in a restaurant that served it by the cow-load.

What I was trying to say was that 1) I've had better steaks, and while I agree that steakhouse steaks are usually better than steaks at otherwise excellent restaurants, I'd say that's either changing, or it's a matter of you or the restaurant choosing wisely. Restaurant Eugene serves a terrific hanger, for example. 2) most of the better steaks I've had I made myself. I don't have access to prime beef or an infrared broiler (something else a steakhouse will boast of). I just have good choice meat and I practice a lot.

I'll take your word for it that Bone's is head-and-shoulders above the rest (in Atlanta, anyway), but that only increases both my disappointment and my conviction to stick with cooking steak at home.

I tend to agree w/ you and do not under stand the popularity of the steak house concept--be it Bone's, Chops, Morton's or Outback, Longhorn's, et al. If you look you can find prime beef (Costco now has it in the frozen section) or if you shop you can get some really, really good choice. I can get a cast iron skillet red hot or a grill of hard wood and charcoal at just the right temperature. I also have an oven to bake potatoes and access to butter, sour cream, chives, bacon, & cheddar is not that difficult. Steamed broccoli w/ butter is a simple chore as is creamed spinach. And if I wanted to go the trouble of breaking out the fryer for onion rings or green tomatoes I could do that. I have a decent wine collection but if I wanted some thing truly special I have a number of good wine stores w/in a short distance and I happen to make a very good martini (& use orange bitters and Noilly Prat vermouth which I guarantee most of the places mentioned do not). The way the smoking laws are set you can not even enjoy that fine cigar w/ your after-dinner cocktail at the table any more--just like at home.

AND at a quarter (if that) of the price.

I used to find it amusing how people would gush over the steaks at Morton's, Palm, Bone's, &c and I would watch the same Buckhead Beef truck go fr/ our place to each of the others dropping off the same cuts of beef. I even had a few calls fr/ such places begging tenderloin, rib eye, strips, &c b/c they had mis-ordered or needed some last minute and hoping I would share. Granted dry-aged beef is some thing un to it self but even that can be had at certain Whole Foods.

in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--

the best cat ever.

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Like an iceberg wedge, you mean? I love those salads.

You missed steak night, since it was tonight: hanger with a really crispy-skinned baked russet and local cultured biutter; fresh peas.

So what's your preference: strip, ribeye, porterhouse? Something else?

Well since its just me, my wife only eats red meat if its ground. I usually pick up a cheaper cut and work with it. I've found the end pieces of the chuck eye can be exceptionally tender and full of fatty goodness and cheap at $5/lb. If I'm eating out I'll go with a filet or ribeye, but pretty much love any cut.

Veni Vidi Vino - I came, I saw, I drank.
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