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The Manliest Restaurant in America?


Paul Funyun
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Full and total disclosure right off the bat: I'm with Men's Health magazine.

We’re on a mission to discover the manliest restaurants in America, and we’re on the hunt for nominees. What places across the country do you think deserve the title?

Have you been to most legit taco truck in all of the Southwest? The most authentic newspaper tablecloth crab shack in the Mid-Atlantic? The best throwback steakhouse in Vegas? A biker bar built inside a missile silo that’s serving up an unbelievable shepherd’s pie? Okay, the last one's a little extreme, but you get the point...

What would be your nominees?

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I could nomintate some BBQ places in central Texas, but I'll single out one.

Kruez Market in Lockhart. HUGE place. Pit room is full of brick pits, loaded with meat. Lots and lots and lots of meat. Live, open fires fuel the cooking. Meat piled on paper. Eaten with fingers. It's all very primitve.

I have a better write up with pictures over in the Texas:Dining forum. You can read it right here.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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The first thing that comes to mind is a curry shop on Lexington in NY where I had lunch once, a basement cafeteria type place. It comes to mind because I remember noticing that no women were eating there; the only women in the place were working behind the counter. I also noticed I was the only non-Indian there. I don't now remember the name of it.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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There is a wire rack full of Lay's potato chips and a crockpot full of water hot dogs sitting near the cash register inside the "Buckle Under", the leather store inside a Bear Bar here in KC....if THAT doesn't count as the manliest meal in all the land, then YOU can go tell them that.

Jerry

Kansas City, Mo.

Unsaved Loved Ones

My eG Food Blog- 2011

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It's all very primitve.

Except that it's a restaurant: the antithesis of primitive. I mean, if it were really primitive, you'd be slaughtering the animals right there at the table with stone tools and cooking it over a fire pit. I mean, the whole idea of a restaurant is that you've paid for someone to do the "manly" bits for you!

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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I think you need to define "Manly" more.

One late night with a few other couples after a show, we ended up in a restaruant in lower Westside (NYC). it was truly a manly place, no females.

It was a gay man's hang out.

dcarch

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I remember a place in Troy, NY, the South End Tavern. The last time I was there was the early 80s. This place must have been 50 or 60 years old at the time, and had never been reno'd. There was still a sign over a second doorway that said "Ladies' Entrance." As far as I know, it's still there. You went in, the booths were cracked leather, the waiter was a fat balding guy with an apron, a notepad, and a cigar. Boy, did it smell manly in there.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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How about Boston's Speed Dog? Basically, it's Boston's best food truck (literally wins every year in Boston Magazine), serving up Boston's best hot dog, an $8 behemoth with an 8 oz. slowly smoked beef sausage, charred hot dog bun, blended mustard (brown, honey, and spicy I think), chili sauce without beans (but I think it might have raisins oddly enough), special BBQ sauce (combo of BBQ and sweet & savory sauce), and sweet raw onions (Vidalia and California. It's so messy that you can't eat it without getting it everywhere, and it's so big that only a real man could finish it.

And it's located in the middle of what seemed to me to be a near endless parking lot, filled with odd businesses, in one of the more rundown areas of Boston (not quite the ghetto, but you get the picture). Just locating the truck was a challenge in itself, as it was nestled away literally in the middle of nowhere, off to the side of this parking lot. And yet, it's somehow Boston's most famous hot dog. That's pretty manly if you ask me.

Hope that helps.

Edmund Mokhtarian

Food and Wine Blogger

http://www.thefoodbuster.com

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It's all very primitve.

Except that it's a restaurant: the antithesis of primitive. I mean, if it were really primitive, you'd be slaughtering the animals right there at the table with stone tools and cooking it over a fire pit. I mean, the whole idea of a restaurant is that you've paid for someone to do the "manly" bits for you!

Had lunch earlier this week at the Butcher & Larder...in full view of the entire establishment, the hindquarter of a pig was being broken down with a hacksaw about 10 feet away from where I stood eating my coffee-braised beef sandwich. I guess I could have offered to lend a hand, but I don't know if it would have made the experience any more "manly".

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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I think you need to define "Manly" more.

dcarch

I kind of agree with this--but because I think there is a difference between manly and masculine. Maybe both imply "meat," but the latter to me is more about testosterone, in the dominance, masters of th.e universe, BSD kind of way. So: back in the 80s, Locke-Ober in Boston was masculine, and women were not allowed.Or McSorleys in NYC. Politician hangouts. Many steak houses are incredibly masculine, and cigar bars that serve food, but I wouldn't call them manly. Irish pubs with darts and stuff are manly. And bbq places

Of course, what do I know, I'm a woman.

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BSD

The only BSD I know is Berkeley Software Distribution and I assume that's not it, unless you're implying True UNIX Beards are the manliest hackers, which I guess could be true.

"Manliness" is utterly subjective and dependent on context and culture so I think the OP should just pick whatever definition they like and go with it.

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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A biker bar built inside a missile silo that’s serving up an unbelievable shepherd’s pie? Okay, the last one's a little extreme, but you get the point...

I haven't eaten in a missile silo, but I did have breakfast at the cafeteria at the Nevada Test Site once, and then lunch at the bottom of a subsidence crater. The cafeteria had vending machine for microwavable foods that was labeled "nukeables" with a picture of a mushroom cloud.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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The "manliest" restaurant I have been to is Carnivore in Nairobi. It's basically a Brazilian steakhouse that carves up water buffalo, crocodile and zebra. (And more ordinary meats as well.)

(I didn't eat there -- One, I don't really want to try zebra. Two, it's quite pricey for the backpacking crowd.)

So, I would say that the manliest restaurant in America is some variation of the above -- an all-you-can-eat steakhouse. Preferably pouring craft beer and small batch whiskeys.

My criteria:

1) It must be out in the sticks somewhere. Manly restaurants are not located in Beverly Hills, Greenwich Village or Boca Raton. Prime spots can be gleaned from the backs of pick-up trucks: Durango, Laramie, Yukon, etc.

2) It must serve meat and alcohol and not much else. (Some starch is fine. But the emphasis must be on protein.

3) Restaurant MUST MUST MUST offer a "you kill it and dress it, we'll cook it" option. Grizzly Adams should be able to walk in with a deer slung over his shoulder and plop it down on a long wooden table and say, "Grill it."

4) Men of all walks of life should feel comfortable there. At the best manly restaurants, vacationing tax lawyers are talking hunting and fishing tips with grizzled guides.

I have been to more seafood restaurants that fill the "manly" bill than steakhouses. I fully expect to be able to walk into any of my favorite places in the Florida Keys with a 60-pound bull dolphin (aka mahi mahi) and expect to have dolphin steaks with some sort of side and pitchers of beer, and eat and drink with fishing captains while smoking cigars.

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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Manliest & America don't go in the same phrase.

You have to go to Tijuana strip joints... pink tacos, shaved clams, fried chicken necks, lamb machitos (deep fried lamb oysters & intestines), calf brains with black butter, really cheap well "tequila" that can't legally call its self Tequila... oh yeah and salads made from Habanero chiles.

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The Gamekeeper in Boone, NC

It's in a town named for a real man's man, they serve boar, snake, elk, and all other kinds of stuff you would hunt and kill, and the place is all wood and has antlers for chandeliers.

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Wow, based upon reading most responses I would say that you should judge by the patrons. Perhaps any location patronized by the likes of Elliot Spitzer, Tiger Woods, Bill Clinton, Gary Hart... you get the idea. Strip joints? An establishment that celebrates the denigration of women? Meat is manly???? So, eating a salad is womanly???? Again, WOW. Maybe the entertainment should be a the recreation of the Aztec sacrifice of a vestal virgin? Maybe a cannibal restaurant, what could be more "manly." Ergo the guest list expands to Jeffrey Dahmer, the Stella Maris Rugby Club (trapped in the Andes after their plane crashed) and Anthony Hopkins character, Dr. Hannibal Lecter.

One criteria based upon reading this thread is it would serve PIG only (tongue in guanciale aka pigs cheek.) Thank you for reinforcing my lack of subscription to such a feeble minded publication w/ such cro magnon allure. Maybe the dress code of any restaurant that restricts clothing to animal hides. I guess someone out there has to marginalize social advancements such as stay at home dads, etc. Just saying.

Def. Sarcasm a sharp, BITTER or SHARP remark (from the greek sarkasmos, to tear flesh- how appropriate.)

Tom Gengo

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