Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Ruth's Chris Ain't All That Bad


weinoo
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've had good meals at RC and bad ones. The good ones were OK. The bad ones were memorably bad. It seems that my good meals were in the past, before there were so many outlets. All the recent RC meals have been disappointments on one level or another.

They set themselves up for harsh judgment with $7 spuds and sides that aren't in line with their menu description, and some gnarly cuts of beef I've had. Service that can't get the right steak matched with the right diner adds to the frustration. Corporate QC is lacking.

If I got these meals at Outback prices I'd be ecstatic. But these are at Daniel prices and far far below that quality.

Mortons and DelFriscos are a few notches higher.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I got these meals at Outback prices I'd be ecstatic. But these are at Daniel prices and far far below that quality.

At Daniel prices?! I find that hard to believe. Actually, I find it a wee bit of an exaggeration.

And as I wrote in my original post, although I don't know about the prices other locations charge, for my $50 I got a full sized Caesar salad that was as good as a Caesar salad needs to be, a 16 oz. tasty, tender, cooked right ribeye, a side of creamed spinach and dessert. How does that equate to the check at Daniel?

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I got these meals at Outback prices I'd be ecstatic. But these are at Daniel prices and far far below that quality.

At Daniel prices?! I find that hard to believe. Actually, I find it a wee bit of an exaggeration.

And as I wrote in my original post, although I don't know about the prices other locations charge, for my $50 I got a full sized Caesar salad that was as good as a Caesar salad needs to be, a 16 oz. tasty, tender, cooked right ribeye, a side of creamed spinach and dessert. How does that equate to the check at Daniel?

The Daniel comparison was a bit of hyperbole. But I think you found a bargain.

Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Daniel comparison was a bit of hyperbole. But I think you found a bargain.

This is what I'm arguing about and trying to disprove. Just like in my recent Whole Foods' topic, false-truths, hyperbole and innuendo gets spread around so much that many people end up believing it's the reality. The reality is that it isn't the reality.

In the case of Ruth's Chris, it's that the steak must suck because it's a chain. And it is dramatically expensive. Neither of those is true.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Daniel comparison was a bit of hyperbole. But I think you found a bargain.

This is what I'm arguing about and trying to disprove. Just like in my recent Whole Foods' topic, false-truths, hyperbole and innuendo gets spread around so much that many people end up believing it's the reality. The reality is that it isn't the reality.

In the case of Ruth's Chris, it's that the steak must suck because it's a chain. And it is dramatically expensive. Neither of those is true.

Wait a minute. What you are trying to say is that people who post here have lots of preconcieved notions about things and that many of those notions are sort of pretentious? I'll be damned, I never would have know that.

I guess I will admit my shame and say I have as well eaten at Ruth's Chris. Was it steakhouse nirvana? It was not. Yes it is a chain but to equate the quality of the food with that of Olive Garden is wrong. What I had was a nice steak cooked correctly. Was it overpriced? It was not cheap, but I was not expecting it to be. So please, hold me in contempt for eating at a chain place that actually has the audacity to advertise. Oh the humanity!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the case of Ruth's Chris, it's that the steak must suck because it's a chain. And it is dramatically expensive. Neither of those is true.

Your yardstick and my yardstick for what is or isn't expensive seem to be quite different.

RC is quite expensive in my world of finances. The first time I ever ate at an RC (as someone else's guest), I was floored to see everything was a la carte, something I had never encountered before in a restaurant. It was certainly an education for me ("I'll take a glass of water with the chicken, please" :laugh: ).

The next tier down from an RC (financially speaking for me, at least) would be an Outback, Claim Jumper or Stuart Anderson's/Black Angus. The bottom tier below them all would be a Sizzler or Bonanza, of course. :biggrin:

And that there's some steak place yet even more expensive than RC's is astounding to me and my wallet.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the case of Ruth's Chris, it's that the steak must suck because it's a chain. And it is dramatically expensive. Neither of those is true.

Your yardstick and my yardstick for what is or isn't expensive seem to be quite different.

RC is quite expensive in my world of finances. The first time I ever ate at an RC (as someone else's guest), I was floored to see everything was a la carte, something I had never encountered before in a restaurant. It was certainly an education for me ("I'll take a glass of water with the chicken, please" :laugh: ).

The next tier down from an RC (financially speaking for me, at least) would be an Outback, Claim Jumper or Stuart Anderson's/Black Angus. The bottom tier below them all would be a Sizzler or Bonanza, of course. :biggrin:

And that there's some steak place yet even more expensive than RC's is astounding to me and my wallet.

that pricing model is pretty standard in higher end steakhouses.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think we have two lines of thought here.

One says that RC isn't all that bad (OK I'll agree,it isn't horrible and I've had good meals there).

The other says that RC is expensive relative to what you get and is unpredictable. I'll agree with that too. Compared to Delfrisco's and Morton's chains it is a clear third, though better than Sullivan's which is better than Outback (thoughOutback is a pretty good value).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think we have two lines of thought here. / One says that RC isn't all that bad / The other says that RC is expensive relative to what you get and is unpredictable. I'll agree with that too. Compared to Delfrisco's and Morton's chains it is a clear third, though better than Sullivan's which is better than Outback.

But gf, as you, popsicletoze, and I already pointed out here, you can't judge a chain from one or two sites.

RC has something like 120 restaurants. I recall the Del Frisco parent firm having even more, and Sullivan's was one of their higher-tier "brands."

I've eaten at multiple RCs each in Louisiana, Texas, California, and I think at least one other state in between. They varied in style and experience. I mentioned an unusual one in the Palm Springs area. That is a big steakhouse market with many chains and independents. The Morton' and RC in that competitive market have been impressive, but not quite up to the Sullivan's there, widely considered one of the very best of many competitors; it may be the best chain steakhouse location I've ever tried. (LG's Prime, a small local chain, had the best beef, but Sullivan's had classy live jazz, a good regular clientele, and among the most attractive "happy-hour" food deals in the area.)

You can't generalize unless you've eaten at a good fraction of the chain's locations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Del Friscos has that many locations now? Wow. I remember when it was just a singular local steakhouse here in Dallas. Ate there once. Then had dinner there again after it opened a second location in Dallas.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can't generalize unless you've eaten at a good fraction of the chain's locations.

True, but we shouldn't be expected to eat 100 meals at 100 different RCs before we form an opinion about quality and service, either. If "putting out the best possible meal for our guests chain-wide" was priority #1, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

All restaurants need to make money. But some have a "strive for perfection and excellence (and profit) will follow" philosophy and others take the "show me the money" approach. It's not hard to sort out which is which.

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Granted I'm left sour on them from my experience within the organization, but having tasted the food more than anyone here, and knowing how it's all prepared, I'd wager a good experience is more Pavlovian than anything else.

Maybe it's me, but I'd rather just eat at Outback for a third the price.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I heartily disagree that you can't judge a chain by a few experiences.

From this diners point of view the whole purpose of a chain is to give me a reliable meal in an unfamiliar city. What does a chain's name stand for if not a certain reproducible experience?

If every coca-cola tasted different would you continue drink it?

Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

we shouldn't be expected to eat 100 meals at 100 different RCs before we form an opinion about quality and service, either.

Of course not. But I see people constantly surprised by realities they didn't know about when they extrapolate from part of a restaurant (or a chain) that they know about, to parts they don't. On the other hand you can speak from experience of the particular RC's you've visited, and that's valuable info for other folk. Ideals of chainwide uniformity notwithstanding, real chain steakhouse sites have different personnel, markets, even types of ownership, as I wrote of RC.

The most common weakness I see in online (or in-person) restaurant reports is extrapolation beyond what people know. It's partly how we all intuit reality (which tends to estimate unknown details automatically). You can see it any time you know a restaurant well (from many visits under diverse circumstances), and a customer new to the place, with very narrow experience, comments confidently with generalizations that they likely would never use if they knew the restaurant better. Yet their specific experiences and observations have value, if they would stick to those... Occasionally I try to point out such a generalization, or that something they reported, good or bad, is atypical, as any experienced customer could tell them; but they reply defensively (as if it were about them, not the restaurant), like "if the place had any standards, every experience would be identical." Maybe, but that's off the point.

And again, occasionally negative comments reflect situations the customer clearly created, and even admits! On eG, two threads appeared once from diners who complained of mildly negative experiences at different high-end restaurants -- and admitted having created the problems, with clearly obnoxious behavior. And many readers sympathized! It's a window into some of the psychology.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also re gfweb's disappointment about inconsistency, it turned out for me it was not a bug, but a feature!

I'd almost written off pricey chain steakhouses in general, after RC in San Francisco in the early '90s. If I'd judged from that, I would never have considered the places I mentioned around Palm Springs, never discovered that some of those not only were very well run, with classy kitchens, but even could be amazingly good values, if you were around enough to learn about their deals that catered to locals. "Outback" prices with high-end food and edgy live jazz. Another of them there, to bring in trade on one night of the week that's usually slow, gave out quality filet-mignon sandwiches as "snacks" if you stopped at the bar for a drink. Who needed dinner after that?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As many others have said the biggest problem with Ruth's Chris is that different locations often offer very different experiences. Im originally from New Orleans, and the food at the original Ruth's Chris was always fantastic when Ms. Ruth was alive, and I still hear pretty good things about it. It was as good as any steakhouse in town. Ive also had Ruth's Chris in other locations with mixed results, some were good and some were barely better than eating at an outback. The one thing I have never gotten at any Ruth's Chris that I have eaten at is service equal to what I believe should be had at the prices you are paying. My mother LOVES ruths chris, so I venture to say Ive had at least 50 meals at various locations over the last 20 years and don't think Ive ever had particuarly good service.

Edited by Twyst (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a lot about expectations. Ruth's Chris has never met my expectations that they set through price, atmosphere, and advertising. They want to be considered a premium steakhouse, but in my experience, the food and service fell short; the steaks lacked flavor that I've found in similarly-placed steakhouses, and many of the sides were overseasoned.

Here in Raleigh, Sullivan's blows away Ruth's Chris. But I have had steaks at Outback that are just as good as Ruth's Chris, at a third the price. I don't expect greatness at Outback, and am pleasantly surprised when the steak is flavorful and cooked properly - medium rare, please.

Funny thing is, you will find similar arguments on super-premium steakhouses, and which are players and pretenders, like Luger's, Wolfgang's, Palm, Old Homestead, etc., all of which nearly require a second mortgage for one meal. I expect greatness every time when I lay out that kind of cash, and have only gotten it twice - at Peter Luger's, and Bern's in Tampa.

Great, now I'm hungry!

Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit. -Oscar Wilde
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As an aside, we did have great martini's at the RC but I was surprised by the plastic pirate sword spearing my olives in the glass. :blink::laugh:

Regarding high end steakhouses (even though my high end isn't as high as the ends of others in this discussion :laugh: ), I did have a very good meal at the Lawry's Prime Rib off the strip in Las Vegas. Like RC's, et al, it was a la carte but whatta cart! I speak of the art deco metallic serving cart, of course. The entire restaurant is art deco and the serving cart looks like a silver art deco dirigible. Your meat is carved table side from the cart and the sides are served up from there, as well. The prime rib is wonderfully seasoned and is fork tender. They even do a salad making schtick/routine tableside. I just felt bad for the waitresses who had to wear the dowdiest looking uniforms.

I would return for another (relatively expensive) meal there before going back to RC.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ruth Chris is actually the definition of "hit or miss!" In my hometown of Calgary, Alberta, Canada the service, food, etc is AWFUL! But, I once dined there in Scottsdale, AZ and it was quite good, albeit it has been some years.

Aman Adatia

eat my LIFE

@amanadatia

Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. -Howard Thurman

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...