18 minutes ago, mgaretz said:
My thoughts too. Back in my "on the road" days I once went to Omaha. Made a point of eating lots of steak, even at places that sold "official" Omaha brand steaks (even sold fresh or frozen to cook at home). Meh. Nothing special. Costco and my local market has much better meat.
I'm not sure if that association between the Plains and "good steak" is outdated, or just fictional, but it certainly doesn't seem like it has a lot of relevance in an era of highly concentrated meat processing. Being closer to a Cargill plant isn't going to get you a better steak, and smaller producers are much more geographically diverse.
I have a feeling the last time it held true was sometime in the 19th century, before the advent of modern refrigerated transport.
That said, as a Midwestern boy, I will stand up for the institution of the Midwestern steakhouse. Maybe not in Omaha, but the experience of going out for a steak (or better yet, prime rib) dinner in Chicago is better than anything I've found on the East Coast.
(As an aside, I used to travel a lot more for work and made it a point to try local fast food wherever I was. The only meal I ever couldn't finish — Runza — was in Nebraska. Edited to add — in fairness, the best was in Kansas, at the Cozy Inn in Salina. They've used the same cast iron griddle for their burgers since 1922.)