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Lobel's Online Store


melkor
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"Customer Referral Program

Any existing customer with a valid Customer Referral Program number can earn our thanks and a $50.00, free gift certificate with our compliments for referring a new customer to Lobel's of New York.

"

anyone want to do me?

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"Customer Referral Program

Any existing customer with a valid Customer Referral Program number can earn our thanks and a $50.00, free gift certificate with our compliments for referring a new customer to Lobel's of New York.

"

anyone want to do me?

I'll pass on doing you, but my referral number is 22056

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Note that the refer-ee needs to order $150 for the referer gets the $50 credit.

melkor, you're SOL. :biggrin:

c'mon, you know you want two of those 48oz porterhouses.

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I'm getting ready to cook two Lobel's steaks tonight: a 14.5 ounce Wagyu boneless strip and a 15 ounce USDA Prime boneless strip. Should make for an interesting comparison. I've had each before but never at the same time. Also baked potatoes, a salad of Romaine with blue cheese dressing, and a bottle of Argyle reserve Pinot Noir. Will report back later.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I'm getting ready to cook two Lobel's steaks tonight: a 14.5 ounce Wagyu boneless strip and a 15 ounce USDA Prime boneless strip.

Are you going to eat them both yourself!!!!!!?!?!??!?! Look forward to the report, this post has really got me tempted to try a few cuts from them.

There was a little snippet in a Rosengarten report promo I received last week in the mail about lobels having the best steaks in the country.

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Just out of curiousity, FG, since you live nearby to them, I presume you bought them at their store. Do their in-store prices compare with their online prices, not counting the exorbitant shipping fees?

Their in-store prices are similar to their online prices, minus shipping. I got these by mail, however, because I'm looking into mail-order steaks for a project I'm working on. This was actually my second shipment from Lobel's -- I've made it through most of their most popular offerings now. So nobody place an order without consulting me.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Are you going to eat them both yourself!!!!!!?!?!??!?!

No, I ate the slightly larger half of each, with the slightly smaller half going to Mrs. Fat-Guy. Will post some notes later when I emerge from my food coma.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Yes you ordered well. I've said before that the best move at Lobel's is to buy strip or shell, and nothing I've learned recently has changed my thinking on that point. I don't know if you bought the USDA Prime or the Australian Wagyu, but you should be happy either way. Next time get fewer, bigger steaks, though. In my opinion your results improve steadily as you move from smaller steaks that require quick cooking to larger cuts that can be seared then roasted or that if broiled/grilled at high temperature won't transition so rapidly from under- to over-done.

+++

So, anyway, tonight I did a side-by-side of the Lobel's Australian Wagyu and USDA Prime boneless strips. They are quite different. Once you've had each of these steaks you could differentiate them in a blind tasting 100% of the time. They're easily distinguished just by sight, and more so by taste.

There was one variable in the experiment that made it slightly imperfect: the USDA Prime strip was more than 1/4" thicker than the Australian Wagyu strip. (Conversely, it was not as long.) I don't know if the Wagyu carcasses are larger or if this was just the vagaries of butchering, but in order to get things as close to parity as possible I had to leave the USDA Prime strip under the broiler for an extra minute. (45 minutes out of the refrigerator, 4 minutes per side for the Wagyu, 4 minutes per side for the USDA Prime plus 1 additional minute flipped back over.) Cutting into the steaks, I was relieved to see that they were both in the end at the same approximate level of doneness (what I'd call medium-rare, which many people would call rare.)

I took a bite of the Wagyu and thought, no way the USDA Prime could possibly be this good. I took a bite of the USDA Prime and said, no, this is definitely better. It took me the rest of the meal even to begin to be able to articulate what I liked about each. There was no clear-cut, convenient differentiation such as, "The Wagyu was more tender, the USDA Prime had more beefy flavor." They were almost equally tender and had almost equal amounts of beefy flavor. Yet the beefy flavor of each was different. And I can't even fall back on the "mineral" adjective, because they both had lots of mineral taste. Likewise, each was tender in a different way.

The USDA Prime strip was tender in the manner of a cool stick of butter. The Wagyu strip was tender like filet mignon. That is to say, the USDA strip had a firmer overall physical structure but the marbling and aging combined to allow knife and teeth to pass through it as though it wasn't firm at all. Whereas, the Wagyu strip was simply a softer piece of meat. This is not to be confused with "buttery" the flavor adjective, because the Wagyu was probably more buttery in flavor as opposed to the USDA strip which was more creamy.

Flavor-wise, the Wagyu had probably a more acute flavor. Visually, it was a darker red, and taste-wise it was more directly flesh-and-blood-like. The USDA strip had a richer flavor, but within a narrower range than the Wagyu. The comparison that eventually emerged was to taking a really good shellfish stock and tasting it straight (the Wagyu) and then tasting it after enriching it with a little bit of heavy cream (the USDA Prime). The cream simultaneously enhances and suppresses, enriches and dulls. Not that there was anything dull about it.

I can't speak with any real accuracy as to the impact of aging on the flavor of each steak. I was tasting a finished product and the components weren't so easy to separate out in my mind. But thinking back to other steaks I've had, I think I'd say the USDA strip had more of that funky dry-aged flavor.

I fully realized that the USDA strip had a more familiar taste -- the top-flight American steakhouse taste -- but I don't think that really influenced my preference. I was feeling pretty open-minded about the whole thing. Nonetheless, given a choice between the two, I'd take the USDA Prime. Given a choice of all steak I've ever tried, I'd take either. It's no surprise that the Lobels have found a non-US source of beef that's as good in its own right as the USDA Prime that has been the store's trademark for so long. And I imagine there's a significant population that would prefer the Wagyu -- a totally respectable view.

I occasionally walk past Lobel's and have a fantasy that, in the building above the shop, there is a secret little steakhouse where they'll cook you anything in the store, perhaps over a wood fire. Surely, that would be the world's best steakhouse. My house last night, however, was the next best thing.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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That's an interesting comparison, Steve. Thanks.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Steve, we generally order the larger porterhouse from Lobels although we got the strips a few weeks ago. I love them all, but have them so far apart that it's impossible for me to make the comparison between the two. In general, I like strip better than porterhouse so if it was just me ordering I would order the strip regardless, but I'm curious if there is any reason specific to Lobel's to order the strip over the porterhouse. Thanks for the great report on my favorite place for beef. (By the way I've had them trim a noisette of lamb a couple of times for a Charlie Trotter dish with polenta, ratatouille and sauteed spinach, which is a great dish and someone always ends up asking for the lamb plain, its just that good and distinctive - or maybe it's my cooking :biggrin: )

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I prefer strip to porterhouse in general, because the strip is my favorite part of the porterhouse anyway and the filet portion tends not to cook up well. No reason specific to Lobel's.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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