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Which restaurant has good meat dishes?


maxmillan
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A few friends of mine are debating as to which restaurant has the yummiest steak entre. One swears by Gotham but I think he's biased by the high price, glitz of the decor and prostitutes who eat there.

Another likes the roast beef at Griffins. And another had the best rib-eye at Morton's.

I don't think meat dishes need to be dressed up too much, just cooked right. Most times I ask for medium rare because I like it medium (most places overcook my meat.) Where does one get a guaranteed good meat entre in the lower mainland?

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I have been staring this post in the face for days as it would seem a perfect chance for me to promote my own restaurant - The Hamilton Street Grill. I even went so far as to call a friend and acuse him of trying to set me up with such an obvious post. ( I still have my doubts )

We serve great steaks and other meat dishes ( Lamb shanks, Pork tenderloin etc. )

I serve Certified Angus Beef in the restaurant ans swear by it. It is a consistant product with strong marketing and name branding behind it. Lots of others claim to be nearly as good as , just like , etc. ( Names like Canadain Angus Beef , Black Angus Beef, Certified Hereford Beef come to mind ) These are just copy cat brandings and do not have it going on as far as quality, flavour and consistancy.

I have had steak on the brain for the last few weeks and have been in some heated discussions about beef quality being diluted over the past few years by things like Safeway starting to sell AAA meat. My thought on that would be that do the lines between what we would call AA and AAA get blurred because of the market demand for AAA. If a meat packer is faced with massive orders for AAA, Choice and Prime products, does the lines that seperate these levels of quality get pushed up ? ( It is nearly a AAA, getting close , I have lots of orders so then it is AAA ) I read an article last week about a 200 % increase in profits at the large meat packers in our country since the " Mad Cow " ( note single cow ) scare last year. The consumers did not see any price reduction, the local suppliers did not see any price reduction, the farmers certainly saw a drop in price that they were getting and the government shells out 500 million in aid ( some of which trickled down to the farmer ) so do I think that the large meat packers might be a little loose with the speciafications that govern what we see as AA , AAA, Choice and Prime cuts of beef, merely for increased profit on the backs of farmers, suppliers, restaurants and steaklovers all over. I do not think I actually have to articulate a response for that do you ?

Ok , I have strayed from topic......sorry

This city has lots of great steak restaurants. We have a great steak history.

The Keg was started right here in North Vancouver - Approx 32-33 years ago I think ) Some people might groan at that but they really changed the way Canada dined out. The Aisenstat Family have a history here with the Hy's chain and now David the son has not only taken that over, he has purchased the Keg and has opened one of the cities best Steakhouses in Gotham. This guy is Canada's King of Steak !

Where to go for great , guaranteed meat.

Hamilton Street Grill , for sure !!

I had a steak ( Candadian Prime ) at one of cities fine steakhouses the other night. The steak was $40, the potatoes $6 , the vegetable $6. It was good. $52 good ? I am not sure.

I serve a 12 oz Certified Angus Beef New York, Potatoe and vegetable included for $26. It is good ! Was the other steakhouse's dinner twice as good ( $26 compared to $52 ) Not a chance !

Ok , I could not help myself. Sorry for that but once I got rolling I could not stop. We have lots of great Steakhouses but has the price of a great steak become too $$

Morton's

Gotham

Hy's ( if just for the cheesetoast alone )

Great steakhouses steeped in history .

The Keg - great value

I have not been to the Stone Grill on False Creek beause I have no desire to cook my own steak if I am dining out - I cook enough of them at work. Has anyone been there ?

I would be interested to hear about that.

Anyone else ? I think I have gone on long enough. I have not even had any coffee yet so please forgive the meandering ravings of an under-caffinated nutbar !

P.S. I am now a " Member " , I do not bear the shame of being an "Ass. Member

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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Mortons, to my mind is crap. Very little to recommend it. My personal favourite would be Hy's. Best Caesars in the world. (Not so secret ingredient, beef broth.) Well cooked sides as well as meat, and it looks like I want my steakhouse to look. Mortons looks like a ball room in a Cleveland airport Holiday Inn.

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Mortons, to my mind is crap

What about the free sandwiches in the lounge ?

I do like the presentation of the raw meat at the table when they want to explain what you are getting. Neat gimmick, but I think that really breaks down when the show you the onion and tomatoe that your salad will be made out of. That borders on silly.

Neil

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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Borders on silly? It's so far over the freaking line as to be insane. Particulary when forementioned tomato/onion look like they've been through a war, or at least the dishwasher.

The whole meat thing shoots them in the foot, I'd think. See, I'm not a chef nor a butcher, so if you offer me a 28oz porterhouse, my reptile brain is going to say, mmm meat, gets lotsa meat. If you show me a 28 oz. porterhouse my intellect (as long as it hasn't been clouded by too many Jack Daniels on the Rocks - the perfect steakhouse pre-dinner drink, except at Hy's) will say hmmm, do you really need to spend sixty bucks on a steak that is bigger than your shoe? Maybe get the 18oz. instead.

Also thta soliloqy the servers recite while displaying the meat cart is longer than anything in Hamlet and pretty much ensures I tune out everything said.

Then again what do I know.

Edited by Keith Talent (log)
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I do think that Morton's has not embraced the Canadian style of dining. What do I mean by that -

Everything they have is huge ! I mean American Huge.

Who wants to eat a baked potatoe as big as your head !

We had dinner at Morton and split a giant steak ( it was good and all that ) for $55 for the meat. ( 20 oz NY )

Gotham serves smaller ( slightly ) steak but too small to split ( 16 oz ) What do we do - each order a $40 steak.

End result was a higher sale for Gotham.

Perhaps Mortons should look at that !

My wallet was a little lighter leaving Gotham but we were happy. When we left Mortons, the wife would have been happier having her own steak rather than spliting mine.

N

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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Well, it seems that everyone’s hit most of the beefly hotspots to which I would add one, Earls, for its good value sirloin in front of hockey games, and embellish another.

That’s because last week Eva and I had a very good meal at the Hamilton Street Grill Danish, she is fond of all the meat varieties and the entire dairy family. So get ready, because I’m about to tell you what Chef Neil is far too modest to.

He started us with a chefly flourish—several items that he had prepared for one of his recent monthly wine tastings (for which he charges a measly $15 - $20): steamed oysters with jalapeno granita (Burrowing Owl Piot Gris); Pancetta-wrapped, butter-poached scallop (Tinhorn Gewurtz); and something else illegible but delicious judging by the splotch of sauce on my notes paired with Quail’s Gate Marechal Foch.

I had a small taste of the smoked tomato soup. It was deeply flavoured but over-salted, which for me is making a statement.

The main events were terrific—a great peppercorn New York steak ($28); 6 ounce tenderloin with a feisty gorgonzola demi ($28); and a truly Jurassic portion of lamb shank osso buco ($20—a steal). We had beautifully whipped potatoes (actually butter bound with a small amount of spud) and grilled vegetables rode shotgun. Breads were good, including a foccacia that could give the Sealy Posturpedic folks a good run. Wine glasses were big and wines were served at correct temperatures. Desserts were nicely made with a selection of housemade ice creams. The gingerbread cake dessert is a signature that Neil will never be able to take off the menu even if he wanted to.

The next table shared a gorgonzola fondue with baguette as a starter for just $9. There are lots of seafood selections.

Neil outfitted the room himself (including a 30-seat private room) which exudes warmth. The service, from a waiter named Walter, was very well-informed. It became pretty clear over the course of the evening that he and the other servers knew a lot of the customers well--they were clearly regulars in the restaurant.

We have had lots of additional positive feedback from other parties, including a party of 10 that were in the other night.

Nice going.

Jamie

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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One of the pleasures of my job is that we cut our meat to order - not only can we cut a guest a 10 oz or a 40 oz we also smoke the sides - being an all inclusive resort lends innumerable options to a guests meat eating experience.

I would rather go to Jackson's and get some meat then going out in Vancouver for it - I never order steak unless I want as simple baseball sirloin at the Keg (cause the value is there) - if I am to go out I want something special - a few days ago we got in some 32 oz t-bones - made a chinese five pepper spice and went to town - I had to take three cigarette breaks to finsih it.

So what is the thrill of Mortons or Hy's (been to a couple of bachelor parties at both) when you can get something unique at home for a fourth of the price? - I want Kobe or the good dry aged stuff you see in New York butcher shops - I can't think of a place in Vancouver where you can get such quality meat in which reasonable people will pay an ultra premium for - where will they cut your meat to order? - let you inspect the filet on a Porterhouse? - Bearfoot Bistro in Whistler is one but that's a long drive for a fix.

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Thank you for your kind words about the Hamilton Street Grill. Much appreciated.

As for the third wine appetizer , it was a Certified Angus Beef Tartar with all of the bits and pieces.

As to the over salting of the soup , I will find the dastardly bugger and beat him severely. It will be a lesson he ( I ) never forget.

Cheers

Neil

Edited by nwyles (log)

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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Neil,

What ranch/provence/packer does certified Angus come from? Is it corn or barley feed? On the Canadian Scale is it a AAA or AA/AAA. I see Canadian Angus, Black Angus, etc around Vancouver....from best to worse how do they rate?

On a side note....is the Keg serving good meat? I like the prime rib. Earls? How about a large restaurant like Joe Fortes?

Cubi.

To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art La Rochefoucauld

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Some good suggestions here as my birthday is rolling around the next month.

I've always enjoyed the Keg's prime rib for both value and taste but wanted to try other restaurants. As value is top priority for me, Gotham and Mortons will have to wait.

Interesting about Earl's - who'd figure?

I've passed by Hamilton Street Grill many times; next time it will be a dine in.

Thanks for the info.

Edited by maxmillan (log)
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What ranch/provence/packer does certified Angus come from? Is it corn or barley feed? On the Canadian Scale is it a AAA or AA/AAA. I see Canadian Angus, Black Angus, etc around Vancouver....from best to worse how do they rate?

On a side note....is the Keg serving good meat? I like the prime rib. Earls? How about a large restaurant like Joe Fortes?

Certified Angus Beef is a brand marketing program for Angus cattle producers. I scanned a couple of web sites for a bit more info on this so here it is.

Lakeside and Cargill are the Canadian Packers for C.A.B.

The cattle come from specified stocks that feed from specific Certified Feedlots with a C.A.B. approved feed mixture for maximun marbling, flavour and tenderness.

Certified Angus Beef is AAA( Candadian ) / Choice ( American ) or better

If the top 7 % of Angus cattle ( a specific breed known for its fine marbling quality ) go into the Certified Angus Beef Program , where do all of the rest go ?

Canadian Angus , Black Angus , Bob's Angus etc.

Certified Angus pays a premium for the top 7 % so they can guarantee a consistent flavourful product. Having not used all of the other brands, I can't say. I did taste so Canadian Angus Beef the other day and it was good but the C.A.B. was better. But if the top 7% goes to Certified Angus Beef , the rest are not the top 7 % !

The Keg - I worked there as a younger man and I remember the big rollout of

" We now use Triple A ( AAA ) beef !

I thought to myself , " what did we use before ?"

The Keg has very, very strict specifications for thier beef as far as age, trim, size, where on the cattle the steak can come from etc.

They were able to use AA for years and it was not until approx 1990 they moved to AAA. I mentioned before in another post about the possibility of blurred lines in the grading system. I would imagine that it might have worked in the Keg's favour for years as they were they strongest buyer in the steak market for years and their orders had to be filled so they could have been using AAA all along, based on volume alone. IMHO

Earl's uses Canadian Angus beef ( part of the remaining 93 % )

I have seen Joe's menu say a few different things over the years and I would guess that came from which chef, market conditions etc.

I have seen them use Certified Angus Beef and recently seen a move to Canadian Triple AAA.

Hy's uses Triple AAA , which is still a fine product , but their edge is they cook over mesquite. Most restaurants are using gas but Hy's has been using mesquite for years. What is the differece ?

Temperature and flavour. Gas is about 500 to 800 degrees. Mesquite cooks from 800 to 1200 degrees. ( It has been a long, long time since I had a lesson on mesquite temperatures but that is the jist of it ) This sears in the flavour and imparts that mesquite taste onto the meat which is sooooooo goooood.

Why do not more restaurants use natural wood products. Cost !

Not just the cost of the wood but the cost of a seperate ventilation system / fire supression system. When I opened my place , that would have been an extra $25000. I could not imagine what it woould be now.

I hope that helps.

Neil

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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I live in Yaletown and have frequented the Hamilton Street Grill often ... though not recently.

Jamie's recent mention, though, of the gorgonzola demi is enough to make my mouth water ... I think I'll be going back very soon!

Food Lover -- nothing more, nothing less
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Protein must be on the brain, have you seen the Sept. issue of Bon Appetite, with the big steak on the cover ( the gorgonzola butter looking amazing!) But they have an article on just what is being dicussed though in the states.. maybe we should forward them this thread for the Coast.

Oh by the way Jamie have you read the article in that magazine about being a food critic, is it a love or hate thing for you?

DANIELLE

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."

-Virginia Woolf

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DameD,

Presume that you're referring to the article in Bon Appetit penned by Nancy Grimes, the wife of William 'Biff' Grimes, who retired 8 months ago after a five year stint as restaurant critic for the New York Times.

It's well written and full of pet peeves, several of them specific to New York: being held captive in the bar or vestibule, flat Champagne, hatred of one's own cooking and the usual service misfires . . .

And she gets off an amusing line, "For most people, the job of food critic, like that of movie reviewer, travel writer, or mattress tester sounds like a dream come true--a never-ending vacation on somebody else's dime. For those who actually do the work (my italics), however, the dream can become a nightmare. When? In my case, about two years and two dress sizes after the first palate-teasing amuse ."

You have asked if it's a love or hate thing for me. I can only answer that, of the four jobs that she cites above, I have only tried three (movie reviewing has little appeal), and that of the three my strong preference is to eat. And drink.

Afterwards, the mattress testing comes easier than the layperson might think.

Kindest regards,

Jamie

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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