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New Jersey Monthly


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I was surprised the Park Steakhouse was voted best steakhouse in North Jersey considering they do not even offer prime steaks. To pay such high prices for meat that is not even prime is it worth it?

Also has any comments on Esty Streets which was voted best for fish in North Jersey.

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I was surprised the Park Steakhouse was voted best steakhouse in North Jersey considering they do not even offer prime steaks.  To pay such high prices for meat that is not even prime is it worth it?

Also has any comments on Esty Streets which was voted best for fish in North Jersey.

Remember, these are just popularity contest votes, so it's based on diner's opinons.

It just shows that the average diner has average tastes. They have very little idea of the quality of the food they are eating.

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A/ Very low voting numbers on this poll, less than 1000 folks voting out of a NJ population of 10 Million;

B/ Very unscientific poll, subject to ballot "stuffing", all it takes is a good supply of envelopes and stamps.

Keep these 2 factors in mind when judging the results of this poll...

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it's a popularity contest. has little to do with quality or value.

the steaks are dry-aged, which could very well be an indication that they're serving a subjectively better steak than other places serving Prime non-dry-aged beef. Dry-aging is also a costly process, which might very well bump the costs right up there with Prime non-dry-aged. They're also serving angus beef, which comes at somewhat of a premium. they're clearly not serving non-aged Choice beef.

most people wouldn't know Prime if it bit them in the ass. the difference between a piece of low-grade Prime and high-grade Choice would probably be lost on just about everyone. Very few NJ steakhouses serve Prime beef, other than the chains. it's not shocking at all that people who participate in a local magazine's readers' poll would vote for a well-regarded local steakhouse over a national chain. on top of that, The Park almost always gets good reviews and press.

Edited by tommy (log)
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it's a popularity contest.  has little to do with quality or value.

the steaks are dry-aged, which could very well be an indication that they're serving a subjectively better steak than other places serving Prime non-dry-aged beef.  Dry-aging is also a costly process, which might very well bump the costs right up there with Prime non-dry-aged.  They're also serving angus beef, which comes at somewhat of a premium.  they're clearly not serving non-aged Choice beef.

do you have any idea if the steaks at Mignon in Rutherford are dry aged?

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I don't agree with this. I can't speak to this poll in particular but I do think that the average diner deserves more credit than you do.

I suppose this also depends on the interpretation of "average diner". But we have agonized over this subject long and hard on the boards, and it is uncanny how some of the really ordinary chains with the most undistinguished food are always busy, and invariably have long lines., e.g., Charlie Brown's and Red Lobster, just to name a couple...

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It just shows that the average diner has average tastes.  They have very little idea of the quality of the food they are eating.

I don't agree with this. I can't speak to this poll in particular but I do think that the average diner deserves more credit than you do.

relative to steakhouses, do you think people (the "average", if you will) can tell the difference btwn Prime and Choice? dry-aged and wet-aged (hell, and not-aged)? they can't. i've never been so sure of something.

... the average diner has average tastes.

i don't think this is debatable by virtue of the way it's framed. :raz:

Edited by tommy (log)
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I think people can tell the difference between dry aged quality beef versus other types. What else would explain the crowd 3 deep at the bar at Peter Luger almost every night?

I don't think the "average" diner is eating at the Park Steakhouse. I think the average diner is eating at the Outback. Nothing wrong with that, I like to eat at the Outback myself. By popularity contest standards I'm surprised that the Outback wouldn't run away with a readers poll. The fact that the Park Steakhouse won reflects either a more discerning palate than the "average diner" is being given credit for having or for the ballot box stuffing mentioned above by Menton.

I've only been to the Park Steakhouse once, it was years ago and it took as long for me to drive there from western Union County as it did to go into NYC. I didn't feel it was worth it. Rosie has always been a big fan of this place and she works for NJ Monthly. Her insight here is needed. Come to think of it, her insight on most issues on this board is still needed.

Edited by dbrociner (log)
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I think people can tell the difference between dry aged quality beef versus other types. What else would explain the crowd 3 deep at the bar at Peter Luger almost every night?

they are clearly not "average diners." "average" being the key word here. if you're going to argue that the "average diner" doesn't have "average taste", you'd probably do well not to use the crowd at Luger as an example. :biggrin:

i do agree with you: the customers of the Park are certainly above-average average diners.

and i agree with Menton1 below: many people who go to Luger go for reasons other than their desire for dry-aged prime beef, purportedly the best available in the country.

Edited by tommy (log)
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Believe me, nobody knows steak like tommy knows steak-- I haven't a clue what wet, dry aged, or the other steak terms mean, no less being able to identify one of these. My guess is that no one but a real steak aficianado would know all of this technical stuff about steaks. A very small part of the population.

What I do know is that places like OUTBACK or Charlie Brown's will never see me. I want to go to a place where the chef/owner took time to create a menu that he likes himself, supervises the kitchen himself, a place where creativity and attention to detail reigns.

Does that make me "un-average"?

Edit to add: Peter Luger is wildly popular because it is basically now an "urban legend", talked about on TV, movies, and all tourist guides.

Edited by menton1 (log)
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What I do know is that places like OUTBACK or Charlie Brown's will never see me.  I want to go to a place where the chef/owner took time to create a menu that he likes himself, supervises the kitchen himself, a place where creativity and attention to detail reigns. 

Does that make me "un-average"?

Edit to add:  Peter Luger is wildly popular because it is basically now an "urban legend", talked about on TV, movies, and all tourist guides.

We've had this argument before about the ability of the "chain" restaurant to put out a quality product. I believe that they, chains, offer excellent food in certain cases and think it is foolish to write off the Outback because no chef/owner is on site. However, I understand and respect your opinion on the subject.

Peter Luger is wildly popular because the steak can be, though not always, the best you can get anywhere in the area. I think we can find lots of discussion about this on the NY Forum. Sorry, not my intention to "moderate".

Edited by dbrociner (log)
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Personally, I would have thought that River Palm would have won in that category. But, who can say. Their dry aged steaks are, when they are on, on! Have yet to go to Park, is it worth it? What is the common opinion here? Thanks CN

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According to the rules for the Readers Choice Poll--"Restaurants assisting in the submission of poll ballots and restaurants distributing ballots or magazines containing them will be disqualified. New Jersey Monthly reserves the right to reject ballots that appear to have been submitted improperly."

An outside auditing firm is used to ensure that all votes are counted and treated fairly. The auditing team also inspects the ballots for signs of ballot stuffing and other fraud.

I've always enjoyed the food at The Park Steakhouse and if it was closer to my home I would dine there more often.

Edited by Rosie (log)

Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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As a chef, I would like to weigh in...the meat packing industry has also downgraded the rating system of beef a little. Well, I don't know if "downgraded" is quite the right term, but in other words, better steaks are being rated "choice", as a way to build up the choice market. Relaxing the standard...perhaps that's the right way of looking at it. I think one of the previous posters is correct in saying that the bigger difference (to even the above-average consumer) will be made in dry vs. wet aged, not Choice vs. prime.

For what it's worth.....

Nothing says I love you like a homemade salami

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What I do know is that places like OUTBACK or Charlie Brown's will never see me.  I want to go to a place where the chef/owner took time to create a menu that he likes himself, supervises the kitchen himself, a place where creativity and attention to detail reigns. 

Does that make me "un-average"?

Edit to add:  Peter Luger is wildly popular because it is basically now an "urban legend", talked about on TV, movies, and all tourist guides.

We've had this argument before about the ability of the "chain" restaurant to put out a quality product. I believe that they, chains, offer excellent food in certain cases and think it is foolish to write off the Outback because no chef/owner is on sight. However, I understand and respect your opinion on the subject.

i agree with dbroc on this. blanket statements regarding the quality of chain food are rarely accurate. and, like droc, i think the Outback actually has a decent (non-aged) piece of USDA Prime beef, expertly cooked (in my singular experience). Other chains (Palm, Morton's, Ruth's Chris, etc), do very reasonable job, although I'm not convinced they're serving USDA certified Prime, and I'm pretty sure they're not dry-aging their beef. Which reminds me of why I don't go to them. But they certainly do a decent enough job when compared to local places, including The Park.

Edited by tommy (log)
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How do I get a hip hop name like dbroc?

As a restaurant owner, I've won a few awards from NJ Monthly but last year they screwed up through their checkers and awarded Allie's American Grill the best North Jersey restaurant after I had won it 6 years in a row. Allie's is a breakfast/brunch/lunch place. This was obvouisly a mistake and I never posted this as I didn't want to make look as if I was a bad sport. When NJ Monthly called me to see if I wanted to advertise with them, I declined. I had only run ads 3 months out of the year and only at 1/8 or 1/16th space so it's not like I was The Manor or Ram's Head Inn or whetever you would like to plug in. I'm a small guy running a small restaurant.

I shouldn't have won this year. While still putting up good food, it's wasn't, due to circumstances, worthy of winning an award. After 12 years, I had hit a level that I need to improve on. I have had a email list that I ask my customers to vote for me in the past. This year I didn't. While my review finally after 12 years was published recently, I was not at the top of my game. I believe the fact that because of my non-promotion, AAG didn't make the list.

If my heart was into self-promotion, it would have been easier to make it in. I also had a new salesperson who after I complained to about last year's Allie's victory stated to my concern over Allie's winning when it probably should have been The Grilll never returned my calls.

Is it a popularity contest won by self-promotion or PR firms? Perhaps..........

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Well, I'll weigh in with my opinion. Frankly, we were shocked that we won in two categories (especially since we are not a deli, but I guess lunch sandwiches count as a deli). I knew they existed, the Reader's choice awards, but that was it. We don't have a PR person, nor do we advertise in NJ Monthly (we never advertise anywhere). I guess it depends, but to make a blanket statement that they are fixed doesn't seem Kosher to me. I don't think that all the winners have the pushy style, the wherewithall or the desire to ballet stuff or attempt to. Just my two cents.

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[What I do know is that places like OUTBACK or Charlie Brown's will never see me. I want to go to a place where the chef/owner took time to create a menu that he likes himself, supervises the kitchen himself, a place where creativity and attention to detail reigns.

Does that make me "un-average"?

/quote]

Maybe it does makeyou un-average. Many people with kids do not have the luxury of going to the places you frequent so there only option is a chain.

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Maybe it does makeyou un-average.  Many people with kids do not have the luxury of going to the places you frequent so there only option is a chain.

I disagree. I don't think any of these chains are particularly cheap. A dinner at these chains can cost the same as a moderately priced chef/owner restaurant. It's more perception than reality.

They are just "easy". Finding an individual restaurant takes some time, research, and also a test run to find out what kind of meal you will have there. I am willing to spend that time. For me, there is always a better choice than a chain, and for the same price as well.

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Maybe it does makeyou un-average.  Many people with kids do not have the luxury of going to the places you frequent so there only option is a chain.

I disagree. I don't think any of these chains are particularly cheap. A dinner at these chains can cost the same as a moderately priced chef/owner restaurant. It's more perception than reality.

They are just "easy". Finding an individual restaurant takes some time, research, and also a test run to find out what kind of meal you will have there. I am willing to spend that time. For me, there is always a better choice than a chain, and for the same price as well.

I never said chains are cheap. I also prefer non-chain restaurants. My point was that for those with kids chains are more of an option.

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Does the Park Steakhouse advertise in NJM?

"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them." ~Winston Churchill

Morels- God's gift to the unworthy human species

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Is it a coincidence that the best seafood restaurant Esty Street and the best steak restaurant The Park Steakhouse both are located in Park Ridge yet neither has been highly discussed on egullet.

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Is it a coincidence that the best seafood restaurant Esty Street and the best steak restaurant The Park Steakhouse both are located in Park Ridge yet neither has been highly discussed on egullet.

both are highly regarded and have shown up in the past in NJ Monthly. discussion on this website is certainly not the end-all and hardly a barometer of the dining habits of NJ diners.

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