Steakhouses remain big part of our lives

Posted May 3, 2015


When my parents come to visit, I look forward to the extravagant South Florida meals we have together. As a University of Miami student on a budget, I find myself constantly searching for the cheapest possible ways to eat. It is difficult being a student living in Coral Gables. The costs of going to school in such a popular, modern city are huge.

In fact, the prices of simple food items are much higher for a UM student than a student at a school in the Midwest. For example, a lunch salad in South Miami costs almost double the price of a lunch salad in Ann Arbor. I have come to the realization that I don’t even eat half the amount of protein at school that I do at home. This is one of the hardest parts of being away from home for me as I am a huge meat lover.

As a result, when my parents come to visit, I always yearn to go to different steakhouses.

A steakhouse is a restaurant that specializes in beefsteaks and other individual portions of meat. These restaurants focus on serving the best selection of meat and usually have a classy environment.

In most steakhouses, meats are made to order. The main dishes are usually meat and the menu is comprised of a bunch of different appetizers, meats and sides. Most steakhouses offer prime rib, veal, chicken, and seafood. The most popular cuts in the United States are the New York strip, porterhouse, sirloin and filet mignon.

Modern steakhouses, otherwise known as chophouses, or the beefsteak banquet, emerged in the 19th century in New York City. Beefsteak banquets were primarily opened only for men and many times used for political affairs. These restaurants served sliced beef tenderloin on slices of white bread.

Most steakhouses consisted of men devouring large amounts of meat and this did not change until women got the vote. Politicians began to think it would be nice to introduce the ladies to the grain tradition. “Women,” Joseph Mitchell wrote contemptuously in The New Yorker in the 1930s “do not esteem a glutton, and at a contemporary beefsteak it is unusual for a man to do away with more than six pounds of meat and 30 glasses of beer.”

After women were introduced to steakhouses, many changes came about. Steakhouses started using forks, serving small dishes of vegetables, and sides of potatoes. The steakhouse became a popular place to dine, eventually evolving into two categories, casual and upscale. Casual chains like Ruth Chris, Morton’s, and Longhorn’s were created. And then there were upscale steakhouses like The Palm, my personal favorite Frankie and Johnny’s and Prime.

Steakhouses create an atmosphere where people tend to over order and eat large amounts of food. Not only do they provide the best meats, they also demand for people to spend large amounts of money on food. Meats are prepared by grill, pan-fry, or infrared broilers and served with regular sides that are dressed to appear fancy. Steakhouses also use the best beef; the quality is 98 percent better than the rest of the beef out there.

When my parents visited, I forced them to go to three new steakhouses in South Miami. Steakhouses have always been my favorite meals and I was looking forward to trying out the newest around. On Monday night, we went to Red Steakhouse. On Tuesday night, we went to STK Miami, and on Wednesday night, we went to Stripsteak. Most people would say that is a lot of meat, but I enjoyed every second of it.

Red Steakhouse is an expensive, contemporary steakhouse with a chic ambiance. It is located on Washington Avenue on Miami Beach. I would have to say that out of all three steakhouses, I think this one is fluent in jacking up the prices. Although the atmosphere was fun and there was good people watching, the price did not fit the consumption.

My parents and I ordered tuna nachos, the iceberg wedge salad, porterhouse— 48 ounce and two sides— seared mushrooms and creamed spinach. The check came to the table and we were all shocked— $300. We only ordered two appetizers, one main course, and 2 sides and additionally did not get have alcoholic beverages.

To be honest, the appetizers were incredible. The tuna nachos were a creative invention and included fish, chips and a spicy sauce. The porterhouse was sizzling and thick. It was a delicious juicy piece of meat served with béarnaise, chimichurri, and house made gravy. The two vegetable sides that cost $30 each were tiny and did not have a lot of taste.

STK Miami is a trendy modern steakhouse. It is located in the 1 Hotel and Homes and has a DJ lounge serving prime beef. This restaurant goes down in the books. It not only is a fun place to be but the meat is incredible tasting. The steakhouse offers a lounge with a fine dining experience that has traditional steakhouse quality. My parents and I ordered tuna tartar, one filet, one bone in-rib steak, a Chilean sea bass and brussel sprouts.

We also ordered two glasses of pinot gritio. The bill came to only $40 more than our bill at Red. I have to say that the meat was amazing but the rest of the food was not up to par. The appetizers and vegetables tasted like they were frozen food. The steaks were both absolutely amazing. The only negative to the filet was that it was small. The bone in-rib was salty and melted in my mouth. Overall, our experience at STK was great and I would definitely return.

Stripsteak is an innovative steakhouse in the Fontainebleau Hotel. It offers a lively dining experience with two floors as well as indoor and outdoor seating. My parents and I sat on the first floor near the open kitchen. The restaurant smelled incredible and the open kitchen gave a different feel than the other steakhouses.

The menu offered many more options than a typical steakhouse. The appetizers and salad list had exotic dishes. My parents and I ordered prime steak tartare, “instant bacon,” a B-L-T wedge, a rib eye, a salmon and black truffle mac and cheese. The steak tartare was delicious and came with an egg yolk pouring over it. The B-L-T salad was basic and did not come with a lot of toppings. We ordered the rib eye medium and it came cooked to perfection. It was juicy, large and thick.

My favorite item was the truffle mac and cheese. It was by far the best mac and cheese I ever had. Our experience at Stripsteak was incredible from start to finish. The service was amazing and the food was overall delicious. My only complaint was that the bill was high for what we ordered.

I would like to believe that steakhouses are a staple in the American lifestyle. Whether attending an upscale steakhouse, like the three I dragged my parents to, or a casual steakhouse, I believe that they are a big part of our lives. Even as the meat consumption decreases, I believe that steakhouses will continue to thrive and will be a place for families and friends to gather.

Red The Steakhouse
119 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, Fla. 33139
Open daily, 5:30 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Upscale steakhouse

STK Miami
2311 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, Fla. 33139
Open daily, 6 – 11 p.m.
Upscale steakhouse

4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, Fla. 33140
Open daily, 6 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Upscale steakhouse