I love steak. Rare steak. Medium rare, if it's closer to rare. It's probably my favorite food, if one were to insist that I choose just one. Despite this love, I have never been to Peter Luger, by all accounts the mother ship for steak lovers. That is, until Saturday.
Our IT guy at work had tossed out the idea of a trip before co-worker K had quit, and she had gone ahead and made plans for a group of us to go. Originally, the trip was planned for the same day as Kate's wedding, and so I thought I wouldn't be able to go. I was understandably pouty, and Philly kindly offered to go with me to Luger (he has been on many occasions and proclaims their hamburger to be his favorite above all others), but my co-workers rescheduled so that I could join. While I have a great deal of fondness for Matlock, I am not close with anyone else who was going, and so to some extent, I wish I had been there with Phil & Co. or the law schoolers, but whatever.
Long story short, we all met up at Matlock's prior to steak dinner, because he lives in Brooklyn Heights and it's a lot easier for the Jerseyers to get there than to where Luger is located (Williamsburg, near the Marcy Ave subway stop, which is not the easiest subway line to get to) so that we could all head over together. And not surprisingly, K wound up not coming, but that's neither here nor there.
We arrived at PL in time for our reservation, all of starving. We were seated on the second floor, and as expected, the decor looks like it hasn't been updated since the 50s and the place is really rather brightly lit. Unexpectedely, I found the waiters to be a gregarious bunch, all quite polite and nice, and while I had been warned that requesting a menu would be met with "attitude," we were offered menus by our waiter and there was no roll of the eyes when we accepted the offer.
Phil had told me to be sure to order at least one slice of bacon prior my steak. I had asked for a description, but Phil simply said that it was fantastic and he didn't want to say any more than that. As our IT Guy remarked, "This is bacon that will buckle your knees." It actually did. A thick slice of Canadian bacon, and I really don't know what else to say about it except that it was the best damn slice of bacon I've ever had.
Matlock and I split the steak for three, medium rare, as did another pair at the table and we all pretty much stopped talking when the steak came. For the record, there is a steak for two, but the steak for three was surprisingly manageable when you split two orders between four people. The steak is a porterhouse cut, dry aged and broiled. It comes out on a plate, gets tipped up so all the juices and grease accumulate and get spooned over the steak. Also, the steak is sliced for you, making the sharing process a heck of a lot easier.
The steak was, and forgive me for all the superlatives flying left and right, the best I've ever had. I simply cannot compare it to other steaks - its flavor, thickness, juiciness were in a class by itself. I do, however, wish we had ordered the steak rare. The medium rare was a little too close to medium in my opinion (though the filet side was actually quite good in terms of rareness).
We also had sides - creamed spinach (delicious, though really, it's hard to muck up creamed spinach), German fried potatoes (think hash browns) and french fries. All quite good. Dessert? Matlock and I split the chocolate mousse cake with plenty of schlag (fresh whipped cream) on the side. Again, outstanding.
Yes, I wanted to die by the end of the meal, though that was temporary. A few weeks ago, I ate so many onion rings in a sitting, that I felt ill for the rest of the day. The nice thing about great food is that no matter how much you stuff yourself, you don't actually feel sick at the end of the meal. Very full? Yes. Maybe a little too full? That's debateable. But later in the evening when I was playing poker back in Manhattan, I did not feel nauseous when the guys ordered pizza. So there you go.
I look forward to many trips back to Peter Luger (hopefully next time with dearer friends). The end.
PS - I'll have my Deadwood and Entourage commentary up tomorrow evening. For now, it's bed time (I think my body is still digesting steak).