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5 Arguments in Favor of Steak

You probably don’t need any information, evidence, or convincing arguments to go out and have a steak dinner. It’s one of those things most of us would do a lot more if we could. But just in case you need a little extra motivation, here are 5 compelling arguments in favor of steak.

1. There’s no other meat like it

Have you ever heard anybody say they were going out for a celebratory chicken dinner? How about a pork loin, or filet of sea bass? There’s simply no getting around the fact that steak is the king of the hill when it comes to opulence, flavor, succulence, and celebratory activities. There’s a certain feeling you get before, during and after a really great steak dinner that you just don’t get with any other cuisine. Steak is in a league of its own.

2. The best quality steak is carefully and humanely raised

More and more people these days are concerned about where meat comes from, and whether the animals were ethically raised. This is, of course, a good thing. Aside from respect for animals and the environment, ethically raised meats are often healthier in very real ways. Steak runs a very broad spectrum of quality, but the high-end cuts of beef almost always come from clean, ethical sources.

3. It rarely disappoints

When it comes to steak dinners, there is always the occasional “dud.” This is far more likely to be your experience when you visit a steakhouse of questionable repute. But if you take your time to locate a quality establishment in your area (whether you’re at home or traveling in another city), you’ll almost always be able to find a steakhouse that takes its work seriously. To steer clear of disappointment, pay attention to customer reviews. A glance at the menu can also tell you a lot, depending on what information is given about the different steaks on offer.

4. It’s perfect for celebratory occasions

We already mentioned this one, but it deserves mentioning again. What celebration isn’t made better by a steak dinner with all the fixings? Weddings, anniversaries, bachelorette and bachelor parties, graduations, birthdays — the list goes on. Heading out for a celebratory steak is a perennial tradition, and it’s going to be around for a long time.

5. The possibilities are endless

One of the very best things about steak is that there’s always something new to learn. There’s always a new cut of beef to try, from a new and different source. In that respect, steak is a lot like sushi and other specialty cuisines. There are so many different cuts of beef, and no two steaks are exactly alike. The quality of the meat and the skill of the chef are integral parts of the experience.

The best argument in favor of steak…

If you’re looking for reasons to go out and have a steak dinner, the best argument is in the experience itself. If you haven’t been out to a quality steakhouse lately, and really tasted all it has to offer, you might want to step up and refresh your memory. This is one of those meals that has the power to stay with you…and keep you coming back for more!

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Is It Unhealthy to Eat Overcooked Steak?

How do you like your steak cooked? This is a question most of us like hearing. It probably means we’re sitting comfortably in the pleasant atmosphere of a steakhouse, enjoying conversation with friends and getting ready for a great meal. Everyone has their own answer to that question. There are a lot of “medium” folks who don’t like it overcooked or undercooked at all. There are plenty of people who order “medium rare” who prefer a little more pink in the middle. And there are those who err on the side of “well done,” either because they enjoy the taste or because they’re concerned for their health.

Nobody’s wrong and nobody’s right — or are they? If you were able to survey all the steakhouse chefs in the world and ask how they feel steak should really be cooked and eaten, you’d certain hear a few different opinions. But you’d see a prevalence of chefs who feel that overcooking a steak — especially a really high quality cut of beef — is just about the worst thing you can do to it.

But let’s be honest, most of these chefs really aren’t addressing health concerns when they say this. A chef wants to bring out the flavor, tenderness, juiciness, and overall succulence of a great steak. Overcooking leads to a drier, less tender, less juicy, less succulent cut of beef. That’s what they’ll tell you, anyway. And they’re probably right.

But there may be other reasons why overcooking steak (or other types of foods, for that matter) is actually not good from a health standpoint. Growing evidence in nutritional journals and various sources online argue that cooking meat too long result in a less nutritious food product.

This is very much true for other types of food — including vegetables, starches, gains and so on. Any of these foods will rapidly lose nutrients beyond a certain point of cooking, and the same is generally true with the amino acids, proteins, and healthy fats locked in that raw piece of beef in the cooler.

That’s not to say that nobody should order a steak well done. Some people honestly do like it this way. But if it’s true that you’re losing some of the steak’s nutritious goodness by cooking it that way, you might be compelled to stick with medium or lower, and preserve more of the nutrients in the meat.

The next time you sit down to order a steak, you might want to think twice before you order your meat well done. Overcooking meat is still a contentious topic amongst the people who study these things, but there is plenty of compelling evidence that cooking steak too long actually does start to sap its nutrients — not to mention its flavor and overall goodness.

If you have any questions about how to order different cuts of beef, and what the effect will be for different types of preparation, you should feel free to ask your waiter. Any staff member at a quality steakhouse should be able to answer these questions for you, and help you make a great order.

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3 Questions You Should Ask Your Steakhouse Waiter

The last time you visited a steakhouse, did you take the time to ask the waiter questions about what’s on the menu, what’s popular, and how it’s prepared? Some people do this naturally, while others tend to simply make an order and enjoy it without knowing much. Obviously this is a question of personal preference, but we usually find that people get a lot more out of their steakhouse experience when they know a little bit more about the steak they’re ordering. Here are three questions worth asking your waiter:

1. Where does the steak come from?

It’s amazing how many people actually go to a steakhouse, order off the menu, have their meal, pay the bill, and leave without ever really knowing anything about the steak they chose and where it came from. Granted — for some people, this is really not an important piece of information. But for someone who really loves steak, and is concerned about the quality and character of the beef on offer, it’s important to know about the source. Is it a large operation or a small one? Are the cows grass-fed or grain-fed? Does this producer have a reputation for quality beef?

Getting answers to these questions not only makes your steakhouse experience more interesting and dynamic. It also allows you to enjoy steak on another level, knowing the care and skill that went into producing the beef, as well as the experience that went into preparing it exactly right.

2. What’s the most popular steak on the menu?

Knowing what other people typically go for can help you make a more informed decision. Sometimes people look at a menu (whether at a steakhouse or any other type of restaurant) and are overwhelmed by all the different choices. Knowing what the most popular items are can make it much easier to get through the ordering process and relax while you wait for the food to come.

3. How is the steak prepared?

Most steakhouses will prepare a steak to your liking, even if you like it “well done” or “rare.” However, some steakhouses will be wary of serving beef that’s either undercooked or overcooked. Traditionally, steakhouse chefs would rather err on the side of cooking the meet a little bit “rare,” since overcooking it often causes the flavor and tenderness to decrease significantly. But even this is a matter of personal taste. It’s a good idea to ask your waiter how steaks are typically prepared. Most professional steakhouses will broil the steaks at a very high temperature, then “sear” them on the grill to give the outside that perfect crispy finish. But not every steakhouse does things the same way. Knowing how your steak is going to be prepared will enhance your enjoyment of the steak, and it will increase your knowledge of how to get the most out of your steakhouse experiences.

Enhancing your experience

The best steakhouses in your area are good at answering these questions and even providing information without being asked. It’s important to them that you enjoy the experience from beginning to end, and they have the knowledge to answer your questions and enhance your dining experience. But obviously, you won’t really know that you’ve hit on a good steakhouse until the plate comes down in front of you.

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How to Know a Good Steakhouse By Looking at the Menu

When you walk into a new steakhouse — somewhere you’ve never been before — and open up the menu, it’s a telling moment. You can learn a lot about a steakhouse by looking at the menu itself — and in some cases, you can even tell a great steakhouse from a mediocre one by what you see on the pages. Here are some things to look for:

1. Information on where the steak comes from

Steak is one of those things where the source, and the story behind it, really does translate to the plate. If you’re in a steakhouse that there’s nothing on the menu to tell you where the steak comes from, how it was raised, and why it’s a high quality piece of meat — then you’re probably not in a serious steakhouse! The professionals know how important the source of the meat is, and they want their customers to know about the care and thought they’ve put into the steaks they serve. That’s one of the most telling things about seeing information about steak on the menu — it tells you that the establishment really cares about steak. This is going to show up in the preparation as well.

2. Recommendations for sides and drinks

Pairing specific steaks with specific sides is an art form. At the very least, it shows you that you’re in a steakhouse that really takes your experience seriously, and wants you to enjoy the meal to the fullest. You might certainly be in a quality steakhouse even if there are no such recommendations on the menu itself — but when you ask the waiter for ideas, they should definitely be able to make the ordering process easier and more enjoyable for you and the people you’re dining out with.

3. A limited range of options

Steak is a specialty cuisine — that’s why so many dedicated steakhouses exist. When you go to a steakhouse and open to the menu, only to realize that you’re overwhelmed by the number of options available to you, it has a negative effect for two reasons. First, it makes it more difficult to choose. A lot of people worry about making the wrong decision, and missing out on the best experience. Second, it makes you question whether the chef is really good at preparing any specific food, or whether everything on the menu will be more or less “acceptable.”

In search of the next great steakhouse

If you’ve ever walked away from a steakhouse thinking it was a great experience — or if you’e ever walked away thinking it wasn’t all that great — you may want to look a little deeper into the steakhouses in your area, and find out which ones are seriously dedicated to quality steak and a quality overall experience. Looking at the menu is one way to tell, but steakhouse reviews are also useful. In the end, it’s your own experience that matters. The only way a steakhouse deserves to have you back is by giving you an experience that works on all levels — food, service, atmosphere and value.

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Do Bone-In Steaks Have Better Flavor?

When it comes to steak, everybody has their own likes and dislikes. That’s why, when you go to your local steakhouse with a big group of people, everyone has to go down the line and tell the waiter how they’d like their steak cooked, and what kind of steak, they want, and what sides they’d like to go with it. If you talk to people who consider themselves “steak aficionados,” you’ll realize that some folks take these distinctions very seriously. Everyone knows, for example, that a lot of steak lovers and steak chefs consider “well done” to be a waste of good beef.

Here’s another question that generates a lot of different opinions: Do bone-in steaks have better flavor? A lot of people will instantly say yes, for the same reason that bones are used in stew to give it extra flavor. The juices locked inside the bones, they say, are released into the stew to provide that extra punch.

Is this true? Yes — when you’re talking about stews and soups, where the bones are cooking and stewing for long periods of time in a vat of broth, bones do enhance the flavor and nutritional value of the final product. But what about steak? Can it reasonably be said that the flavor of a T-bone will be superior to that of a filet mignon, on account of the juices locked inside the bone?

There’s an increasing consensus that the answer is actually no.

Although bones do contain a substance called yellow marrow, which definitely does add a buttery and delicious dimension to the flavor profile of steak, this marrow is more or less locked inside the bone, and does not seem to transfer into the meat. Stews and soups are different matter, since bones are steeped and stewed for a long time, and actually begin to fall apart, releasing the marrow. But when steaks are professionally broiled or grilled, there’s little evidence to show that this process actually takes place. That doesn’t mean a T-bone or rib eye can’t be especially good, especially when it comes from a really reputable source, and is prepared by a skilled chef. But the flavor will not necessarily be influence by the presence of the bone.

Steak chefs should know their stuff

The best way to answer these types of questions is, of course, to know from first-hand experience. There are plenty of steak lovers out there who prefer a T-bone because they believe it gives better flavor. Others swear that boneless steaks are much more flavorful. You might be able to offer a scientific argument one way or the other, but the fact is, flavor is subjective and all comes down to personal taste!

One thing’s for sure, though: If you’re at a reputable and experienced steakhouse, the steak should be expertly prepared and awesomely delicious, no matter what cut of beef you order. With steak, as with many other things, it can be difficult to make distinctions when you’re working with high quality meats and experts chefs. At that point, you’ll probably want to try everything and decide for yourself what the best steak on the menu is!

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How is Beef Produced?

In this day and age, people are more attuned to where their products and services come from, and how they were produced. This is especially true when it comes to food products. We want to make sure we’re getting something of high quality — especially when it comes to something special. A porterhouse steak, for example. We don’t want just any porterhouse. We want to know we’re getting something of real quality.

So when you order a cut of beef, where does it actually come from and how was it raised and produced? Fast food places don’t really count, since most of that consists of mixed ground beef that’s been mass-produced. Instead, let’s focus on the beef you get when you go to your favorite steakhouse.

Grass fed vs. Grain fed

One of the main differences you’ll see in terms of beef production involves how the animals are actually fed. Or more actually, what they’re fed. It’s widely known that grass fed beef tends to be juicier, more tender, and more flavorful than grain-fed beef. There are conflicting opinions on how important it is for the highest quality beef to be grass fed (meaning they only eat grass, which is their natural food, throughout the entire course of their lives) as opposed to grain-fed or grain-finished (which means they eat grass for a period of time and then are “fattened up” on grain).

There’s also evidence that grass-fed beef contains less harmful fats, more beneficial fats, and more healthy omega-3s.

If you talk to steakhouse chefs and managers, you’ll probably get differing opinions on the importance of grass-fed beef. But one thing they’ll all agree on is the importance of a reputable source that raises cattle carefully and humanely in a clean environment. The professionalism of the operation will almost always translate to a better cut of beef.

Mass production vs. local operations

The size and scope of the beef production operation is also important in terms of quality. Generally speaking, most of the highest-grade beef comes from smaller producers, while the lower quality product is mass-produced. If you talk to your local steakhouse chef, you’ll probably find that several (or in some cases, all) of the steaks on the menu come from smaller producers. More steakhouses are taking pride in their ability to source high quality cuts of beef from local, reputable sources.

That’s not to say that high quality beef never comes from larger beef producers, because that does happen. The majority of the highest grade (USDA Prime) beef, however, is rarely seen in stores and supermarkets. That’s because the supply is largely bought up by steakhouses and hotels that need their steaks to be “a cut above the rest.”

Returning to the source

Learning about the source of your steak, and how the beef is actually produced, is a great way to make your own determinations about how the beef production process affects things like flavor and tenderness. Next time you visit a local steakhouse, ask a few more questions about the source of the beef on the menu. You might be surprised by what you hear!

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Does the Source of the Steak Really Matter?

Every product and service is in a constant battle to differentiate itself from the competition, and convince the public that it stands above the rest. We’ve gotten so used to this in TV advertising and other forms of marketing that we hardly even notice these claims anymore. A fast food commercial might show us a perfect picture of a hamburger, but we’ve all been to those places, and we all know the difference between advertising and reality. The advertised version of the product is carefully arranged, decorated and photographed by a team of professionals — and the ingredients they use for the photo shoots aren’t even necessarily edible!

There may even be one or two steakhouse chains who employ these tactics, and although this is simply how the game is played when big advertising budgets are involved, steak is one cuisine we think should never be misrepresented!

In particular, those advertisements make us think about what really matters when it comes to steak. When it comes down to brass tacks, what makes a really good steak? What’s the one element that you can’t live without, if you want to have an exceptional steakhouse experience?

There are a few possible answers: The experience and skill of the chef, the way the steak is prepared, the sides and drinks that go along with the meal, and the service and atmosphere. But before all of these important elements, there’s one thing that stands alone as arguably the most important of all: The source of the steak.

Does it matter? Yes. If you ask any steak aficionado or steakhouse chef, they’ll point to the source of the beef as a supremely important indicator of quality. A great chef and a great steakhouse can make a decent meal out of a second-rate cut of beef, but at the end of the day, the limitations of the steak itself will be obvious. It will be too tough, or will lack flavor, or be too dry. A lot of things can and do go wrong with the quality of the meat is low.

What are the best sources for steak? There are many great source, depending on where you live and what’s available in the area. Local grass-fed cuts of beef can be incredible, and many steakhouses have close relationships with these local cattle farmers because they trust the quality of the beef, and prefer to support local business.

But local doesn’t always necessarily mean better. USDA Prime is the qualification to look for if you’re ordering American beef off the menu. USDA Choice can also be very good, but Prime is the indicator of top quality. There are also many excellent imported beefs from Japan (in some cases the beef itself is important, and in others, Japanese cattle are raised here in the USA) and other parts of the world.

In fact, the source of your steak is one of the most interesting things about the steakhouse experience, and knowing something about the source gives your experience an added dimension. So the next time you visit your local steakhouse, ask about the source! And if you’re unable to get much information, consider a different establishment next time around.

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3 Mistakes Commonly Made by Steakhouse Chefs

Isn’t it great when you walk away from a meal out with absolutely no complaints? When you’ve been completely satisfied with the food, service, atmosphere, and every other aspect of the experience? This is what dining out is all about, especially when it’s a special occasion, or just a much-needed night out with friends and family.

But these experiences seem rare. Why is that? Why do so many meals fall flat, and why are they forgotten so soon — or remembered in the wrong way?

In the case of steakhouse experiences, it could be any number of things. The quality of the steak itself is a big one. Many steakhouses just don’t invest in quality cuts of meat, which means that no matter how perfectly the chef prepares it, and no matter how great the service and atmosphere, the experience just won’t be all it can be — because corners were cut at the very beginning, when it was time to source the beef.

The most reputable steakhouses out there will have extensive knowledge of the beef they’re serving, including where it came from and what makes it special. Even the least expensive steak on the menu will be impeccably prepared and will be of good quality.

Let’s say the quality of the meat is fine, or even good. Another reason why many patrons leave steakhouses unsatisfied is that the steakhouse chef didn’t do a good job cooking the steak as ordered. People tend to be very particular about this, and if the steak is ordered medium-rare (for example) and it comes cooked medium or even medium-well, the customer might still enjoy the steak — but they won’t have gotten exactly what they wanted, and the experience would have been just that much better if they had.

Another mistake some steakhouse chefs make is to use too many spices or marinades in their steak preparation. When you’re handling a high quality cut of beef and preparing it using professional appliances and tools, very little is needed in the way of flavor enhancements. A little rock salt pounded into the meat is often the only thing used by professional steakhouse chefs. A lot of people can’t believe this, especially if the steak is really flavorful. But that’s the beautiful thing about steak — the best cuts are prepared in a way that simply brings out their natural flavor, without using species or sauces to cover it up too much.

Timing is another thing that can wreak havoc on an otherwise great steakhouse experience. When you have a table full of people, all of whom have ordered steaks, the chef needs to be very skilled in order to get the timing right. All those steaks need to be hot, along with the sides, and brought out at the same time in order to succeed in creating a good experience.

How to find a steakhouse that does all these things

Look for established, reputable steakhouses that have plenty of good customer reviews and high scores in social media. And when get there, ask a few questions about the steak. You should have a fairly good idea whether this is going to be worth an encore visit!

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5 Signs of a Bad Steakhouse

If you’re like most people, there are two types of steakhouse experience that stand out in memory. The first is a really great experience. We’re talking about a meal where everything was spot on, from the host who led you to your table, to the atmosphere and ambiance, to the wait service and ordering process, all the way to the amazing quality of the steak on your plate.

The other type of steakhouse experience people tend to remember is one that lands on the opposite end of the spectrum. From the moment you walk in, the service and atmosphere seem off. The waiter seems disinterested, and may not even know the answers to your questions. When the steak is set down in front of you, both the presentation and the taste are uninspiring. Then the bill comes, and the whole things seems to cost far more than it was worth.

All of the mediocre experiences that land between those two extremes are easily forgettable. Why? Because it’s really those great experiences you’re after, those steakhouses that leave an indelible mark on your memory — in a good way.

So how can you spot a “bad” or mediocre steakhouse before you walk in the door, and save yourself the trouble? Here are five signs of a bad steakhouse:

1. No information on where the steaks come from

One thing that definitely separates a high quality steakhouse from everyone else is the pride they have in the different cuts of meat they serve. Bad steakhouses don’t know much about the steak they’re offering — probably because there isn’t much to know.

2. Uncomfortable atmosphere or ambiance

It’s not just about the food — a good steakhouse experience is also about the surroundings, the tables, the cutlery, the décor. If a place looks drab and uninviting, chances are the rest of the experience will be on par with that — including the food.

3. Low ratings

Online ratings are perhaps your biggest ally when looking for the best steakhouses in your area. Look for establishments that earn consistently high scores amongst clients, and read the details of the reviews. You should be able to get an idea about the steakhouse fairly quickly from reading what other people have said.

4. Bargain basement prices

If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. This saying applies to so many different things, steakhouses included. If the cost of your steak dinner is unusually low, corners are definitely getting cut somewhere. A good value is one thing, but ultra-cheap steak dinners rarely satisfy the discerning patron.

5. Usually empty

One of the sure signs of a good steakhouse is a constant flow of customers in and out. If you walk by a steakhouse and it always seems to be empty, this is a strong sign that people are staying away for a reason. You might find a diamond in the rough that no one knows about yet, but in general, be wary of steakhouses that are constantly sitting empty.

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Jersey Shore Restaurant Week

Jersey Shore Restaurant Week at Prime 13 Steakhouse, Wood Fire Grill. November 3-12th, 10 days! 3 Courses! Reserve today.
Restaurant Week Menu prepared especially for you.

Appetizers

Golden crispy mozzarella

lightly fried with plum tomato sauce and fresh basil.

Sauteed shishito peppers

potatoes and garlic with crushed red pepper, EVOO drizzle.

P13 Bacon

house smoked, cast iron seared, caramelized onions, P13 bbq sauce.

Asian Clams

sautéed in white soy, ginger, garlic, butter, vegetable stock, crostini.

Entrees

Flank Steak

chipotle garlic herb marinated, wood fire grilled over Jasmine rice, black beans, Pico De Gallo, avocado crema.

Pork chop

house smoked, wood fire grilled, demi glace, whipped potatoes, sautéed broccoli.

Pan seared codfish

Bearnaise sauce, baked potato, sautéed broccoli.

Pan seared Bella Evans chicken breast

chorizo and cheddar potato croquette, sautéed broccoli.

“Cowboy” bone-in rib eye

wood fire grilled, baked potato, sautéed broccoli (add $17).

Filet Mignon,

wood fire grilled, whipped potato, sautéed broccoli (add $12).

Desserts

Flourless chocolate cake.

Fresh berries and whipped cream.

Cannoli tacos

crispy wanton, diced strawberries, chocolate sauce, whipped cream.

Three Courses for $32.17 plus tax and gratuity.
No combining offers or promotions.