Tag Archives: pecan pie

Peter Luger Steakhouse

15 Jan

Peter Luger is probably the most famous steak house in all of NYC, which is why I find it strange that it’s in Brooklyn. I’ve long wondered if that adds to the allure… “it must be good if people will brave the L train for it!”

I had been to Luger once before and hated to say I was underwhelmed. I mean, it was a very good meal, but I didn’t think it was better than places in NYC and didn’t think it was worth crossing the East River to eat.

But when friends from out-of-town wanted to try it, I was excited to go on a food adventure with them.

I certainly love the inside. It’s beautiful without being fancy.

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Someone suggested we try the bacon. And BOY am I glad they did. This was probably my favorite part of the whole meal. It was thick cut, perfectly cooked, a little charred on the ends. Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmmm.

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And they are famous for their tomato and onion salad. This… I do not understand. I mean I like tomatoes and onions just fine… but why is this special? 

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Though they did advise that we pour the Peter Luger Sauce (which is on every table) on it, and I will admit, it made the onions and tomatoes very tasty (and added great, but not overpowering flavor to the steaks, too).

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The steak ordering is incredibly easy from the menu. You tell them if you want steak for two, three, or four and out it comes. It’s a beautiful Porterhouse that they serve nicely carved and dish out to each person at the table.

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And you don’t get more perfectly Medium Rare than this:

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We also ordered the lamb chops so we could try some different things.  These were delicious and I’m glad we had some variation (as much as I love steak!)

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We got a side of creamed spinach, which I thought was really tasty and heavier on the spinach flavor than the cream (which I prefer).

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Mmmm… meat.

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Even though we were all totally stuffed by the end, we just had to try the ice cream sundae (which came with a chocolate cow on top).  This was heavenly.

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As was the pecan pie.  It was super pecany and not overly sweet. And don’t even get me started on that homemade schlag!

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As you leave, everyone gets some chocolate gelt to take home.  A nice little way to be reminded later of the great meal you had.

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I certainly enjoyed my meal this time more than last time, and I think the key was variation. Definitely get the bacon, try some sauce on some tomatoes and onions (why not?) and then order up some amazing steaks with some lamb chops.  Leave a wee bit of room for dessert and you’re perfect.

Do I feel the need to travel to Brooklyn for this on a regular basis? No.  I still think the novelty is good for tourists, but as a local, I’ll stick with Keen’s. (Though my arm could certainly be easily twisted to return to Peter Luger!)

Total Nom Points: 8 out of 10

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Benjamin’s Steak House (White Plains, NY)

14 Jun

 

I haven’t exactly been wowed by the food in Westchester, NY so far, so when Mike’s dad recommended a steak house that recently opened in White Plains, I didn’t expect much. Our destination: Benjamin’s Steakhouse (turns out there is also one in NYC).

Sometimes going in with no expectations is the best way to go.

We started with a salad that had delicious sliced apples and cheese with a vinagrete.  Fresh and perfect.

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Mike and I split the T-bone and both “mmmmm”ed and “yummm”ed our way through it.  The car was excellent.

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And it was so perfectly cooked.

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Other steaks around the table were just as delicious

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As was the fish

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And all the sides

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Dessert was a nearly perfect pecan pie (with a less than optimal crust… but we’ll forgive them this slight miss)

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We were all very impressed by Benjamin’s and would not hesitate to go back or try the one in NYC.  We were all very pleased with our meals.  Just keep in mind, these are NYC Steakhouse prices.

Total Nom Points: 7 out of 10

 

 

Florida Noms: Chardonnay (Palm Beach Gardens)

6 Jun

 

 

Our Florida trip was going to end with taking in a pre-season Mets game in Port Saint Lucie.  As we drove up in torrential down-pouring rain, I had a feeling the game wasn’t going to happen.  Sure enough, just as we were passing the Palm Beach area, the game was cancelled.  Since we were flying out of the West Palm Beach area airport, we decided to kill some time at the movies and the mall.  What else are you supposed to do in a Florida beach town in the pouring rain?  After a lovely indoor day, we had about 3 hours before our flight and found ourselves in search of a nice place to have dinner.  A few cross-checks via Yelp and OpenTable sent us to Cafe Chardonnay in Palm Beach Gardens.

Here is a peak at the menu:

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This place was having a bit of an identiy crisis.  It was called a cafe, had a cheesy graphic logo that looked like it was made in MS Paint, was decorated sort of high end French and sort of street cafe, and had an elegant sounding menu.

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We started with Warm Almond Crusted Goat Cheese to share.  It came with figs and a raisin bread.

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And it was fantastic.  The goat cheese was perfect, the figs were a great sweet compliment, and I liked that they crisped up the raisin bread so everything spread well on it.

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Mike had a wedge salad.  The blue cheese was chunky and very good.

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Then he had the Prawn “Scampi” over fresh linguine.

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We both agreed that it was just okay.

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I made a combination of specials (to avoid peppers) with the Sea Bass over the side dishes that were originally to come with the crab crusted flounder.

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Braised artichokes, mushrooms, gnocchi…  all the makings of a great dish.  But it just wasn’t.  It was okay, but also lacking.  (Is there a lack of flavor problem in Florida?)

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I was kind of surprised that the entrees were just bland, but dessert looked promising.

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We chose the pecan pie.

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AND the cheesecake (hush… it was “vacation”)

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Both were totally “ehh.”

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I think the best description for this place was “ehh.”  Everything was just “ehh.”  Which basically described most of our “high-end” Florida dining experiences on this trip… “EHHH”

Total Nom Points: 6 out of 10