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Gents,

Despite being an avid steak fan and a native New Yorker I had never made the pilgrimage to Peter Luger's in Brooklyn. When I was a young lad of 18 or so the Palm on Second Avenue was my haunt of choice, mostly bc they didn't check id's when you ordered a drink and it was in stumbling distance of Ryan McFaddens. When I became a little older Smith and Wollensky, or Wollensky's Grills to be accurate, served as sort of a canteen/gathering spot for all my friends and I still try to stop by when I am in New York. I have also been to the Capital Grille (the NY location) and Wolfgang's in the past year and enjoyed both of them.

But finally this Christmas, after much cajoling by a friend who now resides in Brooklyn, I made the trip to Luger's. I had already factored in the rustic charm or lack thereof and the famously cranky service but was looking forward to what many argue is America's best steak.

The digs are rustic and the staff are a bit cranky, though the bar pours a generous drink. I was a bit put off though by the $4.99 service charge and $120 limit the ATM outside of Luger's has (they only accept cash or their house charge card.)

Finally after what seemed like a very long wait (what recession?) and a few Jamesons at the bar we were seated. We chose the standard menu - Canadian bacon, tomato and onion salad, porterhouse rare, German potatoes and creamed spinach. The wine list was a bit of a joke but I had been warned about that, so we stuck with beer. The starters and sides were fine, pretty typical steakhouse fare.

Then came the steak and perhaps my greatest dining disappointment to date. To say the steak was bad would be incorrect. It was good. But thats the problem, it was just good and nothing more. It doesnt rank among the top ten steaks I had even in the last year. The meat just didnt have much flavor, which I could forgive in a filet mignon but not a porterhouse.

The apple strudel was nice though but all in all Luger's was a big disappointment. if you want the Luger's experience and want to use a credit card and have the option of a decent wine list I suggest Wolgang's, otherwise you can't go wrong with S&W and the swankier digs and more plush menu of the Capital Grille has always proven popular with mixed company.

Anyway, my two cents on Peter Luger.


Karl
 

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That's disappointing.

I've never been there, but I have been to one of the other legendary steakhouses, The Old Homestead down on 9th Ave. They squeezed us in for a high school reunion on very short notice after the place that had already agreed to hold it was found padlocked. It was definitely good food there.

I do find it interesting that their web page talks about their "world famous $41 hamburger". Is that considered a good price for a burger in New York?

Here's their web page:

Oh, and Happy New Year, Karl.
 

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My family and I thoroughly enjoy Sparks, another NYC standout. I also like DelFrisco's (I have been in Dallas and FW, but never NYC!). Sparks has much easier access than PL's, with Midtown with parking all around, and takes charge cards. Bon appetit!
 

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I'm disappointed to hear about Luger's. As many times as I have been to NYC I have never been there and was planning on going the next time. I've heard they are a bit eccentric (cash only, etc.), but with all the hassle one would expect the finest piece of meat.

If ever in Vegas try the Delmonico steakhouse at the Venetian. Its an Emeril Lagasse restaurant but don't let that put you off. I had the best bone in ribeye, grilled to perfection.
 

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I've been to the Palm in Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Washington, and Charlotte, but never the one at 837 2nd Avenue. On my next trip to New York I intend to remedy that.

I've been to Morton's in New York, which is very consistent, and to Smith & Wollensky, which was very good, but it just wasn't the experience I expected. My favorite steak house is Gallagher's, on 52nd Street between Max's Kansas City and the Neil Simon Theater. It's been around forever and has the same sawdust-covered floors and brusque waiters that people flock to Peter Luger's for, but I've never had a bad meal there.
 

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I don't understand why anyone would pay that kind of money for the waiters to be short with you.

You wouldn't think it, but a "hipster restaurant" here in town called The Top has better service than the more expensive restaurants I've been to.
 

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steak

Karl, Gentlemen

I had the same experience. Actually I have come to the point in my life where I cook my own .I am at a point in my life where I enjoy relaxing, and cooking.
We have many great places up this way as well.
This past summer. Finally after a great marinade, correct fire. I made the STEAK!
Wife said (after 35 years) this is the finest steak I have ever had.
My kids as well.
When you are cooking better yourself, and able to advoid 100 plus bills for 2 to eat.
Well, so be it.
Sorry you had a bad time as well.
Andy needs to call Peter!
Nice day
 

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it happen to me

Gents,

Despite being an avid steak fan and a native New Yorker I had never made the pilgrimage to Peter Luger's in Brooklyn. When I was a young lad of 18 or so the Palm on Second Avenue was my haunt of choice, mostly bc they didn't check id's when you ordered a drink and it was in stumbling distance of Ryan McFaddens. When I became a little older Smith and Wollensky, or Wollensky's Grills to be accurate, served as sort of a canteen/gathering spot for all my friends and I still try to stop by when I am in New York. I have also been to the Capital Grille (the NY location) and Wolfgang's in the past year and enjoyed both of them.

But finally this Christmas, after much cajoling by a friend who now resides in Brooklyn, I made the trip to Luger's. I had already factored in the rustic charm or lack thereof and the famously cranky service but was lookinforward to what many argue is America's best steak.

The digs are rustic and the staff are a bit cranky, though the bar pours a generous drink. I was a bit put off though by the $4.99 service charge and $120 limit the ATM outside of Luger's has (they only accept cash or their house charge card.)

Finally after what seemed like a very long wait (what recession?) and a few Jamesons at the bar we were seated. We chose the standard menu - Canadian bacon, tomato and onion salad, porterhouse rare, German potatoes and creamed spinach. The wine list was a bit of a joke but I had been warned about that, so we stuck with beer. The starters and sides were fine, pretty typical steakhouse fare.

Then came the steak and perhaps my greatest dining disappointment to date. To say the steak was bad would be incorrect. It was good. But thats the problem, it was just good and nothing more. It doesnt rank among the top ten steaks I had even in the last year. The meat just didnt have much flavor, which I could forgive in a filet mignon but not a porterhouse.

The apple strudel was nice though but all in all Luger's was a big disappointment. if you want the Luger's experience and want to use a credit card and have the option of a decent wine list I suggest Wolgang's, otherwise you can't go wrong with S&W and the swankier digs and more plush menu of the Capital Grille has always proven popular with mixed company.

Anyway, my two cents on Peter Luger.

Karl
Karl, cant agree more with you it's always been a rip off and all smoke and mirror. There are so much better with less hassles and extra charges. For one Marcella on Gavensport street was excellent an the best staek ..

Lugers is A JOKE..
 

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Austin's Steakhouse

If you do decide to go to Brooklyn for a good steak, I agree, PL is piss. They are more about name recognition than they are about the steak nowadays...maybe 25 years ago it was different.

But down on 5th Avenue and 90th Street in Brooklyn (after a long R train ride) is perhaps the best steakhouse in NYC, Austin's. Their Filet is tender and flavorful, have a great Porterhouse, and a SUPER Rib Eye...its a bit pricey, and a little nouveaux riche with its cheesy art deco interior design, but the service and meat is second to no one.
 

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Karl, cant agree more with you it's always been a rip off and all smoke and mirror. There are so much better with less hassles and extra charges. For one Marcella on Gavensport street was excellent an the best staek ..

Lugers is A JOKE..
No, it hasn't ALWAYS been a rip-off; you don't achieve the kind of reputation PL has had for the past many decades without something to back it up. Back in the day, they were THE steak restaurant to contend with. Sadly, as with so many fine things (Rolex, Mont Blanc come readily to mind), their quality has slipped in recent years. Even more sadly, the legendary bruskness of the waiters, a feature that only works if it is in sharp contrast to really good food, has remained.

Wolfgang's remains one of my favorite places; I have frequented the spot since it was the Vanderbilt Club (I love the vaulted tile ceilings), although the food wasn't all that good then, but it had a good bar and was around the corner from my office.

One of the great surprises of recent years was the quality of the steaks at Morton's in Atlantic City, in the ranks of the great steaks I have had to date, coupled with a half-way decent cellar.
 

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My family and I thoroughly enjoy Sparks, another NYC standout. I also like DelFrisco's (I have been in Dallas and FW, but never NYC!). Sparks has much easier access than PL's, with Midtown with parking all around, and takes charge cards. Bon appetit!
I just made a Valentines Day reservation for Sparks. It will be my first time in NYC and my wife and I both love a good steak. I'm very much looking forward to trying it.
 

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I'm a New Yorker and have been to most of the steakhouses here. I prefer Smith and Wollensky in NYC but my absolute favorite steakhouse is Manny's in Minneapolis.
 

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I just made a Valentines Day reservation for Sparks. It will be my first time in NYC and my wife and I both love a good steak. I'm very much looking forward to trying it.
Excellent. I love it there, though before our last visit I joked that Sparks is the home of the $8 bowl of spinach. I was wrong, as it was $9. Their side orders are excellent, though, and they may serve them family style if you'd like. The wine list is outstanding, and overwhelming for a journeyman like me. I recommend the filet mignon, though it will be the largest one you will ever see. Their high-temperature grill cooks to perfection. Wait staff is effecient but may come off as a bit cool. Cab it, or park in the garage across the street. Recall John Gotti's coup d'etat on Sparks' front step, as he oversaw Paul Castellano's execution there. Don't forget to shop BB and Paul Stuart on Madison, and have drinks at the Algonquin, all nearby. Enjoy! Bill
 

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Excellent. I love it there, though before our last visit I joked that Sparks is the home of the $8 bowl of spinach. I was wrong, as it was $9. Their side orders are excellent, though, and they may serve them family style if you'd like. The wine list is outstanding, and overwhelming for a journeyman like me. I recommend the filet mignon, though it will be the largest one you will ever see. Their high-temperature grill cooks to perfection. Wait staff is effecient but may come off as a bit cool. Cab it, or park in the garage across the street. Recall John Gotti's coup d'etat on Sparks' front step, as he oversaw Paul Castellano's execution there. Don't forget to shop BB and Paul Stuart on Madison, and have drinks at the Algonquin, all nearby. Enjoy! Bill
Much obliged for the recommendations. This is my first trip to NYC and I am quite thrilled. I am staying at the Mariott East Side at Lexington/49th. It's my understanding that the restaurant is fairly close - walking distance, perhaps? Of course, it being Valentine's Day and February in NY, it might behoove me to sport a cab regardless.
 

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Much obliged for the recommendations. This is my first trip to NYC and I am quite thrilled. I am staying at the Mariott East Side at Lexington/49th. It's my understanding that the restaurant is fairly close - walking distance, perhaps? Of course, it being Valentine's Day and February in NY, it might behoove me to sport a cab regardless.
Sparks is on 46th near 3rd Avenue. Very very close.

If it's not snowing or windy, it's not a bad walk even in February temperatures.
 

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totally agree

I have been to Luger's a few times and the steak is ok but it is drowned in butter, if you have a quality steak why drown it in butter, the steak should stand on it's own. Lugers is definately living on a reputation from years past and is not worth going to when there are so many better options. I have been to most of the steakhouses in Manhattan including smith and w, both wolfgangs, Ben and Jacks, Angelo and maxies, Etc. personally my favorites are Keens which has been around since the late 1800's and when you enter you feel like your stepping back in time. really a neat place with a lot of history and one of the largest selection of single malt scotch's in the country, The other place I would reccomend is Benjamin's Great Steak Great service Great everything. oh yes i also loved The Capitol Grill but it's very easy to fill up on their delicious appetizers and not have room for an entree.
 
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