Prime Meats – Eating Outside The Box

This many years into running the world’s number one Steak Club, it’s not becoming any easier trying to find all the best Steaks around NYC and providing a point of discovery. But that’s what we do and that’s what you look to us for. We eat Steak. We eat A LOT of Steak. Sometimes it’s great Steak, sometimes it’s not, but we know our role is to help you find the best steaks.

The more and more NYC becomes the best of best for food, the more and more places serving a great Steak that may not be in a restaurant classified as a “Steakhouse.” Great Steaks are starting to come from all sorts of kitchens out there and it’s less about what the restaurant is called and more about what they do to the cut once they have it. Call it a Steakhouse, a grill, a chop house, a bistro, eatery, or anything else, caring for a Steak is what it’s about.

Enter The Box. When he was ushered into this elite Club of Steak junkies, we knew he loved the Meats but we didn’t realize the revolution he would bring to the group. Long story short, as coincidence would have it, The Box started pushing to eat outside the box, choosing places we wouldn’t normally have thought to get steak. Long story short, The Box has delivered us into the next evolution of SteakClub7 and with this month’s pick, he solidified the future of our elite group.

And that’s how we ended up this month in Brooklyn. It should also be noted that The Box has a car and is willing to drive. Prime Meats, no-reservations restaurant located in Brooklyn’s Carroll Gardens, has been hot on the scene for some time. The rustic looking tavern gone restaurant is always busy and as much as you would like to call ahead for a table, you can’t.  Run by childhood friends turned Kings County restaurant superstars, Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli, Prime Meats is a German-inspired farm to table restaurant. The idea was to create a turn of the century style restaurant into fresh and interesting tribute to the past. All dairy and produced are sourced from the Pennsylvania based Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative, while the Pork comes from the West Village based Faicco’s Pork Store. The beef, all-natural Angus, is supplied by Creekstone Farms, a farm that raises it’s cattle humanely, allowing them to graze freely. Before processing, the cows are fed a corn-based feed that aids in the flavor profile of the meat.

Most Steak meals start with Bread and that’s why The Box ordered House-made Pretzel with Butter and Mustard for the table as soon as we were seated. Buttery, warm and extra specially tasteful in the Mustard, these settled the hunger in our stomach’s so as to give the rest of our meal a better focus.

After letting The Box lead us to another borough and through the tasty Pretzels, I told him, “I trust you implicitly here, so just order whatever you think we will like.” The first of which was “The Vesper Brett;” Alpine tasting board with house cured bacon, landjager, chicken liver pate, pastrami calve’s tongue, smoked maple ham and house – made pickles. Landjager, well that’s about one of the tastiest things to ever come out of Germany and Bacon, well say no more. The rest of the offerings, weren’t so much for me but everyone else loved them.

OH MAN, it’s one of The Box’s fave dishes and he was excited as hell to share it with us; Roasted Beef Bone Marrow with Radish, Gremolata, Roasted Garlic & Toast. Was it good? Yeah it was good but that’s the kind of word you use if you want to under play how “good” it tasted. I did say OH MAN right? This savory treat was unbelievably delectable. We fought over the last bits of the Marrow, hacking at the insides of the bones with knives trying to scrape out the last bits.

While a normal SC7 dinner has us eating various Potatoes and Greens for sides, tonight was going to be a little different. Our first side; Herb & Gruyere Cheese Spätzle. A popular dish in Germany, it’s made of boiled Egg Noodles and in this case, covered in Cheese. Oh yeah, they’re awesome.

Not only have I never heard of Sürkrüt Garnie before eating here but I haven’t seen it since! The dish is made of Slow cooked pork belly, Thuringian bratwurst, Calf Tongue & Knackwurst served with housemade Sauerkraut. It’s a Meatstravaganza unlike anything you’ve ever had or will ever have again and as far as I know, you won’t find anywhere but at Prime Meats.

DeBragga & Spitler Dry-Aged Côte De Boeuf  36 day dry-aged certified Black Angus served with watercress salad. Average – 27 oz. – 52 oz.. Yeah, we ate that. There’s really no need to go deep into a deeper description here after I tell you the following. Not only did it taste better than it sounds, we all fought over the rights to scrape the bone!

There are few words that light up the Big P.A., like “bacon” does, but one of the others is Merguez. The man loves it and if you have had it, you know exactly why. Elysian Farm Lamb Stew Lamb shoulder, cured Lamb Belly, housemade Merguez Sausage, White Beans & Marrow Breadcrumbs. Almost reads like a porno flick about food right? THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT IT IS!! The dish is practically a Cassoulet but not exactly. It’s just further proof that the people at Prime Meats are obsessed with great Food.

Damn. The Box rules supreme. Prime Meats is further proof that great Steak can come from any where. Eat there and you’ll understand, it’s not about one item or a couple of items, but moreover, about an outstanding meal top to bottom.

4.5 out of 5 knives
-Rev

Wolfgang’s – Making A Spectacle Out of Steak

Can you imagine what it’s like to do something for 40 years straight, I mean other than like breath or brush your teeth??! I’m not even 40 years old so based on my own experience, doing anything for 40 years is unfathomable. But let’s just say you did something for 40 years? What would you do then?  Well if you’re Wolfgang Zwiener, you keep doing it but instead you do it for yourself.

You see, Wolfgang was the headwaiter at Brooklyn’s Peter Luger’s Steakhouse for 40 years and after leaving, he opened up a Steakhouse of his own. While the menu is very similar to that of Petey Luge’s, there are 2 important differences to note. #1. Wolfgang’s original location is in Manhattan and #2. they take credit cards. For a guys like us in the SC7, this makes all the difference int he world.

Since then Wolfgang has opened in Waikiki, Beverly Hills, Midtown Manhattan and now Tribeca. Even though every member of SteakClub7 has been to Wolfgang’s we have never had an official outing. The opening of the newest location seemed like as good a reason as any to make it finally happen. The Tribeca location is on Greenwich Street in a beautiful with high ceilings, a gorgeous dining room and a massively, massive 1000 bottle wine room.

Sounds like a perfect location for our monthly SteakClub7 feast!

In true to form fashion, The Big P.A. ordered slices of Wolfgang’s extra thick, sizzling Canadian Bacon. This is staple of the New York Steakhouse and something we dearly love.

I’m not a seafoodie but the other fellas claimed that Wolfgang’s had some of the best and freshest shrimp they’ve ever had in this town.

Normally I go for the wedge salad but opted on this occasion instead to split a Caesar with Jon. When the Box ordered a wedge and the very creamy blue cheese dressing showed up, I had no choice but to add some to my salad.

My great Grandma G.G. always reminded us to eat our vegetables and when it’s an SC7 dinner, JoeC and I always ask for sautéed broccoli. Wolfgang’s was fresh. hot and full of ripe flavor.

Soon enough the star of the show, the Steaks started to arrive. MattyWinks, as always, ordered up a Filet. This was no ordinary Filet my friends! This was the thickest, tallest, biggest cut of Filet I have ever seen!

As the porterhouse steaks came to the party, in perfect fashion, the friendly and well dressed wait staff started to dish out the food. I love that part. The steaks arrive slightly just under cooked to specification. The plates they server on are so hot that it finishes cooking right in front of you. Gotta. Love. The. Sizzle.

As always, we order an array of sides to go along with the beef. This time around we got the creamed spinach, cottage fries and German potatoes (not pictured.) The German potatoes were super delicious. The creamed spinach is not for me and as for the cottage fries, they’re just big, huge fresh made potato chips and while they are good, I’d rather have mashed, french fried or even more German potatoes.

This is practically the exact same meal I eat at every single SteakClub7 and every time I get it, its pure joy. It’s the prefect steak meal especially with a little Australian or Argentine wine. Every once in a while though, it’s better than it’s been before and tonight at Wolfgang’s was that night. The Steak was absolutely delicious! Cooked completely to perfection and with just enough seer on the outside with a little salt & pepper that all the natural flavor of the dry-aged, high-quality meat comes bursting out.

As per the norm, the Meatgod got his hot fudge sundae, no whip cream. The Big P.A. & JoeC plunked down on some cheesecake and an apple strudel for the group to share.

To say Wolfgang’s nailed this one, would be 100% right on the money. The Steak was phenomenal, the sides were great, the service was impeccable and in fact, the only real complaint; the 6 jerks with funny glasses that I had to eat it with.

4.5 out of 5 knives
-Rev

Empire Steak House – NY Steak of Mind

We love Steak. We love Steak so much that we get together once, every month in NYC to eat it together. There is no one out there who does what we do at our level of appreciation. Thankfully after years and years of eating delicious Steak, we still have yet to exhaust the supply of great Steak locations around town. With all kinds of new restaurants popping up all over town with all kinds of crazy themes and menus, the classic New York Steakhouse will always hold it’s appeal.

This month’s Steak Club 7 outing brought us to the Empire Steak House. Located in Rockefeller Center, it was built on the former grounds of the Greek Restaurant Anthos. It’s a family effort from Jeff Sinanaj and his brothers, who spent years as waiters at Peter Lugers and now own Ben and Jacks Steakhouse. The concept is to bring a classic New York City fine dining experience centered around a Porterhouse Steak. Each cut of beef is hand selected and then aged 21 to 28 days at Empire.

With mouths watering and good laughs all around, we dove into what I think is the real reason the Big P.A. joined SteakClub7, we sunk our collective teeth into  an extra thick slice of sizzling Canadian Bacon.

As per norm, the other fellas ordered up some fresh Jumbo Shrimp.

While not on the menu, we were all hounding for a Wedge Salad and the restaurant was more than happy to accommodate. Seeing as how they were so willing to fill our stomachs, the Big P.A. asked if we could have more of the bacon cut up to put on the salads. I love the Big P.A.

Then it was time for the magic. At Empire they cook your Steak slightly under temperature so when it arrives on the table on a VERY hot plate, they can cook it up to the temperature desired just by running it along the dish itself. It makes for a great presentation and truly gets your tastes buds amped up.

On the docket for sides, we actually went a little heavy on the greens with Sautéed Broccoli, Creamed Spinach and Peas & Onions. All of the selections were fresh and well prepared. The latter of which was especially fantastic and I wish more restaurants offered it.

We also ordered German Potato & Cottage Fries. The Cottage Fries, while good are really just fresh made potato chips. The German Potatoes on the other hand are perfect for sopping up extra Steak juice! They are crispy on the outside and still soft on inside and when covered in a little cracked pepper and salt are just awesome.

Assembled all together on one plate and you have a PERFECT Steak dinner. The Porterhouse at Empire is EVERYTHING they play it up to be. Juicy, succulent, tasty, savory and flavorful, high quality USDA PRIME.

The Empire Steakhouse is perfect example of what makes a classic New York City Steakhouse with great service & fantastic food.

4.5 knives out of 5
-Rev

Carmine’s – Born In An All New Steak Light

We live here in New York City and we love it. In fact, we love every part of it. Ok maybe not that random Apple Bee’s filled with European tourists who don’t know any better and Staten Island, well, let’s just not talk about it now, but for the most part, New Yorker’s got pride for their city. The 7 men in SteakClub7 are no different in our passion for the Big Apple. We love it! Yes, even Times Square, while we generally avoid being in it, we accept that it helps make this the greatest city in the world.

Any suggestion to do anything in Times Square is most certainly met with a quizzical “are you sure?” before diving in on the commitment. While recently talking to a new friend who works at Carmine’s on 44th Street, that’s exactly what happened. After I introduced the concept of SC7 to Erin, she replied “you guys absolutely have to try the Porterhouse Contadina at Carmine’s! It’s a Porterhouse served with Onions, Peppers, Sausage, Potatoes, Oil and Garlic.” EX-KWEEZ ME!??! “Yeah,” replied Erin, “you guys will love it.”

Now before we proceed you should know that I love Carmine’s. Yeah it’s a theater crowd restaurant that’s filled at all times with tourists and out of towners, located right in Times Square. There’s a reason it’s always busy and it’s not just because of the location. There are two things I can say about every time I have ever eaten at Carmine’s, the food is great and we always have a great time. It’s the kind of place that requires a minimum of 6 people for you to enjoy properly as every single dish, app, side of entrée, is MASSIVE. It’s meant to be shared as it’s a family style Italian meal. But that’s it, it’s Italian, I.E. Pasta, Chicken Parms, Meatballs, Veal, Antipasto, etc, etc. When I think Carmine’s I think heaping plates of the above, I have never thought “that place must be great for Steak.”

But allow me to repeat; “Porterhouse Contadina, served with Onions, Peppers, Sausage, Potatoes, Oil and Garlic.” I don’t care if that was served under bridge with sewage running under it and I would still want to eat it. A quick email went out to the fellas to get a confirmation and with much curiosity, a reservation was made.

The meal started out with a massive plate of Antipasto with Melon, Prosciutto, Roasted Red Peppers, Italian Cheese, Focaccia, Marinated Veggies and more. It was all really tasty, especially the Focaccia with Red Peppers, Meat, Cheese and Balsamic Vinegar!

Up next, a little Mixed Greens Salad. I say little which is practically a word that doesn’t exist at Carmine’s. Everything here is served in huge proportions meant to allow everyone at the table to share in the plate. The Mixed Green Salad is a very simple mix of Greens, Tomatoes, Oil, Vinegar and Spices. It’s mean just to create a digestive bed for what’s to come.

The rest of the fellas split up a Shrimp Cocktail Plate. The Shrimp looked big enough to mount and gallop off into the distance on!

An absolute must when dining at Carmine’s (besides my suggested minimum of at least 5 friends) is the Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic & Oil. Back in the hoe country this is more commonly known as Aioli but here at Carmine’s it’s just known as AWESOME. Topped with Cracked Parmesan & Black Pepper, this dish is not to be missed!

Then it came. The star of the show. The main event. The big kahuna. You can call it what you want but probably the most descriptive word for the Porterhouse Contandina is IMPRESSIVE. This gargantuan entrée is big enough to satisfy the hunger pangs of an ancient caveman stone worker who has a dinosaur for a pet. Carmine’s has taken the most delicious and special cut of steak, at Porterhouse (1/2 Sirloin, 1/2 Filet) and covered it in roasted Potatoes, Onions, Peppers and hoh-my-goodness, Sausage! That last bit almost seems pointless but trust me, it takes this awesome dish over the freaking top!

Was it good? Hell yeah, it was awesome! Especially when served along with the Angel Hair smothered in Garlic & Oil. Cooked perfectly and absolutely BURSTING with great flavors makes the Camine’s Porterhouse Contadina. one of the most unique Steaks in NYC.

Matty Winks is an animal a completely lawless animal with a burning in his stomach for more food. Watching the man eat is a sight like none other. When the Meatgod, who LOVES Ice Cream Sundaes, turns down dessert, you know we have eaten a lot. At Carmine’s, the most popular dessert item is the Titanic, a statuesque heaping Banana Split meets Ice Cream Sunday that is topped with a storm cloud of freshly made Whipped Cream. It’s a lot of fun to get but honestly, no one had any room. When the waiter reveals there is a half-sized version of the tugboat, Mattywinks goes into action and demands one, whip cream on the side, to accommodate the Meatgod who can’t stand the stuff.
We all ate some.


Was the Steak at Carmine’s good? No. Did we enjoy the entire experience? No. In truth, the Steak was FANTASTIC and the entire experience was WONDERFUL. I’m psyched to say that after years of loyal patronage of Carmine’s without them doing anything differently than they have before, it’s reborn to me in all new even shinier light. Get 5 friends, get a res and get fed!

4 out of 5 knives
-Rev

Industria Argentina – 5500 Miles Closer and Just As Good

Welcome to June of 2011 which means it was MY turn to pick this month’s Steak Club 7 gathering. We’ve been at this for 6 years now and we’ve eaten at dam near every well known steak jam in the city. I never thought A. this club would last this long and B. we would run out of steakhouses, but thankfully I am wrong on both accounts. After some well orchestrated research (I.E. “Best Steak NYC” on Google) I landed on several positive reviews of a non-traditional NY Steakhouse. My curiosity peaked, I made the res and told the boys we’ve got another switch up.

Industria Argentina can be found in what I like to call “FiDi” because every neighborhood in NYC needs some kind of stupid abbreviation. This Argentinian restaurant is proudly that, boasting menus, wines, decor and even a chef, all of which are from the country itself. Having been to Argentina, allow me to confirm, their love of steak is like none other. If it’s beef you crave, get on your plane and go. Unless you live in NYC, then you can just head into the Financial District and get the best their country has to offer. (FYI, they also only the very delicious Azul Bistro in the LES.)

I love the Big P.A. and his bro-tastical native English football hooligan excitement for food. Before we had even completely greeted each other with proper catch up conversation he and Mattywinks were already commiserating on which, as P.A. calls them, “em-pen-yadahz” to get. It came as no surprise when moments later their decision to get more than one kind; Smoked ham and cheese, Chicken and potatoes,  Sweet corn, & Hand cut beef. If there is one appetizer the SC7 love it’s bacon. If there is a second, its empanadas. The ham and corn were my favorites but all of them were delicious little puffy blankets of love.

The folks at Industria Argentina must love their steak because they made no haste in getting them to our table. I was actually surprised at how quickly they arrived and that’s ok because I was STARVING. These gigantic cuts of Bife De Chorizo (NY Strip) were beaming with flavor, smell and a the most picturesque medium rare center. God I miss Southern Argentina.

One gigantic steak not enough for your hunger? NOT A PROBLEM when you can get the “Parrillada Completa” (for one) with Skirt steak, sweet breads, lamb sausage, sausage, blood sausage and short ribs, Field greens, garlic and parsley French fries. If you’re still hungry after that, you might want to see a doctor about that tapeworm.

In Argentina everything comes with french fries. That’s just how they do it and when they do it here, yours come out crispy, golden and delicious with a little bit of garlic & parsley to liven them up.

Don’t want yer ‘taters fried? First off, ask yourself what’s wrong with yourself and then order the mashed potatoes on the menu.

Damn if I don’t love me some chimichurri sauce but honestly, these steaks didn’t need any.

What? No greens at a Steak Club 7 meal? It happens, especially when you eat Argentine cuisine. From my travels there, I can tell you that greens are a scarcity on the plate so just don’t expect them. It’s rare when a steak join offers carrots and being half-rabbit on the inside (true fact I just made up for the sake of expressing my love of carrots), I couldn’t wait to eat these Herb Roasted Carrots. They were so good and while everyone else was sucking on their beef, I was trying to sneak as many of these as possible.

If there is one thing the Argentinian’s obsess over it, it’s afternoon coffee. Must be their partial Italian heritage but no coffee in their country is consider proper without a little sweet. Most coffee there comes accompanied by “Alfajores” which are simple little cookies loved by Spaniards but are actually Arabic in nature. None of us had any room for dessert but the waiter insisted we try one of them. He is a smart man, they’re great.

Remember way back, about 2 sentences ago where I said “None of us had any room for dessert”? I meant it but somehow the Big P.A. didn’t hear me and ordered up a syrup covered cinnamony ice cream treat. It was damn good but seriously, none of us had any room for it.

While I would never even think to stop you from flying to Argentina for steak, it’s well worth it, if you’re looking for something similar without the 5500 flight miles to get you to it, eat some Bife de Chorizo at Industria Argentina.

4 out of 5 knives
-Rev

Landmarc – A Must For Meat Mavens

If there’s one thing that New York does right, above all others, it’s the traditional New York Steakhouse. Sure you can get a steak anywhere in the great U.S. of A. but no one and I mean no where, does it quite like an old school NY Steakhouse. America’s first fine dining restaurant EVER is Delmonico’s Steakhouse, which is still proudly open in the Financial District. I mean hey, what other city / state has a cut of steak named after it?!? (NY STRIP). It’s because we love them, we started Steak Club 7.

But after 6 some years of monthly Steak adventures, it feels like we’ve seen ‘em all and while we love ‘em, we’re here to eat steak…any where we can get it!! When the suggestion for Landmarc came up, I raised an eyebrow. You mean that fancy-schmancy new world kitchen that’s located in the Time-Warner Center? Nope, Box said “just trust me on this” and told us to meet at their Tribecca location. I’ve lived here since 1996 and I remember when this block was a dump hole. Funny to think it’s now chic and trendy. Regardless, the “bistro fare” offering Italian meets French cuisine modern lounge known as Landmarc was about to be invaded by 4 of New York’s most notorious meat mavens.

The first thing I noticed (after the tightly packed dinner floor) was the grill placed against the  back wall of the dining room. While Landmarc does have and uses a full kitchen, the steaks are all cooked, on display, right in the dining room. Any skepticism I was holding onto about the place melted away, much like the fat that was juicing their beef on the grill.

Moments after unfolding the Landmarc menu, my eyes started to spin and my brain started doing flip-flops. Normally at a SC7 gathering it’s the same thing, meaty apps, salad, steak, potatoes & greens, which I totally love but I could tell this was not going to be an easy choice. We all made similar comments about wanting to eat EVERYTHING on the menu and that’s when the wise man known as Box let forth his brilliance; “let’s all order something different and share.” Love you buddy. All those hours that Momma Box made you spend in front of the Sesame Street sharing episodes paid off.

We started with the smoked mozzarella & ricotta fritters fried zucchini & spicy tomato sauce. I’m not a zucc’er but love me some fried anything.

There’s a reason why the first thing on the menu after soup is roasted marrow bones onion marmalade & grilled country bread, because it a house specialty. I’m super iffy on bone marrow especially since the last time Steak Club 7 had it, we all woke up the next morning feeling terrible. Box insisted I dig it in, claiming the Landmarc to be his favorite marrow in the city. Damn Box! You ain’t lying!! The bone marrow was creamy, savory and uber delicious. I guess everywhere else I’ve eaten it just add gads and gads of salt because that is the perception I had in my mind. I’d go back to Landmarc, just to eat this again. WOW.

The next focus of our meat-tention was an appetizer of lamb meatballs tomatoes, whipped ricotta & mint. If you think they sound good, you should go eat them because they are better than they sound. Lamb is the new black here in NYC, showing up on menus as the new artisanal meat item but this was the first time I’d had it like this.

They offer pasta every day at Landmarc but only one per day so if it’s baked rigatoni and meatballs you’re after, don’t come on a Tuesday. We happened in on a Wednesday where the daily pasta special is bucatini all’amatriciana. You can put bacon on anything and make it better but Landmarc puts bacon in pasta and makes it awesome.

Speaking of bacon, how’s that joke go? Bacon gives me a lardon? It wouldn’t be a proper gathering of the SC7 without something bacony so I ordered a frisée salad aux lardons red wine vinaigrette. Frisee and bacon is my favorite salad, especially with black pepper and something garlicy. It’s really just a healthy disguise on something succulent and evil.

WHOA! Impromptu meat mashup! Adding the lardon from the salad onto a piece of bread with bone marrow? YEAH BABY. That’s a win.

Bring on the parade of meaty entrees! First up, a couple of delicious NY strip steaks. Cooked just a little more than I would’ve liked but with a lot of great beef flavor. The cut had a nice char on the outside but was still juicy and tender on the inside.

I really, really, really, really wanted to order a steak, I mean this is the monthly gathering of the world’s #1 steak club right? But damn, I couldn’t turn my attention away from the Landmarc Burger. As the self-proclaimed Burger Conquester, I needed to eat this and thankfully Mattywinks pulled the trigger. Covered in blue cheese, Mattywink’s favorite, this juicy bad boy was truly a handful of awesome.

We love steak. We love eating lots of it. In fact, it’s probably the only thing we actually all agree on. However, the man known as Box, loves meat and while steak falls under that category, this man truly loves all of it. His addition to the club has seen more diversity of meat added to our meals than any other member. As the orders went around, and Box asked for the steak tartare field greens & grilled country bread, I realized why he wanted us all to share. Uncooked beef. That’s what tartare means and it’s easy to server but very difficult to serve properly. I trust the man to know who does it the right way and after one bite of this unbelievable dish, I knew why Box had to have it.

Well it can’t all be about meat can it? Well maybe it can, but in the SC7 we always try to remember our greens and tonight it was an order of sautéed green beans.

If you’re looking for great steak, come to NYC. If you’re looking for a beefy-adventure, come to Landmarc. This one of my fave Steak Club 7 gatherings ever.

4.5 out of 5 knives
-Rev

Flea Market Cafe – A Cornucopia of Curveballs

The BIG P.A. thought he was throwing the world’s Number 1 Steak Club a curveball with his pick for the month. Normally our monthly excursion takes us to one of the many coveted New York style steakhouses that help to make this wonderful city what it is but for March 2011, we were being led down a different path. The BIG P.A. chose the East Village’s Flea Market Cafe, a small neighborhood bistro, known especially for their brunch, that serves up traditional French dishes. But hey, a steak is a steak and there’s a level of trust in this club that is damn sacred, like a cow, that we know the big guy wouldn’t ever break. What it did mean was a very unique evening of savory eats!

Without even a single moment of hesitation, the Big P.A. ordered up several plates of Merguez, a fantastically grilled, spicy Lamb sausage served with French Dijon mustard. In fact, the 7 of us gobbled them up so damn quickly that we asked for a 2nd order as well as the Saucisson & Cornichons, a dry cured sausage and mini-pickles.

Every once in a while the SC7 pull a move that only we are bold, and hungry enough to do, order a Hamburger as an appetizer. It’s not for the weak of heart or for those who can’t figure out how to slice a Burger 7 ways. Made from what is a clearly a fantastic blend of beef, this Burger, topped with cheddar and bacon was no joke. There may need to be a return visit for an official Burger Conquest at some point. In the meantime, enjoy the Left Hand Grab style curveball grip I put on the Burg!

While the rest of the fellas munched on some fried calamari, I took the opportunity to break up an otherwise heavily meal with a plate of fresh mixed greens.

Blue Cheese Potato Croquettes? Yes please! Salty cheese and starchy potatoes, breaded and deep-fried sounded way too good to pass up and one bite confirmed, they were not worth passing up!

The gratin Dauphinois, an amazing potato dish made with cheese, eggs and butter was simply delectable and the mere thought is causing me to experience some severe hunger pangs! It was locked in a savory taste bud battle with the stupendous crock of Gratintated French Onion Soup.

It’s hard to believe that after the cornucopia of food we had already eaten through, there was still delicious NY Strip & Hanger Steaks to come. Each one was cooked absolutely perfectly and had rich and delicious beef tastes. There was not a frown to be found anywhere at our corner table in the back.

If any curve ball was thrown into the meal, it was by myself and Box when we opted OUT of ordering Steak and instead went for an item on the specials menu, the Cassoulet. If you’ve ever experienced the dish, then you know just how amazing it can be and when it’s the special of the house, I personally just can’t say no it. It’s made by slow cooking a mix of several meats, tomatoes and haricot white beans. The Flea Market Cafe takes their version up a notch by also adding bacon, a big, thick, gigantic slice of tasty bacon!!! While normally a steak departure would be met with much guffaw, hems and haws, the SC7 love food in general and took it as an opportunity to upgrade the experience. In fact, Matty Winks demanded to split and trade half a steak for half the Cassoulet. I said yes because it meant I got to have my Steak and eat it too. Damn, it was awesome.

I’d say the P.A.’s curveball was the pitch that won the game.

4 out of 5 knives
-Rev

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