Peter Luger Steakhouse
(between 6th St & Driggs Ave)
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Best. Steak. Ever. I don’t even love meat and I love Peter Luger porterhouse steak. It’s probably one of the oldest restaurants still running in New York, having been established in 1887! If you haven’t been, check it out and you’ll understand how it has lasted this long. It is a no frills restaurant that just serves up great food. And when I say no frills, I really mean no frills. There is one kind of steak that you get and you pay per person. Everything is served family style. You walk in and a strong charred scent of MEAT wafts towards you. The waiters are all big men with thick New York accents. They are sarcastic and tell you what to order. It’s a little off putting at first but once you get the drift, it’s kind of fun.
“I would like the… ”
“Two tomato and onions, at least one bacon per person, two potatoes and two spinaches.”
“Oh, right. Okay, sounds good.”
That’s pretty much how it works. For once, I liked being told what to eat. They weren’t douchebags about it either. The waiters would tell me when I was ordering too much and stop me. As in actually refuse to have me order more.We started with some Sliced Tomatoes and Onions with Luger’s Own Sauce ($14.95, quite expensive…). Definition of no frills. You are legitimately served big, fat, juicy slices of tomato (beefsteak tomato maybe?) with thick, sweet slices of onion. They tasted refreshing and surprisingly tasty. Tomatoes were robust and onions were not spicy at all. They wait for you to finish your appetizers before the steak comes, which is a pity, because these tomatoes and onions would’ve been great with the steak.
We also had some cocktail shrimp, purely because my dad and brother loveeee cocktail shrimp and can’t really get it in China. I don’t think I would order seafood at a steakhouse otherwise. Though, the shrimp was good. Sweet and large… just a little tough (overcooked a bit, maybe?).
Amazing. Luger’s Sizzling Bacon, cut extra thick and served by the slice ($3.95). We were wary about the amount of meat we would be eating later so decided to go against the waiter’s recommendation of one slice per person and ordered one slice per two people instead (he was not happy). Once the sizzling plate came on and the smell of smoked juicy bacon came to our table, we knew we had made a mistake. The bacon was almost like a ham and bacon fusion… it was tender on the inside but crispy on the outside. It had a slightly sweet caramelized exterior… ahhh so good.
Finally, the steak ($90.90 for two, $136.35 for three, etc.). AAAAAAGHHHHHHHH! HOW CAN MEAT TASTE SO GOOD?! The waiter serves two pieces to everyone and makes sure to scoop up enough meat juice and oil from the plate (plate is propped up by a little dish – see bottom right of photo – to allow for maximum scoopage). The rest is left in the center of the table for seconds… and thirds… and fourths…
Porterhouse steak is the piece of meat that comes from the point where the tenderloin meats the top loin… essentially a very large T-Bone with both kinds of meat. So you end up getting the tenderest piece… from the tenderloin… and the most flavorful piece… from the top loin. Having both kinds of meat to sample is ideal because I can never decide if I’d rather sacrifice tenderness for flavor or vice versa. Peter Luger holds its meat to a high standard and states on its website that the “color must be pink with an even conformation of fat dispersed throughout. This is referred to as marbling.” After the dry aging and broiling, the meat ends up having so much natural flavor that you don’t really even need their special Luger sauce (which tastes like cocktail sauce… special sauce is usually always thousand island dressing so at least this is a change). I don’t really know how else to describe it other than the fact that it is what we Chinese call … 香. There is no English equivalent of the word so just trust me in that it means somewhat of a combination of fragrant, orgasmic, and tremendously delicious.
The creamed spinach is super soft, like baby food, and very very spinachy tasting. My mom pretty much ate a whole serving ($9.95 – we ordered two) herself. Luger’s Special German Fried Potatoes ($12.95) were good, but not spectacular. They were somewhat creamy and served their purpose as a side.
Dessert. We were all stuffed to the brim at this point but had seen so many tables get plates and plates of dessert, we were intrigued to see if they could ace this course as well. We ordered just one pecan pie at first to share amongst 8 people… (we ended up ordering two more) as well as strawberries to go with the homemade “schlag” that all the desserts come with. Ugh I don’t like saying this but they have the best pecan pie I have ever had… and the best whipped cream I have ever had. Not the best strawberries though, but I guess that isn’t their fault since we’re on the east coast and strawberries just suck compared to the west. Pecan pie had perfectly roasted pecans and just enough brown sugar to not be too sweet. It was served warm and went oh-so-well with the cold shlag. SHLAG WAS FAMAZING. It was airy and suuuuuuuuuper creamy and just overall a delight. Strawberries and cream never tasted better because of this schlag. Based on the quality of this pie and whipped cream, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone had told me I had walked into a dessert place.
So… don’t come if you’re looking for a nice candlelight dinner with size XXXL plates and XXXS foods. This place is for rolling up your sleeves and devouring some serious meat. Carnage at its best.