Bring Ben a Beefsteak

by Ben Miller

I want

I want

Steak. Italian bread. French fries. Beer. Repeat.

That’s pretty much all I needed to see in this New York Times article from earlier in the year (I hadn’t seen it until one of my roommates e-mailed it to me today, so it’s new to me). It describes beefsteaks, a New York tradition that has since migrated to New Jersey in which patrons get unlimited slices of steak tenderloin dipped in a butter and blood sauce on top of a piece of Italian bread, to go along with french fries and beer. Even better, you don’t actually eat the bread, but stack it as a way of keeping track of how much you ate. Pure heaven if you ask me.

Apparently these get-togethers actually used to be even more extravagant (though, exclusively male):

Back in the days before cholesterol testing, beefsteaks — boisterous mass feeds featuring unlimited servings of steak, lamb chops, bacon-wrapped lamb kidneys, crabmeat, shrimp and beer, all consumed without such niceties as silverware, napkins or women — held sway in New York for the better part of a century.

I have to say, I’m generally skeptical of all-you-can-eat places (Sizzler, Old Country Buffet don’t exactly whet my appetite), but I’m certainly intrigued by this. Actually, it kind of reminds me of Wright’s Farm, an establishment near where my grandparents used to live in Rhode Island. I remember being very confused the first time I went there and rather than giving us menus, they just started bringing out unlimited servings of fried chicken, french fries, and salad. I just regret that I was too young at the time to appreciate how truly awesome such a place is.

Sadly, I’m guessing there’s no beefsteak in Washington D.C., nor even a Wright’s Farm equivalent. I’m guessing all-you-can-eat Brazilian barbecue places like Fogo de Chão are the closest we have.

(Image used under a Creative Commons image license by flickr user keso).

2 responses to “Bring Ben a Beefsteak

  1. Thank you SO much for making this known to me! It’s really worth reading the Joseph Mitchell piece from The New Yorker, you can find out more about it here.

    As the story explains, “The foundation of a good beefsteak is an overflowing amount of meat and beer.” And: “When you go to a beefsteak, you got to figure on eating until it comes out of your ears. Otherwise it would be bad manners.”

    Awesome.

  2. Unrelated, but tou would not believe some of the steak that I’ve had in this country. See you in two weeks.

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