Anna (hellga) wrote,

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Steaks and posh restaurants

I am not sure which channel I was flipping through, the Food Network or the Travel Channel, but they were talking about steaks. Steakhouses, to be exact. And the steakhouse they mentioned as #1 in the country was Bern's Steakhouse in Tampa. Incidentally, I've been there.

It is definitely worth visiting for the experience - decor of an 18th Century brothel, great customer service, and the wine list a book a couple hundred pages long. It's worth visiting their wine cellar - the biggest restaurant wine cellar in the world - and their cheese cave. However, speaking of food itself... I must say I was rather underwhelmed. The soups - I tried their specialty, the Vichyssoise (Black truffle crème fraîche, Osetra caviar, white truffle oil, shaved fried potato), and I could only manage a couple spoonfuls. Not what I would consider edible... And the steak (I can't remember if I had strip sirloin or filet mignon) was very good, but not the best I have had. And the deserts... while they create a great expectation, leading you to a different room and having a different server there - they fail to live up to that expectation. I opened the menu, all happy-tingly, and found out there was nothing that looked appealing in there! Just about the first time it happened to me. So I stuck with a glass of Tokaji Aszu and cheese platter, but couldn't help feeling a bit disappointed.

So, I have tried the poshest steak in America. I have also tried the favorite steak of one of world's two richest billionaires - Warren Buffett (Gorat's Steakhouse in Omaha). I have tried steaks at most national and a few regional chains, and many different hotels and stand-alone restaurants both in and outside US. Mainly because steak is a "safe" option when nothing else looks remotely appealing. After all, it is remarkably hard to turn it into something inedible (though possible, my personal Hall of Steak Shame cities of Copenhagen and Washington, DC, managed to achieve that). And the final verdict? The bestest steak I have ever had was not in an expensive, famous restaurant. It was in a small mom-and-pop restaurant in a town lost in the middle of cattle ranches of Western and Central Nebraska, an hour away from any major road. And dammit, it's almost worth braving the five-hour drive from a nearest airport to have it again. Though something tells me that there may be other jewels, similarly lost somewhere in the dusty prairieland of Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, not known to anyone but the locals, with as much or even more sumptuous steaks.
Tags: culture, food
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