Steaks in New Brunswick, NJ
We are staying at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick, NJ next Monday. We are meeting a cousin for dinner and he doesn't like "fancy food". So, we were thinking that we would take him out for a steak dinner. Does any one have any recommendations? Near the Hyatt would be a big plus.
There's a steakhouse on Raritan Avenue in Highland Park, across the bridge and up a few blocks from the Hyatt Regency. It's not a New York steakhouse, but then, it's not New York prices either. Never had the steak, but they do a pretty decent prime rib.
I wouldn't subject even a non-foodie to Charlie Brown's, a chain that, in my view, serves barely mediocre food.
I'd suggest The Frog and the Peach, in New Brunswick. It's a very comfortable, attractive restaurant, with excellent New American cuisine. In the steak dept., there's a NY strip on the a la carte menu + one dish on their "Everyday Frog Bistro Menu" is a hanger steak, which I've had and found to be delicious.
I agree with you about CB in general, but the prime rib is really quite decent. And I think The Frog and the Peach is prententious and ridiculously overpriced. Different strokes. Hadn't heard of Arthur's Tavern (I'm only near New Brunswick every month or so when I head out to visit Mom). I'll have to look into it.
Nova Terra might be a good place to go. It serves a kind of nouveau Latin American cuisine that is still nonetheless very accessible for someone who does not like "fancy" food. I had a great flank steak there. Everyone I was with uniformly loved their meal. It was exotic without pushing at anyone's comfort zones too aggressively.
Check out the site:
If you really want to play it "safe," Old Man Rafferty's has something for everyone. But I think Nova Terra is more fun and much higher quality.
Charlie Brown's has its place, imho. It's just not something I would consider "special."
Arthur's can be spotty: sometime the steak is great, other times - take a pass. But the cost is reasonable so that needs to be put into the mix.
As to Charlie Brown's its a local chain and nothing special. (But there are other places in Highland Park which are quality chow hound types - Seven Hills (turkish), Tarverna Pithari (Greek) and Shushan Grill (Israeli Meat and Kosher) each of which are reasonable places with meat, though not steakhouse type.)
Assuming that you want to walk for a steak, any of the places mentioned: Frog, Nova Terra, Rafferty's would serve a good chut of beef. You could also consider Tumulty's on George Street - the ambiance is real old style pub, dark with lots of wood and basic quality food.
Personally, I would go for Nova Terra. The strip was good when I ate there recently, menu on all other aspects is great, nice bar and right accross the street from the Hotel.
I've worked in New Brunswick for a long time and Arthur's is a one trick pony, well, two if you count the burger, but it's a good one. Steak, burger, drinks. Oh yeah, the cole slaw is pretty good too.
Arthur's has changed ownership in the last several months. "Arthur" himself only owns the one in Hoboken area, not North Brunswick. I have heard from locals, including a former server, that steaks have changed, onion soup (My original favorite over ANY other) has changed dramatically, health food salad served at the tables is no more, etc. Prices have gone up AND my husband's Gift Certificate ($50) is not valid at this new Arthur's restaurant. The server said customers told her they wouldn't be coming back again and that the "old" Arthur's was so much better. It was definitely our favorite reasonably-priced steakhouse. My husband loved the fatty soft steak. I had the burgers...yum.
So, my question is...has anyone gone to Arthur's since October?
Back to the OP, the only reasonably-priced steakhouse within a reasonable walking distance to the Hyatt is Tumulty's (2-3 blocks). I haven't been there in awhile, but they've been around for 50+ years, so they must be doing something good. I remember they serve a giant wedge of lettuce as their house salad.
We have been going to Arthurs Tavern in New Brunswick for 12 years. Lately wev'e been to the Hoboken and Emerson Arthurs however last week we returned to the New Brunswick restaurant for the first time since early summer. What happened? Everything good about Arthurs went sour. We were a group of six and no one got their steaks cooked the way they ordered them. These steaks by the way used to be a bargain. From 1995 to 2001 they went from $10.95 to $11.95. A small $1.00 increase in 6 years. In the next 5 years they have increased from $11.95 to $21.95. Thats a huge $10.00 increase which was furthur compounded by the sad quality of the badly cooked fatty steaks that we received. I am actually happy to hear that Arthur still owns the steakhouse in Hoboken. We will be delighted to drive the extra miles to get there to go back to enjoying the real Arthurs expeience.