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Jan 10, 2007 07:35 PM

Great Steaks in the Philly Burbs?

We live in Blue Bell and would like to find a moderately priced - not dressy - place to get a great steak. I've heard Alison's has them, but I get the impression that you have to "dress" to go there, which is fine for a special dinner, but we're T-shirts and jeans folks. any recommendations? I'm getting tired of hearing my hubby complain about overdone too thin t-bones at the chain places.

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  1. I cannot recommend Bridget's at 8 West in Ambler any more highly. They are on the upscale side, but definitely not what I would consider formal or dressy. I have worn jeans before (with a nicer top). They are technically a hawaiian fusion steakhouse (whatever that means) but they do great steaks. The menu changes seasonally, but their ribeye is typically on the menu and is out of this world (I love it prepared with merlot butter). Great wine list, great drink specials during the week and free raw bar on Thursdays if you want to sit at the bar for a drink before dinner.

    1. Sullivan's in KOP is very good and very crowded. Creed's also in KOP does a great steak. Flemings in Radnor is also very good.

      1. Order one of the "thick steaks" from the meat case at Texas Roadhouse.

        6 Replies
        1. re: scrapple

          Texas roadhouse....You should be ashamed. Corporate food and boxed beef? I had a prime rib there (an emergency food stop due to time) which was over promoted by the bartender...turned out to be the WORST chow in a long time. Workboot quality.

          1. re: Peghead

            Ok, if you want to not go to a chain restaurant (Outback, Flemings, Ruth Chris, Mortons, Sullivans, Cap Grille, S&W, Tx Roadhouse, Lonestar, Longhorn) and still want steak, there is always the 50 dollar porterhouse at Creeds which tastes no better than the 18 dollar one at TX roadhouse.

            Give me a break here.

            Here's a good one. I've had a 20 dollar steak cooked at that awful chain called the Rock Bottom Brewery that was more flavorful than the limp piece of filet mignon I paid three times more for at an upscale restaurant in Paris, of all places.

            This is steak. Its a piece of meat cooked on a grill. Its not rocket science.

            Yes, so obviously I am thoroughly ashamed for recommending a chain-store steak.

            1. re: scrapple

              Know doubt about it, bad steak is everywhere. Let’s use our noggin shall we? In the great production gear box that is the American food industry, a great steak might be found at a chain place. It would be like winning the lottery. They just sold steak number 27,642 to the schlep before you and you just happen to get a good one because the meat plant in Iowa let it fall into the “Texas” box off the “Omaha” cart.

              Take a moment and read the “Omnivores Dilemma” and get back to me. Plus, get a good steak (if you can find one at a local butcher, from a local source, raised correctly) and cook it up next to that hunk of heffer from Acme and do a taste test. Then you’ll know.

              It's not rocket science.... It's food science, and marketing science, and consumer science. All to get you to believe that the $2 per pound beef is just as good as the $20 per pound.

              Keep chewing!

              1. re: Peghead

                So name an "independent" restaurant in the Philadelphia area that procures steaks that are better than the steaks they have at Smith and Wollensky or the Capital Grille.

                Eagerly awaiting your reply.

                And after you do that, name an "independent" restaurant in the Philadelphia area that procures steaks that are better than the steaks found at the Tx Roadhouse, that you could comfortably walk in on in t-shirt and jeans.

                Again, eagerly awaiting your reply.

                1. re: scrapple

                  I regret, I'm without a specific reply for where to go. I think the steak at the cap grill would be fine having been to a few in new england. Again, it's a crap shoot on whether you get lucky for a good one.

                  I think the point is that the us "beef" industry is incapable of producing a product worthy of the the title "excellent" on a consistant basis to all the demand that exists. (too many eaters, not enough hight grade cows) Further, the "TX roadrouse type palces" offer what they suggest is great steak, but actually is a great marketing campaign. How does great reconcile with "mid-priced"

                  I wll begin my search for said steak house serving prime, grass fed, organic beef, properly prepared and report back. After all, when I find it, I'll want to go, as they will be the exception, not the rule. As well, they will proudly state the circumstances of their operation because it will be unique....and no doubt EXCELLENT! (with or without tee-shirt)

                  Kobe beef will be my first look. Now that's a great steak!
                  eagerly searching.

                  1. re: Peghead

                    Yeah, once you find an "independent steakhouse that serves organic Kobe beef in an environment that lets you walk in wearing t-shirt and jeans" let us all know.

        2. Yeah - we tried to go to Texas Roadhouse the other evening, the line was out the door at 7:30... haven't got the patience to wait that long. ;-)
          Hopefully the place will calm down some - or we'll find the time on a weeknight to go!

          6 Replies
          1. re: jujuthomas

            What is the Texas Roadhouse? Is it a chain?

            1. re: G Goo

              Texas Roadhouse, Sullivan's, and Flemings are all chains...

              1. re: bluehensfan

                It makes me a little sad that with all of the great restaurants in the burbs, that most of the recs seem to focus on chain restaurants. I think that is a huge misconception that the the suburbs are just full of chain restaurants. While I agree we all have our share of chain restaurants, there are some great local places to be found, if you know where to look. That is why I think this website is so great.

                1. re: AmblerGirl

                  Since you know these places exist, tell us where they are, instead of just telling us they exist if you know where to look. I thought this site was supposed to help in finding new places, not just in telling people there are great places to eat if YOU know where to look.
                  Chains like Tx Roadhouse, Outback and Sullivan's serve a purpose, and while I enjoy the filet I order at places like the Blue Bell Inn and Wm Penn Inn, these are not the sort of places one can walk into while wearing t-shirts and jeans. The steaks at the chains are not dog food. I have rarely gotten a 'poor' piece of meat when I go there. Maybe in over 20 years, I have been the lucky guy who just happens to get the best steak in the box every visit, although I doubt it. I love filet, and I have been more disappointed in the places where the filet was suppose to be of a higher quality than in the places where I can go in a t-shirt and jeans.

                  1. re: BigAppetite

                    Um - she did tell us where she recommends - first reply to my original post. :)

            2. re: jujuthomas

              FYI, Texas Roadhouse has "call ahead" service- and it truly worked when I tried it. I'm not really a fan of these type of chains, (I greatly dislike Outback) however, I do really like the prime rib at Texas Roadhouse & the ribs. Also, sweet potato smothered is yummy!

              As for Sullivan's, I think I make a better steak at home. tried it 2x & disappointed both times other than the pineapple martini.

            3. I second the recommendation for Bridget's at 8 West in Ambler. Awesome steaks!