Best Steak at a Non-Steak House
My daughter loves steak but my wife is not crazy about steakhouses. Middle tier resturants, location is not important as we vist often and ride the el as well as use taxis.
Have you tried one of the Brazilian churrasquerias? There should be enough steak (and other cuts of beef) there for anyone. Go to the website of Fogo de Chao.
I had an excellent grass-fed rib roast at Frontera Grill last week, although I don't know if that is a regular menu item or not. Cooked a perfect medium rare and exploding with beef flavor. As a comparison, I was also at Capital Grill this weekend and ordered the Delmonico au Poivre and it fell completely flat in comparison. It was cooked well, but the meat was just a big hunk of lean blandness. It's one of the few times I have ever had grass fed beef and I really could not believe the difference. FYI, Capital Grill, which although not the best is certainly a very good steak house, also serves grass fed beef, but the strip was around $42 if my memory serves - and of course without any sides. Just for the piece of meat. Add another $10 for a side of mushrooms. The Frontera steak was $36 with a side of onions/peppers (spicy!) and delicious sweet corn tamales. In fact, the whole meal at Frontera was really very good with excellent service. FYI, we showed up on Thursday night at 7 with no reservations and were seated in 5 minutes. I didn't really expect that either. It helped that there were only two of us. Oddly, at the Capital Grill (in Downers Grove) we arrived at 5:30 on a Saturday and there was already a 40 minute wait. Such is life in the Suburbs I guess.
Regarding prices at Frontera, that was by far the most expensive thing on the menu so if you're lookng for a middle tier restaurant, there were plenty of entrees in the $20 range. Weekly menus are posted at www.rickbayless.com. Also - new policy is the for groups of less than 5, you can make reservations, but only the same day and only if you call at 8:30 in the morning - or so they told me on the phone. Otherwise you just show up and wait for a table, which has been known to take an hour or more.
I am *very* keen on the Hanger Steak (grilled rare) at Mon Ami Gabi.
Mon Ami Gabi
2300 N. Lincoln Park West
Bandera on Michigan Ave. Don't be fooled by the location as prices are pretty good. They are known for their rotisserie chicken but I like the filet steak. Cornbread, mashed spuds and peanut cole slaw make good sides. I also had a wonderful grilled swordfish steak there.
I had a perfectly prepared hangar steak at Le Bouchon. http://lebouchonofchicago.com/index.html Everything there was excellent, but it was a little loud.
I would assume the steak would be just as good at their sister restaurant, Le Sardine. I hear the food is excellent there, but it is less loud and crowded.
Cafe Bolero in Bucktown, a Cuban restaurant, has great skirt steak. Huge and very tasty and only about $15. Also I agree with the previous posters on the hanger steak at Le Bouchon or La Sardine.