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Apr 14, 2007 09:13 PM

The steakhouse that shows you raw cuts of meat?

Which is the steakhouse that shows you all the different cuts before you ordeR? Is it Morton's?

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    1. re: ricky7

      Shula's Steakhouse also does it!

      But Morton's was doing it first.

    2. An odd practice, to be sure, but trumped by the additional custom of showing you uncooked side dishes, too. "... huh ... so THAT'S what a raw potato looks like ... and THAT'S what uncooked broccoli is ..."

      Maybe the Morton's clientele is drawn largely from space aliens and VERY naive diners. (That being said, very good steaks, in my experience. Lots better than what I usually find on my home planet ...)

      4 Replies
      1. re: budgetrick

        It's a bit of theater, but you can always tell your server you have seen that presentation many times and ask just to see the menu. I am drawn to Morton's by the New York Strip, a very flavorfull, tender, juicy piece of meat.

        1. re: ChinoWayne

          Yeah it seems kinda cool. Separates themselves in a way because nobody else really does it. Something different, but most steak lovers know the difference between each cut. Nonetheless, everyone likes to see their food before they eat it.

        2. re: budgetrick

          never been there, but wouldn't it be funny if some very "naive" diners act totally horrified when they present the different cuts?

          1. re: mimolette

            Or horrified at what uncooked brocolli looks like.

            I've only been to the downtown L.A. Morton's and have never been presented with a view of the veggies before they're cooked, and have never seen it done there. I think the waiters would get a wtf look from the diners. Plus at lunch time, it's pretty much business diners, so there's no time for the strange show.

        3. When I go to Morton's I usually just tell the waiter that I have seen it and don't need to see it again. I remember a place in New Jersey near Cherry Hill that would bring a cart around with the whole piece of meat. You could pick how much steak you wanted from the whole cut. They then weighed it and charged you by the pound.

          4 Replies
          1. re: chuck

            They used to do that at Phil Lehr's Steakery in the basement of the San Francisco Hilton. However, instead of bringing a cart around, you would step up to a "butcher counter", where the tux-clad butcher would cut off your chosen steak, with a band saw in the case of bone-in steaks (pay by the ounce). I miss that place.

            1. re: Steve Green

              That was back in the sixties, wasn't it? And after the meat presentation ritual, the host would turn on his flashlight and lead you to your table.

              1. re: Sharuf

                We were going there in the late 70s and 80s. I don't recall it being dark enough to require a flashlight, but I could be wrong. Unfortunately the Hilton closed them down in 1986, for a remodeling project that ended up lasting 4 years. They finally reopened, but apparently never recovered. The newly-added singing waiters probably didn't help.

            2. re: chuck

              I think that the restaurant that I went to is this one.
              I live in Los Angeles but was at a class in New Jersey about 25 years ago so my memory is a little rusty.

            3. Yup Morton's as others have stated. Kinda hokey, but visitors from overseas love it when they go for the first time. My favorite scene is when they hold up a 3-8 pound lobster and it starts flapping away. Quite a funny scene sometimes.

              There used to be a steakplace in northern NJ (early 1970's) where you actually chose your steak out of a display case. I think it was called "what's your beef?" but I would not bet more than a couple of bucks on my memory.

              3 Replies
              1. re: jfood

                Yeah I have heard about this place and it is still around. I wonder how it is. Have you tried it????????

                1. re: steakrules85

                  I believe it's called "What's your beef?"
                  It's in Rumson and I believe it is still there. People rave about it and I can remember my parents going there quite a bit when I was growing up in NJ.

                  1. re: mrslehrer

                    Maybe they moved from northern NJ but the one i'm thinking of from the 70's was in Essex, Passaic or Bergen county.

              2. Gallagher's on 52nd and Broadway has their massive meatlockers in the front of the restaurant and there are windows looking into it where you can theoretically choose your meat.