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Apr 22, 2007 05:41 PM

Carman's Club On Alexander

I called my 84 year old mother-in-law today asking her where she would like to go for her birthday celebration. She said Carman's Club.

Now, this is a place I vaguely knew existed some time in the past, but hadn't heard anything about in years. In fact, I've never seen an ad or a review for it. According to my MIA, in the 60's this place was what fine dining was all about and the scene of many happy memories. I looked it up and too my surprise it is still going strong at the same location for an astounding 47 year!

So now we are booked. Any comments or suggestions?

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  1. You''ll find some other threads on here if you search, but I actually had dinner there for the first time a few weeks ago. A friend rented one of the upstairs private rooms for a party of 12.
    The atmosphere is kind of time-machine 1970s, and there are oddities like cottage cheese as part of the hors d'oeuvres plate :)
    But the steaks were all great....some people had NY, others Filet, others Rib eye...all were impressed. One person had Dover sole and said to forget it. Another had the ribs which were meaty, but dry and chewy.
    Bottom line: kinda kitschy, but if your 84 year old mother in law wants to go there, she'll probably have a great time and at the very worst, you'll have a great steak.
    For prices etc., go here:

    1 Reply
    1. re: rsvp7777

      I agree. If you're looking for someplace hip and trendy, Carman's definitely isn't it. But the food tastes great and the service is superb, at least has been the several times I've been there. Very old-school. Almost 50 years worth of kitschy stuff to look at between courses and bites, waiters who have been there for years, and a real feeling of "coming home" each time we return. The menu has some funny bits in it, too, including a story about customer service at AT&T from a couple decades ago that still rings true now.

      The appetizers are great. I had never liked cottage cheese and never would have thought to eat it in a steak house till I went to Carman's but that stuff is extremely tasty. Their homemade tzatziki is delicious, too.

      I always order a filet because I love the texture, and theirs comes seasoned really nicely. Friends have said good things about the other cuts they've ordered as well. There are also non-steak options on the menu but I don't know anyone who has ordered those.

      I'm usually well stuffed by the time dessert (included in the price of the steak, as are the garlic bread, cottage cheese, etc.), but the few bites I've managed of various desserts were decent. Not outstanding but then, you don't go for the desserts.

      I would definitely take an 80-something celebrator who is looking for an old-school experience and if she's looking to relive the 60's there, she'll probably be delighted to see how little has changed. She might even get a waiter she remembers. ;)

    2. I love it there! It's my neighborhood steak place and we eat there often. And I find it fun, with the old guys who have been there since the beginning of time

      Definately, it is stopped in time. There is a very limited menu, so go planning to eat steaks, sole or lobster. Apps are shrimp cocktail or a salad (which is a modern addition) - but given the size of the steaks, we never order apps.

      The steaks are great - the ribeye & striploin are huge! The filet is a man's fist size, and incredibly tender. If you order your steak well done they will butterfly it for you, as all the cuts are thick.

      Meal comes with complementary pickles, olives, great grilled garlic bread,tzikiki, and cottage cheese. Get the baked potato side and have them load it up with butter and sour cream. The wine list is also very limited, we just drink the house red. Pretty good coffee

      1 Reply
      1. re: orangewasabi

        Funny you should mention the coffee...the last time I was there I thought the coffee was fabulous as well...
        Great spot, have been going since the 70's...