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Jun 12, 2007 02:33 PM

Any chance Peter Luger is not overrated? [moved from Manhattan board]

I'm having reservations about my reservation there. NYer by the way.

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  1. Personally, I think the Emperor isn't as well dressed as he thinks he is.

    I'm not a giant fan of the "Giant Hunk-o Meat On Yer Plate" phenomenon though. Yeah, the steak I had when I went was really good... but I don't need to eat 24oz of red meat at a sitting, and with the hassle of getting a rez for 7 people, having to wait 90 extra minutes ANYWAY, and then with the a-la-carte-everything (surprised they didn't charge for silverware), I was underwhelmed by the whole thing.

    We got the bacon. We got a couple of the porterhouses doused with tallow. We got some decent wine. We got sides. I felt like we also got a little swindled and that the restaurant is a little more of a "destination' than it deserves.

    I also know I'm probably going to be the only one on this board who feels this way.

    I'm just not a fan of the old school steakhouse paradigm. Oddly enough, the one time I went our server was really charming. Really.

    15 Replies
    1. re: egit

      Chances are if you don't like the "old school steakhouse paradigm" you are not going to like Peter Lugar's because it is an old school steakhouse.

      Conversely, people who do like the "old school steakhouse paradigm" are much more likely to enjoy Peter Lugar's because it is an old school steakhouse.


      1. re: egit

        I don't think it's at all odd that your waiter was charming; in fact, I think the "gruff" reputation of the restaurant staff is over-hyped. I visit Peter Luger about once a year; I've had many different waiters (including Wolfgang, now of Wolfgang's Steakhouse), and I find them, without exception, to be perfectly hospitable, avuncular gentlemen who peform their work with efficiency and good humor. The bartender's a funny guy too.

        1. re: Yaqo Homo

          amen. i was prepared for the worst, but our waiter was a true pro and very pleasant.

          1. re: Yaqo Homo

            I agree. It is what it is. It started out this way, so why should they have to change their formula? I have no complaints about my service as it was always professional. I come here for a good steak well made, not to be romanced by the wait staff. I go elsewhere for that.

            Most importantly, Don't assume on other peoples word of mouth. Go try it and form your own opinion.

            1. re: Yaqo Homo

              They are not nearly as gruff as the waiters I had in Dusseldorf recently. One time we asked to0 many questions, he took the menus and left and came back with the order I placed and something else for my friend. It was all great, but perhaps not having the German born waiters they did the "tradition" is gone.

            2. re: egit

              I think that's like saying "I don't particularly like raw fish and I guess the sushi was OK, but I can't imagine why anyone thinks that Masa is worth the price"

              1. re: egit

                The beauty of P.L. is in it's strict adherence to tradition. That tradition is suffused within each bite of char buttery soft cow chunk. If red meat is a beloved friend, and maybe lover, then P.L. is a portal to another dimension. One must not overlook the socio-political implications. the P.C. multicultural storm troopers are not invited in (they probably would not want to go anyway). It is a rare glimpse of the glory of true 19th-early 20th century civilization, Western civilization, which has been squashed and diluted by neo-marxist Frankfurt school critical theory and vegetarian third world apologists. Each bite of meat, if you follow my logic, is a bold and beautiful reminder that western civilization ala' old New York is not yet dead. May it live on forever. So there.

                1. re: NYJewboy

                  Hey, what's wrong with Frankfurters???

                  1. re: NYJewboy

                    Wow... hope that's a parody (particularly from someone with that screenname).

                    This here socialist multi-cultural type just likes really good meat.

                    I also like frankfurters... a lot.

                    1. re: Woodside Al

                      No, I was absolutely serious. I have been going to Luger's since I was old enough to chew. It makes me feel that the old New York patriarchy might still be alive. With each tender bite a lifetime of sadness for the loss of a value system is remembered. If people do not acknowledge the larger implications of food then you are just missing out, and an insititution like Luger is the perfect place to contemplate it.
                      P.S.- I could have also make similar statements about Katz' deli years ago.

                      1. re: NYJewboy

                        I'm still trying to figure out what "vegetarian third world apologist" means.

                        I wasn't planning on continuing to alienate the good folx on this board, but you actually hit the nail on the head for me. I like tradition and history as much as the next guy, and that's kind of how I felt about Peter Luger. As much about being a throwback as it is about having really great steak. That's cool, if that's your thing. But in my mind it's not the easiest place to get to, and I think people rave about it because it IS Peter Luge--because as a true steak lover you HAVE to (hence my emperor comment).

                        1. re: egit

                          F or 6 to the J/M/Z -- it's not Times Square but it's also not the ends of the earth. I wonder, too -- do you think you'd have had a better experience had your party not been a 7-top? In my experience, the larger the group, the more disappointing the cuisine and service. Of course, the conversation and company can make up for it.

                        2. re: NYJewboy

                          NYJewboy, may I ask what the ***k it is that you're talking about?

                          1. re: darny

                            darny.....he is talking about TRADITION................ Not what is P.C. for the moment

                      2. Peter Luger's is like the fastest gunfighter in the west - once you're on top people want to bring you down and there is never a shortage of people who love to talk about how this place is slipping. Isn't it funny that after all these posts about Luger's being in decline that no other steakhouse is widely recognized as being better. That speaks for itself.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Bob Martinez

                          I've only been once, so I can't speak about any sort of decline. And I'm not trying to bring Peter Luger down. I just didn't feel like it was all that amazingly incredible.

                          1. re: egit

                            I would suggest that if eating 24 oz. of truly fine well-aged red meat at a sitting is not your idea of heaven then Lugers is just not for you. Otherwise it's just a very high priced and crowded old German beer hall with stiff drinks, some decent fried potatoes, pretty good desserts (mit schlag), and a lousy wine list.

                            But if you love the beef... then its one of the best places in the world. Not much higher priced than most other top-end steakhouses either (and lower than some). And, ohhh, that steak.

                        2. If you are looking for the best steak in the country, cooked to perfection, then PL is the place for you.

                          PL is a restaurant for steak lovers. The appetizers, salads, and side dishes, and especially the desserts are very good. The atmosphere is old world, old NY. But no doubt about it, PL is geared to the steak lover, the connoisseur who appreciates the difference between choice, prime, and whatever the top top grade that PL buys.

                          My DH is the steak lover in the family. For him , it is a steak lover's heaven. I always have a nice dinner there, but on my own, it would not be on my list of top restaurants. In addition, I like my steak well done. PL's fine waiters have always been kind in accomodating my "strange" preference. We don't like to eat huge meals in one sitting anyway, and always wind up taking a lot of the steak home. Makes delicious sandwiches the next day.

                          You can't get a better steak anywhere. But if steak is not your passion, I would choose a different restaurant.

                          1. For what you pay it is the best. The food is not really better any of the other better more expensive NYC steakhouses.

                            1. For some reason when a restaurant is very popular, people start expecting manna from heaven. It's an excellent steak, and no more then that.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: nokitsch

                                Fair nuff. I've been to a lot of steakhouses and had some excellent steak. I was expecting/hoping that Luger, being in the very top tier in the country, would somehow transcend the Old School Steakhouse Paradigm I mentioned above. It didn't. If, in the future, I'm invited to go back I'll certainly go.

                                To bobjbkln: I mean seriously... they don't even COOK THE FISH?! ;-)

                                To the orig poster I'll say this... if you haven't been, you should go. It'll probably run you about $100/head and they only take cash.

                                1. re: egit

                                  So just a basic misunderstanding of what Lugers is selling. It's not transcending the old school steakhouse, it is instead the epitome of the old style steakhouse. Almost like a museum piece, but with seriously great steak (as well as they can get it, with the present severe shortage of top-end beef). In fact, it's so bare-bones - little or no decor, casual, no nonsense service, really more a whiskey and beer place than a wine scene, limited menu, total emphasis on just plain meat on a plate - that it seems to be rather disappointing or disconcerting to many diners who are used to the amenities that have been added to most steakhouses today.

                                  1. re: egit

                                    Actually, they also take debit cards now.