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Jul 5, 2007 06:51 PM

Review of Steve Fields in Plano

So, here I am new to town, staying in a hotel at Preston & Plano Parkway while I try to find a temporary living situation and after a week of being sick I'm finally feeling good and dammit, I'm in Texas now so I want a steak. I briefly considered going to Bob's on Legacy or going to III Forks, but I happened across Steve Fields at Park & Preston and figured, "what the heck."

Let me tell you something: go to Bob's or III Forks.

The fourteen year-old, bleached-out prosti-tot working the hostess station shuffled me to a table and made way for a waitress who was friendly and good-humored facing solo-dining middle-aged schlumpy me. She brought me a generous cocktail and let me hang with the menu for a while. It's a simple one; basic apps that I didn't give a second glance (think fried calamari, etc - really, you're not coming here for an appetizer), a few salad choices (lettuce wedge, caesar, etc), lobster, several different filet options (including a bone-on filet, which is odd), a couple "prime steaks," some roast prime rib options, and that's about it. After she told me about the specials, which included surf-n-turf options involving filets & lobster tails, I remembered the tank at the front of the house with the pile of comatose sea-roaches lolling by the bubbler. And then I smelled it: dead fish. Oh well, I came for a steak. So I order a Caesar ($7) and a New York Strip ($39) medium, subbing broccoli for the baked spud, and munch away on maybe one more piece of the house-made foccacia while I'm waiting. They bring this bread - and it's not bad at all - with a slurry of garlic & peppers in olive oil for dipping. Fine as it goes. The caesar salad comes and the only thing cheesier in the place is the godawful lounge singer who's brutalizing the Lynyrd Skynyrd catalog with a tunerville-trolley medley of "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Gimme Three Steps" before he segues into Frank Sinatra, who I promise you is gonna rise from the dead to whack this guy if there's any justice in the world at all. I mean, really, they're piping this guy all over their restaurant and frankly, he oughta be charged with a crime, not hired for more gigs.

So, I dispense with the salad and I've taken a random stab at ordering a glass of the only Rhone wine on the menu, something I've never heard of, but what the heck - I like Rhones and I'm willing to gamble. My plate comes and it looks pretty impressive; it's a nicely-broiled strip with a monster side of broccoli and I figure to let the slab of steer rest for a minute while I nibble on the greens. They're nice and fresh and maybe a little underdone which in my view is exactly the mistake to make if you're going to make one, so I'm good there. Then the glass of wine shows up. It's ghastly. Now look, I've never in my life sent a bottle or glass of wine back - if I made a mistake and it's not that great, well hell, I ordered it and I ought to know what I'm doing. This thing tasted like it had been stored in an open bottle hung from the skylight above the dryer vents in a hospital laundry room. I've eaten foreign coins that tasted better than this wine. Back it goes.

To the joint's credit, the waitron brought me a new glass with a smile and an apology - and to mine, I'm actually a hell of a lot more polite than this review would make you think, and I was reluctant to send the wine back, but holy cow was it bad.

Okay, so the steak. The steak was... well, it was just ordinary. This was advertised as a prime steak, but I don't believe for a second this was anything better than decent Choice meat. This was not the steak you go home raving about. It was nicely trimmed and nicely cooked, but by no means was this something to remember.

In the end I dropped $80 on this meal - just me, remember - with one cocktail, one glass of wine, a salad and an entree - which is about what I would expect to pay for a high-end steakhouse dinner. I would say on the whole, this was a really poor value. The waitstaff, while friendly, wasn't knowledgeable or involved in the food. The lounge singer was literally painful to listen to. And I won't be back, much as I love a good steakhouse.

Now, I've said a lot... so I'd love for other steak lovers in North Dallas to tell me I'm wrong, or to tell me I'm right and I should've gone to...

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  1. You were dead on. Fair service, limited menu, average steaks. I rate dallas top 5 steakhouses: N9ne; Pappas; Perry's (best desert in brown bag apple pie); Al Biernats; Dakotas.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ssh

      What, no Bob's in your top 5? I'd certainly put it ahead of Dakota's and I'm not even a Bob's fan.

      1. re: Scagnetti

        Bob's get big deductions for: limited entree menu; limited and poor sides; and boring and mediocre desserts. A greasy carrot and a brownie ala mode dont come close to what the other places have to offer. That said, the steaks and service are always good.

    2. I also had a bad food experience there. A reviewer raved about their rib-eye steak - which when I ordered it - was sinewy and tasted almost rotten. I've had aged beef many times before and it never tasted quite this gamey (is that the word for it?). Salmon ordered medium rare was overcooked. We also spent way too much money for the quality.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Webra1

        Agreed as to Steve Fields. I live in the neighborhood. If you're looking for something close by and haven't found it yet, you should try Zorba's (behind Denny's at that intersection) for Greek (and it's BYOB and the family that owns it dances in the aisles on the weekends) and then, for entertainment and dessert, go down Preston a couple of blocks to Obzeet's. They usually have a decent band on the weekends. Neither are Bob's, of course, but both are neat little places for the 'burb that you find yourself in.

        1. re: Clem943

          If you are looking for Steak you are much better off at Kirby's on Preston & Parker NE Corner. If you are looking for something a bit more happening try Mignon on Preston & Springcreek SW corner. Also behind Mignon is Seabreeze which is a fishmonger and decent little fish restaurant.

          1. re: Clem943

            Hey, cool suggestions. Turns out I will be living kinda in the neighborhood, at least temporarily, and I've driven by Obzeet's which looks really zany and fun. I would love to find that place - and I know it's out there - that has a great steak for a really good price - and in the meantime, I'm certainly going to enjoy exploring the area. It doesn't take all that long to see that there's quite a lot out here beyond the chains, and that's a great thing. Thanks to everyone for the tips. I'd be thrilled to see some more!

            1. re: jackmack65

              You might want to try some of the lower priced steak chains such as Texas Land & Cattle or Saltgrass. I realize that most CH's scorn these places, but your comment on price led me to wonder if you might be interested in something more basic (and much more reasonably priced). We had our rehearsal dinner at TLC and found it to be good food at a great price. It's not Bob's or Pappa's, but it's also half the price (or less).

              Sushi Sake is wonderful and it's at Campbell and Central (not next door, but not that far, either).

              For Indian food, also on Campbell near Independence (I think) are Pasand and Masala Wok. Masala Wok is Indian served in more of a fast food style, but their food is very good for a quick lunch.

              Roy's is also up that way - Hawaiian.

              1. re: dalaimama

                Okay, here's a couple more in the neighborhood:

                For Italian, try Covino's. It's another BYOB place with good pizza. The wait is pretty long on most nights, but you can wait with your wine. It's sort of hidden in the SW corner of Parker and Independence.

                A pretty good deli is Deli News. A NY style deli with what many say are the best pastrami sandwiches you'll find in these parts. They're open for breakfast, too. Preston and Campbell.

                Also, for Thai, just north of Preston and Campbell is Banana Leaf. It's been voted the best in Dallas before in the Observer and usually wins the Best of Plano tasting (no jokes here, please). You'll recognize the manager, Steve, as the Asian with a Texas twang.

                Speaking of wine, one of the best wine stores in DFW is Mr. G's at Coit and 15th. No liquor (have to go to Addison for that), but it has one of the deepest selections of Australian and domestic (Calif., Wash) wines around. Ask for the manager, John.

                As far as local steak, go to Central Market and get one to grill. (They get their meat shipments on Tuesday and have been lately selling out much of the prime by the weekend due to some kind of beef shortage, so go early). It's expensive, but it really is the best place to buy meat around town.

                1. re: Clem943

                  If you're going to grill up steak go to Hirsch's. It is a butcher in Plano. Their meat is fabulous and last weekend my husband picked up a $6.99 per lb. PRIME sirloin. It was great!

        2. I like Del Frisco's. The meat is very tasty and melts in your mouth. You know you're eating prime when you're it that meat. I have never had a bad meal and I have dined there numerous times. Personally I like a wedge salad when I go to a steakhouse, and there salad happens to be particularly good.

          2 Replies
          1. re: yumyum palace

            Del Frisco's is okay, but you have to like their seasoning salt. Four Winds outside DFW uses the same stuff. Now I am not saying it's bad, but for though people who are not into salt it can be a bit much.

            1. re: irodguy

              True enough. I do enjoy a good salting on my meat. Any opinions on the late Smith & Wollensky? That was where I would go most and enjoyed best. I'd be interested to know your thoughts.

          2. Ahhh! YOU RULE! I love it. Finally someone to just let it rip. These people take GOOD MONEY and the deliver so-so service! You should stopped short at Rafain if you want some killer cow, pig and chicken - make 'em bang you out some chickne hearts for the "home boy hattrick!" Also try Tx land and Cattle on Monday for their Smoked Sirloin special - awesome!
            Welcom to big D, Holmes!

            1 Reply
            1. re: JohnnyVegas

              Don't forget about Randy's in Frisco. Great steaks and fabulous tenderloin soup served in a genuine 150-year old restored Texas residence.

            2. If you are willing to consider chains, I've been really happy with The Keg Steakhouse & Bar. It's a step higher that TLC or Salt Grass with really good bread. Again, not at the same level as N9ne (but a visit 6 months ago was marred by too heavy a salt shaker by the chef), Bob's, etc. but is really good.

              6101 W Park Blvd, Plano, TX 75093