Going to Ruth's Chris tonight in Irvine, A1 question
I know I must be some sort of mutant, but I love A1 sauce on my steaks. I also hate ketchup, so I use A1 for my french fries as well, and on my hamburgers.
I've been to Ruth's Chris 4 times before, but I felt like it was inappropriate to ask for A1 at such a high end steak place. I didn't want to be "that guy" who is the butt of the jokes the waitstaff will tell each other later on in the night, who dared to ask for A1 on their prime steaks. So I quietly ate my butter drenched steak on my previous outings.
But thanks to Chowhound, I'm a lot more assertive in my culinary adventures now. So my question is, can I ask for A1 to go with my Ruth's Chris steak?
I would go to Sizzler. Or sneak some A1 in your handbag. I think if they don't have A1, then you know to go elsewhere. Actually, this would be an interesting question. Which steakhouses in LA still serve A1? Maybe that could be the next post. I've only had steak at Sizzler, in Vegas or at home (with A1). :-)
If I saw a server who probably could not afford to eat what I was eating without a discount make light of my dining choices, I would ask for the manager immediately! I had this happen to me once at Outback. I politely but firmly complained to the manager. Not only was he mortified but he paid for our dinner and gave me a $50 gift card. Do we say staff retraining?
I have a different take on dancingTimmy's idea -- it is a CHAIN of uninspired food. The line cooks in back are not going to be offended (Ruth's has a very low challenge menu), the waiter ought not care (witht he high table totals and large percentage of expense acount dinners they probably take home great tips), the Corporate Meat Buyer won't care (as long people pay the Ruths prices for 'standard' Prime, he'll have easy job), the franchise owner(s) won't care -- (do you feel it inappropriate to ask for condiments at McDonalds? 55% of Ruths are franchises...).
If you want to spend you money there then you ought to be able to squirt Taco Bell Salsa out of little packets if that makes you happy.
I was atRuth's once and witnessed a grown man cut up an entire steak into bite sized pieces and then literally DROWN it in A1. Yes, I thought he was crazy and the whole thing was amusing to watch. I truly felt sorry for him that he didn't even try a bite of the steak before he had it swimming in sauce.
So, you may get a few looks from other patrons, but I also agree, you're paying, so if you like the A1 - go for it. Maybe just try to be a bit more discreet than the guy I watched!
Mutant == Why Ruth's?
Cook it yourself!
Ruths simply provides LARGER portions of what you can do at home.
Find some cow, toss it on the barbi! Put whatever you want on it!
In general I only order steak at a french or spanish restaurant since they will actually marinate / sauce the cow in a way that I do not do at home. Ruth's does not fall in this category, they simply have bigger pieces of meat than I am willing to buy from Nick my local butcher.
So - stay home if you want A1 sauce & do it yourself - you can cook it to perfection, EXACTLY the way you want it. BUT - if you want a sauce you can not do, then go out to something at least a little more adventurous than Ruth's.
I did A1, and it was fabulous! As I said in the original post, I've been to Ruth's Chris 4 times before but never got up the nerve to ask for A1. This time, my friend and I ordered: bowl of Gumbo, Caesar Salad, BBQ Shrimp, filet (medium rare, mine), ribeye (medium rare, my friend's), mashed potatoes and the sauteed mushrooms. We started off with a glass of Prosecco each, and then had a glass of red with dinner (Australian Shiraz for me, a Cabernet Sauvignon for my friend).
Just after finishing the salad I asked the waiter discreetly if I they had any A1. He said no problem and retrieved for me a small bottle. As he handed it to me he said "Don't worry, we get that a lot. Actually, that's how I like my steak too"
When I received my steak it was still sizzling in the butter. I caught off 2 pieces and ate without any A1 (it was OK, but you know how the first couple pieces on the outside are kinda well cooked?). I then made a small puddle of A1 off to one side of the plate, cut, dipped, ate. So much better than eating it plain, but it's probably because I really like A1.
Although the reason I like A1 may be confusing if you don't know my background. I came from Vietnam in 1975, leaving the day that Saigon fell to the communists (April 30). My mom and I left with the retreating american soldiers. My dad, who had military training and was fighting for the South, could not leave with us and had to stay behind. He was put into prison camp, or as they called it, re-education camp for 5 years. He finally escaped on a small boat in 1980, and miraculously made it out of the country alive.
So I didn't have a father between ages 2 and 7. When he finally did come over, he was the one who introduced me to A1. He explained that because A is the first letter of the alphabet and 1 is the first number, A1 was a very special, very good sauce. I never really understood that (as if B2 sauce would somehow be comparable, or if you created a wonderful new sauce called Z-infinity that it was destined to fail?), but I remembered that my dad introduced it to me, and so it has forever been how I eat steak.
And I'm glad that Ruth's Chris was accommodating, and the server was so nice about it. Total for 2, before tip, $203 (the alcohol was expensive).
Ruth's is no place for A1. If you are alright with public shame and humiliation then go forth with gusto. Why don't you ask for it well done while your at it. Just kidding with ya.
Ruth's makes a great steak that is swimming in sizzling butter and with the juices from the steak a great sauce is made right there on your plate.
If dining with friends they may abandon you or at least razz you for life. If on a business jaunt you won't get the business. if on a date and he/she knows anything about steak, it will be your last date.
Enjoy the butter and the taste of the prime beef. THe subtle nuances of the beef will be overwhelmed by A1.
Sizzler, Black Angus= A1 to your hearts delight.
Prime beef never A1
I'm sort of old school in that I think a great steak should stand on its own. However, I ate at Charley Palmer's Steahouse in Vegas and they serve it with four accompanying sauces for dipping and just a bit on each piece tended to enhance the flavor. So by all means eat it however you like it.
I've been to the Irvine location once and they just drowned the steak in butter, so I would probably ask for "light butter" unless you like a little steak with your butter, LOL.
Your meal, you pay for it, have it your way... at the risk of suggesting you don a crown...
I also think when you order a steak, you're not testing a chef's ability to create new and interesting concoctions and innovative flavors. He is cooking the steak to your liking, and you can then dress it as you so desire. I'd venture to say adding A1 to a meat dish at Spago would be inappropriate.
I am a ketchup lover, so call me a philistine.
i think it is fine.
if people are encouraged at the very same high-end steakhouses to slather a good steak with a goopy blue cheese sauce or red wine/mushroom reduction, then I see no problem with the relatively restrained A1.
well-done-with-ketchup would place you into the Philistine category, but I don't think A1 does...especially if you use it in moderation.
Your taste buds, your money, your steak. Order it how you please and if it isn't right, send it back. Then pour ketchup, A1 or Heinz 57 or sugar on it to your heart's content. Don't let anyone intimidate you. And as for the waiter, you are he one paying $40 for a steak,not hanging around in an apron hoping for a twenty when the plates are cleared. Enjoy.