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Jul 18, 2007 05:15 PM

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?

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  1. 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.


    1 Reply
    1. re: evans

      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.

    2. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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

          1 Reply
          1. re: SeanT

            I usually use A1 when I eat steak. A1 is good. :-)

            1. re: SeanT

              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).

              1. re: kingkong5

                Wow, thanks for sharing your story. I don't think I will ever see another bottle of A1 and not think about you. Amazing..

                1. re: kingkong5

                  Great story and glad you enjoyed your steak. I like A1 i just don't eat it on prime. A1's flavors are so powerful that they overwhelm the sublte flavor difference of prime meat as opposed to choice or good.

                  I think RUths has h57 also.