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Best "Bang for Your Buck" Steak in Town

b
brattpowered Aug 31, 2007 10:14 AM

I'm trying to figure out where to go for a good quality steak at a good price in Austin. I know that Texas Roadhouse has very affordable prices, but I've heard the steaks are not of great quality. I also know that Austin Land and Cattle has excellent steaks, but at a price.

I know that you get what you pay for, but is there a steakhouse in Austin that gets it right in quality AND price? How about Texas Land and Cattle or Saltgrass?

Thanks!

  1. Tehama Mar 5, 2014 05:58 AM

    Hi everyone! Just wanted to thank you all so much for all the great suggestions!

    I'll reply to the other threads as far as other places we chow-downed (bbq, pizza), but we settled on Hudson's on the Bend for my BF's birthday dinner. It wasn't quite the steak he had in mind as we ventured out, but a lovely experience. We had gone to Garrison's Distillery Sunday afternoon (snowflakes flitting around; man Sunday was frigid!), and then cut over to Lake Travis before going back down to Austin. Hudson's is so charming. I wish it had been warm enough to dine al fresco in the courtyard, but inside under the "chairy tree" was quite fun (even though the BF was a little creeped-out by the stuffed crows in the branches).

    We had the rattlesnake appetizer (couldn't taste the rattlesnake, only the pistachios) and split the menu item that features the bison, rabbit, quail, venison, and … something else I think. I really liked the bison and quail; the rabbit and venison was overcooked, I believe. The folks next to us ordered the "hot & crunchy" shrimp salad and it looked divine.

    The staff was just as nice as they could be and brought out a crème brûlée for my BF's birthday.

    Hudson's venue was just very lovely, so even if BF didn't get the steak he had been anticipating on that evening, we still had a wonderful time and would certainly go back on another occasion.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Tehama
      slowcoooked Mar 5, 2014 07:11 AM

      Thanks for the report Tehama. It's a special and uniquely "texas" experience even if imperfect and expensive. Next time get the Elk. And I agree - they should call the snake cakes pistachio cakes.

    2. amykragan Feb 24, 2014 10:23 AM

      If I want to spend more and do fine dining, I like Vince Young Steakhouse

      19 Replies
      1. re: amykragan
        Tehama Feb 24, 2014 04:03 PM

        Thank you! I'm having a heckuva time organizing his desire for brisket and steak and bourbon and getting a taste of Austin's coolness in 36 hours. Y'all are great! Reach me on the Southeast board if y'all ever venture to N.C.!

        1. re: Tehama
          r
          Rptrane Feb 24, 2014 08:07 PM

          Get a drink at the Driskell Hotel, kind of country vibe. Good bar food too.

          1. re: Rptrane
            girloftheworld Feb 25, 2014 03:28 PM

            Plus it is Haunted... so that is always fun

            1. re: girloftheworld
              amysuehere Feb 27, 2014 10:20 AM

              And if anything here in town feels "Authentic Texas," that bar will put you back to the old west fast. The Driskell bar is a must. BTW - they're one of the only bars in town that make a proper martini with potato vodka.

              1. re: amysuehere
                TroyTempest Feb 27, 2014 11:49 AM

                Sorry Amysue, but a proper Martini has gin :-)

                1. re: TroyTempest
                  girloftheworld Feb 27, 2014 03:13 PM

                  shaken not stired

                  1. re: TroyTempest
                    amysuehere Feb 28, 2014 08:21 AM

                    Okay, a really fantastic VODKA martini. (gin makes me gag).

                    1. re: amysuehere
                      TroyTempest Feb 28, 2014 10:09 AM

                      Sorry for you. But, if they make a fantastic vodka martini, then I'm sure their gin martinis are equally great.
                      I like the little nuts, olive, etc. that you get with your drinks there.

                  2. re: amysuehere
                    Tehama Feb 27, 2014 05:21 PM

                    Martini you say? Gin or vodka - you're talking my language!

                    On a related note, can anyone give me the 4-1-1 on TX alcohol laws? I see no liquor [in bottle at least] is sold on Sundays. How about mixed drinks? Beer? Wine?

                    And, just to be a pain in the @ss, where are bottles of liquor sold? For example, here in North Carolina, beer & wine are sold in grocery and convenience stores, but the only place you can buy liquor are in State-run ABC stores.

                    Everyone has been so extraordinary. Thank you so much to everyone for your help!

                    1. re: Tehama
                      girloftheworld Feb 27, 2014 06:56 PM

                      hit specs but not on sunday for alcohol... beer and wine after 12:00 on Sundays most places you buy regular food... like grocery stores and quickstops- worldmarket

                      1. re: girloftheworld
                        j
                        James Cristinian Feb 27, 2014 07:54 PM

                        Mixed drinks are sold in restaurants on Sundays starting at 11 am if you buy food, although I've been in a place or two that doesn't know the law and won't serve until noon, It also could be as early as 10 am, although 11 is certain.
                        You can buy liquor, beer, and wine in liquor stores 10am-9pm Monday-Saturday, state law.

                      2. re: Tehama
                        TroyTempest Feb 27, 2014 08:00 PM

                        Here is a brief summary, not meant to be the full answer.
                        First Retail.
                        Liquor (scotch, bourbon, etc) is sold only in liquor stores. These are not state run, just private businesses. Hours 10:00 a.m. (ish) - 9:00 pm mon-sat. closed Sunday.
                        Beer and Wine can be bought in grocery stores everyday, except, not until noon on Sunday. You can't buy it after a certain hour. This may vary by city. I don't know, but it's usually midnight or later.

                        Now restaurants. This is very general.
                        Some restaurants have licenses to sell beer and wine only, Others can sell, beer, wine and mixed drinks. You can pretty much drink any time in the restaurant that it is open, until 2:00 in the a.m. Somebody can correct me if i'm wrong here, because i'm going on memory. I can't tell you the last time i was out drinking at closing time.

                        What i have just said is true of Travis county, where Austin is, also Houston, San Antonio, and most of the state.
                        Now in other parts of the state there are dry counties, and even parts of counties that are dry, or even partially dry. This is where i don't have the time or knowledge, or energy to go into full detail. But, i will give some examples. As i said some counties are totally dry, no liquor whatsoever is sold. Others, you can buy beer and wine in the grocery stores, and they have liquor stores, but to buy a drink or beer in a restaurant you have to be a member of the place. So, you have to buy a membership. Parts of the Dallas area are this way. To get around this, area restaurants sell a metro card,(not the subway card) so if you buy it, you can drink at any place on the card. And, mostly if one person in the group has a card, everyone can drink.

                        There is a whole lot more, but i think i have covered the major points that will affect you as a visitor in TX.

                        1. re: Tehama
                          rudeboy Feb 28, 2014 07:58 AM

                          If you live in NC, then you have probably drank in SC. Do they still require all bars to use 1.5 oz airplane bottles? Oh you can't buy liquor in grocery stores in Austin.

                          1. re: rudeboy
                            Tehama Feb 28, 2014 12:29 PM

                            RudeBoy: You know what -- that SC question is a good one! When we were in Charleston briefly on New Years Day earlier this year, and only had champagne, so I am not sure about that mini-bottle requirement or not. And then the last time I was in SC about a year before that, I don't recall having mini bottles either, but I probably only had wine with dinner when we went out those times, too, because I remember we had cocktails at the beach house for most of the vacation. I had totally forgotten that mini-bottle deal!

                    2. re: Rptrane
                      Tehama Feb 28, 2014 12:36 PM

                      AmySueH, TroyTm GirlOTW, JamesC, RudeB, Rptrane: y'all are simply the best!!! I'm so excited about our short trip to your fine city and I thank each and everyone on the Austin board for all their help in planning and recommendations! I think TX liquor laws are quite similar to NC, so I'll hit up your ABC store when we get there tomorrow for a small bottle of Tanqueray for the hotel room and then leave the other chips to fall as they may!

                      Really, though, everyone on this board has been so helpful! I can't thank you enough. I made back-up reservations at Austin Land & Cattle for the Sunday birthday in case the weather isn't nice enough to properly enjoy the drive and scenery for Hudson's and are planning on LA BBQ, Micklethwait, and Buffalina (my boyfriend is a pizza snob) for sure while we're there also.

                      1. re: Tehama
                        r
                        Rptrane Feb 28, 2014 04:01 PM

                        You'll want to go to Specs, it's like a Costco for liquor. I'm told the prices are quiet cheap.

                        1. re: Rptrane
                          dinaofdoom Feb 28, 2014 04:09 PM

                          yeah, try for a specs but if you can't get to one or don't have a lot of time/transportation, twin liquors is a pretty big local chain with tons of locations.

                        2. re: Tehama
                          l
                          lixlix Mar 1, 2014 08:06 AM

                          Yeah go to Specs and pick up some Jamon Iberico to go with your booze.

                          1. re: lixlix
                            Tehama Mar 5, 2014 05:49 AM

                            I hit up Specs while we were there. What a bonanza! Our ABC stores "ain't got nuthin'" on Specs. It is probably a good thing we only brought carry-on luggage instead of checked bags; I could have filled up a suitcase with all the super cool items our paltry little ABC stores don't carry. Thank you all for the suggestion!

                  3. amykragan Feb 24, 2014 10:23 AM

                    The Dallas Filet at Texas Roadhouse is great!

                    1. Tehama Feb 24, 2014 08:55 AM

                      My BF wants steak for his birthday (specifically he said he wants a Texas cowboy steak, which I think is adorable [he is from Italy and who knows what he is imagining]).

                      He doesn't want to go to any place like a 'fancy' steakhouse that we could go to here in NC (nothing like Palms, Sullivan's, McCormick & Schmidt's, Flemings, Ruth's Chris, etc.)

                      He is looking for a place with Texas character and an awesome steak --- if there are any quintessential experiences we should try, please let me know!

                      Thank you all so much for all your help!

                      13 Replies
                      1. re: Tehama
                        amysuehere Feb 24, 2014 10:10 AM

                        Again, as several people have suggested, Austin (not Texas - that's a blah chain) Land & Cattle on Lamar and 12th street is a good "Texas" steak. You can also do the happy hour where you can try three cuts of meat with two sauces.

                        It's local and has a really great "Texas" vibe. It's smallish, so you'll need to make your reservations.

                        1. re: Tehama
                          r
                          Rene Feb 24, 2014 01:33 PM

                          Hudson's on the Bend would be a great experience with delicious meats (I love the steaks) but the price is not that friendly...

                          http://www.hudsonsonthebend.com/mobil...

                          1. re: Rene
                            dinaofdoom Feb 24, 2014 03:05 PM

                            also, the speciality game meat is very TX and not something that an italian transplanted to NC would likely experience very often.

                            1. re: dinaofdoom
                              Tehama Feb 24, 2014 04:04 PM

                              excellent point!

                              1. re: Tehama
                                r
                                Rptrane Feb 24, 2014 08:05 PM

                                I really like that restaurant a lot. I typically get the tasting menu. They used to have groupons/living socials all the time. Don't know if they still do but it was totally worth it.

                          2. re: Tehama
                            slowcoooked Feb 24, 2014 03:45 PM

                            I am aligned with Amysuehere, Rene, and Dinaofdoom on this. When ALC is on, their fillets and ribeyes are fantastic, meaning good sear, good aging, and melt in your mouth cooked on point (unless you ruin it well done). And I often have trumpeted the praises of the elk backstrap steak at Hudson's (not to mention the scenic hill country drive and the lights, atmosphere, etc.) - sit outside for God's sake this time of year. I often hear crickets when I praise them around here (probably because they don't have kale or some kind of foam on the menu <cough>), but I love that restaurant even though it's pricey. The elk is just sublime and I've had it at least a dozen times chased with a nice Lagavullin scotch and it's my idea of heaven. Outside on a nice evening with a great dining partner it's just hard to beat. Okay, I'm over doing it.

                            1. re: slowcoooked
                              Tehama Feb 24, 2014 04:01 PM

                              What a thoughtful reply! Thank you! I've ever had elk (and I am quite sure V hasn't!), so that sounds like a real option. Plus, I'd been wanting to try and squeeze in a jaunt up to Lake Travis on this short weekend, so it looks like that is do-able. I've found such kickass things to do for V, that I'm now having a hard time narrowing it down. Maybe we will do Garrison Brothers in Hye and then Lake Travis and Hudson's. THANK YOU!

                              1. re: Tehama
                                girloftheworld Feb 24, 2014 04:06 PM

                                Love Hudsons--- it is fine dining... but it is a beautiful experince!!!

                                1. re: girloftheworld
                                  Tehama Feb 24, 2014 04:10 PM

                                  Thank you! Sounds like an amazing option. I'm just hoping the weather cooperates, as I'd love for V to have his birthday dinner al fresco. Is the rain percentage really 80%? :-(

                                  1. re: Tehama
                                    rudeboy Feb 24, 2014 08:23 PM

                                    Cold front coming thru tomorrow. Tuesday is 60%

                              2. re: slowcoooked
                                r
                                Rptrane Feb 24, 2014 08:06 PM

                                I said above I love the place but it's too damn far for me. I need a helicopter to get out there.

                                1. re: slowcoooked
                                  amysuehere Feb 27, 2014 10:23 AM

                                  You know, Hudson's is a very unique experience and would be a wonderful time if the weather's right. Is it the very best food in Austin? Probably not. It's up high in the list, though, and has a very "Texas meat proud" menu and if they weather's nice, the patio atmosphere would be over the top night.

                                  Make reservations at both AL&C and Hudsons and decide on Saturday. If the weather's good, I'll snap up your opening for AL&C.

                                  1. re: amysuehere
                                    Tehama Feb 27, 2014 05:18 PM

                                    That's a cool idea and an excellent suggestion. I made reservations for Sunday evening (boyfriend's birthday) at Hudson's. We will do the Garrison's distillery in the afternoon and then drive up to Hudson's and back to Austin after dinner. Does that sound do-able? You're right though… if it is raining cats and dogs, no need to drive all over hell and half of Georgia! Thanks for the good idea!

                              3. Tehama Feb 24, 2014 05:14 AM

                                Hi Austin Hounds! I'm endeavoring to have the "keep Austin weird" experience next weekend… what do you all think about the Original Hoffbrau steakhouse? THank you!

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Tehama
                                  s
                                  SlickTheCat Feb 24, 2014 07:03 AM

                                  Well, in that vein, it works. From a food perspective, serious meh...

                                  1. re: SlickTheCat
                                    Tehama Feb 24, 2014 08:54 AM

                                    thanks so much for the warning! We may keep on looking then.

                                  2. re: Tehama
                                    TroyTempest Feb 24, 2014 10:40 AM

                                    yeah, my recollection from about 10 years ago is a thin steak floating in some garlicky butter sauce.
                                    I wasn't impressed enough to back in 10 years.

                                    1. re: Tehama
                                      r
                                      Rptrane Feb 24, 2014 01:32 PM

                                      Horrible shoe leather steak served in a dirty dive. Run away.

                                    2. girloftheworld Feb 23, 2014 10:11 AM

                                      Bobs-- if you dont mind a chian
                                      Perry's
                                      Austin Land and Cattle(which I allllllllways mix up with TLC)

                                      for realllllllly inexpensive steak and rarelllllllllly does my dad oreder steak out because quite frankly nothing beats what we do at home on the greenegg..... but Logans actualllllllllly does have a decent inexpenive steak...and so does Montana Mikes( if they are still in business)

                                      1. Tehama Feb 22, 2014 05:06 PM

                                        Would love an update on this thread …. the BF and I are going to Austin next week and he wants steak. Please give us recent recommendations. Thank you!!!

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Tehama
                                          r
                                          Rptrane Feb 22, 2014 05:39 PM

                                          I love Austin Land and Cattle on Lamar. I highly recommend going for happy hour and ordering partially from the bar menu. Just split a steak and have something else on top of it.

                                        2. g
                                          gin_3925 Sep 15, 2008 02:55 PM

                                          We were at Nancys Steak House near Bastrop, today. I had the 8 oz. sirloin and fried shrimp, along with a margarita on the rocks. I'll tell you....I was HIGHLY impressed! Every aspect of the meal was pure pleasure. The house salad was wonderful with their homemade blue cheese dressing. The steak came out medium...just like I wanted. It was perfectly seasoned and tender and the fried shrimp were HUGE and not overdone! The margarita was might near the best one I have ever had! The perfect meal for what feels like a perfect fall day in Texas.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: gin_3925
                                            rudeboy Sep 16, 2008 10:15 PM

                                            Wow - Sounds like a lot of food for the $$$. Do they have any other cuts beside sirloing. I need to get out there right away, it sounds damn near orgasmic!!!!!!!!!

                                            The fall weather makes anything good these days.

                                            1. re: gin_3925
                                              s
                                              sighmesigh Sep 17, 2008 07:36 AM

                                              Hmmm. My husband and I ate at Nancy's about a month ago and found it to be, well, a "Western Sizzler" experience. Maybe it was a bad day for Nancy's, but I am reluctant to return.

                                            2. s
                                              skechada Sep 6, 2007 10:45 AM

                                              At the risk of praising a "celebrity restaurant", Bess Bistro (owned by Sandra Bullock) had great steak fritte for around $15 when I went there months ago. It was a surprisingly cool place with great food all around.

                                              Here's a link to the Fearless Critic review of it:
                                              http://www.fearlesscritic.com/index.p...

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: skechada
                                                Nab Sep 6, 2007 10:57 AM

                                                I'm going to strongly disagree with this one. It's a small (maybe 8oz) flank steak, that's been marinated in something, and then topped with an olive/caper/cornichon/tomato relish, and then hidden underneath a pile of fries. They're more like steak tips actually, and they are already cut up into pieces. Forget about requesting a level of doneness. While it wasn't dried out, it was served medium when requested med-rare, and same thing happened to one of my friends at the table. I didn't particularly care for the relish either, which added such a tang that wasn't needed in my opinion. Fries were nice and crispy, decent overall.

                                                At $19, this most certainly isn't the "best bang for your buck" steak experience.

                                                1. re: Nab
                                                  TAF Sep 6, 2007 12:44 PM

                                                  I used to enjoy the steak-frites served up at lunch during the early days of Capitol Brasserie. Maybe someone knows where that chef went? I believe his name was Andy.

                                                  1. re: TAF
                                                    Rustcat Sep 7, 2007 10:53 AM

                                                    yep , Sugar's is by far the best bang for the buck.....not the best steak, but the best price, and not bad

                                                  2. re: Nab
                                                    TAF Sep 25, 2007 01:24 PM

                                                    I'm going to second Nab's opinion, down to the last dotted i and crossed t. I like the restaurant, although the waitstaff are a little intrusive (constantly interrupting our business lunch to ask about unimportant details), but the steak-frites is nothing to write home about. I think $19 will get you a much better steak elsewhere.

                                                2. s
                                                  scrumptiouschef Sep 1, 2007 04:09 PM

                                                  Not sure what your stance is on being surrounded by dancing naked ladies during your red meat fueled feed is but...Sugars' near Highland Mall easily offers the best "bang for the buck"steak in town.

                                                  I like to go around 1pm on Tuesday when the booze deal is two bucks for anything at the bar,the ladies are good and lively after two hours on the job and 4 dollars will get you a nicely grilled Black Angus Sirloin and Steak-Cut Fries.The chef has access to salt and pepper and applies both liberally. Feeling sporty? Grab a house salad for 3 or so more dollars,the dressings are homemade and pretty good.

                                                  1. s
                                                    ssouth Aug 31, 2007 12:24 PM

                                                    I know that a lot of people will disagree, but I think the Sirloin Marsala at Carrabbas is one of the best 'cheap' steaks in town. Obviously, it's not a steakhouse, but they do a pretty good job imho. For $17, you get the bread, salad, steak and a side. They have a filet for about $20, but I have yet to try it.

                                                    I've only eaten at Saltgrass once and that was enough for me. Texas Land and Cattle has dropped off a lot in the last few years.

                                                    I would agree with TAF that cooking a nice ribeye at home will surpass much of what you can get at a restaurant here.

                                                    9 Replies
                                                    1. re: ssouth
                                                      Twill Aug 31, 2007 04:57 PM

                                                      Funny you should mention Carrabbas. One of the 'Hounds I've grown to trust–Tom in Austin–mentions here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/420825 that he's had the steak at Carrabbas numerous times (he's somewhat of a steak aficionado). He doesn't say that it ranks well, necessarily, but based on the number of times he's ordered it there, perhaps he can comment on the quality:value of their preps. He also does a marvelous statistical table on the various steak offerings at chains around town, so it's definitely worth a gander.

                                                      1. re: Twill
                                                        s
                                                        scrumptiouschef Aug 31, 2007 05:11 PM

                                                        I hate to belabor a point but Little Thailand in Garfield,a fifteen minute ride from downtown Austin does a wok seared Ribeye for under 15 bucks that will blow your doors off.Ol girl comes with Fried Rice,Sauteed mushrooms and a good salad with homemade dressing.Ambience is beyond belief;sit at the bar in the back and spin the free jukebox[no selections dated past 1973]...hang out with Dick[tall tale teller]and let Surin[the chef]work her magic.You will not be disappointed.This is my favorite steakhouse in the region.

                                                        1. re: scrumptiouschef
                                                          c
                                                          crippstom Sep 1, 2007 12:14 AM

                                                          I've been wondering the same thing lately as I've been cooking some steaks at home. I will have to check out LThailand and Nancy's. I've had some great ones from CenMkt that were "prime" ribeyes(not sure if USDA or not) but worth every penney, easier to cook and more melting fat than what I find elsewhere.

                                                          1. re: crippstom
                                                            rudeboy Sep 1, 2007 06:50 AM

                                                            Two points:

                                                            1) Yea, no one can just throw around the term "prime." If they say it, it will be (and that's USDA prime).

                                                            2) I also remembered Tom in Austin mentioning that he tried the Carrabbas steak 20 times. I'll have to try it next time I have to go there.

                                                            3) Yes, cooking a steak at home is infinitely better than going to a restaurant, except for the fact that you aren't in a restaurant having someone cook a steak for you. In some cases, like the steak I just had in Corpus Christi, I can't cook it that way at home.

                                                            1. re: rudeboy
                                                              tom in austin Sep 5, 2007 05:48 PM

                                                              While I do (or did) enjoy the steak at Carrabba's, there are many better steaks in town.

                                                              The best "Bang for your buck" steak in town can be had at your house. Buy a whole beef tenderloin at Costco and do it up right. Have friends over -- invite the boss or something -- and you'll be sure to blow minds. If you're not in the mood for cooking something quite so intense, get the best quality ribeyes you can find.

                                                              But you're not in the mood to cook at home? Or maybe you're craving something you can't easily do at home (fries, for instance? an amazing sauce that you can't make w/o spending days on excellent stocks?) Well, the steak frites at Chez Nous and the hanger steak and fries at Enoteca Vespaio are actually pretty darn good and extremely affordable. They share top marks in town for "affordable-steak-with-fries-but-still-worth-eating", in my opinion.

                                                          2. re: scrumptiouschef
                                                            familyof3 Sep 1, 2007 07:14 AM

                                                            I need to find little Thailand, is it right on the hwy.? I have looked but no luck seeing it yet?
                                                            I second Nancy's by the name it sounds generic, we had a great BIG meal there, go hungry.

                                                            1. re: familyof3
                                                              Twill Sep 1, 2007 09:03 AM

                                                              Heading towards Bastrop on 71, use your odometer as your guide. Once you pass the exit for ABIA, measure 7 miles and it will be on your left, shrouded by a few trees and just off the road facing Caldwell Lane.

                                                              -----
                                                              Little Thailand
                                                              4315 Caldwell Ln, Del Valle, TX 78617

                                                            2. re: scrumptiouschef
                                                              h
                                                              hhenry Sep 17, 2008 08:30 AM

                                                              I couldn't agree more. I found Little Thailand because of the board. Whenever I want a steak, that is the place that comes to mind.

                                                            3. re: Twill
                                                              sweet100s Sep 1, 2007 02:30 PM

                                                              I think one of my first replies here was to Tom-In-Austin about Carrabba's steak and calamari, but I can't find the reply now. Maybe it has aged off into the > the 1-year bit-bucket...

                                                              Net: Order the "Filet Fiorentino" ($19), and ask them to prepare it with the Chicken Bryan topping (the goat cheese and sun-dried tomato topping). That + their consistently tender and perfectly fried Calamari + sauce for an appetizer, and you have a delicious surf + turf.

                                                              Agree with TAF about how amazing rib-eye's turn out on the Big Green Egg!
                                                              I do this recipe by auto-pilot now:
                                                              http://www.nakedwhiz.com/trexsteak.htm
                                                              (no nekkid pics on that site - "Nakes Whiz" is the person's handle

                                                              )

                                                              But sometimes you just don't want all your hair to smell like Eau de Mesquite Wood which mine instantly does after flipping after the first sear.

                                                          3. TAF Aug 31, 2007 11:11 AM

                                                            Option 1: high quality, high price: Fleming's. Always a good piece of cow.

                                                            Option 2: decent quality, low price: a 2 inch ribeye from Randall's on special, and the Big Green Egg in my neighbor's backyard. I nearly always grill my own these days.

                                                            1. rudeboy Aug 31, 2007 11:10 AM

                                                              Unfortunately, I go to Saltgrass when I want an "under $20" steak. I don't know anything about Landry's - I've never been to one. Saltgrass serves "Certified Angus Beef" which should be high choice/low prime...actually a better cut than many of the steakhouses serve. However, Saltgrass varies a lot by location for some reason (I'm referring to the preparation). The one way north on I35 is far better than the one on 183.

                                                              If you are in Corpus, there's a place where I just ate (twice) called Katz 21. The serve 21 (or 28?) day dry aged prime (I don't know the source). I don't think that you can get that in Austin, although a waiter at the Belmont claims that they do it in house. If it is true, the $22 NY Strip would be a great value, and it comes with sides.

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: rudeboy
                                                                LeroyT Sep 7, 2007 08:18 AM

                                                                From what I understand, "certified angus" means nothing as far as quality, it's a breed. if it actually was "low prime", they would sell it as prime, because they would get more money for it.

                                                                1. re: LeroyT
                                                                  rudeboy Sep 7, 2007 06:15 PM

                                                                  I know that just saying "angus" or "black angus" doesn't mean much - but "Certified Angus Beef" or CAB is a brand name. This is what they promise:

                                                                  http://www.certifiedangusbeef.com/pro...

                                                                  It just provides a little bit of predictability when I see the label.

                                                                  1. re: rudeboy
                                                                    a
                                                                    ashes Sep 7, 2007 10:46 PM

                                                                    Having worked at the Saltgrass many years ago the CAB label does indeed, as rudeboy reports, have some cred. That's why Saltgrass waiters are forced to do the spiel on CAB and hold up the little table plaquard on the topic. If you can manage to get the steak cooked right at a Saltgrass they aren't all that bad. The center cut filet can be quite tasty nice and rare. Plus, I'll always have a soft spot for their baked potato soup and shiner bock beer bread, both of which used to be made in house at each location...but it changed a lot after the Landry's buy out. All is all, Saltgrass can, at times, provide a decent steak but it's certainly not my first choice.....of course it may just be bad memories of bolo ties for me.

                                                              2. e
                                                                exlnghrn Aug 31, 2007 10:19 AM

                                                                I've had very mixed experiences with Texas Land and Cattle, with the most recent experiences being about at the level of Texas Roadhouse, so I'd recommend against it. Saltgrass is owned by Landry's, so as a matter of principle, I avoid it.

                                                                Mesa Ranch has always been a decent value to me, just slightly more expensive than Texas Land and Cattle, and offers one of the best NY strips in town. I believe there have been several discussion threads on Mesa Ranch.

                                                                Last weekend, I tried Nancy's Steak House in Bastrop, based on Dale Rice's review in the Statesman. I was very impressed with it and thought of it as a small town answer to Texas Land and Cattle.

                                                                Hope this helps...

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: exlnghrn
                                                                  Alan Sudo Sep 3, 2007 07:27 PM

                                                                  Just to be sure we are talking about the same thing...
                                                                  TEXAS Land and Cattle Co. is a chain of medicore to bad steakhouses
                                                                  AUSTIN Land and Cattle Co. is an excellent and fairly inexpensive local steakhouse.

                                                                  1. re: Alan Sudo
                                                                    Kaya_n_Austin Sep 27, 2007 09:49 AM

                                                                    When I'm craving a perfectly turned out slab of steak, it's off to Austin Land & Cattle for me. I know the price may be higher than brattpowered is looking to pay but it's worth it when you eat a quality steak. The sides are eh, always the same spinach, carrots and your choice of garlic mashers, loaded baked, etc, but the steak is phenomenal. I like my meat rare, so it's black & blue for me.

                                                                    1. re: Kaya_n_Austin
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                                                                      mwreese Sep 16, 2008 03:03 AM

                                                                      ALC is good. I had their filet a few times - seemed like decent quality. We used to go there once a week on Thursday evenings with friends. I liked that it was locally owned. I liked the low "mood" lighting. Consistency varied widely depending on whether Scott or Christian were cooking. This always amazes me about steak places. Seems like cooking a steak to order (rare, medium, well-done) would be a pretty exact science after awhile. I know this thread is about steak but I switched over to ordering the seared ahi tuna and subbing the starch for a house salad. Their tuna wasn't the highest quality (sometimes had tendons or fat - not sure which- running through it). I'm addicted to their spicy balsamic dressing though. Yum!

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