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Which Orlando Steakhouse?

I want to take my BF to a fabulous steak dinner that he'll love for his Birthday. I was thinking either Kres Chop House or Ruths Chris. Opinions?

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  1. Kres Chop house is certainly good. Has the feel of more a hip style (think LA) steakhouse. I personally like Capital Grill (not the Orlando branch), but my fave is Shulas..........always seem to get a good cut of beef there. Ruths Chris is OK, but maybe because they seem to reproduce and open locations like a McDonalds expansion seems to turn me off. I don't think Ruths Chris has ever given me a bad meal maybe it's just me. Also many like the Lee Road branch of Del Frisco's although I think their quality has diminshed over the past 6 months. I also think that they lost their affiliation with the Texas original Del Frisco's which they had a distant contractural relationship with.........Bob Mervine maybe able to clarify this. In summary I would go Shulas 1st, Capital Grill 2nd, and The Palm 3rd with Del Frisco's 4th.

    1 Reply
    1. re: theflytyr

      Isn't there a Charley's in Orlando? I like the Tampa Charley's better than the Tampa Ruth's Chris

    2. My vote is Shulas!! Great steaks and very professional service!

      1. I suggest Del Friscos. Definitely a "guys' restaurant and my favorite in Orlando. Be sure to snag some giant jelly beans as you leave--there's a bowl of them in the lobby. YUM!

        I'm not fond of all the butter they put on the steaks at Ruth Chris.

        1. I'll vote for Mortons, then Shula's then Ruth's Chris.

          it's not a steak house but Texa de Brazil would be my first choice for a carnivore's meal.

          1 Reply
          1. re: NY P8ntball

            The only place here I've had a meal at was the Charley's off of I-Drive. The steak was very, very good and reasonably priced compared to most of the options in the area.

            Other than that, I'd also throw in Texas de Brazil. I haven't been to one of the franchise's locations before but I have been to a simiar concept in Atlanta and enjoyed filling myself up to the point of getting sick. You'll get to try all sorts of meats as you please and the salad bar is very nice.

          2. I'll also vote for Texas De Brazil. There's no way a guy wouldn't love that place, and he'd love you for it. If you're dead-set on a more traditional steakhouse, Del Frisco's made the best steak I've ever had in my life, and their fried oysters appetizer is also outstanding. I highly recommend both places.

            1. Short and sweet. Tossup as to best steak between Shula's and Del Frisco's - since Del's is closer to where I live that's usually my first choice. I have a history with both, so it's hard for me to be fair but both offer an outstanding premium steak experience.

              Second in line behind those two is Capital Grille -- with the caveat that you have to like dry-aged steak. If you aren't clear about the difference, please post and I'll explain. Service at Capital Grille -- if that is important -- is far and away the best experience at a steakhouse in town.

              Third place is a tie between Morton's and Ruth's -- I prefer, far and away, the Winter Park location or Ruth's. Lake Mary is too big and Sand Lake is too group oriented. Again, I'm comprimised because I have established relationships at both houses, but I really believe on any given night either place will meet the test.

              Behind those, I'd group Vito's, Moonfish, the Hemisphere restaurant at the Hyatt Orlando (just remodeled and fabulous), and Texas de Brazil -- as a sort of one off for all carnivores.


              8 Replies
              1. re: Bob Mervine

                I am a fan of both Del Frisco and Capital Grille...however not all the steak at Capital Grille is dry aged. I think only the NY strip is. And another thing, TCG's steaks are usually not USDA Prime, but Choice.

                1. re: steakman55

                  Steakman, I continue to learn something new everyday. I certainly assumed, granted wrongly, that TCG steak served nothing but Prime Beef. So I guess I go to Capital Grill assuming that I am paying good money for Prime Beef but instead it's for Choice.............shame on me!!!!!!!!! That's what I get for assuming. Oh well! Thanks for the heads up.

                  1. re: theflytyr

                    Hey, it's still pretty good steak, and I love it. I drove down from Tallahassee to Orlando Capital Grille to take my son for his 21st birthday. They treated him like a king. But read the menu carefully: "Dry Aged Sirloin Steak" (and porterhouse) Most restaurants that serve USDA Prime say so. And I think that while they do have some prime beef from time to time, it is not the daily standard. Peronally I think that dry aging is important..and dry aged choice is about as good as wet aged prime.

                  2. re: steakman55

                    Steakman55, what is your source for that information?

                    I have been told by Randy Cook, the CG managing partner here (Orlando) that their beef is all dry-aged. Their Web site says: "Our beef is dry aged on premises for superb steaks from tender filets to 24-ounce Porterhouses."

                    I have been told by other steak house chain execs that your comments about Prime versus Choice is accurate, but I also understand that has more to do with selecting the beef before it is dry-aged, as the attributes of Prime once it hangs for a few days become less important that wet-aged,


                    1. re: Bob Mervine

                      First, I am a big fan of TCG...love it...or I would not have driven from Tallahassee to Orlando just for dinner. Article in Wall St. Journal Oct. 8, 2005 said that TCG (and Shula's, for what it is worth) use Certified Angus Beef...which is at the high end of Choice but Choice neverthless. I don't argue with that. It is pretty darn good.
                      I read same website as you and it does say that....but read the actual menu on same website: the sirloin and porterhouse are specially noted on the menu in large print as "Dry Aged" as are some of the other same cuts like the kona rubbed sirloin. The filet and delmonico have no such designation. Ask any meat expert and he will tell you that filets are hardly ever dry aged anyway.

                      Finally, when I was there (TCG Orlando) a month ago, I ordered the bone in sirloin and when Adam came by he commented specifically: "Oh, I see you like the dry aged beef."

                      If the other steaks are indeed dry aged, God bless 'em. Whatever they are doing, they are doing it right and I am a big fan.

                      1. re: steakman55

                        Thanks. I certainly didn't mean any disrespect, as there is so much b.s. pumped out by these competing chains.

                        You are right on about the filet, seldom dry aged.

                        I'm told it isn't the marbled fat that changes in dry aging, it is the various fat caps,.

                        Will definitely be checking back on the issue with them.

                        CAB, as you note, is not graded and varies in the range between top Choice and low to middle-grade Prime. But it takes a meat inpsector to tell the difference, it is very hard to do so on the plate.

                        Steaks is steaks and the rest of the package; ambioance, service, atmospher,e conviviality, how well the staff knows you, the sides, all must be taken into account.

                        In the end, it's not whether she'a a blonde or a redhead, it's all about liking the person.


                        1. re: Bob Mervine

                          Took no offense...I know you are the major domo of the Orlando foodie scene and have long read and agreed with your posts. If you will sent me an email I will send you the
                          WSJ article fom which I quoted. Another article in last Saturday's WSJ also said that a lot of chefs from "prime" steakhouses actually buy choice at Costco for cooking at home. Thanks for the posts

                          1. re: steakman55

                            Thanks for the props. I do not consider myself the "major domo" of anything, just another schlub with an opinion and an a--hole, both of which usually stink.

                            Email is BMervine@aol.com.



                2. Thanks all for your advice! I guess no one really has an opinion on Kres Chophouse? I was origanally thinking Del Friscos but then was told that it is kind of a stuffy atmosphere (which i dont like). I have heard great things about Shulas and Capital grille but im really not looking to drive out the that area of town. I wanted to stay close to or in the downtown orlando since we have plans there after dinner. But I may change my mind on that since it sounds like Shulas and Capital Grille is where its at!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: ebennett79

                    I have never found Del Frisco's to be stuffy. In my experience, it's always had a laid back guy's club atmosphere. The wait staff has never been anything but helpful and kind. We've been there many times and I've never had a bad experience.

                    On the other hand, I found that the new Ruth Chris in Lake Mary to be pretentious and the waitstaff was full of attitude. I hated the atmosphere there...and for as much as we paid, I wasn't too crazy about the food either.

                    I have never been to Captiol Grill. My husband has been to Kres a few times on business and he's had good experiences each time. If you search the board I think there's a few reviews on Kres from the past year.

                    1. re: ebennett79

                      You won't go wrong with a meal at Kres, but they are not really the sort of uber-premium steakhouse like the others under discusion..Lee Road is not a bad haul from downtown and, as noted elsewhere, Del's is anything but stuffy.


                      1. re: ebennett79

                        I love Kres Steakhouse or K in College Park for steak. They are not your traditional steakhouses, but more of a trendy upscale atmosphere that happen to have great filets. Over the two I would say K - but Kres is also very good!

                      2. Also, has anyonw tried or heard anything about Spice Steakhouse in Lake Mary and Winter Park? Menu looks good.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: ebennett79

                          Like Kres, Spice is not a true steakhouse. In fact, I think the menu only lists 4-5 steak options.

                          It's also priced way under the others discussed on this list.

                          Not that that makes it bad, it just isn't where I'd send you for the "fabulous steak dinner" you described in your original post.

                          As mentioned elsewhere also, take a long hard look at Texas de Brazil. At the price point of Kres or Del's or Capital Grille, not to mention Morton's, you can't give a real carnivore a better meal than at Texas de Brazil.


                          1. re: Bob Mervine

                            Kres really tends to be a party scene.....No one has mentioned Flemings, which has good meat and a great lobster salad app.....

                        2. Decisions, decisions, decicions! LOL. I really appreciate everyones advice and opinions. Bob, your right...i do want to take him to a fab steak dinner! So I have made the decision and i choose Del Friscos based on all the advice! Thanks again!

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: ebennett79

                            How come no one ever mentions Barneys on hwy 50? I know they are less expensive and have a salad bar but! They are good. The last t-bone I had there was very good! Probably not usda prime or dry aged. but for under $40 you get a romantic setting with live music and a salad bar and not a bad steak!

                            Are you aware of any agentine steak places around? Not brazillian!

                            1. re: mountdorahound

                              Steak in the City in Altamonte is an Argentinian steakhouse, similar in concept to Texas de Brazil and the other Brazilian-style churrascurias, except you go to the meat instead of the meat coming to you. It is still all-you-can-eat, with a huge variety of grilled meats (including the more exotic offal, which you have to try) and an amazing Mediterranean salad bar that puts Texas de Brazil's to shame in terms of selection, if you ask me. It is also a lot cheaper than TdB -- $19.99 for dinner, and your meal comes with a glass of wine or beer (and I'm not talkin' about a paper cup -- I'm talkin' about a GLASS of beer!) or a soda.

                              Check out the website for menus and more information. I can't say a single bad thing about the place, and it has quickly become a favorite destination for me and my friends: http://www.steakinthecity.com/Index.html

                              1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                                I just talked to the owner of Steak in the City today and he's updating me on their prices and menu. I ate there at the opening and was not overwhelmed, but have since heard enough good things to give them another shot.

                                Interestingly, the owners are Jewish and the have the capaicty to do a kosher meal or an entire kosher kitchen -- actually they are the same thing -- for a group with some advance notice. In a city where kosher is at a premium, I find this quite worthy of note.


                              2. re: mountdorahound

                                No Argentinian that I know of, although Lou may be right about Steak in the City (below). I was just researching some of the Agentinian cuts of beef we don't see here. Now I've lost my notes. But, forgive me my bad memory, but there were two cuts that stood out.

                                One is a part of what we know as the sirloin, but carved separately and covered with a big thick fat cap. I want to say in was something like pincha or pincho.
                                The other is the loin of meat from the brahama steer, taken from the base of the skull back, wrapped and spiced and then grilled until it steams. I'm a little nuts because I cannot find any of my notes, but it any of this rings a bell please remind me.


                                1. re: Bob Mervine

                                  A friend of mine mentioned this when we all went to Steak in the City -- certain Argentinian cuts he had tried at an Argentinian steakhouse in Miami, but were generally hard to find anywhere else. I don't remember what he called them, but your descriptions sound familiar. The guys manning the grill at Steak in the City assured him they had what he wanted, but I got distracted by something (probably meat-related) and didn't stick around for the conclusion.

                                  Bob, I wrote a gushy review of Steak in the City after my first visit, and I remember you said you tried it early on and weren't terribly impressed. I don't think I have the most sophisticated tastes in the world, but I'd implore you to give it another shot some time. The owners are super-nice people, and the place is an amazing value. I've never had a bad meal there, and look forward to my next visit!

                                  1. re: Bob Mervine

                                    I'm pretty sure Choo Choo Churros in East Orlando is Argentinean.

                                    1. re: rudykins

                                      I have to agree, Choo Choo Churro's on Lake Underhill and Semoran in East Orlando is Argentininean steakhouse. Try the Parrillada mixed grill they have the most amazing cuts of meat this side of Orlando

                              3. Re your question whether Kres is good. The food is quite good, but service is hit or miss, always. It's very trendy and they do great drinks.

                                I can't confirm anything on Capital Grille because I haven't been yet, but Ruths Chris is far and away my favorite steak. I second the votes on the Winter Park location. If Rhonda is still there, request one of her tables. She is fantastic.

                                To make the decision even more overwhelming, if you want a great steak in the most romantic atmosphere in Orlando, go to Manuel's on the 28th and request a window table. Until I went to Ruths, it was my favorite steak, and the service is unbeatable. Manuel's also has an out of this world she-crab soup as a starter.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: starbucksbrew

                                  Sorry - i see this post was back in 2007 - Manuals has since closed due to the economy - too bad - their food was phenomenal!