MSP Steak Argument
In my opinion, the Golden Butterknife at Murray's is the king of all steaks in the Twin Cities. The gold standard for me is Peter Lugers Porterhouse for 3 or more. The Golden Butterknife is the closest thing to it in the Twin Cities. Runner up, the dry aged steaks at Capital Grill.
A friend of mine took me to Manny's, so I was able to enjoy the food and nutty atmosphere without the pressure of adding up the tab. The ribeye that I ordered was probably the best steak I've ever had -- but it should be noted that I'm not much of a steak guy. It had a depth of flavor that really caught me off guard. The tenderloin that my wife ordered was comparatively bland. All that said: I'm glad I wasn't paying the bill, and I wouldn't go back on my own dime. And I'll stick to my personal credo on meat... when I want to eat a buncha meat, I'll go get some BBQ.
Hey, why are y'all hating on Best Steak House? This place kept me alive during college - if it weren't for their chopped steak (aka hamburger) special every Tuesday, I might have died of anemia. (I couldn't afford meat, and I was clueless about the complete-protein concept of a healthy vegetarian diet.) OK, so they use really cheap meat and then tenderize the bejeezus out of it with something highly unnatural, but one taste of that Texas Toast takes me right back to my poverty-stricken youth. (Perhaps that's why I'm not very fond of beef.)
Seriously, though - when I do eat a steak, once a year or so, I head to Jax. I don't know if the meat is better than other places (though it is quality stuff), but I love the great retro atmosphere. And they're much cheaper than Manny's. More expensive than Erte, though.
1928 University Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55418
'Dollar for dollar" best steak is hard though, because what about good, cheap steaks. They aren't great, but they are good.
The only place I ever get steak while out is Tracy's Saloon, and only on Wednesday nights. You get an "8oz. Bourbon marinated sirloin served with a salad and your choice of a baked potato or french fries" for $7.95. That's a hell of a deal.
And, a place I know nothing about, Best Steak House, seems to claim they have some good steaks. I think there are a couple of them in the city. :)
2207 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404
Best Steak House
5455 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55419
oh jeez. best steak house is not good. i don't care if i am a snob it is just not good. it's like an old-style chinese-american restaurant with "chop suey" or "chow mein" in part of the name of the restaurant, only with steaks.
r.i.p. gramps, it was your favorite place to get a steak, but that doesn't mean it was good in any way. yipes. best steakhouse memories.
Urgh. My one and only time at Best Steak has to be one of the worst meals ever. Below Ponderosa in quality and a very depressing atmosphere.
I'm adding more places links if only to make sure that Best Steak House is not one of the two recommendations that are gleaned from a quick look at this page.
112 N 3rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401
825 Marquette Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55402
Kincaid's Fish Chop & Steak
380 St. Peter Street, St. Paul, MN 55102
Murray's Restaurant & Cocktail
24 South 6th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402
323 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN
Rossi's Steak House
90 S 9th St, Minneapolis, MN 55402
Redstone American Grill
12501 Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka, MN 55305
Kincaid's Steak Chop & Fish
8400 Normandale Lake Blvd., Bloomington, MN 55437
Redstone American Grill
8000 Eden Rd., Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Am I in the minority in saying that the best steak in the Twin Cities is the one you get from the butcher and prepare at home. A steakhouse atmosphere is never ideal. (Manny's = loud, polar wine list, cheap place setting, Murray's = depressing, desolate, Morton's = dark basement). I understand if you aren't a master of your grill, but to me, dining out is an experience and a chance to get something you otherwise couldn't re-create at home.
I don't think you're in the minority at all. Before we had kids, I would get flak from my wife whenever she went out of town with her friends because I would buy and grill myself the best ribeye (my preferred cut) steak I could buy. She would say, "what did you have with it?" and I would say, "Fork. Knife. Plate. Beer." Those were among the best steaks I have had in MSP.
That said, on the increasingly rare occasion I do seek out a restaurant steak (or cut of beef in general) I look for top-quality but also accoutrements or side dishes or some other appeal that I can't produce at home (like you said).
Though not "best steak, dollar for dollar" I've had very good experiences with the ribeye at St. Paul Grill, as good as I make at home nowadays (I have less time and am cooking for 5 now), though I know the place isn't a local darling. The atmosphere and those crazy good hash browns with bacon and onions add to the appeal.
One of the finer pieces of beef I've had in years was the chateaubriand for two that was on the menu several months ago at Fugaise. I remember the price for that being about $40-50, which was an absolute, stone cold steal. There always seems to be a steak or beef dish on the menu and I would have complete confidence ordering it based on other experiences there.
I do like Manny's. I don't necessarily like the hotel location, but I like the atmosphere and the steaks are excellent (though not at all a "bargain" or a good value "dollar for dollar"). Manny's is what it is. Expensive and, in some eyes, a little cheesy or schmoozy, but in some eyes it has a certain strong appeal. For me it captures what I think life must have been like in the 60s at the Palm in midtown east in Manhattan when my parents lived and worked on the block. And again, I like the steak.
There's merit in mentioning the prime rib at Kincaid's, which I think they execute to near-perfection and which is my only reason to go there. I can't age prime rib at home like that so I consider it a worthwhile outing from time to time. Not sure I'd call it a bargain. The prime rib at Redstone shocked me frankly -- it was that good and I do consider it a bargain. The one I had was a nice quality beef and their twist was to rest it in their smoker for a while at some point (not mentioned on the menu that I recall, but obvious in the flavor). I've had a smoker in my garage for the last 10 years (and it was in my dad's garage for the 5 years before that) but I sure as heck have never had time to learn how to use it. If I do, I'll throw a prime rib in there some day and then maybe won't have to go to Redstone.
But generally, you're right mplsmike....there are far fewer reasons to go get a steak at a restaurant in MSP than there are in some places, especially if you're bargain shopping.
I'm with you Mike. If it's a bargain you're looking for, nothing beats a prime dry agred ribeye from your favorite butcher, a 500degree cast iron skillet and a good broiler.
Inexpensive? Erte for sure.
If guests insist however, I'll take Manny's over Morton's and Morton's over Murray's. Don't even ask about Ruth's Chris. Yuck.
"Bargain" steak? Since when is an $87 steak (the smallest silver butterknife) a "bargain"? Or did you mean Murray's NY Strip for one, which is the same cut but just isn't called the "silver butterknife" but is $42.95??
I was going to talk about the nori encrusted sirloin at 112 Eatery for $26 or the wonderful queen cut prime rib at Redstone at $23. Regardless of price, both are far superior to anything I've had at Murray's.
But I'm not sure I'm getting the question.