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Somewhere between Capitol Grille and Outback Steakhouse is the steak of my dreams

I want to give a restaurant gift certificate to someone who loves steak. She and her husband live in Melrose, so western suburbs or the city would be best. I want something less expensive than Capitol Grille but waaayyy better than Outback and its ilk. So far, the only thing I can think of - and yeah, it's not a steakhouse, I know, but it's got good meat - is Tango, in Arlington. Please, suggest some stuff! (and I know I cited two chains, but that's only for purposes of illustration - bonus points always awarded for non-chain ideas!)

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  1. How about Frank's Steakhouse in Cambridge? If you call before you visit, they will have your requested cut waiting. . .

    1 Reply
    1. re: phonelady

      No, no, no. I can't disagree more. Unfortunately, I can't recommend a great steak place, but please don't go to Frank's. To illustrate my point, take this into account: I have lived <300ft from Frank's for three years and have been to eat there twice. The first time was bad, but I gave it a second shot, considering how close it is. I wanted it to be my local joint. The second time was worse. It can't even be my local bar because they tried to pass off a Harpoon as a Sam when they were out (rather than tell me, and really what Boston bar runs out of Sam?). And the Harpoon? It was flat. Save Frank's for when you're over 70, that's their market.

    2. All the restaurants that serve streak frites or hangar steak would work. Not sure who's in the western suburbs tho, Aquitaine Bis in Chestnut Hill is slightly west.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Joanie

        Franks, great place, moderate prices.

        1. re: treb

          I went there once and thought my steak was horrible. Worst steak ever

          1. re: SALee

            Gotta agree- the one time I've been there they failed to cook my steak anywhere near correctly - burnt on outside, lukewarm and raw on inside. Made ok leftovers at home.

            What's the name of the place up Mass. Ave. in Arlington that does bang-up business that seems sort of the same genre as Frank's? Can't think of the name, but can folks weigh in?

            What about the place on Mt. Auburn just past Belmont Street? Same type of place, too, no?

            1. re: Bob Dobalina

              Bob D you probably mean Jimmy's Steer House on Mass Ave in Arlington (between the Center and the Heights), which I understand used to have the only liquor license in town and which is kind of a time warp kind of place. It's not my favorite but I have friends who swear by it if you stick to steak, baked potato and salad with blue cheese.

              1. re: GretchenS

                Thanks Gretchen - Jimmy's is the place I was thinking of.
                Any idea how it compares to Frank's?

                1. re: Bob Dobalina

                  I enjoy Jimmy's (also in Saugus, formerly on the Waterfront and at the Burlington Mall) and I consider it a lot better than Franks. One thing they do particularly well is their Crabmeat Pie, often offered as a surf and turf with a strip steak at lunch. Strip steaks and other steaks are decent, their steak tips are quite nice (tangy, not sweet) and some baked stuffed dishes are ok (fish/scallops). As far as the sides, its their rice pilaf which is worth ordering, not the baked potato. And the parmesan peppercorn is better than blue cheese, but at lunchtime its really not worth the extra $$ for a side salad (with dinner its included). Yes its filled with retirees, no bone-in steaks, and many cliched things on the menu, but for that type of food I think its much better than Franks.

                  The other place you are mentioning above is Greg's, which is more of an Italian Red Sauce place -- veal parm, fried ravioli, sweet thick tomato sauces... large portions. Its a bit closer to Franks in atmosphere and is ok for what it is, but there are other restaurants I would prefer to go to first (Il Panino express, abbondanza, pasta lina's, vinny's, pescatore).

                  I wish there was something which was more along the lines of Bambino's (which had its defects), Floramo's in Chelsea is probably the closest in that style, but avoid the ribs. And I did quite well with the Sicilian Steak at Ferrari's in Malden, but I know others have had awful meals there.

                    1. re: itaunas

                      I would agree with you on Jimmy;s= love their crab meat pie and their rice pilaf. I have a relatice who works there, and I aksed her why the rice was so good- she said lots and lots of butter! It is more like a risotto than a pilaf. Their fish is good too.
                      Haven't been to Floramos in years- and I will not comment on Ferrari's- have only been there once, and my meal and the service-was awful. But if you enjoyed the Sicilian steak, maybe I should give it a try

        2. How about Max Steins in Lexington? Have not been but sounds decent

          2 Replies
          1. re: hargau

            Nah, just as pricey as the Capitol Grille, and not as good, IMO. L'Andana Grill in Burlington has a skirt steak for $28, If that counts as cheaper, it might fill the bill.

            1. re: raddoc

              $28 for skirt steak, a/k/a fahita material, cheaper, are you serious? Go to CG for an extra fiver+/- and get a great meal.

          2. Stockyard in Brighton has great steak and the prime rib is awesome. Nice atmosphere, big bar and good prices. Worth the drive.

            1. A little bit of a drive, but the Coach Grill in Wayland has a nice 10oz filet.

              5 Replies
              1. re: steve999

                The Coach Grille is prettty great, but I don't think it's any cheaper than say, Grille 23..In fact, don't they own it?

                1. re: galleygirl

                  A little bit cheaper - maybe ~ $10 a steak. They are owned by Abe & Louie's / BBRG.

                  1. re: galleygirl

                    Coach Grill is a Back Bay Restaurant Group place, same folks behind Abe & Louie's, Atlantic Fish, Bouchée, Charley's Eating & Drinking Saloon, Joe's American Bar & Grill, and Papa Razzi.

                    It's significantly less pricey than Abe & Louie's: $30 for a 16-oz boneless NY strip, where A&L's is $42.

                    I get a little nervous about a steakhouse that brags about its "prime choice meats".

                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                      Well, I guess that makes it a bargain...;)

                      I just thought it was related to Grille 23 becasue they had the same bone-in swordfish steak on the menu...Anyway, if this is midway between CG and Outback for the OP, it's a pretty good meal...

                      Edit; Oh never mind, I see I've confused grille 23 with Abe and louis anyway, in regard to the bone-in swordfish....What do you expect from a pescatarian?

                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                        Nervous or not, they put out a great meal.