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Jul 7, 2008 10:23 PM

Keen's Mutton Chops vs. Luger's steak

Do you think Keen's Mutton Chops hold up to Peter Luger's Porterhouse? Personally, I find the mutton chops a treat. They are always cooked great, taste great, and it feels special eating them. I think they've cornered the market on mutton chops, and I like the idea that Babe Ruth and Teddy Roosevelt enjoyed them too. At Luger's I constantly find myself saying " it used to be better", I'm not sure if so many steak houses have equal quality steaks i.e. Wolfgangs and more, and Luger's steak doesnt stand out as much as it used to. Mutton chops on the other hand are more unique and stand out, until everyone perhaps starts serving them. Your thoughts

72 West 36th St., New York, NY 10018

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  1. Not to burst your bubble, but while The Babe and T.R. ate real mutton chops, what you are being served at Keens today is not. It's saddle of lamb. So much for "unique." However, that doesn't take away from the fact that it's delicious. At least, that's what my husband tells me since he's the one who always orders it. I love the lamb chops, some of the best I've had anywhere.

    2 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      WOW. You "bursted" my bubble. They look like chops not saddle . So i'm suprised to hear that. But I do like venison saddle. Anyway they are delicious, but next time I will order the lamb saddle and see what they say. Thanks for the info, I love finding out things like that

      1. re: RGR

        FWIW, the New York Times reported that the lamb Keens uses for the mutton chops is about 10 months old, i.e., it's quite a bit older than your standard lamb for chops and almost as old as the minimum age of sheep used for mutton. On that basis, I'd say it's still unique.

      2. Apples and oranges. I love Keens. I love Luger. I too prefer the "mutton" chop to Luger's porterhouse, but I still love Luger.

        1. I agree its apples and oranges. For me its simple- Peter Luger's porterhouse is the best steak I have ever had. It has and always will be the gold standard for steak. I have no tried the mutton chops at Keens but definitely want to. As far as Keens porterhouse, for me it was the second best steak (behind Luger) that I have had. I can't imagine that their mutton chop is better than their porterhouse, but then again I am a steak lover and when I go to a steakhouse thats what I am there for. But the mutton is definitely something I want to try just to experience it.

          5 Replies
          1. re: steakrules85

            Hey, steakrules,

            I can understand comparing two different cuts of steak. But steak vs. lamb? (Reminder: The mutton chop is lamb saddle.) As a lamb lover, there is no steak that wins out for me over lamb -- chops, saddle, shoulder, etc. I daresay the same will hold true for you in reverse. No matter how good you might find the "mutton," I'm betting that, true to your screen name, you will still think the porterhouse rules.

            1. re: RGR

              I recently had a porterhouse at Keens. It surpassed the porterhouse that I had on my last two (at least) visits to Luger's. I also enjoy Keen's prime rib and "mutton chop" or saddle of lamb as well as the atmosphere: low-key and very good service.

              1. re: steakrules85

                try the mutton chops, you will find it is more steaklike than you can imagine. Ive never met anyone who didnt like them.

                1. re: foodwhisperer

                  Yeah I am sure one day I will try it just to say I have experienced it. Want to try to prime rib first though. I think th ebest solution is just to go with a large party and have someone order it so I can have a taste! haha.

              2. My two favorite meat meals of all time: the mutton chop at Keen's and the steak for two at Luger's. No matter which I would select part of me would regret not having selected the other.

                I know, I know, the mutton chop at Keen's isn't really mutton. Truth is, I don't care what they call it — well, within reason — I'd still order it. And we have a 16 year old orange tabby who lives in Brooklyn with us and who does double back flips whenever we bring home a Keen's mutton chop bone. True story: I once came home with said bone and dropped it on the floor, whereupon Yuri (the orange tabby) pounced on it. Maureen, my wife, told me to take the bone from Yuri and rinse it in the sink to get rid of any salt and pepper. Yuri wouldn't give it up. I slowly pulled the bone up in the air with Yuri firmly clamped on the other end and actually raised the bone high enough that Yuri was off the ground for a moment, so tight were his jaws clamped around that bone, before he finally let go. That is a cat with great taste.

                And yes, there have been many a report that Luger's is slipping or even has slipped. I can only go by my own experiences, and in my experiences at Luger's, no slippage so far. Maybe we've been lucky.

                We have been going to Luger's for more than 25 years, maybe two or three times a year, and in all that time I can recall only one subpar steak, it having far too much gristle. In recent years we generally go for lunch on a Saturday rather than dinner, as we are in Williamsburg on Saturday mornings once or twice a month for a volunteer project, so maybe that has something to do with our run of luck, who knows. But the steaks have remained consistently great.

                Now I need to get on the phone and make reservations at both Keen's and Luger's. My mouth is watering.

                4 Replies
                1. re: BrookBoy

                  I have seen some people say Luger has slipped also. It just just a plain fallacy. Every time I go the steaks are consistently outstanding and the best meal of my life (yes everyone who reads my posts knows how much of a Luger fanatic I am).

                  I have made it known my goal is to try every top steakhouse in the city so that I can truly see who is tops. Ever since I got my new job and am able to afford going to the top steakhouses around NYC more often, I have had the priveledge to sample some on my list. Among those sampled are Keens, Uncle Jack's, BLT Prime, Old Homestead (all fine establishments and great steak), Primehouse (disappointing), Del Frisco's (decent but not topnotch), Ruth's Chris (just okay).

                  However, time after time I always wind up going back to PL for a special occasion because nothing ever compares....for me at least.

                  1. re: steakrules85

                    While I still think Lugers is better I recommend you try Wolfgang's next. They season the meat a bit more than Luger's (it's been undersalted the last two times I was there), but their sides are not as good as Luger's. Still a great place for meat.

                    1. re: ginsbera

                      I'm going to disagree with both steakrules and ginsbera. I've been incredibly disappointed my last two visits to PL and dont know if I care to go back and give them another shot. On the other hand, all my visits to Wolfgangs have been subpar and have yielded tasteless steaks.

                      1. re: ESNY

                        ESNY, I agree with you about Luger's but not Wolfgang's. I've only been to the downtown Wolfgang's, but every time the steak has been superior to my last visits to Luger's. And it is in Manhattan. And they take credit cards.