Looking for a good steak RTP area
I am looking for a GOOD steak in the Raleigh/Durham area. I live in Hillsborough so if I have to go towards Greensboro that will be ok. The kicker is I do not want to pay Ruth's Chris prices. I know the has to be some good steak around that is reasonably priced.
I'm no Ruth Chris fan but I'm not convinced their prices are way out of line. I guess you'd have to put a price on reasonable. There is always going to be a trade-off
A good retail cut of organic, pastured (or responsibly grain fed, for the sake of argument) , well marbled beef will usually run north of $20/lb retail. Assume a reputable steak house is buying primal cuts and buying wholesale. Wells Branch (Cane Creek pork's new home) sells short loins (whence porterhouses) at $11/lb.
If they're aging their steaks (and if it is GOOD, for me they should be), they're losing 15-20 of purchase weight to cutting and the process is fairly time and labor intensive.
Add the restaurant mark-up for labor, space, overhead...I'm going to be suspicious of a restaurant that charges less than $25-$30 for a12oz steak (unless it's a hanger or other unfashionable cut). Lower than that and I start to guess that there is a sacrifice somewhere in the process. As a consequence, unfortunately, I almost never eat steak in a restaurant.
I've heard Bin 54 in CH serves a lovely dry aged strip and a good, cheaper hanger steak
I'd say find a source for beef to your liking and cook it yourself. Once you have good beef all you really need is an iron skillet and some kosher salt. Bin 54 does turn out a good steak but you're going to pay.
I'm not sure from your post what you consider to be a) a good steak, and b) reasonable. Even so,
Outback makes a good steak. They have high standards for a chain, and because they *are* a chain, prices are lower.
I still enjoy Angus Barn once in a while myself, though it is more casual these days.
Bin 54 is more expensive than anything mentioned so far, including Ruth's Chris.
I've been a big fan of Bin 54, although the last couple of times we've gone the quality hasnt' been quite as good as it was. Still, it is a very good steakhouse. But it is definitely NOT inexpensive.
Try the Steak Frites in the bar at the Washington Duke Inn in Durham. I was going to order the 12oz the first time I was there but went with the 8oz. It was a hell of a good steak for only $20. Plus a nice atmosphere too. I order it every time I'm there.
Hillsborough is not far from Durham where you have several options for reasonably priced steaks. Rue Cler's steak frites for $17 is one option. For a few bucks more ($20) Watts Grocery also delivers a fine plate. People also like the cowboy steak at Federal ($14) if you don't mind a bar atmosphere. If you are feeling flush and are considering Ruth Chris prices I'd go to the Angus Barn instead. Especially if you like wine. They have a telephone-book sized wine list with more than a few hidden bargains to be found.
have you tried the Farmhouse restaurant back behind Allen & Son heading towards Chapel Hill? I can't vouch for it firsthand but one of my colleagues who is a lifelong Durhamite has been going there for ages nd likes it.
I don't usually order steak if I'm eating out but if I did, my choices would be the steak frites at either The Federal or Vin Rouge. For around you're going to get sirloin, not ribeye or NY Strip, but its' quite good nonetheless.