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Mar 20, 2009 07:37 PM

Better Luger Knockoff--Wolfgang's or Ben & Jacks?

Of the two, which is the better knockoff and/or do they even come close to Peter Luger?

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  1. I went to Bew & Jacks once. It sure looked like PL but did not taste like PL.

    5 Replies
    1. re: tpigeon

      disagree...tastes exactly like PL, bacon is just as good as well

      go to B&J, wolfgang's is not up to par

      1. re: Lau

        If you say so, me and the 15 other people I ate with that one time disagree. Obviously, I am not going to keep trying...

      2. re: tpigeon

        See, this is why I cannot decide on which to go to if I have to choose one.
        So much dichotomy on every one.
        I went to the first Luger clone, Mark Joseph, and it sucked, royally, so I am wary to waste my time.
        Though I am sure Wolfgang's is better is it good enough?
        I saw some people say Ben and Jack's was the best and based on who those people were(including Lau, much respect) I was thinking, Y, that is the one to go to.
        But then too much bashing of it and though I discount most peoples' opinions, still it was enough.
        But there is Wolfgang's bashing, too.
        And it is not a matter of inconsistency. I know, very well, of that. A place is not THE BEST one day and BAD the next, especially so many times.
        I might just never go to any. It is steak, it is not hard, I will just be completely pissed if it sucks.
        I have had 1 disappointing burger and 1 disappointing steak at P Luger and that is out of many times. So, yes, it happens but it was not terrible.
        Mark Joseph, man, that place still burns me and that was a LONG time ago.

        Lau, how many times have you gone to Ben and Jack's?

        1. re: dietndesire

          Neither of them are Lugers. I had Wolfgang's last year, it was not awful, just not great. The bacon was on par with Lugers. Can't hurt to try it once to see what you think.

          1. re: dietndesire

            i go to ben and jacks fairly frequently (i've probably been maybe 10 times) and its consistent...ill give you the breakdown:
            - steak: you need to go for the porterhouse (which is the classic Luger's cut), ive had people go there and get other stuff and be less impressed, i dont get anything besides the porterhouse medium rare, which i think is excellent
            - bacon: the bacon is the a must, their version is very good
            - sides: their sides are not that good, many of the other steak houses in the city have better sides, but you kind of need to get some, so i usually get some creamed spinach, german potatoes and mushrooms
            - atmosphere: the atmosphere is sort of whatever, i mean the servers are nice and attentive (much nicer than luger's), but the atmosphere is sort of bland, which is why i find some people like wolfgang's which is a little more upscale / trendy....although in my opinion you're sacrificing food for atmosphere (which i never do)

            Mark Joseph's: they do have good bacon, but agree on the steak...its kind of whatever

            Wolfgang's: don't like the place on an absolute basis; i mean its not horrible, but I think the place has become much more about atmosphere and trying to be trendy vs getting a great meal (hence opening a tribeca and LA branch)

            PL's: I think alot of people have a sort of emotional attachment with PL's in that they believe its the best no matter what due to its reputation (which I think happens to alot with places that are "institutions"...and still good; there are alot of institutions that are now terrible like a veniero's). Also, Luger's has much more character than B&J's which is more sterile. That said I think PL's is great and deserving of a great reputation, but when I went to B&J's i thought if you blind taste tested me I wouldn't have found a big difference between the two. So rationally I said this is alot easier (its in the city and the service is nicer) for the same quality, so I go to B&J's now and don't trek to brooklyn

            let me know if you go...would love to hear your comparison; i'm usually able to convince people on B&J's, but happy to hear if im wrong

        2. I have been to both as well and would pick Ben & Jacks. Old school steakhouse the way it should be when it comes to basic great steak, sides and service.