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?
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