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Apr 21, 2010 11:09 AM

What is it with Massachusetts and steak tips?

I grew up in Connecticut but didn't eat out much there and left to live in Massachusetts when I was about 21 years old. So I can't vouch for this myself but................are steak tips more a Massachusetts thing than other NE states?

My brother has lived in CT all his life and never had steak tips til I took him to New Bridge. And recently my sister-in-law brought her nephew up for a Celtics game and he remembered the steak tips he'd eat on his last visit-2 years ago! When I asked her about it she was hard pressed to think of many/any CT places she knew of that had tips on the menu.

What are your favorite places for tips in the Boston area? I like them marinated and a little charred.

NewBridge Cafe
650 Washington Ave, Chelsea, MA 02150

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  1. Maybe it's a frugal swamp-Yankee thing: flap meat is pretty cheap and responds well to marinating and grilling over high heat, the kind of preparation that many tavern kitchens are equipped to do.

    Some favorites: New Bridge (still fine after all these years), Sadie's Saloon, Sonny Noto's in Eastie, The Paddock, J.J. Foley's Cafe (South End), Doyle's Cafe, The Stockyard (actually sirloin there), Rincon Limeno (lomo saltado, though that also might be a nicer cut of steak in there).

    Any place you see doing bavette steak is using the same cut: Ten Tables Cambridge, Harvest, and the Blue Room serve it periodically, often in something that looks like a steak frites.

    Rincon Limeno
    409 Chelsea St, Boston, MA 02128

    J.J. Foley's
    117 E Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02118

    Ten Tables
    5 Craigie Circle, Cambridge, MA 02138

    NewBridge Cafe
    650 Washington Ave, Chelsea, MA 02150

    Sonny Noto's Restaurant
    22 Central Sq, Boston, MA 02128

    The Blue Room
    Hampshire and Portland streets, Cambridge, MA 02139

    2 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      Newbridge is great. Also, went to Sadies in Waltham on Sunday and it is as good as ever.

      1. re: MC Slim JB

        What is it with the other parts of the country without them? Goat Hill Grille in Beverly used to have great tips...not the same now.

        Goat Hill Grille
        90 Rantoul St, Beverly, MA 01915

      2. I know that they are called tri-tips in other parts of the country, but they do seem to be more of a Massachusetts thing (along with bar pizza).

        MC mentioned most of my favorites. I'll add a few others--Salem Wood Cafe in Malden, Cronin's in Quincy, Strip T's in Watertown, and Barefoot Bob's in Hull (the latter of which has the added benefits of ocean breezes from across the street, an always-interesting mix of brawny bikers, wealthy suburbanites, and slacker dudes from the beach across the street, and a cheesy outdoor tiki bar).

        7 Replies
        1. re: hiddenboston

          Actually, tri-tip and flap are different cuts: tri-tip is from the bottom sirloin, flap from the short loin near the flank. But I'm not certain that every local place that serves steak tips is using flap: it's just pretty common to do so around here.

          1. re: MC Slim JB

            I've become a big fan of bavette, flap steak or tips. Most markets don't display the whole steak (seen it in an Asian mkt) but sell it as steak tips. If you want the whole piece, about 4 lbs, I've had the butcher sell it to me uncut and I can cut the bavette steaks myself or cook as a toast or steak tips. Bought at Shaw's in Back Bay and Market Basket at Somerville...really tasty cut and takes well to ginger or a tomato based bbq sauce chars nicely. I prefer rare but anything less done than Med keeps a good texture

            1. re: 9lives

              Ah yes, bavette. So good, there's even a movie about it, featuring a feast of some kind.

          2. re: hiddenboston

            I grew up in upstate NY and we knew what a bar pizza was - we called them bar pies.

            Didn't hear of steak tips until I moved to the Boston area though. ALso never heard of bonless wings, toasted subs, or bulky rolls....and in NY, chowder sometimes was made with tomatoes. :-o

            1. re: LStaff

              The Ninety Nine, the locally-headquartered casual dining chain, claims to have invented the boneless Buffalo "wing". Many more restaurants are offering them now that demand for real chicken wings has driven their price higher than boneless breast meat.


              Ninety Nine Restaurant
              10 Main St, Stoneham, MA 02180

              1. re: MC Slim JB

                Speaking of steak tips and the 99, one of the most famous mob dustups in recent history was known colloquially as "The Steak Tip Murders":


            2. re: hiddenboston

              There is definitely a linguistic element at work - in NYC this cut is apparently called bohemian steak:

            3. I still love the tips at Newbridge (just search the name on this board). The steak has great flavor and just enough char to it.

              1. Champion's Pub on Foster St. in Peabody has great tips and really good onion rings.

                Champion's Pub
                114 Foster St, Peabody, MA 01960

                1. I like the steak tips at Brody's Pub in Peabody. When I want to stay home and grill up some tips on the barbie you can't find much better than the Bourbon tips @ MB. Who knew? :)