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The Manliest Restaurant in America?


Full and total disclosure right off the bat: I'm with Men's Health magazine.

We’re on a mission to discover the manliest restaurants in America, and we’re on the hunt for nominees. What places across the country do you think deserve the title?

Have you been to most legit taco truck in all of the Southwest? The most authentic newspaper tablecloth crab shack in the Mid-Atlantic? The best throwback steakhouse in Vegas? A biker bar built inside a missile silo that’s serving up an unbelievable shepherd’s pie? Okay, the last one's a little extreme, but you get the point...

What would be your nominees?

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  1. Here's my vote:
    It's around the corner from my building. I go often, and when I'm not there I can usually hear the ruckus from my blacony. Loud, live music, rowdy but friendly folks (real cowboys!) and delicious but HUGE food. I'm a girl, and can usually only finish about 1/3 of a burger. Nobody is ever eating a salad, whole quail are served as a breakfast side... and cheap beer. Not to mention the spicy, oversized Mexican dishes.
    The structure: pretty shabby but clean enough that you feel okay about eating the food, and the base of operations for the outdoor part is a real cargo container.
    I was new to Fort Worth and Texas about 2 years ago, and the first time I saw the place, my jaw dropped a little.

    1 Reply
    1. re: alliegator

      Freds works. I went Saturday a week ago, heard a lot of good stories while tippin' a few. Took me 5 hours to get out, but I had figured on 6 or 7. I left with 12 pounds of fresh roasted Hatch chilies.
      Also, a second vote for kaleo's Buckhorn Exchange in Denver. Not for girlie men.

    2. Bob's Bar in Martinsburg, NE. It's in a tiny farming community, is filthy as all can be, and packed with locals drinking cheap beer. Their food is also legendary- giant burgers and huge portions of deep fried goodness. This place is so manly, my girlfriend got pregnant the first time we went there.

      1 Reply
            1. Nancy Whiskey Pub for burgers. A true dive bar. I can hardly believe they have a web site, since it looks like the walls still has grease on them from WWII. The kind of place Norman Mailer would lie about beating someone up in.

              1. any steak house that lets you grill your own steak
                like The Grillhouse in Allegan,Michigan

                1. Gotta sit this one out because I totally can't comprehend this weird connection between food and gender - unless you mean restaurants where women aren't welcome or something like that. But I'd love to go to that biker bar in the missile silo!! Yum! :-)

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: occula

                    Some food and restaurants are more associated with one gender than another. A restaurant that served huge portions of greasy burgers, barbecue, chili, fried foods, and had a good selection of beers and whiskies would be considered more of a manly/masculine/macho sort of place, whereas a restaurant that specialized in salads, small plates, frozen yogurt, wine, and cocktails would be more of a feminine restaurant, or at least one with a female clientele.

                    I don't want people to start saying "But I'm a girl and my favorite food is smoked turkey legs wrapped in bacon and deep-fried!" or "I'm a guy and I love Yoplait and appletinis!" I'm just talking about standard gender stereotypes, which in this case can be partially based on fact.

                    1. re: occula

                      I'll vote


                      I've never been there when there was another woman present except for female servers. It is not a dive by any means but very masculine - dark wood, very English club style and really, really excellent food. I favor the happy hour when they have prime rib sliders at the bar. The place reeks of testosterone but has one of the nicest woman's restroom I've seen.

                      Donavons is a true restaurant, not a bar.

                    2. Keen's Chophouse in the Garment District, Manhattan. Been there since '85, so they are doing something right. (That is 1885. by the way) Dark wood, masculine look, and the ceiling is lined with old clay smoking pipes. There is a Bull Moose room, named after the manliest of all presidents, Teddy roosevelt. The steaks are a primal experience, dry aged prime beef and there is a huge mutton chop.
                      The bar specializes in single malts Scotch, The bar, by the way, has a huge painting of a naked woman over the bar. Top that! www.keens.com

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: steakman55

                        Keen's is a great choice (have they gone back to using "chophouse?" They'd switched years ago to steak house and I was furious about that. When I was a kid, every man I knew had a pipe there.) I'd also suggesst Locke-Ober Cafe in Boston, which was men-only until about 1970 and also had a nude ("Yvonne") on the wall. Maybe Doyle's in Jamaica Plain (Boston). Also the bar at the Menger Hotel in San Antonio, which is a shrine to Theodore Roosevelt.

                      2. PS...the pub at Keen's serves raw beef and short ribs as appetizers. I don't think they know what a "slider" is.

                        1. Any sports bar where you have to check your revolver.

                          1. Gilhooleys Raw Bar in San Leon Texas. See the review in:
                            dining archives

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: ryback

                              That's a good one, but I think you mean houstonpress.com?

                              Here's a link to several articles:


                              1. re: DoobieWah

                                Thanks DW for the correction I had a senior moment with the Post.

                            2. Great thread.

                              I'm not American and have no real concept of "manly" (or "womanly") restaurants where I am (leaving aside greasy spoon breakfast cafes which, I agree, are almost exclusively a male preserve).

                              Posts so far make fascinating reading in, perhaps, giving me a better understanding of the wider American culture.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Harters

                                You must have forgotten about this not unrelated thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/754957
                                p.s. lots of posts there went away...

                              2. Nick Tahous in Rochester NY, home of the garbage plate.

                                A run down counter service joint where you order a garbage plate - bottom layer of macaroni salad and home fries, topped with two (bun-less) cheeseburgers (or hot dogs, sausage, ham steak, fried steak, fried egg, fried fish, etc), topped again with raw onions and a hot grease sauce.

                                Once you have it, you top it again with ketchup, mustard, and more hot sauce, Cut up, mix together, and wolf down (preferably after several, several drinks). Comes with bread and always served on a paper plate.

                                Do women like it? Of course. But anytime I went as a college student it was always a group of guys. Since then, everytime I describe it, the guys' mouths start to water and the women look revolted.

                                Oh, and it is delicious. Seriously.

                                  1. Smitty's in Lockhart, Texas. They have picnic benches now, but originally you got your meat and bread wrapped in butcher paper, and squat down in the dirt yard to eat. Still no utensils.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: luniz

                                      Smitty's and the original Kreuz market are a good choice for a testosterone predominant restaurant.


                                      1. re: Kelli2006

                                        I was thinking Hooters, too. But then, there is a lucrative strip joint that serves steak near me...or is it a steak restaurant with strippers? That's about as all-men as you can get, strippers aside.

                                        1. re: chowser

                                          Would that be Diamonds, or Christie's?

                                          1. re: Kelli2006

                                            Paper Moon but was Dauphine or something like that. I'm sure there's no shortage of places like that.

                                    2. Bern's Steak House in Tampa, FL.
                                      Prime steaks cooked perfectly and the largest wine list of any restaurant in the world.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: CDouglas

                                        Bern's is great (my favorite restaurant in the US) but not a masculine one.

                                        1. re: steakman55

                                          maybe it's masculine because of the "Early Bordello" decor? (red velvet, gilt picture frames, etc.,etc.)

                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                            Re: Berns, I was thinking tawdry whorehouse, but as usual you are more discreet.:)

                                            1. re: Veggo

                                              I think "early Bordello" was used in a Creative Loafing review YEARS ago (and it made me laugh the next time I went to Bern's, because it fits so well!)

                                              LOVE the dessert room decor/ambiance, but the dining room is a little over the top.

                                      2. Louie Mueller Barbecue, Taylor, TX. The focus is squarely on the meat, the place looks as old as it is, the decor is no-nonsense, you walk in and it smells like smoke...sweet, delicious smoke.

                                        1. Neil's in Memphis,TN. Where the fat man rules...

                                          1. Feel free to come on down to any VFW Post with a Canteen.

                                            My brothers and I would be more than happy to let you share in the honor of having a bite to eat with some of the nicest bastards who've willingly strolled through the valley of the shadow of death.

                                            It doesn't get much manlier than that...

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: deet13

                                              I felt my testosterone levels rise while reading that and I'm a chick.

                                              Also had the single best chili of my life at a VFW chili cook-off. Thank you for your service to our country and also for the freaking excellent chili.

                                            2. On this one I jump past Bear Creek Golf Club and Pine Valley Country Club, and cast my vote for the locker room at C.C. at Castle Pines in Colorado. Any food a man can imagine, any beverage, any cigar, buttery leather overstuffed chairs, surrounded by exquisite woodwork, card tables, original art and bronzes. It's not like any other locker room.

                                              1. In Minnesota, Manny's Steakhouse is pretty chest pound. Service is wonderful by the way.

                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: TCtoothpick

                                                  heh. and the famous oil painting of the huge angus bull in the foyer behind the host's stand, proudly displaying his gigantic, great, round, uh, bull-nuggets. go to photo 17 to see the original:


                                                  1. re: soupkitten

                                                    this is EXACTLY the wealth of info I am talking about!

                                                    1. re: karenfinan

                                                      This is a lot of pressure on my nephew, Angus, who is only 3 years old.

                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                        Thanks . . . I needed a good laugh!

                                                      2. re: karenfinan

                                                        hey at least i can be good for a laugh when i'm not working hard to piss someone off ;-P

                                                        that dang bull painting has this weird effect on me and dh, we've noted it several times. in short, the painting seems to magically bring out his inner butthead and my inner beavis. not pretty.

                                                        i would also nominate the anchor bar in superior wisconsin as a very "manly" establishment.

                                                  2. Chop House 47 Greenville SC. Great steaks and Cigars together. A rare place indeed and they often have "Cigar Dinners" also beautiful bartenders and a great selection of ourbons and Scotchs.

                                                    1. Billy's Road Kill Grill in South Port, Mississippi. They don't serve actual road kill, instead they serve ONLY animals that are typically killed on the road, not including dogs and cats.

                                                      So you can get your typical venison, but you can also get feral pig or raccoon or armadillo or turtle or various types of snake.

                                                      They also have unconventional fowl available.

                                                      1. Mike's Chili, in the Seattle WA neighborhood of Ballard. Originally fed all the longshoremen, fishermen and boat mechanics. Still dark and musky. Damn fine chili.

                                                        1. Rao's in East Harlem -- Mobster Manly.