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Sep 10, 2012 09:14 AM

Downtown Steakhouse -- Mortons

As if I needed less of an incentive to dine at mega-chain Mortons, I found out it is part of an even larger mega-chain--Landrys....not sure when this went down, but as an example of tea party corporate cost cutting mentality taking over the restaurant, the prime burger on the bar menu was noticeably smaller than I recall and it was listed on the menu as being served with steak fries when, in actuality, I was served shoestring fries...big difference. Anyone notice a similar difference with their steaks???... Anyways, one more reason to dine, instead, at a mini-chain such as Donovan's or an independent, such as Cowboy Star, when you are in the mood for a good piece of meat downtown.

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  1. If there's one thing San Diego doesn't seem to know it's red meat. It's a total bias of mine from being in the midwest, but the general quality of the beef in this town is terrible. That said, Morton's has been on a downhill slide even in Chicago for a long time now. It's becoming quite a bit more like cheesecake factory than a steakhouse.

    1. Not really suprised. I was bummed when they took over the Chart House chain. Yeah I know the concept was dated, but it was fun, and to have the headquaters in downtown Solana Beach... Don't forget downtown, they also run Oceanaire and McCormicks. I almost wrote ruin instead of run.

      1 Reply
      1. re: littlestevie

        Yes, they are owned by Landry's, but I'm not sure that has much to do with it- for example Levy in Chicago owns both big bowl and L20- wildly different ends of the spectrum. Same with Darden- they own Capital Grille and Olive Garden- again same story- different qualities.

        That said, Morton's was on the slide well before Landry's took it over. To me, the previous advantage of Morton's over Ruth's Chris in the past was the availability of the bone in filet, but now both have it and I significantly prefer the atmosphere of Ruth's. That said, given the choice I'd go to neither and go to Cowboy Star.

      2. You say ... Burger was smaller. Ok (maybe)

        You say ... Fries were cut more skinny than you like. Ok, so be it.

        But you don't say ... how the burger and fries tasted? Did they taste good?

        I, for one, am a big fan of Morton's Prime Burger.

        I'd still go if the burger was smaller, but tasted good.

        And, how do you know it was "smaller"? It's always been 12 ounces, and the last time I had it (not in SD, but in LA) it certainly did not look, nor feel, smaller.

        In fact, the Morton's Prime Burger is one of my favorite burgers anywhere. The only negative to this burger is that it is only served at lunch.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          The Prime Burger is served at dinner in San Diego; last I checked, Mortons is not open for lunch in San Diego. Burger was smaller, seemed like a different 'cut' and did not have the same flavor in my opinion...cost cutting--i.e. huge difference between shoestring v. steak fries, smaller size of the burger, and weak pour on a $17 glass of wine--are hallmarks of corporate accounting bean counters and will assure it will be a long time, if ever, before I return is the case with a chain (now a mega chain), quality and quality control can, and often does, vary from location to location. Should, for example, Peter Luger expand from its current 2 locations to 20, I am fairly certain I would witness a decline in my overall experience and dine elsewhere.

          For a good burger, I still prefer Neighborhood, The Counter (even though it is a chain), and JRDN at Tower 23.

          1. re: El Chevere

            Did not realize Mortons SD had the Prime Burger for dinner. Going have to check it out.