Steelhouse Tavern in Troy- opened last week [DTW]
Brought to you by the owners of Lakeside Mall’s Sterling Bistro, Steelhouse is a big upgrade over former tenant Wellington Pub, in the aging strip mall near the NE corner of Rochester Rd and Long Lake. Based on my one Happy Hour experience, I would say that while there might be no reason for anyone to drive far to get to Steelhouse, there is every reason for those living within several miles to make this place a regular stop.
I got a pint of 7%ABV Michigan craft brew (sorry, name escapes me) for $5. I also ordered a plate of pulled pork sliders which wonderfully surprised. Steelhouse has installed a smoker in the kitchen. My pulled pork didn’t bear evidence of having spent much time in there, but the meat was juicy and plentiful (warning: simmered in bbq sauce…an unobtrusive one), and topped with sautéed onions and fresh crunchy coleslaw. The bun was clearly better than average, as well. Two substantial sliders on the plate for a Happy Hour price of $5. A big winner in my book! Nearly even passable for being healthy.
The crowd consisted of boring old married folks and some unfashionably dressed single males, surely residing in area townhouses with appreciating real estate values and subscriptions to the NFL Network premium cable package. That was fine with me, because the Tavern scene catered to them with various sports news shows on multiple TV screens, and played little (no?) irritating music.
The décor was cool—wood boards with fake weathering, and various metal artifacts “artfully” welded together and mounted as decorative art pieces. The place was abundantly staffed, though the workers didn’t appear too free to backslap with the customers and show personality, as they seemed pretty closely supervised by business partners (I’m giving the workers’ personalities the benefit of the doubt; and, I probably had the most personable and cute server in the place). That’s of course what I would expect for a place that just opened….by professionals.
Steelhouse seems to believe they can be a respected off-the-strip* (*Big Beaver) steakhouse. See menu in attached link. I’m going to wait for someone else to test those waters, before I dive in with my hard earned cash. My next foray at Steelhouse will involve an Angus burger, and then I’ll go for their smoked meats. I got time. This place will be around for a while.
I reached forward into my May food budget and went back to Steel House to test drive one of their steaks. On Tuesdays and Thursdays they seem to be falling into a pattern of having a steak special, where they mark down one of their regular steak features by a few dollars. I tried the Troy T-bone special for $19, which came with one side.
I don’t usually go out for steaks. But, I have to admit it was quite good. The temperature of medium rare came out precisely as ordered, and still had a little crust on it (surely a grill and griddle hybrid technique). The size, after cutting away the bone, tendon, fat, etc., was decent but not huge. In other words, I left satisfactorily full, but certainly with no leftovers. A Texan would have been feeling shorted, but who cares about Texans anyway. The beefy flavor and tenderness were good. While I know good beef shouldn’t come with added flavorings, I’m ashamed to admit that perhaps my favorite aspect of the steak was its rub. Some ‘secret’ blend perhaps of clarified butter, pepper, garlic, mustard powder, MSG? I don’t know, but it was memorable. If anyone figures out what exactly is in the rub please let me know!
My selected side was asiago cheese grits. Quite nice, but be advised that the grits come on the dry side, almost like oatmeal cookie dough consistency, but I truly mean that in a good way. I’d certainly consider getting again.
My kid got the mac & cheese from the children’s menu, which came with a drink and a generous serving of fresh vegetables sautéed in herbed butter. Nice. The pasta in the mac & cheese was cooked upon order, and done to scientific level tenderness. The cheese sauce was mild, thin and perfectly smooth. Though the cheese sauce wasn’t some kind of high-minded artisan concoction, at least it wasn’t ruined by someone getting so fancy and complicated that their sauce broke, or their tremendous effort economically required that they produce in large batches to justify the labor…and then having that batch get old and dried out before it was all finally completely sold off to customers. Indeed, a very well designed and executed children’s menu, at a great price of six dollars. Highly recommended.
I’m starting to like this place more and more. There even were a couple of unaccompanied babes at the bar (probably hitched, but of course all I wanted was a little scenery to spruce up the ambiance, anyway). The only shortcoming during this visit was the wine. I had a glass of the Buena Vista Merlot which normally is $11. Had I not gotten it under the Happy Hour promotion for $5, I’d have been disappointed.
The floor staff is very unselfish and teamwork oriented. No employee, regardless of station, walks past a table with a dirty plate on it without making pleasant eye contact and offering to clear the dish or wing-sauce-covered napkin. Very nice. The managers are making rounds to EVERY table. Not to chat, but to attentively ensure each customer is happy, which we were.
Went for happy hour today and after my blistering Wellington pub review was very happily surprised by the welcome. Much cozier even though mechanically still in the same location. Happy welcome and it being 3pm offered happy hour prices bar side.
I chose the tater tot with blue cheese app and couldn't get in to it. Not my expectation nor interest. No problems from both server and manager. Major suggestions for another choice and nobody flinched. Nothing but professional demeanor and we'll see you again, Good tip on a $0 bill and I will be back for steak. Terrific patio for a parking lot view but enjoying the weather. I will be happy to get used to this new beer and a steak venue.
Okay RedTop and Grouper, I'll at least type a few of the highlights, below. Note that they are not cheap, but if you start your meal at the nice bar tables before 6:30pm, you can put together something that includes some value priced Happy Hour specials so that overall you'll have had a big meal for an okay price. Some of the side options (sometimes included with the meal) are cheese grits, jalapeno cheese cornbread, bleu cheese tater tots, etc.).
Tempura shrimp with Asian chili sauce $10
Pulled pork nachos, featuring 12 hour slow smoked pork $9
Seared ahi tuna (w/fresh greens, English cucumbers, red onion slivers, avocado, mango, Thai vinaigrette) $14
Tillamook cheddar soup served in house made pretzel bowl $6
Hand cut steaks, USDA Choice aged on site five to six weeks and cooked on a wood fired grill
Bone In Filet Mignon $30
Bacon Mac n Cheese (smoked gouda, creamy fontina, Vermont cheddar, provolone, sweet cream, apple bacon) $14
House smoked St Louis Ribs, chicken and pulled pork $18
Fresh seafood flown in daily – market price
Handmade sausage and pepper pizza $12
Angus cheeseburger with fresh toppings $9
Pan fried chicken cutlet sandwich with applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, red onions, avocado, pesto and chipotle mayo $11
Pulled pork sliders with grilled onions, PROVOLONE (emphasis added for u know who) and cider slaw $8
(Happy hour food specials not listed)