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Anything like Steak & Ale left in Dallas metro?

hohokam Jun 17, 2013 08:03 PM

My parents have lived in the Metroplex for 45 years, and about the only "fancy" place they ever liked was Steak & Ale. With Steak & Ale's not-so-recent demise, they were left without what was for them about the only special occasion restaurant in town (Dunston's being a distant second).

Anyway, they have a big anniversary coming up this summer, and I'd like to take them out to eat. But I'm at a loss as to where to go. In terms of food, their tastes tend to run more in the direction of Outback than that of Stephen Pyles, and they have never been folks who set the table with more than one kind of fork per person. In case it's of any help, their favorite place to eat in the Phoenix area has been Black Angus steakhouse.

So, I guess I'm I'm looking for recommendations for "nice" places that (a) aren't too loud, (b) have something for steak-and-potatoes tastes, and (c) aren't too fussy. This meal is definitely more about my parents than it is about me, so interesting menu options are not as important to me as they would be if I were dining solo or my food friends. That said, I really would like to find a place where the food, even if it's staid, is well prepared.

Thanks!

  1. hohokam Aug 29, 2013 06:12 PM

    Reporting back folks:

    Well, in a flash of sanity, I decided to let my dad pick the venue for the dinner, and as it turns out, twinwillow hit it right on the nose in the first reply to my original post.

    Dad's choice was Saltgrass, which I think he picked partly because, you know, steak and partly because it wasn't as far away as some other options.

    The food wasn't amazing, but it wasn't bad either. Their mid-century mid-America side salad isn't really my thing, and the jus that came with my prime rib was obviously bouillon-enhanced; however, with the salad being nice and fresh (tomatoes had a tomato flavor!) and the jus being served on the side, I couldn't complain too much about those things.

    A few of us ordered the "seasonal vegetables" (green beans, sliced carrots, and broccoli) as our side dish, which to our surprise were perfectly prepared and flavorful. The portion was on the skimpy side leaving me wanting more, but you know, steak.

    The other highlight of the meal was the peach-blueberry "cobbler", which was more of a deep dish tart/shallow dish pie. It was pretty tasty, but as we quickly found out (to our bellies anyway), this seemed like a dessert to be shared among 3 or 4 people. If you like pie for breakfast like I do, this is not necessarily a bad thing. :-)

    We weren't crazy about our especial ("ee speshul") margaritas which tasted of mix and sugar and not much else, but when you go to Saltgrass, you're there because, you know, steak.

    Thanks to you all for your thoughtful suggestions, which I will definitely keep in mind for future visits.

    1. s
      susyquk Jul 26, 2013 07:07 AM

      That will be during restaurant "week". I had a similar thing with my inlaws last year and we took them to Pappas. While it is extremely nice it is also just very low key and comfortable with fantastic service and a great atmosphere. During restaurant week their fixed price menu is $45 per person this year.

      For my inlaws (knowing they would fight on me picking up the tab) I went in the day before we went for dinner and paid in advance for the 4 meals (since it was fixed price that was easy) and another $100 towards drinks (which would cover 8 cocktails or a bottle or two of wine) and a tip.. when the check came they had taken off all of that and the actual check was only $30 ... when my inlaws insisted, as i knew they would, on picking up the check they only had that to pay and couldn't change the rest :D

      1 Reply
      1. re: susyquk
        hohokam Jul 26, 2013 04:10 PM

        Ooh. Very clever!

        I would probably want to see if I could arrange to pre-pay part of the bill for non-prix fixe meals.

        Thanks for the idea!

      2. m
        Mike C. Miller Jul 1, 2013 04:47 PM

        I had a law partner that was of an age that he could have had a 50th anniversary. He like somewhat formal settings, but not belt-busting prices and was quite fond of Lawry's. I thought that the food was decent enough, but a bit bland and predictable (both of which he viewed as positives). Sounds like that might appeal to your folks.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Mike C. Miller
          hohokam Jul 1, 2013 06:07 PM

          Given the group, I think somewhat formal (but not fussy) with bland predictable food is exactly what I need to aim for. So far, it's looking like I will have a few options, Lawry's being one of them, which is a welcome relief.

          1. re: hohokam
            twinwillow Jul 1, 2013 07:00 PM

            I think Lawry's will be perfect. We love it. Trouble is, we don't go often enough.

            My favorite cut is the "English cut". Instead of a huge hunk of meat, you get three thin delicious slices of prime rib that are very tender and, you're not having to chew a huge piece of prime rib in your mouth. Enjoy!

        2. LewisvilleHounder Jun 19, 2013 01:26 PM

          Where in the metroplex do you/your parents live? Some steakhouses in the outer suburbs fit your description but I don't want to give you a steakhouse in SW Ft Worth if you live in McKinney

          1 Reply
          1. re: LewisvilleHounder
            hohokam Jun 19, 2013 03:25 PM

            We would be coming from the west side of Irving.

          2. s
            swoll50 Jun 18, 2013 07:06 PM

            Is Wills Point too far of a drive? Four Winds is great, closer to Steak & Ale in price than it is to Bob's and the view is nice.

            1 Reply
            1. re: swoll50
              hohokam Jun 19, 2013 10:52 AM

              Looks nice, but a 125-mile round trip for a dinner outing would probably be a bit too much of a haul for our group. If there's any movement toward doing something out that way earlier in the day, I'll be sure that Four Winds gets some consideration.

            2. f
              foiegras Jun 18, 2013 04:39 PM

              Pappas Bros. is excellent. I wouldn't say it's like Steak & Ale, but it is some good steak. They have some interesting options (like great black bean soup topped with diced bacon), but not much that would freak out the faint of heart. Good, straight-forward food & they're not stingy with it (nor should they be as it's not cheap).

              Btw, depending on when their anniversary is, you might be able to go during extended Restaurant Week, when it's a great deal as well. Believe they always do the Central Market course.

              5 Replies
              1. re: foiegras
                hohokam Jun 19, 2013 10:44 AM

                Pappas Bros. actually looks like the kind of place I would go to if I were more of a steakhouse person. It might, however, be bumping up against the limits of what my parents would be comfortable with in terms of swankiness and price. Two months out, and I'm already working on how to minimize the scene that will inevitably be made when I pick up the check for this dinner. ;-)

                Anyway, that's definitely one for me to keep in mind for future DFW visits.

                1. re: hohokam
                  f
                  foiegras Jun 19, 2013 10:52 AM

                  When is their anniversary? I believe what is really Restaurant Month runs from tail end of July through Labor Day weekend. My recollection is that Pappas Bros. has a generous extension. RW is $35/person--which is basically the cost of the filet when it's not RW.

                  1. re: foiegras
                    hohokam Jun 19, 2013 10:58 AM

                    The dinner will most likely be on the 24th or 25th of August. I guess I need to make a habit of checking the various online presences (ugh, what a weird word) for DFW RW. From what I can tell, they're still working on finalizing the line-up.

                    Thanks for the tip!

                    1. re: hohokam
                      f
                      foiegras Jun 19, 2013 02:10 PM

                      You're welcome. It's true that this year's lineup isn't out yet, but Pappas Bros. is a regular participant. I think their menu last year hadn't changed at all from the year before ...

                      1. re: hohokam
                        b
                        berlin Jul 1, 2013 02:08 PM

                        We celebrated my parents 50th at Lawry's and it was perfectly perfect. I stopped by earlier that afternoon and dropped off a floral centerpiece for our table and they really took great care of us. You just couldn't do better that Lawry's, and yes, the food was great....

                2. p
                  Plano Rose Jun 18, 2013 12:46 PM

                  Sevy's, Chamberlain's and Chamberlain's Seafood. A little more special than a chain.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Plano Rose
                    hohokam Jun 19, 2013 10:38 AM

                    Thanks for the Sevy's tip. I'll look into that. So far, it looks like Chamberlain's is in the lead. :-)

                    1. re: hohokam
                      p
                      Plano Rose Jun 20, 2013 08:01 AM

                      Also, please check out Chamberlain's Seafood. It has a nice unpretentious atmosphere. They have steak options that are also good.

                  2. twinwillow Jun 17, 2013 08:47 PM

                    I would recommend Texas Land & Cattle, Hoffbrau Steaks, or Saltgrass Steakhouse.
                    http://www.texaslandandcattle.com/files/home.aspx
                    http://hoffbrausteaks.com/
                    http://www.saltgrass.com/

                    Any of the above should suffice for what you're looking for. Each have multiple locations and are a heck of a lot better than Dunston's.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: twinwillow
                      m
                      mjtx Jun 18, 2013 06:04 AM

                      The Hofbrau Steaks North Dallas location just closed.

                      1. re: mjtx
                        twinwillow Jun 18, 2013 10:15 AM

                        The Hoffbrau Steaks in the Dallas West End on Market Street is still open.

                      2. re: twinwillow
                        hohokam Jun 18, 2013 10:23 AM

                        During a bout of insomnia last night, I checked out the websites and menus for those places along with some others.

                        It looks like Lawry's and Chamberlain's might offer the kind of menu and vibe I'm looking for, as opposed to the somewhat more casual atmosphere of a place like Hoffbrau.

                        Those suggestions definitely provided me with a good jumping-off point for refining the search. If folks have other ideas, please continue to toss them out there.

                        Thanks again!

                        1. re: hohokam
                          twinwillow Jun 18, 2013 12:36 PM

                          Lawry's and Chambelin's are both excellent.

                          However, based on your topic, I got the idea you were wanting someplace more "downscale".

                          The places I recommended are definitely more of the Steak & Ale genre.

                          1. re: twinwillow
                            hohokam Jun 18, 2013 12:49 PM

                            OK. I was just going off the online pictures and menus. Hoffbrau's site (I think) showed a server wearing a logo t-shirt and jeans, which didn't square with my admittedly hazy memories of our visits to Steak & Ale back in the 80s.

                          2. re: hohokam
                            p
                            Plano Rose Jun 18, 2013 12:41 PM

                            We're probably in similar circumstances to your parents. We will soon be having our 55th. The places I would suggest are

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