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Mr. Johns Steakhouse

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My family went to Mr. Johns Saturday night before the Saints game. Best steak in the City. Went to Peter Luger before the Jets game. No comparison. Mr. Johns was much better food and service. The Cowboy cut is one of the best steaks around. The Crystal onion rings are wonderful. Recommend highly.

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  1. Glad to hear Mr John delivered. I've had good stuff there on recent trips....It is hard to imagine, though, that it could be better that Luger's, I;ve had disappointing steaks at Luger's but it is, I think, only because their standard is so high. None of the disappointing steaks were BAD, they just were not "Luger;s" And those lapses were very few,

    I asked Mr John's to do a steak in the manner of the late Christ Cella...in its heyday THE finest chop house in New York. I admit they did a helluva good job although the meat was not of the quality we'd had in NY back then.

    It is a tough job to run a chop house when the customers don't know what the differences are in meat grades. Takes a lot of money to stock the kitchen and if you only have ten customers who know the difference, well, you'll lose a lot to spoilage,

    I'm so very glad to hear you had a good time at Mr J.....we need to support people who are Doing The Lord's Work.

    1. I was not impressed with Mr. John's. I moved to New Orleans from the northeast to work as a sous chef for one of the bigger names in town. All of the top brass and chefs of this organization could not stop fawning about how wonderful Mr. John's is -- I did not find this to be true, although this critique is based off of only one visit. One of the steaks at the table came out overcooked. The plates were SO hot that I could literally watch my steak cook up on the plate -- mid-rare when I cut in to it, mid-well a few minutes later. The steaks all lacked the characteristic steakhouse crust that one would see at Palm, Luger's, Smith & Wollensky, etc. I found the sides to be extremely underwhelming in terms of flavor and seasoning. I have come to accept -- unfortunately -- that NO is a town where I can get a great steak like I can in the places I've lived previously like NYC, Philly, Boston, etc.

      5 Replies
      1. re: BewilderedLineCook

        It is a matter of relativity and you have to get used to it. I don't think most steaks are what they were pre 1970's when the grading standards changed. Luger does a good job though and comes close but I'd practically kill to have a Chirst Cella strip again. And although I used ot have a personal connection with meat suppliers in the Commonwealth I do ot recall Boston having a sit-up-and-take-notice steak although LOcke-Ober was certainly not shabby

        We're all awre of selling the sizzle and you are right, it gets out of hand. I have a friend here who plays with cattle for fun and we are trying to get together on a steer. He wants to age 21 days, citing diminishing returns thereafter but I want to go up to 35 days on my portion. Problem nowadays is that restaurants do not have enough customers to justify the expense of those sides exposed to such a long "controlled rot" as a meat inspector once called it.

        1. re: BewilderedLineCook

          I actually like the sides at MJ. I think they're better than the versions produced at sister restaurant Desi Vega's.

          I haven't been to the places you mentioned, what is this crust? is it char? I don't really care for backyard bbq charing, but not sure if that's how you mean.

          1. re: kibbles

            I don't know about Smith & Wollensky: I never a patronized them because (A) their NY shop took over from a much loved joint;(B) the name isbaloney and was invented out of whole cloth and is therefore a "restauarant concept;" and (C) they put "Sine 1977"over the door the day they opened. This is BS..you don't put "since" anything until you've been there fifty years. So even though it might be good I won't be played for a fool.

            I think, though, that the char refered to is the old style NYC chop house version, flaky, cripy black on the outside nd cold in the center. They used to make little automat-size ovens that blasted all sides like a crematorium God know how many BTUs in those things but they did a great job.

            1. re: hazelhurst

              interesting. Chophouse and R'ev both offer "Pittsburgh-style" with a charred exterior and cold center...sounds like that.

              1. re: kibbles

                Yes, "Pittsburg style" has been a popular term for the idea--although I have rarely seen it pulled off as well as NYC did it in the old days. Another term is "black-and-blue" or "Indian Black-and-blue" or even "Indian style." If ever there were distinctions in these terms I don't know about it. If there are enough BTUs in the kitchen, I can sometimes get them to brush the outside with an oil/butter wash and burn hell out if it. Then have garlic butter poured over it and stick it in the oven in an iron skillet to finish..Whole thing takes maybe eight minutes with a steak 2.5" thick. Good mushrooms and onion also help a lot but you can tinker with those as you wish. Sometimes the garlic is enough for me. And lemon, of course.