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To elaborate

November 29, 2006

  1. Went to Peter Luger for Thanksgiving. It was killer.

Peter Luger

178 Broadway, Brooklyn, New York.
Cash only.
Reservations required. 718/387-7400.
JMZ train to Marcy Avenue.
Expensive (steak for two is $80).

Opened in 1887 and serving continuously since, the wooden, well-worn Peter Luger in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is for many the ne plus ultra of steakhouses. And for good reason: in an age where nothing old is good enough, Peter Luger sticks admirably to its guns, serving a limited (though indulgent) menu of dry-aged (in-house) porterhouse steaks, potato hash, appetizers of thick-cut onion, tomato, and bacon, and rich desserts, all served with a side of “schlag,” or homemade whipped cream, which refuses to melt even in coffee. (Not to mention the gratis Luger-branded gold gelt.)

Though the steaks (ordered for two, three, four, and so on) are without equal—served family-style by the professional waiters, who spoon pan drippings over the meat as they place it on your plate—the bacon (ordered by the slice; don’t get more than one per person) is more of a revelation, given that many restaurant-goers are used to fine, well-aged steak, though perhaps not so much quality bacon. These are no Oscar Mayer strips, limp and curled-up: rather they’re thick (almost a half-inch) rashers that lay flat on your plate, with charred edges and a blend of crunchiness and tenderness; they taste like no other bacon you’ve ever had, with a complex, rich, smoky flavor.

On the service side, much has been written about the supposed brusque nature of the wait staff (all men) at Luger’s. It’s true, the waiters are all business, and will not indulge in, say, a smiling recitation of the day’s specials (there are none). But that’s a refreshing change from most restaurants these days; at Luger’s you feel as if you’re in the hands of a professional, which in fact you are. The two times I’ve been to Luger’s, most recently with my father, our waiter was no-nonsense but charming in an old-world way. I highly recommend them, and the place.

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