National steakhouse month
June 21st, 2013
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Get ready for the sizzle. June is National Steakhouse Month!

Look up any steakhouse worth its chops and it will likely have a history section on its website. That’s because a lot what they’re selling is just that – history, a legacy, a tradition.

Take, for example, Delmonico’s restaurant in New York City. The place prides itself on the house specialty – the Delmonico steak, and claims to be the oldest fine dining establishment in the country.

New York really set the tone for steakhouses nation wide. Before there was Morton’s in Chicago or Ruth’s Chris in New Orleans, there was Keens Steakhouse (1855), Peter Luger Steakhouse (1887) and the steakhouse at The Palm (1926), all in New York.

Great steakhouses will pride themselves on butchering their own meat, and take the time to tell you how they age their steaks. The traditional method is dry aging, where the meat is stored in a well-ventilated refrigerator. Modern establishments might vacuum-pack their meat and ‘wet’-age it. Both will swear their method is the best.

Beyond perfectly cooked hunks of meat, steakhouses sell an experience. They sell comfort. Most steakhouses haven’t changed their menus in decades – they’re selling a slice of history.

You could still order shrimp cocktail to start, and glazed carrots and a baked potato to go with your ribeye. Your server will likely be a man (and in some places a woman) wearing black pants, a white shirt and a long white apron. Carpet will cover the floor and leather and wood will cover most of the other surfaces. It’ll likely smell of meat, potatoes and a hint of cigars smoked many decades ago.

Going to a steakhouse in an experience, and you pay for that. They’re not cheap to dine in, but chance are you’ll leave with a full belly and a happy smile on your face. And there’s nothing better than a post-steakhouse nap.

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Filed under: Breakfast Buffet • Classic • Food Holidays • News • Restaurants • Steakhouse

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