Welcome to Brooklyn’s bustling steakhouse – Peter Luger’s.
The steakhouse’s photo gallery has pictures of the restaurant when it is vacant, but no, that is not Peter Luger. What the restaurant truly sells is not just the giant slabs of bone-in meat, it is also the ambiance, the warm and gruff servers, the laughter, the clinking of glasses, and the slightly charred smell of steak. A full-blown blast for the five senses! As if throwing a homecoming celebration and feast for warriors, the calorie-rich food and bottomless beer truly epitomize the steakhouse. This is Luger’s!
Even at 8:45PM (it was the only availability they had), the restaurant was packed from wall to wall. I had to push through the crowd just to notify the maître d’ at the end of the hallway. Dressed in a baggy old-fashion grey suit, he appeared quite indifferent to accept our party of three. If I had to work till midnight, I probably wouldn’t care less for more customers either.
After being seated, a friendly, middle-aged waiter quickly brought us some steamy bread. The assortment of baguettes and rolls looked particularly delicious and taunting on an empty stomach. However, I must advise you, fellow warrior, these carbs are up to no good; they will fill you up too soon for your main course – steak! Knowing the limits of my small stomach, I decided to split one of the rolls with my mom. Before I realized it, I got a mouthful of onions! As it turned out, these were Peter Luger’s famous onion rolls. Though savoury and satisfying, the rolls and baguettes were too dry and lacklustre. One does not go to Paris for the Chinese food, eh?
Their supposedly “famous steak sauce” is not actually compatible with steak. Made with luscious tomatoes and sweet onions, the sauce overwhelms the subtle earthy taste of aged steak with its excessive sweetness. Though perfectly suited to the dry bread, it reminded me of ordinary and cheaply made canned pasta sauce. As the renowned steakhouse lost its first battle against my critical tastes, I considered Luger’s one-star rating with mild disappointment.
Porterhouse Steak for Two (USDA Prime Beef)
Now we’re talking.
I heard the steak coming my way before I even saw it. Hissing like an angry fighter entering the fray, the steak sizzled and crackled with ferocity. It didn’t look appealing or beautiful. Seared on the top and reminiscent of a seasoned warrior’s scars, it glowed red on the inside as though it were burning with the heart of a lion.
The top of the steak had a faint char that worked together with the slight bloodiness of the medium-rare interior. Like the traditional pairing of sword and shield, the crispy and somewhat bitter top added a piercing kick, while the soft, nutty interior provided a well-rounded richness. I knew it was done right as the steak retained the sweetness of meat from professional dry-aging. Look at their sacred vault for aging meat!
The steak on its own was great, but combined with the butter and oil underneath the meat? They became absolutely heart-stopping. The two coalesced into one giant, fearsome beast, and conquered my taste buds the instant they infiltrated my fortress. They had won me over. Bite after bite, I basked in the glory of this porterhouse steak. Ah, steak is to Peter Luger’s as Achilles is to Greece!
Luger’s Special German Fried Potatoes (on the top right)
Other dishes were not so exceptional. Too oily, too dry, too much. The potatoes were over cooked and too salty, and did not bring out the flavour of the steak; they merely impeded the wonderful meat. As though to contrast the greatness of the steak, the sides were disappointing like simple, boring minions.
But the steak was good. Mmhmm.
Key Lime Pie
I would say the key lime pie was very welcoming with its tangy combination of sweet and sour. Fruity sourness combatted the rich oiliness of the steak, as if it were the final thirst-quenching cup of wine. It left us refreshed and rejuvenated. Though not particularly noteworthy on its own, the pie was charming and soothing against the rough battle with the steak.
If the steak was Achilles the demi-god, then the waiters must be god-serving humans. Many of the waiters have worked there for years—some over twenty years, some their entire lifetime. From their fired up attitudes you can see how much they love their jobs. Not one single server appeared bored or reluctant! They also enjoy joking and playing around with their customers, and laughter often arises from blunt, humorous conversations with them. If I may say so, the servers give added bonus to the steaks by creating a lively atmosphere that suits such a feast.
Peter Luger’s Steakhouse, Brooklyn https://peterluger.com/
Peter Luger’s has got another victory under its belt. The battle was not easy though; the side dishes were frankly nothing close to what a one-star restaurant should serve. A customer whose diet mainly consists of oily and salty food would probably appreciate their sides more than me. However, the steak vanquished all of my presumptions. With my new-found position as a bard, this post is my song to further glorify the porterhouse steak. Regional: 8.5/10; Worldwide: 8.5/10.