RKaplan's Profile

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Steakhouse at hotel or near [San Francisco]

And if had worked late and wanted a steak right after work without needing to cross town for it, I would happily go to Alfred's. One of the best Oysters Rockefeller in town, the bone-in ribeye with chimichurri sauce, and, always, the ravioli side order. For a change, the bistecca alla fiorentina. One time, the meat a little less than excellent. Every other time, wonderful.

But there's just something about Harris'. Maybe they use those super-high heat grills to get a better sear on the meat, I don't know. It's just better. I still say that the first tomahawk chop I had at Alexander's is the best steak and quite possibly the best meal I ever ate in my life, but as stated by many, Alexander's is not a traditional steakhouse. If someone asked me about a steakhouse in SF, I'd MENTION Alexander's as a possible ALTERNATIVE, and it would probably be the first restaurant on the list if someone just asked me for a recommendation for a great, memorable meal in the Bay Area, price no object. But for a pure, traditional steakhouse, I still say Harris' is the best that the Bay Area has to offer.

I have never eaten at the many new high-end steakhouses that have sprung up in NY and Las Vegas and LA, so I'm sure there may be better new places out there. If you had asked me a few years back what the best I ever had anywhere was, I would have said Ben Benson's in NY, but it's gone now. I guess that would leave Gene and Georgetti's back in the old hometown Chicago, Pappas Brothers in Dallas, and Vlado's in Richmond, a suburb of Melbourne (Victoria, not Florida).

Steakhouse at hotel or near [San Francisco]

I used to work at 555 Montgomery, around the corner from Bob's. I tried it twice and I was pretty appalled by the food.

I think Alexander's is one of the best restaurants in the world - but it is anything but a traditional steakhouse. I can't imagine anyone being disappointed by dining at Alexander's, but if you want a traditional steakhouse, in SF I would choose Harris, on the Peninsula Izzy's, in the East Bay Vic Stewart's, and in the South Bay Forbes Mill.

Top 10 Hot Dog Lies (in no particular order)

It was about a hundred years ago, but I once ran a hot dog restaurant (Hot Diggity Dog on M Street in Georgetown, long gone). Back in the late 1970s, in less than a year, we sold a million dollars worth of "gourmet" hot dogs. The original owner, Jason Wolin, did spend a lot of time tasting and searching for a hot dog to use, but he never considered making it himself. He finally settled on a 100% beef kosher dog from Samuel Sandler Kosher Sausage Manufacturing Co. in Philadelphia (closed sometime in the 1980's, I think). Our "gourmet" image was based on the quality of the dog and the toppings. It was a very good garlicky hot dog with a snappy casing. I have found that the Boar's Head hot dog tastes quite similar, if my memory is correct. As far as toppings went, we did make our chili from scratch, in house, although we did use good quality canned beans in the recipe. I was told that the recipe came from Jimmy's, a Capitol Hill diner/lunch counter spot known for its chili, its submarine sandwiches, and the fact that it was a favorite haunt of Justice William O. Douglas, who often took his clerks and staff there for lunch on Saturdays. Wolin, after he sold HDD, opened a French-inspired white tablecloth restaurant, 209 1/2, in the Jimmy's space, and went on to open a slew of restaurants over the years, only to retire into the real estate business. The most "gourmet" hot dog I can recall from the HDD lineup was the "Julia Child" - a dog on a steamed poppy seed bun with Dijon mustard, chopped raw onion, sliced raw mushrooms, topped with Swiss cheese and a slice of tomato, broiled briefly under a salamander. Perhaps unusual for the time, but hardly outre in a culinary sense. Although it was a big seller, I did not like the combination.

I think hotdoglover has compiled a brilliant list, and I wholly agree with his points.

Jun 28, 2013
RKaplan in General Topics

Good Eats in Santa Clara?

I know this is an old thread but it came up on top when I logged in, so I suppose others who live in Santa Clara or who are asking about it still see it. So, sadly, I am replying to report that the Line Shack has been closed for nearly two years at this writing (June 2013). I have mixed feelings about the place, but The Smoking Pig on North 4th St. in San Jose seems to be very well regarded as a possible BBQ substitute. A little bit farther away from the OP's location is Sam's Grill on Bascom, between the Valley Medical Center and the Pruneyard, highly recommended, also live music leaning toward Dixieland most of the time. SC/South Bay BBQ to avoid: Andy's Barbecue, Dickey's, Famous Dave's, J C's. Henry's Hi-Life has been popular for years, and while I enjoyed my meals there (despite horrific noise levels and overcrowding), everything tasted like it had been made in an oven and then slathered with (admittedly good) barbecue sauce. Not really barbecue. I never include Asian or Hawaiian places because I regard them as wholly different cuisines.

Where to find Wright Steak-Cut Bacon in South Bay

I saw this item at Wal-Mart only in the week that it was rolled out, some months ago. Does anyone know where it can be purchased?