I hadn't been to this place in at least five years, and last time I was there, it had unimpressive meat and seemed to be on its last, half-empty legs.
Well, tonight some friends who really like the place (or, I should say, *used* to really like the place) took us there for dinner.
I was absolutely shocked at how packed it was (I guess the meat district nightlife has given it a new popularity); table after table seemed to either be celebrating a birthday party or a bachelor party.
Without wasting a lot of time on this review, let's just cut to what counts in a steakhouse, which is the meat: beautiful looking, giant-sized in all dimensions, beautifully cooked...
.and of mediocre supermarket quality in flavor and texture. (And this is based on a wide selection of cuts, as our party of five had prime rib, filet mignon, porterhouse and [for me] their "signature" rib steak.
What amazes me is that this place (like all the well-known Manhattan steakhouses) charges as much as or more than Lugers, and yet none of them can hold a candle to the flavor and quality of Luger's meat (although at least Ben & Jacks and Wolfgang's seem to be able to match the texture/tenderness). If you're spending Luger-sized money, the only excuse for eating a steak anywhere but Luger's is if you can't get a Lugers reservation, or you don't want to deal with the time and cost of the trip to get there. Hell, I'd rather buy a steak at Lobell's (which is also priced like Luger's, but actually *is* of Luger's quality) and cook the damn thing at home (and, by the way, I say that despite the fact that I'm a terrible cook!).
All right, that's the end of my rant; thanks for reading it.