So I recently went to dinner at Luger's and figured I'd give my take on it. Originally had a 9:45pm reservation for 2 on a recent Monday evening. Luger's called me about a week in advance, told me they were canceling that time slot, and offering me an 8:45pm reservation instead. I accepted it as my date would have preferred to eat a little earlier than 9:45. We showed up at about 8:30pm and were seated right away in the 1st floor dining room to the right, after the bar.
Service was quick and prompt enough. Waiter asked us if we needed menus (standard Lugers protocol) and we said "yes". It was my date's first time and I wanted to give her the courtesy of at least viewing the menu, even if I had already pre-determined the courses as I knew she would not object. The waiter suggested the following courses: tomato & onion appetizer, slice of bacon each, porterhouse for 2, sides of creamed spinach and german-style potatoes. Excellent: precisely what I would have ordered, except for the potatoes. I think either we said, or the waiter sensed, we were not regulars and adopted a "take-charge" mode, which was fine. I had no ego tussle with him. His service throughout dinner was efficient, and cordial. Definitely not slow-paced or over-friendly. Nor was he brusque or rude. Knowing Luger's reputation, I would have been crazy to expect the waiter to overly cater. While waiting for our food, I told my date a little about Luger's, its reputation, its critics and its defenders' views.
Here's a rundown of the food quality:
Dinner rolls: not heated; mediocre at best. Save your stomach.
Tomato and Onion: very good, as expected, with the Luger's sauce.
Bacon: below-average. Definitely not as good (thick, juicy) as I remembered. This was disappointing.
Porterhouse for 2: perfectly medium-rare, as requested. (I'm a rib-eye guy, but at Luger's, I order porterhouse b/c I know that's their signature.) I can hardly fathom another steakhouse doing it better. I used the sauce very sparingly, preferring to savor its own flavor.
Creamed spinach: superb. Seriously. I usually order this as a steakhouse side, but even I was shocked at how good it was. Perfectly balanced b/w creaminess and spinach-iness. Even better than I remembered.
German-style potatoes: mediocre. My local coffeehouse's home fries are as good or better.
Chocolate mousse cake with schlag (cream): good, (my date's choice; I personally couldn't care for c mousse.) Schlag was excellent.
German-style coffee: good. Had brandy. haha, didn't know - live and learn.
We were the last table left. Felt just a teensy weensy bit rushed at the end. It wasn't all that late, (forgot the time), but I guess that's their schedule. That's why they canceled the 9:45 slot. We closed out the dining room.
Bill was $195 (including 20% tip). I had, during dinner, openly complimented the food to the waiter. After dinner, out of earshot of my date, I discreetly mentioned to him that I thought the bacon was sub-par. He said it depends on the cut. Next time, I'll be sure to ask him in advance, so at least he's aware that I know how good it can be, and when it's not.
So, after this, I have reaffirmed my belief and opinion that Brooklyn Luger's is indeed worth the trip. I will maintain my opinion and advice to others: if you are debating whether to go, go and try it for yourself, b/c then you won't be guessing or listening to others' opinions. And if you were to choose b/w Brooklyn or Great Neck Luger's, choose Brooklyn.
Oh, it's not just cash only, they also take debit.
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