Dinner at Koa’s was really insane, in terms of the view.
We were seated in the corner overlooking that ocean just before sunset. Check out some of these pics I grabbed as the sun was going down throughout our meal:
The meal itself was pretty good too. We started by sharing a hearts of palm salad. I was somewhat expecting a non-leafy greens salad, and something more along the lines of just hearts of palm, some kind of vinegar dressing with onions and cucumbers and shit. But it was green, as one might expect upon hearing the word “salad.” It was good. It had a nice citrus-based dressing, and all the shit was fresh and bright.
I had the coconut curry grilled mahi maui. It was a bit is mall, but it tasted really nice, and the fish had a good crisp to the texture. Unfortunately it was a slight bit dry.
My wife got the winning dish here: kind crab legs and steak.
The meat was decent – sirloin. I’ve had better. Probably not on par with the aged, prime meats I am used to, but it certainly gained traction with the absolutely delicious king crab legs. Awesome.
Service here was excellent, and the atmosphere makes all the difference in terms of your dining experience. The host, John offered to take pics of guests near our table since it had the best view in the house. Here my favorite shot that he took of us:
I picked up a Groupon for this joint recently: $16 for two burgers, two fries and two shakes. They were out of shakes, so they gave us beer and wine instead. Not bad!
So this place stands out as one of the better burgers that I’ve had recently and the reason is because of two things: (1) ratio of bread to meat to toppings, and (2) the potato roll. We tried the applewood bacon cheddar burger with grilled onions, and the Dag burger with lettuce, tomato, onion and American (fuck yeah) cheese. Both were wonderful.
For point number one, regarding ratios, I implore you to look at the cross-section of the burger. Look at it. Not too much bun. Meat is a decent thickness, but not so thick that you have to unhinge your fucking jaw. Just a couple of basic toppings so you aren’t stacking up shit on top of shit and building a skyscraper.
As for point number two, the potato roll holds up to intense scrutiny like no other. It is strong, yet soft. It is flavorful and it absorbs juices. It is magical.
As I was browsing the menu a few other items caught my eye. Typically I will try a Chicago dog before any other hot dog menu item (Chicago beats New York on hot dogs, but New York beats Chicago on pizza). However I was enticed by the Dag dog, so I gave that a try.
The Dag dog was essentially the same as the bacon, cheddar and grilled onion burger but in dog form. It was nice. Not too sloppy, as a Chicago dog can sometimes be. They also split the dog and griddled it up nice on the flat top.
The fries were nice too. A thicker style but not quite steak fries. Nicely crisped on the outside and soft inside. A good sized portion too. The overhead pic from above shows the accurate portion size pre-gorging. The pic below was taken after I attacked those shits for a few minutes, dipping them in the Sri Racha ketchup and Tabasco mayo that I masterfully mixed up at their fixin’s bar.
DAG’S PATIO CAFE
342 E. 47th St.
New York, NY 10017
I’ve been eyeballing this place for a while since I work nearby. I’ve been here before for some happy hour staples like $5 nachos (big), $5 sliders (4 of them), and $4 beers (Yeungling). Today I was determined to try the burger out.
I started with an order of salt and pepper onion rings.
These things were excellent – perfectly crispy, no grease, and a really nice horseradish dipping sauce that I ended up using for my fries as well.
Speaking of which, the fries were nice and golden brown, natural skin-on slices, crispy, and well seasoned.
As for the burger, it was a good size. A little sunder-seasoned, and it had an odd flavor profile to it. At first I thought it was maybe aged, or perhaps they gave me bison instead of beef. But it wasn’t a gamey flavor. Not sure how to describe it other than different. not necessarily BAD; just unexpected, perhaps?
Anyway – it was nice and patriotic with the flag toothpick. It came with bacon, cheddar, grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles and raw onion. Check the cut:
The pic makes it look a little overdone, but it was a proper medium.
Another thing I like about tho splice is the dish of pickles they give at the bar. Half sours, bright green, thick slices, very delicious. I put these on my burger instead of the bread and butters that came on my plate.
For dessert we did some ice cream and cookies. One cookie was chocolate chip, the other was chocolate chocolate chip. Nice and simple, but good.
Lastly, here’s a shot of my friend’s vagina meal – grilled chicken with guac on a whole wheat bun. Looks good; just like a wet snatch.
Anyhow – keep an eye out for a proper steakhouse review of this place, as I plan to come back soon and try their 14oz rib eye, along with a salad and dessert for just $29 (ask for the theater menu). Great fucking deal, if you ask me!
My wife and I came in for the “theater menu” deal: $29 (now $35) for three courses. Not a bad price. Check the verdict below.
My first bite of the beef rib eye was a nine, but it went downhill from there. The steak was nicely cooked and all, but the meat was a bit tough, a bit over-salted and wet. When I say wet, I mean there were small puddles of grease on the top of the steak. Also when I say tough, I mean the grain of the meat was tight and a little difficult to chew. While it did have a decent flavor, I had to drop the score because of these things. There was also a good deal of gristle on the cut, and a shitload of bleed-out once I got down on it. If it weren’t for that and the gristle I might have scored this a seven.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 7
Here, they do not offer a porterhouse, and no cuts large enough for two. there is a filet, a NY strip, a rib eye, and a “steak frites” strip, which they say is a center cut strip. There is only one size of each offering, though to their credit they do offer each as a choice of either beef or bison. If it weren’t for that diversity of choice, I might have dropped this to a five or six. Speaking of choice, I think that’s what they’re rocking here in terms of quality.
Portion Size & Plating: 8
For the price, the portions are pretty good. If I had to guess I’d say my steak was 12-14oz. The soup was a good size, as was the salad and other items for the theater menu pricing. Very fair considering this joint is nestled in the heart of skyrocket rent central.
If you’re not a food snob or a steak expert, this place is perfect for casual dining. The prices are super fair. For six courses and two espressos the bill came to $86 with tax and tip included.
The bar here is a blast. They have a great happy hour menu with good drink specials and snack food. You can’t people-watch so well into the street, but it is definitely a lively and fun place to go after work. I’d certainly come here for the happy hour often. In fact I’ve done so twice before; good nachos and sliders, excellent onion rings, great free pickle slices, and cheap draft beer. If you never come here for steak, that’d be fine, as long as you stop in once for the happy hour. Grab a pint and some sliders or nachos and you will be satisfied. In fact, that is my firm recommendation to anyone thinking of coming here: stick to the bar.
Specials and Other Meats: 7
There’s really just chicken and ribs, aside from the bison and beef. And there are no specials, as the menu is pretty much more like an elevated and refined Outback or Fridays type of deal.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 6
My salad was really basic: romaine, croutons and dressing. Not much else to say about it.
The New England clam chowder was nice and thick, and quite flavorful. Almost kind of like a sauce… which got me thinking… New England Clam Chowder Spaghetti… Look out for a recipe one of these days…
Desserts were pretty basic, and in retrospect I think the “adult shakes” are probably the most appealing thing in the dessert department.
I had a fudge brownie sundae (one of two options on the theater menu). The brownie was a little hard but the ice cream was good (because it is made by Haagen Dazs).
My wife had the cheesecake. Pretty good actually, except for the berry sauce on it that had a sort of processed, “from a squeeze bottle” kind of flavor to it.
Seafood Selection: 6
There’s a cedar plank salmon on the theater menu, which looked nice, but my wife went with the crab cakes. These were actually really nice. A little crisp texture on the outside, good quality lump crab meat, and the addition of guacamole made for a really refreshing bite. They also offer trout and a catch of the day, but no shellfish, raw items or anything like that.
Service was fine. It did feel a little rushed, like our guy wanted to take our plates early with each course. Also the hot sauce was snatched from our table without asking if we were still using it. Bummer, because I was using it with my fries.
I actually like the feel of this place. It’s warm and inviting, there is always a decent crowd of people having a good time, and the walls have bison heads on them. Love it.
TED’S MONTANA GRILL
110 W. 51st St.
New York, NY 10020
Flavor: 9 (downgraded to 8 after subsequent visits)
True to the Del Frisco’s brand, the steaks here really pack a donkey-punch of flavor. I went with the standard rib eye, which is boneless and comes in at around 16oz. of crisped goodness. It was cooked perfectly, had tons of soft, flavorful, edible fat, and it was juicy. The only down side was that it was a bit on the thin side for my liking. About one inch thick… I mean thin… What am I at fucking Applebees? But hey – it WAS delicious. And I was actually surprised they were able to get a good sear and crust on it without overcooking. Impressive skills from the chef. My wife had a trio of filets (on special). Each was wrapped in applewood smoked bacon and then topped; one was Oscar style (crab meat + Hollandaise), one was mushroom & red wine reduction, and the last was fois gras (best one because it added some much needed fat into the filet). And now I will take this time to rant about something that happened with the trio… Only one bite of one steak succesfully merged the bacon with the meat in proper cooking temps. The problem is with the method… wrapping shit in bacon…. People … I love bacon just like any other trendy asshole with a bacon themed t-shirt who posts bacon-related crap on Facebook … but there is a time and place to use it. The idea behind wrapping shit in bacon is to impart fat into something, and/or give things a smoky flavor. This is great – a wonderful concept… but it needs to be executed properly – EXACTLY – for it to be a success. Inevitably the bacon wrapping problem boils down to one of two things: EITHER (1) your meat is overcooked because you need to make sure the bacon is fully cooked before you serve it… so prolonged cooking time overcooks the star of the plate, which is the filet… OR (2) you undercook the bacon, leaving it rubbery, so that the steak is not overcooked. But then you end up serving disgusting half-cooked bacon, which is a health hazard if not just an incredibly shitty thing to do to bacon. Please… Unless you are among the ranks of fucking Thomas or Hubert Keller, then you need to go fuck yourself if you are wrapping good meat with bacon. And if you are either of them, I would hope you are wrapping meat with caul fat rather than bacon, since it essentially melts into the meat. If it MUST be done, then please half-cook the bacon first BEFORE wrapping the meat, and while the meat is cooking you can spoon some bacon grease over the top to make sure the flavor is imparted into the meat. /endrant
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 8
The MEAT selection here is pretty much the same as the Double Eagle location around the block (seafood and other meats selection varies). They offer an upgraded version of each type of meat as a special; a boneless strip and a bone-in strip (16oz vs 22oz), and a boneless rib eye and a bone-in rib eye (same ounces as the strips). They had a great selection of filets: small (8oz), medium (12oz), and bone-in large (special) at 16oz. They also had a trio of filets on special (4oz each). All around this is pretty good. No porterhouse, so I had to take an extra point.
Portion Size & Plating: 8
My steak was 16oz, boneless. That’s a good-sized slab of meat – a little on the small side if you have a good pair of balls swinging between your thighs – but it’s still a pound of flesh, and not as small as the one at Dylan Prime. They had a broad range of sizes. Filets came in 8, 12, and 16oz portions, and even 4oz in the trio plate. Strips were either 16 or 22oz, and same with the rib eyes. Plating was basic: beef + plate.
Prices here range from $37 for the pussy filet to $60 for the manlier upgraded cuts of steak. My regular menu rib eye was $42. That’s a pretty good price for a pound of perfectly cooked meat, however, the other items were a bit too pricey ($16 for 5 shrimp, $5 a piece for lamb sliders, etc). At the Double Eagle, it seems more worth it for the higher prices – maybe because of the atmosphere. See below and make your own judgments.
The bar here is pretty cool, and definitely a good place to hang out after work if you work in midtown. It butts up close to the windows that look out into the Rockefeller Center area. I imagine it gets a good crowd in nice weather when the patio seating is available. They also have a nice fiery oven for cooking the flatbreads and pizzas right next to the bar, so you can sit there and watch the flames. The martini was made just right to boot – and $3 cheaper than at their other establishment around the block.
Specials and Other Meats: 8
As I said earlier, on special there were lots of meats. A strip, a rib eye, a filet, and a trio of filets (pictured below – they came with asparagus as well). This isn’t really the kind of place for “other meats,” and I guess to that end it isn’t really a proper “steakhouse” either. They have sandwiches on the menu, and some plated dishes that take on the alternative meats like chicken, veal, beef short rib, and lamb (app).
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 7 (updated to 8 after subsequent visits)
No shellfish here (oysters/clams). We started with an order of cocktail shrimp and the lamb sliders. The shrimp were good, almost peppery, but there were only 5 for the whopping $16 price tag … and they weren’t that big: their small size didn’t match their large price. They did come with a nice dipping sauce that was some sort of horseradish, cream-based thingy. The lamb sliders were tasty and potent. They came topped with arugula, roasted red pepper, tzatziki sauce and goat cheese. I enjoyed them so the hefty $15 price tag for three wasn’t as bad as the shrimp. For sides we had Parmesan & sea salt fries and truffled mac & cheese. Both sides were too salty. The mac & cheese was unbearably salty, but the truffle taste was really good. I just wish they held back with the salt. The fries were more doable – they had some nice chopped up herbs on them too. For dessert we had nutella bread pudding. This was hands down the best dish of the night. Crispy coating, juicy middle, incredible flavor, topped with coffee ice cream… man… I will go back just for that.
Seafood Selection: 7
They offer salmon, tuna & sole by way of “the sea” here. No lobster, no oysters or clams. A shame, but at least they have the famous and delicious Del Frisco’s crab cake. Stick with that and you are set. But, again, you probably aren’t coming here for a full-on steakhouse experience. It’s not that kind of place.
The service was good. No real complaints. There was very little interaction as it was a busy time. Unlike traditional steakhouses, here you won’t get a basket of bread with your water or drinks (unless they forgot about that). Hmm… maybe they did forget… because they also forgot to bring sugar out for my Cappuccino.
As I said above, it isn’t a typical steakhouse setting. It’s more of a concept restaurant. It’s a lot like a gangbang – you go in and out, it’s loud, busy, social, lots of people coming, there is use of a back door entrance, etc… That’s fine, but I have judging standards to which I need to stay true. This isn’t some subjective bullshit like sexual harassment in the workplace or The Beatles vs The Stones. This is truth. Okay then – onward…The wait staff are all dressed nicely but not traditionally in suits or jackets. They have both men and women taking orders and serving. The decor was modern, and the vibe is loud, happy hour, after work crowd chaos. It’s definitely not the same class of restaurant as other places I’ve rated, mainly because the Del Frisco’s “Grille” brand is marketed toward a more casual and social dining atmosphere. If you want a more sit-down and take-your-time kind of place, then go to the Double Eagle around the block. The bathrooms are nice though – four single user rooms with a dim, clean and modern look. I was almost tempted to have King Richard the Turd usurp the coveted Porcelain Throne and squat over The Tepid Pool to unleash a reign of brown terror the likes of which Manhattan has never seen… but I refrained from that conquest.
Check this out… My buddy got this email from Del Frisco’s Grille about a crazy burger & beer deal. The details were as follows: double cheeseburger, fries, and any pint of beer for only $17.50! Needless to say, we jumped at the opportunity.
I am a big fan of the Del Frisco’s brand, and despite not giving this location as much accolades as the Double Eagle site, one of the best in the world, I am still a loyal patron. I’ve heard great things about their burgers in particular.
Here’s the burgerporn:
Verdict: the meat was cooked properly, well seasoned, and had a nice ratio of cheese to meat. The tomato was nice and cold, contrasting with the hot burger and cheese. Downside: it was a bit bread, as the bun was big, but on the positive side there was no dog or flopping of the bottom due to burger grease. I liked it a lot.
I chose the parmesan sea salt fries. They were really flavorful, but a bit limp. Perhaps another session in the deep frier would take them to the next level.
Okay so all’s well, right? Wrong. The bill came and, to our surprise, we were being charged way more than $17.50 each! As it turns out, the NYC location is apparently an exception to the $17.50 deal. The price is supposed to be $24.50. Now, this all makes perfect sense in hindsight, as the regular price for a burger is something like $18.50 WITHOUT the beer. Also NYC rents are astronomical. It only makes sense that they would have to charge more for the food here. We asked Chad, the manager, if they’d still honor it, being my friend had actually received TWO emails with the $17.50 price. There was no way around it. Chad explained that the price could not be altered. He told us that he didn’t have a button on the register to change the price of the burger. We were a bit upset, but I reassured him that I DID like the burger. When I pulled out my card to present it to him, as I do at the end of every meal, he suddenly remembered the “oh shit, it’s Johnny Prime” button on the register. “We can adjust the price of the beer,” he said. Well, hey, that works for us! “You were in here before,” he remembered. “Yes, for steaks,” I answered. Chad even remembered where my wife and I sat! Wow! Anyway, he had a new, adjusted bill printed up, in which we were not charged for the beer.
My buddy pays close attention to these sorts of things, still pointing out that we were over-charged by $2 from what the ad said as we were walking home. I don’t really blame him, because that $17.50 price was really the whole reason we even went. There was no limitation on the email, and no exclusion of NYC in the fine print of the ad. But I also really didn’t care and wouldn’t have minded; I’ve paid some hefty bills in my day, and as long as the food is good, I am generally fine with it. But in keeping with the stellar service of the Del Frisco’s brand, Chad earned the Grille another point for service to make it a full 10. This location really can’t compare with the Double Eagle, but at least now I know I will definitely be coming back at some point to try some more items off the dinner menu. Chad: we humbly thank you for making it right on the $17.50 issue. You’re a stand-up gentleman.
I went back for an influencer event and got to try (and re-try) lots of stuff.
The Porterhouse: 9/10
This was awesome. It had a good pepper crust, nicely cooked, and both the strip side and filet side were both tender and juicy. My only issue is that it seemed kinda small.
The NY Strip: 9/10
This and the porterhouse were both on point. Really great job cooking this bad boy.
The Rib Eye: 8/10
This suffered slightly because it was over-salted (you can actually see a track of it along the left side of the cut in the photos below). Despite what looks like a lot of inedible fat on this baby, it was all really soft beef jelly.
The Tenderloin: 7/10
This bone-in “filet” was just a bit blah in comparison to the other three cuts we tried. It was cooked nicely and it was tender, however it just fell flat and lacked the character that the others had.
All of the other sides, apps and desserts we tried were good.
Philly Cheese Egg Rolls
Lemon Cake; Creme Brulee Cheesecake; Coconut Cream Pie
Also not pictured: creamed spinach with bacon, mac and cheese, and the burger again. The creamed spinach went nicely with the mac and cheese, together in one bite. The salt from the creamed spinach added what was lacking in the mac. Given how much I enjoyed all these sides, apps and desserts on this visit, I added a point to the score. However with an average new steak rating of 8.25, I had to round down and lower the flavor score from 9 to 8. In the end, the total score is still the same at 82.
By the way – this filet mignon burger is fucking incredible. ew addition to the menu.
Prime rib was 8/10
DEL FRISCO’S GRILLE
50 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10020