The Great Steak Debate

Last night I attended the Great Steak Debate with my wife.

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The event was sponsored by Audi and Inside Hook, and hosted by Marc Forgione at his American Cut steakhouse (Tribeca NYC location). The idea was to try strip steaks from eight different meat purveyors and do a blind taste test to see which we all liked best.

The evening started with a nice cocktail hour, featuring Snow Leopard vodka martinis, Highland Park scotch (neat/rocks, or in a kickass cocktail with Cointreau, Drambuie, OJ and simple syrup), Peroni beer and Carnivor wine.

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Steve Bryant, the executive editor from Inside Hook, gave an intro to the event and warmed up the crowd.

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Chef Forgione spoke as well, but this pic of him listening to Steve came out a little more clear:

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Then the fucking meat came out and I nearly crapped myself with glee. They assigned a letter to each purveyor’s strip, and provided us with a card and stamp with which to cast our votes.

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This shot below has E, F, G and H from top down, since the plates got attacked too soon for me to snap photos.

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A booklet we were all given contained some info about each purveyor, and it even had a few blank pages in the back for tasting notes. As you can see, I had them ranked as follows: H, G, B, E, D, A, C, F. The purveyors we were sampling were Belcampo, Bunn Gourmet, Chicago Steak Company, Crystal River Meats, Debragga, Kansas City Steaks, Main Street Meats, and Omaha Steaks.

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The meat was also served with steakhouse classics like creamed spinach (Marc’s stellar “sunchoked spinach” is off the fucking charts amazing) and mashed potatoes.

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The big reveal was made, and the judges chose E for first place, C for second, and D for third. That was Belcampo, Debragga, and Kansas City, respectively.

The rest of our votes were tallied from the crowd.

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We chose G for first place, E for second, and C for third. That was Chicago Steak Company, Belcampo, and Debragga, respectively.

As for my votes, I chose Main Street Meats in first place, which I was excited about since they are from close to my home town on Long Island. In second place was Chicago Steak Company, and third place was Omaha Steaks. Caught me by surprise! What an amazing sampling of steaks. There was not one that I didn’t like.

The cool thing was that it turns out the purveyors from Main Street were sitting right at our table with us! Everyone at the table was great to chat and eat with.

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Oh yeah! I forgot about this little shot of fizzy chocolate milk ice cream at the end of the meal. Very nice touch!

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It was a pretty awesome night. At the end, we got to spend some time talking with Chef Forgione about his menu ideas, our favorite steakhouses, and family roots in food, and then we hung out a bit with Steve from Inside Hook at a nearby bar.

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