If you’re like me, bread is something you love to eat, but you try your hardest to ignore at restaurants. You don’t want to “fill up on bread” when you’re about to sink your teeth into a massive hunk of delicious beef.
But sometimes the restaurant gets you. The bread is so good that you just can’t fucking resist. I always like to mention the bread in all of my steakhouse reviews, just out of habit. As a result, over time I’ve come to really respect the effort that gets put into this unassuming meal opener. Who does it the best? See below.
1) BLT Prime
Hands down the best, because it’s a double whammy. Not only do they give you a few slices of country style bread with a jar of velvety chicken liver pate, but they also bring out hot, fresh-made cheese popovers with a recipe card for how to make them at home. That’s pretty incredible. I mean, honestly, if you eat all of that, you and your date can go light on the rest of the meal. But why would you? Everything else they serve is fucking great!
2) American Cut
Iron Chef Marc Forgione has created one of the greatest biscuits known to man: the everything biscuit. That’s everything seasoning, as in “everything bagel.” This biscuit has gotten such praise that he even used it as a vehicle for a delicious fried chicken sandwich.
3) Peter Luger
The simplicity of their onion rolls is mind blowing. They’re warm, soft, incredibly aromatic and tasty as all fuck. Go for lunch. Eat the bread basket and dip the rolls into their steak sauce while you wait for one of their incredible burgers to come out. Then wash it all down with some schlag.
4) Quality Italian
There are a lot of great versions of these fresh-made dinner rolls (aka Parker rolls or “pan bread”) floating around in the steakhouse sphere, but no one quite nails it the way Quality Italian does. Similar to monkey bread or pull bread, these babies are perfectly sized bites of buttery, warm, herby, garlicky, soul-fulfilling carbs that will have you craving more and more.
I always have to do something wacky when I make these lists, so I’m including K*Rico’s fried pasta snacks here. They’re spicy and perfectly crisp. Really unique. I’ve never seen this at a steakhouse before, let alone anywhere else for that matter.
NON-BREAD HONORABLE MENTIONS
When you want to say FUCK YOU to bread, check out Keens’ crudite with pickles, Bob’s Steakhouse’s jar of half-sour pickles and red peppers, or Arthur’s Tavern’s tray of pickles and cherry peppers.
Another alternative is Gallagher’s Steakhouse’s homemade potato chips at the bar. They serve bread at the table, so if you want the chips – which are fucking incredible – you have to ask the waiter and be extra nice to get them. Otherwise just be a man and sit at the bar for a bit before you dine. Have a fucking drink.