...gonna kick the darkness 'till it bleeds daylight... musings of a hungarian in texas

©2003 by Annamaria Kovacs. All contents of this blog are the property of the author. Use with written permission only.

Thursday, January 13, 2005


Last night we went out to test Saltgrass Steakhouse. The results are in and they are very positive.

I had visited one of their restaurants in Austin during a business trip--it was a cold and rainy night then, and the place was smack next to my hotel. After that dinner,I wanted The Husband to experience this as well, since we sampled many other steak places and they all were in the 'this is a good steak, but...'category.
Well, my dear readers, if you have the choice, get to the Saltgrass. In its category (chain steakhouses in Texas) it's so far the clear winner. The center-cut fillet I had is ALMOST on par with the fillet mignon I had at Del Frisco's- which is a MUCH more upscale place in Dallas.
Steakwise, I am a purist--if I can get it, I prefer a tenderloin cut, with top sirloin as a close second. It originally started because I was educated by my papa who owns a restaurant and makes the world's best Steak Tartare which MUST be made from tenderloin or, at worst, top sirloin. Then at the majordomo school I attended for a year back in Hungary (yes, I have a rather diverse portfolio for a current admin assistant):-), we cooked a lot of good steak dishes, including the famous a'la Wellington, which also requires tenderloin. And we ate all of it after preparation. The only way to be sure, you know. Yes, I put on a LOT of weight that year--and my dad still uses my basic textbooks in his restaurant that he started that year.
So, anyway--my center cut fillet at Saltgrass was top notch. I am in the camp of those who say that beef, however good quality, requires seasoning, so I have no issues whatsoever with their seasoned salt and garlic butter on top of the fillet. It brings out the tenderness and amazingly strong flavor of the cut even better. For one of the leanest cuts, the center-cut tenderloin fillet at Saltgrass is not dry at all--which is a big deal considering I requested the type of steak that is one of the hardest to pull off: medium well. Medium well requires that the edges be cooked through but not dried out, and the center would have a THIN pink strip throughout. I always ask for this type of steak doneness because it's a good way to test the place's abilities even with (relatively) subpar cuts.
I will let The Husband talk about his steak experience on his blog--hopefully he will. One more word: their appetizer they call "Shrimp and Chicken Embrochettes" despite the fancy name, is wickedly good: chicken breast tenderloin strips and jumbo shrimp wrapped in bacon and grilled with some BBQ sauce on top. The result is a smoky and flavorful little appetizer bite that packs quite a punch at the very end (smoked bacon).
And now, after talking about food to such an extent I think I go and grab a bite.


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