As I sit here on the brink of a new era, I think about more great meals with friends. While I’ve had many a memorable meal at Peter Luger’s; too many to count on ten fingers, one such meal was December 31st, 2001 when my good pal Scott and myself decided to cross the Brooklyn Bridge ; just in case we didn’t like what was going on in the city.  Yes, people were quite paranoid. It was early, say 5 PM and no, we didn’t have a reservation but were welcomed with open arms.  It was a great meal.

Although my father refers to Luger’s as a “typical beer hall” serving meat (he’s Midwestern and Black Angus fan at that)….”runny, sweet tomato sauce and marbly meat.” Growing up in the Midwest, our meat is prepared a certain way–usually grilled. It’s not baked or pan seared; thus this presentation could be a turn off. Midwestern bred or not, you must give props to the presentation, even should it not meet your expectations. Wood panelled walls, gold Chandeliers, cafe chairs, all male wait staff  (I recall asking why no women worked at Luger’s…”it’s just the way it is…” the bartender told me). It smells like a warm meat locker.  Take in the scent and order a Peter Luger Lager.

DINNER!  You kick-start with the thick slab of bacon and massive sliced Vidalia onions and tomatoes (with Luger’s sauce).  OH, and GIANT shrimp cocktail. Depending on who you are with (size doesn’t count here), order your steak for one, two, three, four.  I’m a creamed spinach fan but don’t pass on the Onion Rings or French Fried Potatoes.   Red wine…a must. Sadly, I’ve never tried the Cheeseburger. Oh, it will happen.  Wash it down with something sweet; a Tommy Collins perhaps  (Rob? Ash?).

Regardless, Luger’s is always on top of its game.  When has it not received the no 1 coveted spot on any list?  It’s old school (since 1887).  They don’t take any credit cards except their own, yes, the Peter Luger Card, which you can apply for online. I think that’s pretty great.

(Image one: conceirge.com, Image two: forbes.com)

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