Does NYC’s Peter Luger steakhouse live up to its rep? You’d better believe it! [classic article]

I’d been wanting to go to Peter Luger Steakhouse in Brooklyn for decades. It wasn’t easy to arrange, because for one, I had never been to Brooklyn. Also, there are some other logistical things to work out: you’d better make reservations about a month out or even earlier. They only accept cash, their in-house credit card or checks — they do the Telecheck thing. They don’t put their prices online, so it took some research to find out what things would cost. I didn’t want to be in for a surprise! They’re not horribly jacked . . . maybe about 20% more than a Baltimore steakhouse for the steak part, sides are maybe 20% less. Steaks will run about $50 a person with some exceptions, sides for 2 about $12. They’re just a couple of blocks from the subway stop. Dress at lunchtime was casual. No music plays in the background, tables are simple wood.

Does NYC's Peter Luger steakhouse live up to its rep? You'd better believe it!
Tamar Alexia Fleishman, Esq.

They’ve been voted #1 NYC steakhouse for 30 years in a row. They’re 125 years old, serving steaks since 1887. I’d love to see old menus of theirs! I can only imagine the deals that have been cemented over the years at the restaurant. Many meat suppliers talk about how they get the nation’s top pick for USDA Prime meat. Having eaten steaks abroad, I can only imagine that Europeans die of jealousy of the fine quality they have. You can now order them online!

If you’re not in the market for a huge indulgence, you can get a knockwurst with potato and sauerkraut for about $12. Burgers are also about $12. There are salads, too.

I heard several waiters (still) speaking German; they have a crisp, professional and maybe a touch brusque manner.

I went for Sunday lunch time and the full menu’s available at that time, except for their weekday specials. The meal started with onion rolls seasoned with crunchy salt. I ordered a Bloody Mary and that was a little too “old school cocktail lounge” for me. I’m used to some modern, innovative presentations and garnishes and this is in a cocktail glass with a lemon slice. It has a horseradish emphasis and is very strong.

One of the little appetizers they have is something you might not think to order, but you must! For $4.95 a slice, they’ve got thick bacon. I love bacon and frequently, a handful of regular slices isn’t enough for me, but Peter Luger’s is really divine. You can feel comfortable splitting it, for sure.

Even in winter, Peter Luger is putting out good, red tomatoes for their tomato and onion salad. It’s a snappy onion — not sweet. You can put their steak sauce on it and believe it or not, that really works. It’s a good match, whereas many steak sauces have too much Worcestershire sauce in them for a good flavor pairing.

Fried German potatoes are their most popular side. Another side, their creamed spinach is extra good — being more spinach dense and lightly creamed than many you might have had at other steakhouses. The vegetable really stands out.

Steaks for two — and I asked, that’s their specialty — are the whole Porterhouse that the server slices at the table and spoons on “shine” (melted butter sauce). They have nice char and the texture, flavor is out of this world! The portions are big . . . you’re gonna have some of the best leftovers of your life!

Your check comes with gold-wrapped chocolate coins. The restaurant has cute t-shirts for sale.

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