8 Questions for Steak Club 7

Today at Better Living Through Travel I am trying something new. I am abandoning my pursuit of the best hotels and replacing it with my pursuit of something equally satisfying, savory and delicious; the search for the perfect steak! As a Texan, I found that loving and appreciating steak is already hardwired into my DNA. In maternity wards all across the great state of Texas, baby formula is replaced by au jus, ensuring that the minute you exit the birth canal you get your first taste! Okay -I exaggerate – but the love of steak is not lost on a Texan.  

While I knew there were others like me in this wide world, as of late I discovered an underground group of seven brave men, who have turned eating steak into an art form. They are best know as Steak Club 7, and  it is here you will find post after post describing everything steak related. Although based in and around NYC, they have written about steak from places from far beyond! !I have had the pleasure of personally dining with many of them and their palate for meat could not be more impeccable.

I once saw the founder of Steak Club 7, Reverend Dave Ciancio, do a a shot of beef fat. If that is not hardcore, I don’t really know what is. These guys eat, breath and live steak and I was lucky enough have them answer a few questions on their favorite food subject for Better Living Through Travel. Check it out below for your reading pleasure and ‘beef” up on your steak knowledge: 

1.What inspired you to blog about Steak? 

REV: Fame, notoriety, free steak and the whole “leave Britney alone” thing was already taken. Moreover, we wanted to share the gospel of great steak. 

MEATGOD (MG): Rev’s hard work was a huge factor in taking this from just a bunch of guys hanging and eating steak to a full on group. I think we all take pride in that and believe we’re overly qualified to judge a good steak. 

CMOORE (CM): We want to share our love of steak with the world. 
THE BIG P.A. (BPA): I joined something that was already up and running so I was lucky in that respect. Going forward though, I think the thing that makes the steakclub7.com site worth visiting is that we’re all fans of steak. This isn’t our job; we all pay our hard-earned for an evening out sharing the delights of steak. The opinions you get from us are real and I think people respond to that. I’d rather get a suggestion from a regular dude like me who happens to like the same food over some stuck up foodie critic. 
JOEC: It’s very simple to blog about things you enjoy so intensely. Also, I do not hold much respect for Zagat or other more established review engines like it because frankly, the folks hired to write for them are usually nothing like me or my friends. I wanted to help build a resource for the common man without pretension. This is that site! Honest and frank with no chance of influence from the community. 

2. What are the qualities you use to judge an outrageously good steak experience? 

REV: Personalized service, great vibe, tasty sides and appetizers, a respectable wine list that represents more than 1 continent and of course a delicious and well prepared HUNK-O-BEEF all for an appropriate price. Clean bathrooms with thick walls help too! (Editor’s Note – Um, Gross?)

MG: Great service, good vibe in the restaurant, delicious steak and of course if they have Amstel light and hot fudge sundaes. 
CM: An outrageously good steak experience is near impossible. Someday, I dream of having one. 

BPA: First off, it has to be the meat. Secondly it has to be that it is cooked as requested. That might seem obvious but you’d be surprised how many places get those basics wrong. Assuming both those are in place then I’m fussy about my sides. I’m very basic, hashed brown potatoes and creamed spinach but you’d also be surprised how many places get those wrong. I don’t want spinach drowning in liquidy cream, nor do I want a soft outer shell on my hashed browns. Fussy? Damn right. And I’m paying $100+So I have a right to be. I also expect the service to be attentive yet subtle. Give me career waiting staff. Classy. 

JOEC: Simply put: Food and Service. These are relatively expansive meals, so every little blemish is magnified. I’m not obsessed with ambiance, parking, bar scene…it’s all about the food and service. But those two have to be great. 

3. Porterhouse, Rib Eye or Filet and why? 

REV: I was told choosing is a sin so I thank god for the Porterhouse for 2! No one should ever have to choose with the exception of whom to share with…the Meat God or the Big P.A.? 

MG: I am a Porterhouse for 2 kind of guy. Usually a big cut of meat. 
CM: Rib Eye – bring on the fat! 

BPA: Providing I can get one of the boys to go along with me I like the Porterhouse. There’s a tremendous feeling of satisfaction as the waiter brings out the huge plate with those two cuts separated by the bone. Then sitting there as the waiter puts two or three slices from the fillet and the strip side on your plate. Hugely satisfying. 

JOEC: The NY Strip has always been the ultimate. Nothing can top it when cooked to perfection. A great cut has just enough marbling, a crispy exterior, and unobstructed juicy pink in the middle. Keep the bone on the rest of the cow…this is pure steak perfection. 

4. If somehow tomorrow you were banished to an island stocked only with steak, from what restaurant would you want that steak and why? 

REV: I love the consistency of the Old Homestead in NYC.  But I would give Delmonico’s in NYC  a close 2nd. If my plane to said island left from New Orleans, it’s all about Dickie Brennan’s
MG: I’d say Old Homestead b/c it’s consistently good and never lets me down. 

CM: Craft Steak because they know how to make a steak lover happy. 

BPA: I’d go with Bobby Van’s. The steak always comes as I ask for it and the sides are superb. 

JOEC: Probably one of those 5lb-ers you see on Food Network TV from Texas or something. If I’m on a desert island…I want the biggest piece possible to keep me going! Quality wouldn’t matter so much to me in that situation. 

5. How often do you feel you really NEED a steak? 

REV: Need? Every day. Want? Every meal. But a steak is special and needs to be treated as such. You can’t over due it. It’s the same reason I never became a strip club DJ. Who wants to grow tired of naked women?

MG: Every morning when I wake up. 

CM: Once a month. 

BPA: I get the urge to go out and spend the money about twice a month. Once, obviously, with the boys from Steak Club 7 and one solo mission. Also, if I’m traveling on business and I’m in a town that has a stand-out steak house then I have to try it. 

JOEC: High-end joint? Once or twice a month max. Beef? 3-4 times a week. I love cheesesteaks. 

6. Best steak under twenty dollars and best steak when money is no object? 

REV: Only in Argentina (http://www.parrillalacabrera.com.ar/) can you find an amazing steak for US $20 or less, otherwise, I concur with the meat god. If money is no object, give me one of everything at BLT STEAK. 

MG: Have we had a steak under $20??? I’d go with Carl’s Steaks.  When money is no object, I’d still stick with Old Homestead
CM: Best Steak under twenty: I cook it myself. Best steak when money doesn’t matter: Harry’s. 

BPA: Les Halles does a fairly good one. To be honest though, I’d rather keep my love of steak eating at the high end. No point in diluting the quality. If I’m going to eat it, I want the best. Money no object? Most of the high end joints are pretty similar price-wise. Recent wins have been Bobby Van’s Wall Street and Harry’s Steak, although I’ll take Bobby Van’s over the two as their sides are better. Haven’t tried Kobe Club yet, that’s a LOT of money; maybe I’ll change my tune once I’ve eaten there. 

JOEC: T-bone from the grocery store when self seasoned and grilled in the back yard. I’ve had so many good ones lately I don’t think I can really say anymore on the high end. 

7. Where do you buy your steaks when you make them at home? 

REV: I leave cooking steaks to the professionals, just like you should leave eating steaks in an effort to tell you who has the best ones, to the professionals — like STEAK CLUB7! 

MG: I don’t. 
CM: Niman Ranch – www.nimanranch.com 

BPA: I don’t make them at home. The reality is, a good cut of meat, especially if you’re only buying for two is actually really expensive. Furthermore, my home oven doesn’t go nearly as hot as I’d need for me preferred serving style. I’m spoiled living in New York. I can walk to at least three good steak joints. 

JOEC: Whole Foods mainly. When the selection is there, they are always the best I can find. 

8. Are you currently on your doctor’s shit list for how much steak you consume? 

REV: Are you familiar with Doctor Vinny BoomBats? He is the official Doc of SC7. 

MG: During my last physical, the doctor suggested I cut down on red meat, but I’ve since stopped seeing him. 
CM: I just had a physical and apparently, I need to change a few habits. 

BPA: Actually, no. My doctor told me I had the blood of a ‘marathon runner’.I’ll take that. Everything in balance. Ha. 

JOEC: Not yet. Well at least not as of the last time I saw him in 1989.


Thanks for answering my questions men! Here’s to making it past 35!


3 Responses to “8 Questions for Steak Club 7”

  1. Wow, Thanks for all the great info. This is a big help. I travel a ton and go out for steaks on every trip. Thanks again.

  2. travelwizard Says:

    Hello USDA Prime! I am glad you enjoyed it..clearly, we share a similar passion. Do you have any favorites we should know about?

  3. […] recently conducted and in depth interview with the Steak Club 7. Learn all about what makes us do this for […]

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