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Peter Luger

Beef, it's what's for dinner. At least when it comes to the special
occasions in my life. I've always felt a little out of the loop, since it
seems like everyone in the world has eaten a Peter Luger at some point. It's
a local institution to be sure.

I was definitely into the idea of it, though at first I was a little
intimidated since the waiting/bar area was wall-to-wall men in khakis. But I
quickly got into the old-school surroundings, ordered a whiskey sour and
even snuck my fingers into the sauce boat while perusing the menu (which
screams novice–they ask if you want a menu, assuming you know exactly what
you're there for)

I opted for the shrimp cocktail instead of the onion and tomato salad
that appeared to be de rigeur. Steak for two followed, and a side of creamed
spinach. The fries seemed like overkill–maybe next time. The meat was
medium rare and fine as can be. You could feel years being shaved from your
life as the waiter ladled the rich pan juices over the steak. But birthdays
are about coming to terms with your mortality anyway, right? The meal closed
with a shared slice of pecan pie coupled with an entire bowl of whipped
cream. No joke, it was almost as impressive as the meat itself.

It was creepy fun watching the power salesmen at the communal table next
to us. Who's to say what their actual profession was, but a sleazy internet
vibe was definitely in the air. Company parties are a strange ritual, not
that I would know first hand as I've only been a part of miserly start-ups
gone (going) bad. A pizza party would be asking too much in my case.

The evening was satisfying, yet with that all said, I'm now going to be
an ungrateful wretch for a moment. I don't go in for spendy, overhyped
clothes, neighborhoods, clubs and the like, but when it comes to food I
don't mind indulging my fancy every now and then, especially when it comes
to special occasions. Don't get me wrong, I was raised on a strict meat and
potatoes diet (nary a fresh vegetable graced my plate), but after Peter
Luger for my birthday and Churrascaria
for Valentine's Day, I wouldn't say no to something
more…er, refined next time 'round. I'm a lady, dammit. Mabye 30
will herald the aesthetic experience I'm seeking. (7/25/01)

On a whim, James called for reservations the Sunday before Independence
Day, and was surprised by a 7:45 quote. However, when we showed up he was
not on the list, the host scoffed at the fact that we thought we would could
get a seat a mere four days in advance, and my blood started boiling. Then
they found his name on a waiting list. We weren't told about a waiting list
on the phone, or why would we have bothered showing up? Anyway, we were
seated, as the place was not filled to capacity. Steak is steak at Peter
Luger. The new discovery was the grilled, thick, perfect Canadian bacon
served in strips as an appetizer. I thought about it for days afterward.

PeterLuger * 185 Broadway,
Brooklyn, NY

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