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Which steakhouse has the best steak you’ve ever eaten? Which cut did you have?

Best steak I’ve eaten:

Let’s talk steak, one of my favorite subjects! There are a lot of places in this world to get a REALLY, REALLY good steak. I’ve been to some very notable spots to satiate my unrelenting appetite for beef!

Worst of the Worst

You certainly WILL NOT find the perfect steak at America’s fake-Australian, nationwide chain known as Outback, possibly the most atrocious steak on the planet, even ancillary to already subpar Western Sizzlin’. You won’t find it at Ruth’s Chris either, definitely satisfactory for a chain restaurant, but certainly not in the elite category. Ruth’s Chris isn’t even a top ten steakhouse in my hometown of Nashville, not to mention the world! Perhaps worst of all, you could pay an exorbitant amount of money at a high-class restaurant like Capital Grille in Kansas City, only to eat a steak that tastes as bad as a McDonald’s hamburger, or perhaps it was more like dog food. Oh that was awful, and so expensive! They should be ashamed.

Best of the Best

But forget about the worst steaks. Let’s focus on the best. I’ve had the highly coveted Kobe Beef while visiting Japan, eaten Wagyu Beef in Australia, had impeccable sirloin in Argentina, and I’ve done every one of the famous steakhouses in New York (yes, legendary Peter Luger’s is pretty good). I even had a 32-ounce tomahawk steak flown in from New Zealand to Nashville one year for my birthday. These were all marvelous experiences.

Unfortunately, I’ve become jaded now, almost impossible to impress with any food. My father and grandfather, both chefs, made the most amazing steaks you could imagine. With that cooking at home, and all the aforementioned experiences, I've been quite spoiled from a young age.

And the award goes to …

So here is my award for the best steak I’ve ever eaten, broken into two categories:

  • The best traditional steak I’ve eaten (beef from a cow)
  • The best steak I’ve eaten from any mammal in the world (and it was even better, story to follow)

Category 1: BEST STEAK (cows only, not other animals)

Wolf Creek Steakhouse (Spokane, Washington)

I once flew across the country from Tennessee to Washington just to eat this steak! I had heard unbelievable things about this restaurant from Washington natives, travel writers, food critics. As the hostess sat me, I bragged about how far I had traveled for the occasion. I thought she’d be impressed. But she nonchalantly said, “Yeah, we hear that every day. Heck, people come from foreign countries just to eat this steak.” What?! Well, I guess I’m not so special after all.

This was a legendary place with extra large hunks of beef, a menu offering cuts as small as the Lil’ Dude at 10 ounces (283 grams), not so small to most humans, and the deceivingly-named Cowgirl cut at 26 ounces (737 grams). And it got larger than that! But do not confuse this with one of those gimmicky restaurants in Texas with 72-ounce cuts of beef to lure tourists while serving up absolutely deplorable quality steaks. Chewing your way through a giant of horrid quality like that is nearly impossible. Nope, Wolf Creek was no gimmick, and the critics agreed. It was the real deal, aging their beef in house and offering top quality!

I’m sure many men sheepishly ordered the Cowgirl, an impressive size for anyone to devour. But not this man. I have a motto when it comes to steak, ‘Go big or go home!’ With 26 ounces being hardly enough to satisfy my voracity, I ordered the Rancher, a 40-ounce monstrosity (it included a 24-ounce porterhouse and a 16-ounce sirloin). It looked similar to the picture below.

OH MY GOODNESS! Not only was it massive, but IT … WAS … PERFECT! Even after the hostess had inflated my expectations with tales of international travelers, even with doubts that perhaps a steakhouse with massive cuts of beef would be of lesser quality, it still impressed me beyond my imagination! It was better than the Kobe I had in Japan, the Wagyu in Australia, and all those other experiences. I did not expect that at all! I ate the entire steak, with a lobster tail on the side, an appetizer, mac ’n’ cheese, a salad, A LOT of rolls, and a cheesecake for dessert. YUMMY!

Unfortunately, their quality declined in 2017 for unknown reasons, probably a change in ownership. Ratings slipped from near-perfect to a respectable 4.3 out of 5. The glory days were over. But I had enjoyed the perfect steak at the peak of their award-winning run. The restaurant closed their doors on February 24, 2018. Perhaps it was difficult running an upscale business in a medium-sized town of barely over 200,000. Maybe the owners retired and passed it off to someone else. Fortunately, you can still have a similar experience. Their sister restaurant Wolf Lodge Inn lives on in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, a popular stop for tourists and locals alike, one of the best-known steakhouses in the United States and still keeping quality high.

(Wolf Lodge Inn, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho)

Yes, I visited that establishment too, where I devoured a 53-ounce steak (1,503 grams) also called the Rancher, similarly combining a porterhouse and a sirloin just like Wolf Creek Steakhouse and nearly as tasty. That’s over 3.3 pounds of delicious beef, definitely my personal record. The menu has been altered and sadly, the 53-ouncer is no longer. A mere 32-ounce Rancher (907 grams) is the maximum cut these days. You might picture me as a stocky gentleman, but I’m actually quite thin.

Thankfully, Wolf Lodge Inn has kept quality high, maintaining a 4.8 rating on Facebook, a 4.7 on Google, and a 4.5 on TripAdvisor, just for proof of quality. And Wolf Creek was even better in its heyday.

Category 2: BEST STEAK EVER (any animal allowed)

Sumaq Hotel (Aguas Calientes, Peru)

When in Rome … or in this case, when at the base of Peru’s famed Machu Picchu … do as the Peruvians do, right? Our family was vacationing at this lovely five-star resort with a heralded chef. The restaurant was highly recommended. After a day of hiking all over the magnificent Incan ruins of Machu Picchu, we sat down for dinner. On the menu, I noticed an alpaca steak, something uncommon in America but popular in Peru. This was my opportunity! Being an adventurous eater, I went for it.

(An alpaca grazing above Machu Picchu)

This steak was the most tender, delicious, flavorful steak I have ever eaten in my life, similar in appearance to the alpaca steak pictured below! It was almost indescribably amazing! OH MY! My compliments to the chef!

A steak should practically melt in your mouth, with soft, succulent texture overwhelming your mouth with beefy flavors as the tender meat effortlessly separates between your molars. It’s a heavenly experience! This surpassed the steak of any cattle I’ve ever had, not because alpaca is superior to beef, but because the chef was so darn good! And that will probably be the best steak I will ever eat in my lifetime.

Although, I do admit that my filet mignon medallions with red wine caramelized onions is phenomenal!

Image source Google
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