Being a studious and thorough diner, I made sure I did my share of research before showing up to my 10:45 pm Saturday reservation at Peter Luger's. I knew before, of course, that it was established in 1887, had been voted New York's best steak house for 24 years running, and took only Peter Luger's Official Credit Cards, cash, and gift certificate. I knew also not to ask for a menu, to order the porterhouse with the potato and spinach sides, and that brining in your own wine was strictly prohibited. I also knew that thousands of past diners consider the Peter Luger porterhouse to be one of the best steaks in the entire world.
What I didn't know was:
THEY WERE WRONG.
I'm going to make this short and sweet, since I've been prolonging posting this for decades now. It's a real good thing that my company was so good because the steak just wasn't. Porterhouse is pretty tough to begin with because it has so many different density/textures of meat on the same cut. Unless someone is being very careful to hold the tenderloin off the grill while the strip keeps cooking, I find the tenderloin gets the hell cooked out of it before the strip loin gets cooked enough for the fat to render. Our steak was all sorts of chewy, well-done in some places and too bloody in others, and kinda bland. That's that.
Moving on, people fucking rave about these side dishes. Here's what they taste like:
The spinach was overcooked, mushy and tasted acidic, which in spinach world means rotten. The potatoes were underseasoned, diner home fries at best. And their famous sauce brought high-fructose corn syrup and ketchup to mind.
I was happy to hear that my date and I were on the same page re: tastiness. We agreed that a good ol' fashion ice cream sundae would at least leave a good taste in our mouths before we took off. Alas, our waiter was pretty angry we were keeping him at work, and his tossing our sundae onto our table with a snarl and growl (what Peter Luger's calls "character) made the ice cream less sweet and more tummy-ache inducing.