Dale Fine concludes this leg of his hunt for the ultimate Iowa chop at the Big Steer. He writes:
Choosing my last stop for the Iowa Chop Hunt was a challenge. There were several more restaurants on my list but due to logistics, distance, or uncertainty, I ruled them out, at least on this trip. I decided to visit an old fixture on the outskirts of metro Des Moines: the Big Steer Restaurant and Lounge.
On-line reviews caution to get there early because of crowds, especially on weekends. This was Friday evening, so I took heed. Just after 5PM the crowd already was starting to build in the main dining room, which I can best describe as "supperclubbish" The hostess whisked me to a smaller annex room, where a half dozen tables seemed to be geared more towards private parties. I guess there weren't any this evening.
The meal began with a side salad with garlicky creamy parmesan dressing that was absolutely stellar. Two chop options were available: an eight-ounce boneless or a twelve-ounce French cut Iowa Chop. I chose the latter, French cut meaning that the meat is trimmed off the bone of the chop. Of course, I selected hash browns for my side; they were barely crisp but obviously fresh cut. The chop was one of the thickest I've seen – well-seasoned, flavorful. and tender, but inconsistent. It was juicy in some spots and bone-dry in others, which I suspect had something to do with its thickness. If the chop had been juicy throughout, it could have been the finest piece of meat that I've had in a long time. Sadly, it was not.
As I left, I noted that there wasn't an empty table in sight. I did love the atmosphere of the Big Steer, but was disappointed in a chop that did not live up to expectations.