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Peter Luger

178 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY - (718) 387-7400
Posted By Michael Stern on 9/7/2001 4:08:00 AM
The tables are bare oak and the knives have battered wooden handles; the waiters can be impatient; the menu is short (most customers don’t even bother to look at it); and the prices easily rise into the double digits for two normal-appetite eaters, even without drinks. Still, no honest account of New York Roadfood would be complete without saluting one of Brooklyn’s – and America’s – truly great meat-and-potatoes dinners.

Peter Luger is an ancient (since 1887) neighborhood steak house that serves stupendous lamb chops and the occasional piece of fish, but is known rightfully for its porterhouse. You order it by the person – steak for two, three, or four – and what you get is a gorgeous slab of prime beef that has been well-charred on the outside, then cut into thick, rosy-centered strips on its serving plate. The waiter positions the plate at a tilt on a little dish so all the steak’s hot juices puddle up at one end (easier to spoon out that way) and can be drizzled on the steak slices or on hash brown potatoes. There are no words that adequately describe just how good this steak tastes. For us, a first bite after about a year away reminded us to be proud we are carnivores. There are many fine prime steaks in New York and other cities. Quite simply, this is the best steak we have ever eaten.

Side dishes are minimal but excellent: lovely thick-sliced tomatoes and onions, hash browns or baked potatoes (at dinner), creamed spinach and thick-cut French fries (at lunch), and always fresh, crusty onion bread and caraway salt sticks for starters. If you have any appetite remaining once the steak is polished off, you can have a grand finale with a piece of strudel or cheesecake, which will likely send the meal’s calorie count into quadruple digits.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
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A Peter Luger porterhouse arrives at the table already sliced, in a pool of sizzling-hot natural juice.  The waiter puts a couple of pieces of meat on your plate, then it's up to you to help yourself to the rest.
"A Peter Luger porterhouse arrives at the table already sliced, in a pool of sizzling-hot natural juice. The waiter puts a couple of pieces of meat on your plate, then it's up to you to help yourself to the rest."
Michael Stern





Your waiter will place two slices of steak on each diner's plate, along with a spoonful of spinach if you ordered that.  He then offers a spoonful of
"Your waiter will place two slices of steak on each diner's plate, along with a spoonful of spinach if you ordered that. He then offers a spoonful of "juice." Accept the offer. After that you're on your own."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


The bacon for this bacon cheeseburger is so hefty it comes on the plate as it would otherwise overwhelm the burger.
"The bacon for this bacon cheeseburger is so hefty it comes on the plate as it would otherwise overwhelm the burger."
Bill Homan


The superb breads in the basket are not just for show.  They are worth eating!  Yes, even with a huge steak to follow.
"The superb breads in the basket are not just for show. They are worth eating! Yes, even with a huge steak to follow."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


September, 2001:  the tomatoes are delicious!
"September, 2001: the tomatoes are delicious!"
Michael Stern


An amazing cheeseburger.
"An amazing cheeseburger."
Bill Homan


At lunch, the fantastic hash browns are not available; but these French fries are a fine alternative.
"At lunch, the fantastic hash browns are not available; but these French fries are a fine alternative."
Michael Stern


German coffee contains a good hit of Aspach, which is a German brandy.  And, of course, that great schlag tops it all off.
"German coffee contains a good hit of Aspach, which is a German brandy. And, of course, that great schlag tops it all off."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


Unless you normally use things like A1 on your steak, you'll probably enjoy Luger's sauce more as a dressing for the onions and tomatoes.
"Unless you normally use things like A1 on your steak, you'll probably enjoy Luger's sauce more as a dressing for the onions and tomatoes."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


The warm pecan pie topped with crisp, toasty nuts is extraordinary paired with Luger's ultra-rich whipped cream.
"The warm pecan pie topped with crisp, toasty nuts is extraordinary paired with Luger's ultra-rich whipped cream."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


A hot fudge sundae seems impossible after a meal like this.  And maybe it is: the person who ordered this one met us for dessert!  It's really a perfect hot fudge sundae.
"A hot fudge sundae seems impossible after a meal like this. And maybe it is: the person who ordered this one met us for dessert! It's really a perfect hot fudge sundae."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


After the meal, customers are given chocolate in the form of gold-wrapped doubloons.  This may be the management's gentle reminder that unless you have a house charge account, cash is the only acceptable form of payment.
"After the meal, customers are given chocolate in the form of gold-wrapped doubloons. This may be the management's gentle reminder that unless you have a house charge account, cash is the only acceptable form of payment."
Michael Stern


Cooked to a perfect, juicy medium.
"Cooked to a perfect, juicy medium."
Bill Homan


The bacon appetizer is sold by the slice.  It is extra-thick cut and meaty, and a happy Luger tradition.
"The bacon appetizer is sold by the slice. It is extra-thick cut and meaty, and a happy Luger tradition."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


We don't know how they do it, but Luger's whipped cream, served in great billowing bowls, is the richest, thickest whipped cream ever.  One of Peter Luger's signature items; don't miss it.
"We don't know how they do it, but Luger's whipped cream, served in great billowing bowls, is the richest, thickest whipped cream ever. One of Peter Luger's signature items; don't miss it. "
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


Flaky and not too sweet, this is a decadent end to a great meal.
"Flaky and not too sweet, this is a decadent end to a great meal."
Bill Homan


A New York institution since 1887.
"A New York institution since 1887."
Bill Homan



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