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Tea Steak House

215 S. Main Ave., Tea, SD - (605) 368-9667
Posted By Michael Stern on 5/15/2002 4:27:00 AM
When we first ate at the Tea Steak House several years ago, it was in the middle of nowhere. Just about ten miles south of Sioux Falls, nowhere is becoming somewhere as houses go up in the countryside all around. Still, this combination restaurant and bar in the charming little community of Tea has an unspoiled rural character that adds an especially appealing flavor to supper.

Start with onion rings or deep-fried cheeseballs, then move on to an iceberg lettuce salad that you dress yourself from a caddy that contains ranch, 1000 Island, and French dressing. A selection of bland white rolls and cellophane-wrapped crackers is the standard steak-house breadbasket in this region.

We love the pound-plus T-bone, a cushiony slab of meat that oozes juice at the first poke of a knife. It's a good thing to order hash brown potatoes on the side to soak up the beef's seepage; they are great potatoes in their own right (much better than the foil-wrapped baked potato or uninteresting French fries). We also ordered filet mignon, which came splayed open and wrapped in bacon, and it was amazing just how different these two cuts of beef were: each excellent, but while the T-bone had a vivid, almost gamey smack and tight-knit texture that rewarded serious chewing, the filet was cream-gentle in flavor and wanted to melt on the tongue.

The Tea Steak House serves more than steak. You can eat chicken or ham, halibut, perch, lobster tails, or a Saint & Sinner supper of one lobster tail and one small sirloin. Don't ask us how any of the other stuff tastes. When we're in Tea, we'll eat beef. And don't ask about dessert, either. This place doesn't bother making any. You need something sweet, you go next door to O’Toole’s Bar and have a Grasshopper or Pink Cadillac.

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

The Filet Mignon comes wrapped in bacon. It is rich as butter.
"The Filet Mignon comes wrapped in bacon. It is rich as butter."
Michael Stern





Hash browns are good for pushing through puddles of steak juice on the plate.
"Hash browns are good for pushing through puddles of steak juice on the plate."
Michael Stern


Before a meal of steak and potatoes, fried onion rings are the preferred hors d'oeuvre.
"Before a meal of steak and potatoes, fried onion rings are the preferred hors d'oeuvre."
Michael Stern


On a weekend night, you will wait for a table at this very popular palace of beef. If the Immediate Seating sign is lit, you're in luck!
"On a weekend night, you will wait for a table at this very popular palace of beef. If the Immediate Seating sign is lit, you're in luck!"
Michael Stern


The Tea Steak House motto is also emblazoned on its souvenir matchbooks: We're glad you brought your sugar to Tea.
"The Tea Steak House motto is also emblazoned on its souvenir matchbooks: We're glad you brought your sugar to Tea."
Michael Stern



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