Sometimes it's hard to beat a nicely cooked steak and potatoes, especially when it's tough to grill at home during the winter. When we're in the mood, here's where we head for Howard County's Best Steaks, more or less in my order of preference.
Jordan's Steakhouse: Prime and choice cuts of beef including Filet Mignon, NY Strip, Porterhouse, Cowboy (Rib Eye) and a marinated Flank Steak. The prime cuts get very pricey, but the choice cuts taste great to me, and they're grilled to order in an 1800 degree infrared broiler. Sides are good, too, with a choice of standard but well-prepared potatoes and steamed or grilled veggies. Jordan's also has a substantial wine list to complement your choice. It's a worthy local alternative to a Morton's or Ruth's Chris type of meal.
oZ Chophouse: Here you can pick the size of your cut of beef (though I've never done it -- the standard cuts seem fine to me), but what I especially like are the range of sauces available. You have six different choices, including my favorites, brandy peppercorn and chimichurri. Sides at oZ are especially good and can be ordered in single or shared portions for the table.
Cafe de Paris: We sought out Cafe de Paris long ago when it was in Laurel because of its steak and frites. Now that it's become a Columbia fixture, the steak is still my wife's first choice (and I get to share). The grilled rib eye is consistently good, but it's the frites that we can't get enough of. The steak and frites are available for lunch, part of the dinner "formule" or a la carte, and are always a happy reminder of Paris for us.
Greystone Grill: A solid choice for a good cut of beef; you can get a filet, NY strip or rib-eye cooked to order in their 1800 degree broiler. Greystone also has a good marinated flat iron steak that comes with a honey mustard sauce. The choice of a side and a very substantial salad (I like the Wedge) are included with the meal, making Greystone a better value than most of the others.
T-Bonz Grille & Pub: An honorable mention here to T-Bonz, though I admit I haven't been in a while and am overdue. Given the name, you can expect an emphasis on steaks, and they deliver a whole range of choices including a filet, NY strip, top sirloin and a gongonzola rib-eye. T-Bonz also has prime rib regularly, which can be hard to find. The quality of the overall meal may not be quite as high as some others on this list, but the prices are good and T-Bonz has a more everyday informal ambiance that may just hit the spot.
Outback Steakhouse: I'm not a big Outback fan, and the last time I ate there I felt as processed, regimented and corporatized as the beef. But I will admit that every now and then we call in an order to their Ellicott City branch drive-thru line and take a ready-made steak meal home. It's a guilty pleasure that beats cooking once in a while.
Got your own thoughts or suggestions? Post a comment. Most of these restaurants also appear on our list of Best Restaurants in Howard County.
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