Photo: Mark Brandon
In a city famed for its steakhouses, perhaps none is as famous (or authentic) as Peter Luger, which has stuffed customers with prime cuts of cattle since it opened in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge in 1887. And while Luger doesn't appear to have updated its decidedly un-sexy interior (faux candelabras! wall-to-wall carpets! beer hall tables!) during it's 125-year life, it has earned four-star NY Times reviews, Michelin stars, and a pantheon of celebrity frequenters including...holy sh*t, is that Andrew Dice Clay?!
The Tuetonic waiters are not here to be your friend, or, apparently, even helpful, but the menu isn't complicated: man-sized slices of beefsteak tomatoes & onions covered in a tangy house steak sauce, thick-cut slabs of bacon, German fried potatoes, and their famed porterhouse: a chunk of cow doused table-side in its own rendered fat, and served on a plate with edges so hot you can further cook your steak on 'em. You can debate whether it's really the best in the city, but not that it's the most quintessential.
And while many a former employee has left to open their own chophouse (Wolfgang's, Ben & Jack's, Benjamin Steak House...) none has stolen Luger's signature end-of-the-meal gift of chocolate gold coins, perhaps fearing that one last bite would make Dice Clay die faster than the laughter.