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Restaurant Reviews (by Kim Gentes)

Over the years I have eaten at a lot of different resaurants.  Many are local to the Phoenix area, since I have lived there for 21 years.  Some are in various cities that I have visited or travelled to with work.

Entries in steakhouse (1)

Ruth's Chris Steakhouse (various locations)

I've travelled to a number of cities throughout the US and Canada. Occasionally, I have the opportunity to eat out at nice restaurants and eateries. My goal is normally to find local places that show the flavor and excellence of the region, knowing I won't have a chance to find something similar back in my home town. The other thing I try not to do is eat at chain restaurants that can be painful reminders that industrialization has reached even to our plates. That said, I have found there is one place I simply can't deny is absolutely amazing when it comes to its feature dish.  Ruth's Chris is a premium franchise steakhouse that has locations in most major metro areas of the US. My first encounter at a Ruth's was in Phoenix, AZ. A friend from work (Bill P) recommended I try it out. My wife and I went there for an anniversary dinner several years ago.  That one time was all it took.  Over the years, we have returned to Ruth's on special occasions, though rarely, as our budget allows.

Ruth's does one thing better than any other steakhouse I have had the pleasure to visit- the filet. I have been to Morton's (often assailed as being a rival), to exclusive steak restaurants in cities around the US, including both LA and NY. But frankly, nothing I have ever tasted can rival a filet at Ruth's Chris. To your table, it is so sizzling hot that the butter is dancing around the plate and on the steak as it is presented.  The outside is never charred excessively, and center isn't overly watery.  The steak, instead is sparkling with butter, and cuts clean through without losing form.  This steak hasn't been frozen or injected to change its moisture. Instead, it is perfectly captured in the cooking, heating it (they tell me) to 1800 degrees to seal and cook it perfectly.  Every buttery bite is still hot and amazingly tasty.

The rest is great too, the extra large sides (big enough to share) , tasty deserts and the well lit, business casual atmosphere.  But there is one reason I love Ruth's- the filet.  I have eaten at 5 different Ruth Chris Steakhouses over time.  My absolute favorite meal in history happened at the Ruth's in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  I had my favorite- the filet. But this time, it was offered with USDA beef or local Alberta beef. I chose the Alberta local cut. On top of the amazing Ruth's treatment of the filet, was a simple extra twinge of flavor that can only be attributed to the Alberta beef which sourced the cut. It was a just a touch stronger than the USDA Prime, but it was the beautiful perfection that made my favorite meal ever. My second favorite steak happened in Nashville, TN for Father's Day 2010 (we went a day early on Saturday eve).  

There are lots of reasons to try local places, and I will still do that wherever I go. But if I want a perfect steak, I haven't found any rival to Ruth's Chris. And if filet and butter are top words in your culinary vocabulary, you may find your new favorite place to be Ruth's as well.

Ruth's Chris Steakhouse

happy filets people!

Kim Gentes