Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Past, Present, and Future of Steak: A Review of Sorts

I look forward to having children. Well, one child. A son.

I should rephrase. I look forward to having a son. Well, a cool son. He should be smart, good-looking, and be able to peel the paint off a wall with well-timed putdowns. He should also appreciate a fine steak.

I should rephrase. I look forward to having a son who is just like me, only with a darker skin tone and way more muscles. He should also be less socially awkward and not inclined to killing himself if his espresso isn’t perfect. He should and will be able to play the guitar like a son of a bitch.

I should rephrase. I look forward to spawning a flawless being, a tower of masculinity who’s not afraid to enjoy a fine steak. Because when he comes of age I am going to take him to Peter Luger Steakhouse whether he likes it or not.

By this day, let’s call it sometime in 2034, Brooklyn will no longer be the most concentrated bastion of hipsterism in the nation but a sprawling collection of moving sidewalks and buildings made of air. But not Luger’s. Luger’s will inhabit the same brick building with a green canopy that it has been in since it was built by slaves. It will also have the same unfinished wooden tables that gave me so many splinters when I last dined there. Have you ever sat at a completely un-sanded table? Maybe, at a park. But this is a fine dining establishment. To expect your patrons to pay a hundred dollars apiece to sit at picnic tables while being blasted from above with fluorescent light so harsh that everyone looks like they’re on blow…. That takes balls. Big, juicy, corn-fed balls served in their own sauce. And yes, Peter Luger has bigger balls than any restaurant ever.

Once my son gets over the tables and the light, he will soon realize that there are no women in the restaurant, including the wait staff. He will be shocked.

“But papa, fine restaurants, according to your blog which has been published in nineteen different languages, are the ultimate aphrodisiacs. For sex! With women! Where are the women?”

I will laugh heartily, sip my wine, and explain.

“You see, boy, that holds true for other fine establishments. But this is a house of beef. This is a place where men come to eat steak. Now shut up and drink your wine.”
“But I am allergic to wine!”
“Yes, I forgot… your one flaw.”

My dearest boy will then beg my forgiveness as he notices there is indeed one woman in the restaurant. She is about 25 years old and has very large, mostly exposed breasts. She is sitting with an 80-year old man. My boy will ask me why such a man should be dining with such a woman and I will then explain to him how prostitution works. How the old man once received, through a Wall Street connection, a business card with the words “Starlight Entertainment” printed on it with a handwritten phone number and a password on the back. I will also explain that the man has brought his prostitute to Luger’s because she told him nothing turns her on more than inch-thick slabs of bacon served on a plate. Luckily, nothing pleases the man more than a simple laminated menu with entrĂ©e options limited to “steak for one,” “steak for two,” “steak for three,” or “steak for four.” The old man likes his dinners simple, beefy, and filled with prostitutes. I will teach my son that this is how all men like their dinners and he would do well to remember that.

Our steak, a dry-aged, cut porterhouse for two, will come to our table dripping with greatness and will be both medium-rare and perfect. The signature Luger steak sauce will offset the beef subtly and perfectly. There will be side dishes, potatoes or some shit. Dessert will be glorious, and the waiter will make it rain with chocolate coins before we leave.

But these are but the inconsequential details. For, as my boy will learn throughout the course of our meal, food can often be secondary to atmosphere, if dining in the proper location. And there is no better location to learn what it means to be a man.

1 comment:

Jace said...

This post is an instant classic. I wish you were my father.