Bryan Flannery vs. Lobel’s prime dry-aged strip steak challenge. Also known as the week of embarrassing riches of beef consumption. A recent survey showed that the average american consumes a little over a pound of beef a week, which seems about right for me. But not last week…
Last week, I finally made my way up to 82nd and Madison to visit Lobel’s and came away very impressed and with a fantastic ribeye (and some Kurobuta pork chops). As I finished the steak, I remembered that just a few days later Steve and Patti would be hosting a dinner that would be supplied with our usual favorite beef from Bryan. Why not do a steak throw down!? A few emails and phone calls later and it was all set up; we would compare one of Bryan’s Californian Private Reserve strip steaks (on the left in the photo) with one of Lobel’s midwestern strips. But more on that in a minute. The night before the steak challenge, I stopped by Steve’s to do some prep only to find one of Bryan’s burger sampler packs waiting to go on the grill. Since I’ve started grinding my own meat for burgers it’s become more and more difficult to impress me, but these were ridiculously good. One blend with applewood smoked bacon was especially delicious.
The next night was the steak challenge. Both steaks were dry-aged in the 5-6 week range, and both Bryan and Lobel’s select only the very, very best of the prime meat that’s available. While I joke that this was a challenge, really it wasn’t possible for there to be a loser in this scenario. Both steaks were of course incredible. Between the four eaters we weren’t able to come to a clear consensus. The Flannery steak was perhaps more beefy while the Lobel’s was richer? This is probably due to the California vs. Midwestern sourcing than anything else. So, on that day, call it a tie. Further research is needed!
I thought my week was done, but somehow only two days later I found myself again way up on the Upper East Side and unable to pass up another trip to Lobel’s. I had tried the strip and the ribeye, so it was time for the Porterhouse. The service was once again a pleasure, and it shouldn’t be a surprise at this point that the steak was incredibly good. I also came away with some thick cut veal chops which I’ll post about soon.
My arteries and I are thankful that Blue Moon Fish will be back at the Greenmarket next weekend!