Monday, November 30, 2009

Postcard from Perry's Steakhouse & Grille

This is another installment of my series of mini reviews on restaurants that I’ve only been to once or twice, but are worth telling you about.

My son and daughter and I decided to participate in Austin Restaurant Week, so we made reservations at Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille, one of the participating restaurants. If you’re not familiar with Restaurant Week, I’ll fill you in, so you’ll be prepared next year. The event ran over eight days in September and allowed participants to dine at some of Austin’s best restaurants at fixed prices, ranging from $25-$35. There were over 50 restaurants participating this year, so we made our decision based on the menu offerings and available reservations. Perry’s was the winner.

When we arrived for our 7:00 reservation, Perry’s bar was all abuzz with the after work happy hour crowd of banker and lawyer types. Located downtown in the original Norwood building, Perry’s country club decor invokes a nostalgic image of fat-cat bankers wining and dining clients on expense accounts. The private room in the original bank vault only added to the image.

While some of the restaurants were trying to get creative with their fixed price menu for Restaurant Week, Perry’s offered a perfect sampling of its regular menu, with a choice of an 8 oz Filet Mignon, the Signature Pork Chop or Chicken Oscar. The menu also included a choice between the Wedge Salad and a Caesar salad. Rather than offering different choices for dessert, the menu included a trio of dessert samples that included Hazelnut Praline Cheesecake, White & Dark Chocolate Mousse, and Vanilla Crème Brule.

Since there were three of us, we each ordered a different entrée. Our server brought my steak and my daughter’s chicken and they both looked great. But when my son’s pork chop arrived, suddenly the other two entrees seemed about as exciting as Spam.

I was expecting Perry’s Signature Pork Chop to look like the pork chops I would buy at HEB, if I ever bought pork chops, which I don’t. This thing was more like a roast, so big it came with its own table. The server carved it tableside, giving instructions as to which part of the chop was best eaten first. The tender, slow-roasted and slow-smoked meat with its crisp, caramelized edges was unlike any “pork chop” I’ve ever eaten. My son ate as much as he could and took enough home to feed a family of four. 

The old advertising adage about selling the sizzle, not the steak, didn’t apply to Perry’s signature pork chop. The taste was every bit as impressive as its presentation.

And, here’s some exciting news. You can order Perry’s fully-cooked chops and steaks here and have them delivered to your home or as a gift for your favorite omnivore.

Perry's Steakhouse & Grille on Urbanspoon

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