By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Alice Laussade
By City of Ate
By Scott Reitz
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Alice Laussade
Somewhere in the dark corridors, behind the wood paneling, beyond the rows of mirrors framed in wood or brass, Bob's Steak and Chop House must have hidden a couple of barrels of dining room testosterone. You can see the effects of hormonal excess everywhere. Bob's reeks of culinary rutting gone mad, the kind that would make a steer quiver in tragic envy. It's dark. It has a cigar menu. It has brass chandeliers and ceiling propellers.
4300 Lemmon Ave.
Dallas, TX 75219
Region: Uptown & Oak Lawn
Shrimp cocktail: $2.95
Soup of the day: $5.95
Blue cheese salad: $6.95
Tomato, onion and mozzarella salad: $8.95
Roasted duck: $21.95
Prime T-bone steak: $29.95
Rib eye steak: $23.95
Key lime pie: $5.95
Crème brûlée: $5.95
Jelly beans: free
It has steak.
That's the showstopper, Bob's steak. Not just any steak, USDA prime steak, steak as thick as the bull in a campaign speech. Ask anyone anywhere in Dallas (who doesn't believe their great-grandparent has come back as a steer) who has the best steak, and they'll reflexively spit out "Bob's" before you can finish the question. It's gotten to the point where if some poor sap stutters "Del Frisco's" or "Kirby's," you feel compelled to loan them your Thorazine. Even the women at the bar respond to the Bob's aura--fluffing their hair and exposing their necks--the scent of musky sweat is so strong. And the men? Well...
Bob's has hockey on the tubes and big portions on the plates. Even the glazed carrot--standard equipment along with a potato with every steak--is large enough to ignite Freudian envy. You almost wonder if Bob's has a trace of feminine élan anywhere, some lone implement or decorative element that might remind you of Mom or maybe Yasmine Bleeth. I found none.
Except one. Near the entrance is a huge bowl of jelly beans the size of locomotive ball bearings. It's not that the beans themselves are particularly feminine; it's that the bowl was equipped with a large serving spoon instead of a work glove for well-mannered self service. Oh, and in the far dining region, there are roses tattooed onto the glass transoms and vertical panels.
But other than that, Bob's is thoroughly masculine, a gush of androgens. Consider the delicious irony of this he-man meal: thick hunks of flesh carved from the carcass of a steer for consumption by a patron, presumably with full testicular faculties, to fortify his masculinity. Pass the A1.
Which I don't think I saw at Bob's, thank God. And maybe Bob, too. Because the last thing you'd want to do is mask these steaks with drippings from an A1 bottle, a crime far more heinous than wearing white shoes off the golf course.
Consider the prime T-bone, an acutely triangular piece of meat with a bone grown symmetrically into its USDA prime flesh. Cast on the red side of the requested medium hue (a rarity), the meat was ample on both sides of the bone's stem without any fat or unruly gristle framing. The flavor was rich, and the fiber dribbled with juice. Not as deft were the skillet potatoes topped with sautéed onions and peppercorn gravy. The potato disks seemed out of place next to that beautiful steak--clumsy, lacking any engaging flavor, and they were dressed in muddy brown, too.
Bob's prime rib eye was even better--prolifically rich, abundantly juicy and void of any meaty pitfalls (gristle, toughness) that can work the jaw until it aches. And like some rib eyes, this one wasn't overly fatty. It was buttery. It knocked our socks off. It renewed our faith in God, or steers anyway. This is the best rib eye we've had, bar none.
Not surprisingly, Bob's seems to apply its own special brand of masculine steak nomenclature to everything, even the appetizers and salads. Case in point: the tomato, onion and mozzarella salad. You might expect an elegant rendition fashioned from tomato and cheese slices and perhaps some red onion rings to provide flavor and color interest. Not at Bob's. Bob's orchestrates this combo as a chopped salad, with tomato chunks heaped like a volcanic isle in a huge bowl. We were expecting little serving dishes to be placed around the table at each setting, thinking this must be the serving bowl. The deep vinaigrette puddle at the bottom of the bowl made it seem more like soup, or maybe a stew with a hump. Thankfully, the vinaigrette was subdued, so it didn't tear into the throat with undue pugnaciousness. And the big chunks of bright red tomato were rich and juicy, though the mozzarella was a little overwhelmed.
The blue cheese salad was another boisterous heap of masculinity, perhaps an overbearing one. Yet it was refreshing and deft nonetheless. With bits of hard-boiled egg and fragments of roasted pecan, the salad was crisp, refreshingly cold and pummeled into submission with more blue cheese than you could stuff into a gym sock.
In case you hadn't guessed, subtlety is not Bob's game, even when it comes to sea life. The shrimp cocktail arrived as a handful of shrimp on a small platter carpeted with lettuce leaves. These were heavy-duty shrimp, the kind that could take up half the room you'd already reserved for steak. Edged with a cocktail sauce spiked with a horseradish shot that approached searing levels, these hefty shrimp were washed out, bland and a little mealy, as if they'd been boiled until their pinkness was eradicated.
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