If they know nothing about it, what do they think of you and your wanting to go try cheap meat?
But walking into the Deep Ellum space, which in what feels like eons ago was Stonedeck Pizza Pub, you’ll find it’s a good decision. Dark colors and dim lighting create an intimate vibe that makes you feel comfortable.
There’s wine, too — three options for white, three options for room-temperature red. (And, as we learned, if someone in your party wants rosé, they can’t get it here.) But the bartender did polish our glasses before pouring a Manhattan and wine into them. Beers on tap include Peticolas, so someone here has good taste.
The bartender set the right mood for the evening with a welcomed enthusiasm about the restaurant. While waiting for the charcuterie board, he checked in to let us know it was going to be oh so beautiful.
Other appetizers include grilled jalapeño-hummus bites ($8.99), Parmesan-truffle fries we’ll try next time ($5.99) and a Caesar salad ($7.99).
For steaks, you can go for a choice sirloin ($13.99), hanging tenderloin ($15.99) or a lean New York strip ($17.99). We went with the least cheap of the CheapSteaks, the 6-ounce filet mignon ($21.99).
There are some places in town where you can get a “cheap steak,” and there’s an overwhelming taste of char. Here there’s an appropriate taste of the sear over tender meat. It was cooked perfectly to order, medium-rare, and it was worth every penny.
There’s a tempting chopped steak sandwich with grilled onions and bell peppers on a sourdough bun ($11.99), but when we asked our friendly bartender about it, he said, “If you want something good, get the steaks.” We trusted him, but we still want to try that sandwich.
There’s more than red meat, too, such as a vegan lasagna ($14.99). On our visit, there was salmon, which seems to have since disappeared from the menu.
Head here around dinner time, and you’re in a good setting for good conversation while the likes of Led Zeppelin and The Doors play on the speakers. Head in later, and you’ll get to hear live music seven nights a week.
Either way, there’s a comfortable environment here worth visiting more than once.
CheapSteaks, 2613 Elm St. (Deep Ellum). 214-730-0220. Open 11 to 2 a.m. daily.