First Look

First Look: Deep Ellum’s CheapSteaks Offers More than a Buck to Save

The 6-ounce filet mignon at CheapSteaks is $21.99 and worth every penny.
The 6-ounce filet mignon at CheapSteaks is $21.99 and worth every penny. Taylor Adams
It’s easy to let your ego get in the way when sending someone a text reading, “Want to go to CheapSteaks?”

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.
click to enlarge CheapSteaks in Deep Ellum - TAYLOR ADAMS
CheapSteaks in Deep Ellum
Taylor Adams
CheapSteaks has been open for a month and a half, serving plates of approachable, decently priced steak along with cocktails and beer.

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.
click to enlarge It's not just steaks; you can charcuterie too. - TAYLOR ADAMS
It's not just steaks; you can charcuterie too.
Taylor Adams
It’s dark in there, but the board is decent, aesthetically. Lovely prosciutto outshines the rest of the board, which includes toast, a nice smoked cheddar, ancho chile caciotta and a whole lot of red grapes ($13.99). Spicy mustard uplifts it all.

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.
click to enlarge A nice mix of local craft beers and freshly polished glasses. - TAYLOR ADAMS
A nice mix of local craft beers and freshly polished glasses.
Taylor Adams
The steaks come with fries, but you can also get Brussels sprouts, which you should definitely do. They’re crispy, deep-fried and finished with bacon, lemon zest and Parmesan gremolata.

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.
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Taylor Adams has written about the restaurant industry for the Dallas Observer since 2016. Now the Observer's food editor, she attended Southern Methodist University before covering local news at The Dallas Morning News.