Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Birthday Bash At Charley's

The most spectacular food blogger in the whole world, Sweet Polly, experienced her [mumble, mumble] birthday right after the first of the year. Last night she and her charming Underdog "spousal unit", my gorgeous bride and myself met up at Charley's Steak House on Cypress here in the Big Guava to gorge on food and wine in celebration of that glorious event.

Sweet Polly and Underdog provided the vino, some of which they brought back from a trip to Italy, and with a modest corkage fee Charley's kept our glasses filled throughout our wonderful evening together. I will now endeavor to regale you with some of the highlights of our evening - those that I remember, anyway.

Probably the best part of the evening was just getting together with some really good friends. Food and drink came in second, but that was some really good food and drink!

Dave and Dave were our attentive servers for the evenings festivities. After presenting us with humongous menus, Dave (the other Dave) said fear not the menu, for here is what you really need to see as Dave (the other one) presented a tray loaded with beefy choices for our viewing pleasure.

I labeled two of the more interesting choices, the Bison and the Wagyu rib eyes. You may sort out the rest.
Ogling the beef with handles, I was sorely tempted to grab one and start gnawing away right then and there. Since we were having a pleasant evening and just might want to return to Charley's sometime in the future, I restrained my cave dweller instincts.

There were no prices listed, nor were prices mentioned. I hesitated asking, but that Wagyu was just too intriguing.  Plus, I didn't want to be surprised by a $400 meat bill. Nay, nay said Dave, that 24 ounce cut is a mere $69. Whoa, says I!

I saw on the teevee that Earth could be wiped out by an asteroid in the next 10,000 years or so, and while I don't plan on being around that long, I decided I wouldn't want to be smushed by a space rock and not be able to say, "I done ate me a $69 Wagyu steak, medium rare, thank you very much." So, bring 'er on Dave and damn the asteroid.

Next up - appetizers. We chose two to be shared by the table.

I think it is safe to say that the Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio was enjoyed by all. Actually, my bride and I agreed that this was the best, most savory beef carpaccio that we have ever had, and we have had us some really good beef carpaccio.

Speaking only for myself, the next appetizer left much to be desired. The stone crab claws looked good, but extracting the meat was frustrating. The crab meat stuck to the shells and when pried out it came in shreds, not nice juicy chunks. This is a sign of over cooking, extreme age, or both.

The crabs did not achieve the hearts of gastronomic love.

Next on the table were salads. They were fresh and tasty, but took up room that was necessary for the meat which was forth coming.

And, now, the main event!

I had a taste of Underdog's Bison Rib Eye, and to me it rivaled my Wagyu, especially when you consider the price point. It was tender, juicy, and packed with flavor.

There is no denying that this Wagyu Rib Eye was superb. It was worth every penny, and now I could care less about some stupid old asteroid.

My bride, the Belle of Ballast Point, just swooned over her Filet Mignon. I don't have a picture of her swooning, but it was a magic moment that I will long remember.

Somebody (me?) must have been in full gastronomic quiver mode when Sweet Polly's filet mignon prepared "Oscar style"...topped with a fried soft-shelled crab and hollandaise sauce was photographed. I converted the fuzzy picture to a classic oil painting style, and it looks pretty darn tasty.

We split the bill in half and our share came to $175 or so and we added 20% for Dave and Dave. Since the wine was provided by Sweet Polly and her mighty Underdog, the final tally wasn't as scary as it could have been. Charley's isn't cheap, but super duper rarely is cheap. Super duper?

Charley's Steak House on Urbanspoon

Charley's Steakhouse & Market Fresh Fish on Foodio54


  1. As usual, I think I can safely say that a fabulous time was had by all! See you guys soon.

    1. I concur. Friends, food, and wine - so fine. And, a dandy review on Epicurean Perils of Sweet Polly.