Sunday, December 4, 2016

The 100 Best Steakhouses In America

OpenTable, the online restaurant-reservation service company founded by Chuck Templeton in 1998, just published their latest e-zine issue of The Insider. The lead story:

100 Best Steakhouses in America for 2016

As Voted by OpenTable Diners
The American steakhouse is the culinary intersection of class and comfort. Our #OpenTable100 Best Steakhouses list highlights restaurants that deliver a high-end dining experience that is singular and soothing all at once. We determined the list of honorees after analyzing more than five million reviews of more than 20,000 restaurants across the country — all submitted by verified diners.

As a lover of a great steak and a frequent patron (and critic) of Tampa Bay steakhouses I enthusiastically dived into the article to see how the Bay area fared in the over five million reviews of over 20,000 steakhouses.

Whoops-a-daisy! We didn't fare at all: not Bern's, not Rococo, not 1200 Chop House, nary a wink, blink, or nod. I expanded my search for the 100 best to include the entire state of Florida. Out of 100, Florida scored five. There was one independent house of steaks, Steak 954 in Ft. Lauderdale; the other four are chains and include three Capital Grills (none in the Bay area) and an Abe and Louie's in Boca Raton.

With this rather shocking revelation: I had to ask myself, "Where on earth do these 'verified' OpenTable reviewers dine?" Well, one place is Connor's Steak and Seafood in you've-got-to-be-kidding Huntsville, Alabama. Home of the Army's Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville in northern Alabama is about equidistant from Birmingham, Nashville, and Atlanta. Or to put it another way, it's in the middle of nowhere.

Oh well, casting sour grapes aside, congratulations to Huntsville. Maybe one day in the not too distant future, Tampa Bay's gastronomic endeavors might show up on someones culinary radar screen. We can only hope.

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