Peter Luger

Review by: Jane & Michael Stern

The tables are bare oak and the knives have battered wooden handles; the waiters can be impatient; the menu is short (most customers don’t even bother to look at it); and the prices easily rise to triple digits for two normal-appetite eaters, even without drinks. Still, no honest account of New York Roadfood would be complete without saluting one of Brooklyn’s – and America’s – great meat-and-potatoes dinners.

Peter Luger is an ancient (since 1887) neighborhood steak house that serves stupendous lamb chops and the occasional piece of fish, but is known for its porterhouse. You order it by the person – steak for two, three, or four – and what you get is a gorgeous mesa of prime beef that has been well-charred on the outside, then cut into thick, rosy-centered strips on its serving plate. The waiter positions the plate at a tilt on a little dish so all the steak’s hot juices puddle up at one end (easier to spoon out that way) and can be drizzled on the steak slices or on hash brown potatoes. There are no words that adequately describe just how good this steak tastes. For us, a first bite after about a year away reminded us to be proud we are carnivores.

Side dishes are minimal but excellent: handsome, thick-sliced tomatoes and onions, hash browns or baked potatoes (at dinner), creamed spinach and thick-cut French fries (at lunch), and always fresh, crusty onion bread and caraway salt sticks for starters.

If you have any appetite remaining once the steak is polished off, have a grand finale with a piece of strudel or cheesecake, which likely will send the meal’s calorie count into quadruple digits.

Directions & Hours

11:45am - 9:15pm
  • Monday: 11:45 AM – 9:15 PM
  • Tuesday: 11:45 AM – 9:15 PM
  • Wednesday: 11:45 AM – 9:15 PM
  • Thursday: 11:45 AM – 9:15 PM
  • Friday: 11:45 AM – 9:15 PM
  • Saturday: 11:45 AM – 9:15 PM
  • Sunday: 11:45 AM – 9:15 PM

What To Eat

Porterhouse Steak

DISH
Cheeseburger

DISH
Bread Basket

DISH
Iceberg Wedge Salad

DISH
Pecan Pie

DISH
French Fries

DISH
Luger’s Own Sauce

DISH
Strudel

DISH
Creamed Spinach

DISH
Tomatoes & Onions

DISH

Peter Luger Recipes

Discuss

What do you think of Peter Luger?

2 Responses to “Peter Luger”

Bill Homan

September 14th, 2011

I had always known Peter Luger’s as one of the premier steakhouses in NYC but after countless friends had repeatedly told me how great their burger was I just had to find out for myself. I’ve eaten quite a few burgers in my day and more often than not they don’t measure up to the hype. This one exceeded any expectations that I could possibly have had.

I have since eaten one three more times but on my first visit I ordered a bacon cheeseburger, cooked medium. When the waiter set the plate in front of me I had a good feeling. To start, there was a little plastic cow stuck in the top of the bun that said “medium.” Not many places do that anymore. Also, the bun looked as though it had just been freshly cut. I began to cut it in half so I could take a shot of the cross section and, upon doing so, a tiny river of pink juices flowed from the meat, a harbinger of good things to come.

When I took my first bite it was as though every burger I had eaten up to that point was in black and white and this was my first taste of Technicolor! Among people who love food, there is always debate about what makes a “perfect burger,” and many I have spoken to usually frown upon toppings and condiments, saying that they mask the flavor of the beef. I’ve always thought it was a matter of personal taste… until this day.

My first thought was, “Wow! So THIS is what beef is supposed to taste like!” The burger is juicy, with a very rich, beefy flavor. My love for this cheeseburger increased exponentially with each bite and, believe me, I took it slow so that I could draw out my joy for as long as possible. Never have the flavors and textures of the bun and the cheese worked so well to provide such terrific support without getting in the way.

The American cheese was a creamy counterpoint that cut through the richness of the meat and the bun held up nicely right to the last bite. But what about the bacon, you say? Well, much like that rack of ribs on Fred Flintstone’s car, this bacon was too unwieldy to fit on the burger without throwing off the balance. It was served on the plate and really is an entity unto itself. A fork and knife affair, thick, slightly charred and packed with a powerful flavor, this piece of porcine perfection is meant to be savored a small bite at a time.

I may have not travelled extensively and I certainly have not yet been to many of the great burger meccas across the U.S.A., but I can safely say that the burger at Peter Luger belongs up there among the best.

NOTE: Peter Luger only takes cash and the burger is only served during lunch (12:00pm to 3:00pm Monday to Saturday and 12:45pm to 3:00pm on Sunday). Reservations are recommended.

Reply

Jack Ziegler

July 25th, 2011

What can I say about Peter Luger’s that hasn’t already been said? It’s just the best damn steak you’ll ever eat. It’s expensive, and they don’t take commercial credit cards (only their own). The waiters are known for their attitude, some of which comes from being a New Yorker, the rest is schtick. Did I mention how good the steak is?

If there are, say, four in your party, the waiter will tell you what he wants to bring: two shrimp cocktails and two tomato and onion salads. Agree with his suggestion; resistance is futile. Then the steak. Oh yes, the steak, and maybe the German fried potatoes, and some creamed spinach. It’s so good, you will want to lick the plates, and you will be stuffed, but wait. The pecan pie and the strudel topped with schlag will complete the experience. Don’t forget the schlag, whatever you do.

Prepare yourself for the bill: have plenty of good old greenbacks in your pocket. Don’t do as I did the first time I ate at Peter Luger’s. We took clients, executives from a large supermarket chain, for dinner. There were 10 of us in the party. I realized, about halfway through the meal, they wouldn’t accept my Amex platinum card. They also refused to accept a check. There were four of us hosting the supermarket executives, so we peeled off, one by one, to hit ATM’s throughout the area. We did all of this without letting our guests know what we were doing. It was a crazy scene, but we managed to scrape up the dollars we needed to cover the bill and the tip.

I’ve been back many times since, and I always remember the first time. If you love great steak, it’s worth a trip from anywhere for the Peter Luger’s experience.

Reply

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