Legendary | Worth driving from anywhere
Prime Steakhouse | Best Beef | Aiken, SC
Review by: Michael Stern
Best Beef for Miles Around
To be included in the first edition of our book Roadfood, a restaurant had to serve a meal that cost under $5. Times have changed! The dollar isn’t what it used to be. And Roadfood has broadened its qualifications to include some restaurants that are not cheap by any measure, but are nevertheless unique and detour-worthy… All of which is a bit of throat-clearing to let you know that Prime Steakhouse digs deep into your pocketbook. A single meal, even without drinks, easily can cost more than ten times the original Roadfood limit. But if you seek the best beef within 100 — 500? — 1000? — miles, Prime Steakhouse demands attention. Here you find great steak and first-class accompaniments. You find sophistication without a jot of snootiness.
Elegant Filet Mignon
Consider the filet mignon. It’s a half-pound (a bigger one can be requested), every gram of which is savory succulence. All too often, filets offer tenderness at the expense of flavor. Not this one. Its deep, booming, beefy character defines carnivory at its best. Precede it with a basket of fresh French bread and a bright house salad with vivid vinaigrette. Side it with mashed or Lyonnaise potatoes. This grand hunk of meat anchors an immensely satisfying meal.
Steaks & Beyond
Do you want more knife & fork adventure in your steak-eating? Prime offers strip steaks, ribeyes, and a great big porterhouse to split with another person. Weekend prime rib, velvet-soft and as marbled as a hunk of beef can be, is ultimate opulence. Also in the meat department is a fabulous “filet mignon meatloaf.” That comes smothered with mushroom demi-glace on a plate with mashed potatoes and sweet fire-roasted corn. Beyond the best beef for miles around, you can choose lamb chops or pork chops. Roast duck, shrimp & scallop scampi, twin lobster tails, and whole Maine lobsters round out the everyday repertoire. Everything comes with that good, impeccably fresh salad. (A wedge salad is a great alternative.)
Very Special Special
In addition to the regular menu, there always are interesting specials. One such appetizer is called beef tashira: candied nuggets of tender filet mignon dressed with zesty wasabi. The sweeping scope of this amazing dish — sweet, hot, and beefy — has my taste buds crying mercy … and crying out for more. In fact, beef tashira has earned so many fans that it has gone from “special” status to an (almost) always available off-the menu option.
Short on Funds?
By the way, if money is an issue and you crave steak hereabouts, you will find one of the area’s dandy bargain meals at Bruce’s Bar down the road to Augusta. Go on Monday night — steak night — and $15 buys a full ribeye dinner. As for ambience, Bruce’s is a deliciously divey tavern — very friendly if a little raucous — far, far from the easy savoir faire of Prime Steakhouse.
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