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 is expensive. It is likely that a single meal, even without drinks, will be more than ten times the original Roadfood limit.
However, if you want a great steak and first-class accompaniments from breadbasket to bread pudding in a sophisticated (but not snooty) setting, Prime Steakhouse is hands-down the best there is between Atlanta and Charleston.
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 are tender but short on flavor. Not this one. Its deep, booming, beefy character is what carnivory is all about. Preceded by a basket of fresh French bread and a bright house salad with vivid vinaigrette and accompanied by mashed or Lyonnaise potatoes, this hunk of meat is star of an immensely satisfying meal.
For those who want more fat and knife & fork adventure in their steak-eating, Prime offers strip steaks, ribeyes, and a great big porterhouses 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,” which comes smothered with mushroom demi-glace and served with mashed potatoes and sweet fire-roasted corn. And there are lamb chops and pork chops, too, as well as roast duck, shrimp & scallop scampi, twin lobster tails, and whole Maine lobsters. Everything is served with that good, impeccably fresh salad (although the wedge salad is a great alternative).
In addition to the regular menu, there always are interesting specials. On a recent visit, one such appetizer was called beef tashira: candied nuggets of tender filet mignon dressed with zesty wasabi. The sweeping scope of this amazing dish — sweet, hot, and beefy — had my taste buds crying mercy … and crying out for more.