Lifestyle
Travel Bites: Steak Out

  Sink your teeth into these meaty delights around the globe.

Food culture seems so hinged on trends these days that it’s often refreshing when travelers can rely on certain unchanging traditions. One old chestnut that pervades the globe is the steakhouse. From Asia’s Far East to the American Wild West, meat-eaters can confidently travel and know they’ll have little problem finding something to satisfy a carnivorous appetite. Mark Schatzker, author of Steak: One Man’s Search For the World’s Tastiest Piece of Beef offers these quick tips to sussing out the superior steakhouses around the world.

  1. Talk to the locals.“They’ll likely have better recommendations than a guidebook.”
  2. Eat what the locals eat. “Don’t go looking for a North American–style steak in Japan, for example.”
  3. Go independent. “A lot of the big-name chains serve so many steaks they can’t source their beef from a smaller provider because their volume is just too high.”

Here’s where to have authentic steakhouse  experiences around the world:

New Zealand 

The Kiwis are producing some of the best grass-fed Wagyu-style beef in the world right now, says Schatzker. The Grill by Sean Connolly in Auckland is showcasing locally bred varieties, such as Wakanui Angus grain-fed from the South Island, Savannah Angus pasture-fed from the North Island, and Wagyu pasture-fed from Hawke’s Bay. Diners can even get a taste of all three via the chef’s “study of beef” platter. skycityauckland.co.nz/restaurants/the-grill


South America

Grass-fed cattle from the Pampas supply the famous parrillas, grill-happy restaurants of Argentina, where pretty much every part of the cow is tossed onto a barbecue. The variety of spots in Buenos Aires can be overwhelming, so a great way to try a few is to go on a “Parrilla Tour,” where hungry travelers taste the popular meateries while sightseeing on foot. parrillatour.com

In Brazil, the churrascarias are the spots to binge on beef and meat of any variety. These steakhouses are all-you-can-eat, as waiters come by to carve meat directly off sword-like skewers and onto your plate. The branches of Porcão in Rio de Janeiro are a traditional favorite. porcao.com.br

United States

If you like a side of history along with your meat, old-school New York steakhouse Keens is the place to go. Since 1885, this chophouse has been a veritable museum of meat and more—once a gentlemen-only spot, VIPs like Teddy Roosevelt and Albert Einstein would “check” their clay pipes after a post-meal smoke, amassing a collection 90,000-strong for the steakhouse. Keens’ USDA prime-grade steaks are dry-aged on the premises. keens.com

The Urban Farmer in Portland, Oregon is dedicated to the support of small-scale cattle farming in America. Its highlight: the best of Western beef, butchered in-house. A great way to understand the flavor differences is to order the New York strip steak tasting: six ounces each of Oregon grass-fed; corn-fed Brandt prime from California; twenty-one-day dry-aged, grain-finished from Oregon; and Strube Wagyu from Texas. urbanfarmerrestaurant.com

Japan

According to Schatzker’s experience, Japan has consistently the highest quality of beef. In Tokyo, he recommends any of the five branches of Seryna for the country’s signature, highly marbled Kobe.  Try it cooked in broth, shabu-shabu style; quickly seared on a teppan grill;  or charbroiled.  seryna.co.jp/en 

Tags:
The Grill by Sean Connolly , Parrilla Tour Buenos Aires , Seryna Tokyo , The Urban Farmer , Mark Schatzker , Keens
Posted On: 20 December 2012    Print    Email
Author: Kathleen Squires
 

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