Friday, November 7, 2008

J. Gilberts is a best kept secret of Johnson County

I went out to eat at J. Gilberts last night and I started thinking about SOJOCO's best steak places now that Plaza III has retreated to the plaza and Morton's is getting ready to take their turn in the Golden Ghetto.

First, J. Gilbert's has to be one of the best kept secrets in Kansas City. I don't hear people talk about it much but if I mention it everyone always has great things to say about it. We had a great dinner there last night. The staff is consistent and efficient and while it has that old steak house feel, don't they all? All in all, probably assumes the mantle as Sojoco's best steak joint at least until Morton's opens.

They have prime aged beef there which is becoming more rare opposed to all the made up "certified" names like Black Angus certified or "Certified Angus Beef" or CAB or whatever. Don't get me started on this but when people fill you with BS like their brand is the top grade of choice and the bottom of prime, which is what they all do, all they are saying is you are getting CHOICE. If it was PRIME they would sell it as prime. I've even heard some servers try to tell me that their brand is rated higher than prime. Realizing that pretty much only the top 3% of all beef is rated by USDA as prime it means that not everyone can sell it. So, when you have the chance......definitely order up. My 12 oz. strip was excellent. Want to know more about grading of beef? Click here.

They also have these blue cheese potato chips that are really good as well. AND....for you sojoco'ers who have kids...don't we all? They have a nice little kid's menu and they are very accommodating. They also have this squash soup that is perfect for fall and very, very good. I hate iceberg lettuce so the mixed greens that were actually nice mix without any flavorless iceberg and a very light oil and vinegar dressing was very much appreciated. Very simple but very good.

The bar actually sports some regulars and the wine list is more than adequate. They feature different wineries which is always a good bet to try and this month they are featuring a winery that I am fond of called Frei Brothers. We had the Pinot Noir which was really damn good.

They aren't cheap but they aren't like Ruth's Chris or Capital Grille either. You actually get sides with your steak like a nice choice of standard steak house potatoes options and vegetables. This is nice because the sides at other places end of costing you as much as another entree.

Of course, there are quite a few great options is you want to leave sojoco but that isn't the topic.

Okay, enough love for J. Gilberts. Here are some of the other places in SOJOCO that are decent:

Sullivan's: New to town but making a quick mark around town. Very good steak house. Expensive wines.

Hereford House: Use to serve Prime but now they don't......hmmm, wonder why I haven't been in awhile. Wine list also has gotten lame.

J. Alexander's: DON'T confuse with J. Gilberts.....not even a comparison but palatable.

Yahooz: Pretty nice atmosphere. Not as dark as most. Cowboy up but the steaks are definitely choice grade and probably some select. Decent wine list.

Outback Steakhouse: While atmosphere is lacking they actually offer some Prime selections on the menu and they aren't cheap like you'd think. Not bad. Corporate wine list so not creative.

One place that isn't a steak house but has a really nice selection of meat:

Barley's Brewhouse in Overland Park: They use hickory wood in their grill that gives the steak a great flavor. Comfortable atmosphere. Not much in the way of wine to go with those steaks but of course there is always the beer.

Do you know a good SOJOCO place that has a nice steak? Lemme know......


jocosob said...

Gary Lezak says the meat is good at his house.

I Travel for JOOLS said...

Yah I do ... my place !

Actually, I find eating steak at a KC restaurant one of the least satisfying of dining experiences BECAUSE we have such great meat markets here in the area and we can do a really great steak right on our own grill. Really, the same cannot be said for many other states, especially on the coasts .. and well you have seafood there so you're crazy to order steak, but I digress.

As for the sides, it's easy to whip up a really great salad with Romaine and other assorted GOOD lettuce along with strawberries and mandarin oranges and pecan pieces and red onion swirls with a yummy Raspberry dressing. And, who can't bake a great potato, a sweet potato even. And, a quick trip to several liquor stores that carry a great selection of wines and you're done!.

But, thanks for your recommendations. I may try them out some day (mid-winter when I don't want to tend the grill)

JOCOeveryman said...

You know what Travels....I love to cook and grill as much as anyone but I have to disagree on a couple points. Maybe I'll do a post of best meat markets next though....

First, most people don't go to meat markets and thus buy the crap that the grocery store sells and if they do they don't have a grill that is hot enough that will sear a steak correctly. They are starting to sell some now that will. Oh, and if you like that hickory flavor you better get some of that while you are out too.

Second, the adage about only being able to get good seafood on the coast or beef in the midwest is bunk. It used to be that way but thanks to great daily shipping you can get world class anything almost anywhere. The best restaurants always get first dibs though.

Third, all that being equal I have made some pretty incredible steaks at home but eating out is part of the experience. It is enjoying having someone bring it to you, to being well served by a professional, and not having to clean up and go shopping for everything and everyone can have just what they want.....

Plus, it doesn't always represent a value at all. This week we went to Blue Moose and my wife and I had spinach salads with grilled chicken. A really nice salad with strawberries, almonds...lots of stuff. They were $12.99 each I think. With drinks and tip it cost us $40. Two days later I went to Price Chopper to make pretty much the same salad because I liked it so much and spent $37 dollars and that doesn't include my time, my gas, and the cost to wash the dishes, etc, etc or drinks which was just tea and coffee. My point is time and time again I've run off to the grocery and ended up spending about the same or more.

I understand your point in that steak doesn't require a ton of culinary expertise to make or prepare BUT that doesn't make me enjoy it less.

Thanks for posting a comment. Always love to hear from you.

JOCOeveryman said...

Jocosob....I didn't know you liked tube steak so much. That's okay because I'm not homophobic. You are cool with me.

I Travel for JOOLS said...

Hey, I like to go out to eat. I just like to go places where I can't cook what they can nearly as Olive Garden


JOCOeveryman said...

Travels.....I was hopeful that Olive Garden was a joke....I'd hate to lose respect for you. Endless pasta bowl anyone?

JOCOeveryman said...

Travels....I have an idea....make me some of those incredible steaks you make and I'll check for myself....