Dreaming of a perfect steak, I cued up Aaron Copland's Rodeo and imagined myself speaking aloud in my best Burl Ives voice: "When the Limon, Colorado police officer asked me why I was speeding, I weighed my options and went with the truth, telling him I wanted to make it to Morton's Steakhouse before they closed."
"It's noon and you're traveling east. Denver's the other way," the officer replied pessimistically.
"Kansas City, sir, I'm heading to Kansas City. You see, I just love a good steak," I explained.
He smiled knowingly, and I was on my way.
Obviously, I get very excited about a fine steak dinner and I was fired up about dining at Lock, Stock and Barrel.
In my opinion, you don't just walk into a steakhouse on a whim--you must prepare. I started my big day with the ranchers at D & B Supply (actually it started with me doing a circumcision, but that didn't make me hungry for beef). I then went on a bird-killing spree with my pointer, Huck. Frame of mind appropriately set, I enlisted my lowlife car dealer buddy (his term) to join me, and we headed with empty stomachs to the corner of 11th and Jefferson.
The atmosphere of this Boise institution surprised me. High ceilings, open floor plan, and low backed booths set a casual, accelerated tone. The large-wood bound menus filled with straightforward steak and seafood options brought me back to the goal at hand. With the help of our attentive server, we got down to business with an order of potato skins that were narrowly cut, perfectly baked, and topped with an arteriosclerotic array of cheese and bacon. I parried the lipid load with a trip to the salad bar. Troughs are for cattle, and so I was delighted to find a sparse, clean selection of greens and dressings. The garlic Parmesan vinaigrette was tangy with a refreshingly gritty texture. My hopes were high after this encouraging prelude.
Lowlife ordered the prime rib rare, and I requested a New York medium rare. In the tradition of great steak houses, the selections were presented simply and joined with baked potatoes and steamed vegetables. We both agreed that the vegetables were too heavy, and in my case, amusingly scarce. After such delicious potato skins, I was surprised to have a tuber that was unevenly cooked and so small. Our steaks were accurately prepared, although lowlife thought his wasn't hot enough. I enjoyed my selection, but it was a bit too dry and subsequently less flavorful. A good steak ought to stand alone without seasoning, but mine required a fair amount of salt and pepper. Lowlife was underwhelmed with the prime rib, summing it up as "alright." When I asked him for more information he declined, claiming he was just a stupid car dealer. (I won't be inviting him on any further reviews.) Total bill with a few drinks came in at 54 bucks.
Great beef makes me cry for eternal youth, fearing the day that I'm toothless and sucking pureed tofu from a straw, just so I can greedily cling to one more incontinent day. I won't be shedding any tears at Lock, Stock and Barrel, but it's certainly worth a try when nothing but a steak will satisfy your hunger.
--Waj Nasser is both a slicer and a dicer.