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The idea for this blog is to blog about everything I think about food and food culture. I'll tell you what I like to eat, where I like to eat it and if I thought it was good or if I thought it was crap. My thoughts about food could go anywhere. Hey if you don't like it go blog at

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Steakhouse Review: Eddie Merlot's

If you've lived in the Indy area for any period of time you've probably heard of Eddie Merlot's.  It's a very small chain of steakhouses that started in Ft. Wayne, IN, and has developed a pretty good reputation here as well.  When The Girlfriend and I were looking for a good steakhouse not in the downtown area Eddie Merlot's seemed like a rather appropriate choice. 

The way I can best describe the dining experience at Eddie Merlot's is to say that it has the soul of a traditional old-time steakhouse and the appearance of a something a little more modern and comfortable.  Yes, the aged prime steaks, a la carte sides and impeccable service are still there, but gone are the dark atmosphere, lacquered  hardwoods and waiters that probably voted for Taft.  Men are always down for a steakhouse no matter the vibe, but by shrugging off some of  the old boys club atmosphere they are appealing to a female demographic as well. 

After we arrived for our 7 pm reservation we were seated promptly in the far right side dining room.  The room was quite open and bathed in light due to the entire side of the restaurant being a wall of windows.  Being that it was a nice clear evening and the sun had not yet gone down it was quite an enjoyable experience.  Our server was a relatively young woman who was prompt and polite without being at all snooty which I very much appreciated.  As she took our drink order I decided against taking out a loan to order some Louis XIII and simply had iced tea.  However, if you are into alcohol with dinner there is a large selection of wines, scotches and cocktails for your perusal. 

As we looked over the quite large (physically and item wise) menus we each had a couple pieces of  bread that was provided.  The bread was wonderfully crusty yet soft and the butter was nicely softened so it could be spread easily.  As our server returned we decided to forgo the appetizer and decided to go ahead and order our entrees and sides.  I ordered the regular 16 oz ribeye medium rare while The Girlfriend ordered the NY strip medium.  For our sides we were a little indecisive so we decided to go with one veg and one starch.  We ordered the parmesan truffle fries and the asparagus. 

Our steaks were absolutely delicious.  Undoubtedly one of the best pieces of meat I've had in my life.  The seasoning was simple and spot on.  The beef was tender and juicy.  The color on the inside looked a little past the medium rare that I had ordered, but if the flavor and juiciness were there (which they were) I saw no reason to send the steak back for color alone. Regarding the side dishes, the parmesan truffle fries were not only the best fries I've ever had, but perhaps maybe one of the best things I've ever eaten.  They were twice fried and wonderfully crispy.  The parmesan and truffle flavors really came through and were the perfect compliment.  The portion they give you is a quite large, and we ate more of it than 2 people probably should have.  I make no apologies for that.  It was simply that good.  The asparagus on the other hand was disappointing.  It didn't taste bad.  Actually it was properly cooked and seasoned and tasted quite good, but in the end it was just asparagus.  Honestly, it wasn't that much different than what The Girlfriend makes here at home.  I was expecting some hollandaise or something to punch it up a bit.  For dessert, even though we were quite full, we decided to split a piece of cheesecake.  The cheesecake tasted fresh and seemed like it was made in house instead of shipped in.  The coulis and fresh fruit on the plate were a nice compliment. 

All in all I have to say it was a pretty fantastic meal, but it isn't one of those places I'll find myself rushing back to really soon.  For people like us it is a good for a special occasion, but simply too expensive to make it into regular rotation.  For our next special occasion we'll probably try to explore someplace new.  Let's get to the ratings.

Taste  9.5/10  Everything was at peak performance here aside from a couple barely significant issues.
Value  5/10  This is the sticking point for me.  I know to some people money is no object when it comes to having dinner out.  Those are the folks that EM's is catering to.  They have no qualms about overpricing things on their menu.  The value is not fantastic, but that isn't the primary selling point here.  Just know it's expensive going in, and if that isn't for you consider something else.

Eddie Merlot's on Urbanspoon

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