Steak is a sometimes treat for this young, broke journalist.
But earlier this week, I left Burt’s Butcher Shoppe & Eatery feeling like I had really swindled some good folks out of deserved cash.
For a little more than $14, I had a steak lunch with two sides, a soft drink and dessert. Surely, there was an accounting error. Maybe the receipt lied. A second visit confirmed that this was no trick. I was getting a great deal.
Burt’s is a throwback kind of place. It is not the kind of steakhouse frequented by spendthrift, expense-account men and women looking to enjoy meat that’s been dry-aged for 30 days. The servers aren’t clad in stuffy black vests and neckties, but they will call you “honey” or “darlin’.” You’ll hear stories about how Columbus has changed over the years.
Burt’s feels much more like a butcher shop that just happens to have extra space where dining tables and chairs set. You pass the meat counters and sit at a booth or table you like. You’d think you were in one of the Chattahoochee Valley’s many small, barbecue joints until you pick up the menu.
I got lucky. My favorite cut, the ribeye, was one of the specials on my first visit. A 10 oz. with two sides was $9.25. I requested it cooked medium. My sides were the mashed potatoes with gravy and corn on the cob. Mike Haskey, the Ledger-Enquirer’s video extraordinaire, opted for beef tips and rice.
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What is Foodie Friday?
Foodie Friday is a bi-weekly series by the Ledger Enquirer that highlights the robust and diverse food and restaurant scene in Columbus. Reporter Nick Wooten is a Columbus transplant whose goal is to try a little bit of everything the Columbus area has to offer. We choose restaurants at random, pay for the meals and don’t tell managers about our visit until the meal is over, or we go anonymous. If you have a suggestion for a Foodie Friday profile, email Nick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The server was careful as she approached our booth with the plates. A huge ear of grilled corn on the cob nearly rolled off my full platter as she walked. The steak’s preparation surprised me. Instead of the simple, seared, salt-and-peppered approach, the ribeye came to the table in a pool of marinade.
It looked more like a prime rib or a roast, and the smell drew your hands toward your fork and knife in anticipation of that first bite.
The marinade has strong notes of worcestershire sauce and garlic.
The steak was incredibly tender. If you felt determined enough, you could probably cut the meat up so small that you wouldn’t have to chew.
If you’re someone who likes a leaner cut of meat, I’d recommend the sirloin. I got it during my second visit with mac and cheese and a baked potato as my sides. Sure, it’s not as tender as the ribeye, but it’s still an impressively prepared steak. I may even prefer the sirloin under this method of preparation.
The toast that came with the steak should be sold by the basket. I’d order three or four of them for the table. The mac and cheese and the mashed potatoes were my favorites among the sides. The mashed potatoes and gravy came in its own container, likely to protect it from the marinade. The gravy had the brown color and thickness that my mother long wanted to achieve in her own kitchen but never could. Burt’s take deserves a cult following, like KFC’s gravy.
Haskey was generous enough to let me have a bite of his beef tips. The tenderness of the beef and that brown gravy was enough to win me over. This was something I could order if I wanted something different. But if you’re going to Burt’s, you really should order a steak.
You’ll spend about $15 for all of that food if you get the specials — which for a steak meal is pretty darn affordable. It’s the no-frills kind of place where you can come as you are. Take it home or eat it there, Burt’s is a place that’s certainly worth a stop.
Burt’s Butcher Shoppe & Eatery
2932 Warm Springs Road
Hours: 11 a.m. -7:30 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday (restaurant)