Morton's beef (courtesy DiscoverDuPage at Flickr CC)You know it is good when a knife is almost superfluous, the meat is so tender.

A visit to a top steak house is not cheap, but the meal is so many notches above my own comparatively puny efforts on the backyard grill that it is worth saving up the money to enjoy such bliss.

A really well-cooked steak is a marvelous foodie experience, and here are three places in the US where I’ve had that carnivore urge completely satiated:

  • Plaza III Steakhouse at Country Club Plaza, Kansas City, MO. If you’ve never seen the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City (built in the 1920s in an elaborate Spanish/Moorish style) you might be surprised to find such an elaborate shopping palace in the Midwest, but no one should be surprised to find amazing steaks in a meatpacking center like Kansas City.  The Plaza III Steakhouse serves up a delicious assortment of beef strip steaks, filet mignon, T-bones, Porterhouses and prime rib.  The atmosphere and decor are more light and modern than “clubby.”
  • Morton’s The Steakhouse, Chicago, IL. This place feels as though it’s been around forever (the logo is very Art Deco) but it was actually founded in 1978 and is a worldwide chain. No matter;  it still feels like a restaurant that your very elegant uncle would take you to for dinner. The steak was divine, but I was particularly impressed with the attentive, friendly service and the signature Morton’s verbal menu (wait staff tells you the menu, but they somehow sound as though they haven’t recited it 48 times in the last hour.)  Portions are massive; split the side dishes with a dining companion.
  • Cattlemen’s Steak House, Historic Stockyards District, Fort Worth, TX. The opposite of, er, super-elegant dining, so a good option for families. Cattlemen’s seating is Naugahyde, the artwork is giant paintings of award-winning steers, the decor is Saloon Circa 1947 and there are three giant broilers (with cooks busy working) inside the dining rooms, cranking out the plates full of tender beef.  Any problems with that, cowboy?

Did I miss your favorite steak house?  I’ll bet I did; please let us know about it down in the comments.

(Disclosure:  I was a guest of Travel Media Showcase for the Plaza III meal.)

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I'm a writer and speaker specializing in tourism, travel and social media. NHRA drag racing fan. Co-founder of Tourism Currents. U.S. Navy veteran. Caffeinated.