3 of a Kind: Baseball Steaks Step Up to the Plate
3 of a Kind checks out three places across the country to try something cool, new and delicious.
As steakhouses regain popularity, cuts of meat beyond the New York strip and filet mignon are making their way onto menus. One of these cuts — the baseball steak — is made from the upper portion of a top sirloin. Once it’s cooked, you can clearly see what inspired this steak’s moniker, as the meat puffs up to resemble a baseball. This leaner cut has a rich flavor and is often less expensive than its counterparts, making it a home run for restaurants across the country.
Wollensky’s Grill, Chicago
Longtime steakhouse giant Smith and Wollensky decided to do something different at its outpost along the Chicago riverfront in 2014. The location was transformed to house this glass-fronted gastropub, which features various cuts of meat from an in-house butcher, as well as craft beer and shared plates. Sweeping views of the water add to the allure. On the lunch menu at Wollensky’s Grill you’ll find a decadent top-sirloin baseball steak, crusted with bone marrow and topped with cipollini onions.
You can find just about any cut of steak at Manny’s, and all are dry-aged and hand-trimmed. The restaurant gives you the opportunity to get to know your cut up close before you even tuck into it, as the steaks are rolled out tableside via a meat trolley prior to diners placing their orders. Take advantage of this pre-meal ritual to learn about your cut of steak and how it will be prepared. The baseball steak, cut filet-style, is served a la carte and pairs perfectly with Manny’s heaping portions of steakhouse sides like hash browns and loaded mashed potatoes.
Pacific Dining Car, Los Angeles
This stalwart of the Los Angeles dining scene is known for its 24-hour service (with reduced late-night prices to boot) and dry-aged prime steaks that have been a specialty here since the 1920s. The baseball steak is one of Pacific Dining Car’s most-popular cuts. Juicy and flavorful, this thick cut is served plain or with a choice of toppings like French truffle butter or cracked peppercorns. The restaurant offers its baseball steak as a dinner option and also features a special 10-ounce late-night version made famous in the movie Training Day.
Photos courtesy of Wollensky’s Grill, Manny’s and Hagop Kalaidjian