Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Highlands Steakhouse, a steak to remember

I admit I’ve lost myself in my Facebook addiction lately and have left blogging in the backseat. But after I’ve realized that checking posts from virtual friends has become a big distraction, I’ve decided to temporarily deactivate my account so I can concentrate on what I love best, writing/blogging.Now with one less distraction, I can blog about my food adventures with more focus. This is timely because I just watched a show about food bloggers in the National Geographic, one that has strongly affirmed my thoughts that I’m not alone slaving away in the computer, combining two passions, writing and food.

Having said that let me tell you about my latest food adventure. It involves a big chunk of meat. Okay, aside from being a fan of exotic cuisine, I’m also a meat and potatoes kind of girl. I just love a good steak. They say cooking this big slab of meat has a certain science to it, something I almost know nothing about it. I just heard that if you overcook it, it will be kind of chewy, less tender, less juicy. On the other hand, if it’s not done well, it’s tender all right but you can almost see traces of blood and that’s okay if it doesn’t bother you.

Like many steak lovers, my husband and I have had the rounds of some steakhouses in the metro. So it’s my second time in Highlands Steakhouse. The first time, I ordered the rib-eye steak and I can vividly recall enjoying the big fat juicy steak by myself. Amusingly, I remember my husband eyeing me jealously as he is picking at the halibut dish he ordered. Why he ordered a fish dish in a steakhouse is beyond me. He told me that he just wanted to know what halibut tastes like because he often reads it in books and promised to order the steak the next time we go there.

The second time came on our anniversary dinner. Now it was my turn to be envious. With their wide selection of steaks, I forgot what I ordered the first time we went there so I assumed it was the filet mignon with mashed potatoes. My husband ordered the rib-eye steak. Let me tell you later why I felt a sudden stab of envy. But before the main dish arrived, the waiter served a small loaf of bread on top of a rustic chopping board together with some packets of butter. On the outside, the bread looked hard but surprisingly, it wasn’t. It was soft and warm inside, melting the butter tenderly, making me feel like I’m eating rolls in a hotel restaurant. I also liked the clam chowder I ordered. It was quite rich and tasty.

We waited longer than I thought we would. Maybe because it was a hectic pre-Valentine night and there were more customers inside the restaurant than where we sat which was outside facing the bay. Good thing, the view was inspiring and romantic. It was after sunset and there was a light breeze coming from the sea. We finished off the entire loaf of bread already and the steaks haven’t arrived yet. I remember we ordered the medium-well version because we don’t like blood in our steaks. Then after almost more than fifteen minutes or more of anticipation, the steaks arrived.

The first thing I noticed was how different the steak was in front of me, not the same steak I ordered before. It was noticeably smaller but a little thicker. Then I realized my mistake, I should have ordered the rib- eye. Suddenly, I felt envious looking at the larger, juicy steak my husband had. “I’ll give you some, don’t worry”, he offered with amusement in his eyes. I smiled at his pity offer and proceeded to pierce my steak. I expected it to be more than a mouthful because it was thicker but it wasn’t. It was tender and had lots of flavor, the definition of a good steak. However, I still I liked their rib-eye steak better because once I tasted the small piece offered by my husband, I knew it was the same steak I remember from this place. It was more tender maybe because it was little thinner and definitely larger than the filet mignon (he ordered the 14oz). I could just kick myself for my mistake. Well, next time I know what to order.

I usually love the side dishes that accompanied my steak like mashed potatoes and corn and carrots. However, this time despite the delicious steak , the side dishes I had were a letdown. The mashed potatoes seemed to lack the creaminess associated with it and even the flavor was a little bland. My steak also included a small corn in the cob which looked overcooked because it looked soaked, I could barely notice its sweet corn taste. The other steamed vegetables tasted like it needed a pinch of salt. Though, they may be famous for their steaks, I wish they could also improve on their side dishes because what’s the use of having a great singer if the other members of the band are lousy, just a thought.

February is about to end, the love month and my birthday month. It is also the month when I temporarily discontinued my Facebook account. I might come back to it, who knows, but for now, I feel the need to concentrate on my writing/blogging. I feel guilty writing at the tail-end of each month, cramming. Now, a year older, hopefully a year wiser too, I hope to continue this food adventure I embarked on, with more enthusiasm and more love for great food.

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