Do you know where I can get a glass of wine covered with a slip of plastic wrap? waiting for me to come and get it? I do. Tad’s Broiled Steaks in Harold Square. Let me begin by saying I avoided going there as long as was possible before I finally gave in. Paul was extremely curious about this place and finally I threw my hands in the air and said “at least they have an A.” I have a rule of thumb about restaurants. If it is empty there’s probably a reason. Tad’s was the opposite of empty. In fact we might have been in that line to get our food for half an hour. it’s set up like a cafeteria, you line up, place your order and then grab your extras as you slide your tray toward the cash register. It seemed like everyone spoke Spanish and so I placed our orders in the same. Paul had been hailing this place as a cheap spot to get a steak but as it turned out my low quality sirloin was about $14 and once I added corn on the cob and a bottled water and he added a side and a soda we closed our ticket at about $45! This is not the kind of restaurant I want to drop that kind of money. I can go to Hill Country BBQ and spend a near equal amount and get super awesome ambiance and ridiculously high quality food.
Overall the portions were large, each meal came with a fresh salad and a side. I was a bit confused so we actually added extra sides to our meals. I actually loved the corn, the salad was quite refreshing, and who doesn’t like a big piece of buttered and toasted french bread to sop up their meal with? There wasn’t anything terribly wrong with the food but again, I just like to spend my money in other ways. Maybe I’m a restaurant snob. (am I?) The service was great from the guy keeping the line entertained and calling our orders back to the woman making some kind of magic with a flame and meat to the kid who carried my tray for me because as it turned out we were being seated on the 2nd floor. That same kid was the one tasked with cleaning the bathrooms (I am still not sure how I feel about that).
The decor was dark and dated, the carpeted stairs looked like they’d been beaten down over time and the plastic trays we carried our food on were so warped from temperature and washing that everything on it threatened to topple over each time I tried to hack a piece off my sirloin or lifted my water bottle. All this aside, the meal wasn’t terrible just not my ideal value for my dollar. As we passed it on our way out we noticed the line seemed to be perpetually long. Perhaps a consequence of repeat customers knowing where to eat and perhaps simply what happens when you wait for your steak to be cooked while you stand in the line? I’ll try not to go back here but I’m sure gazillions of other New Yorkers and tourists alike will be coming back again and again. Paul swears there was a sign outside that said something about an $8 steak. I don’t want to eat that steak.