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August 11, 2008

Real men eat steak and read Esquire

PrimeRibEsquire.jpgThe September issue of Esquire, which will be on newsstands tomorrow, contains a celebration of steak, including a list of the 20 best steaks in the U.S. The Prime Rib's prime rib is one of them.

I just got off the phone with Ryan D'Agostino, the editor in charge of "The Esquire Almanac of Steak." He told me that critic John Mariani, who picked the 20 cuts, "loves the place" -- that is, the original Prime Rib in Baltimore. It, and not its branches in DC and Philadelphia, is the one honored.

The whole package is pretty entertaining, with a review of Outback by John Mariani, an explanation of why steak has gotten so expensive (hint: blame corn) and a Steak Information Center, which has some good information but also some not so useful statements like "Prime [the cut]: what you want."

Here's what Esquire has to say about the Prime Rib: ...

The Prime Rib, Baltimore


On the side: Fried potato skins

At the Prime Rib, it’s always 1965—the year it opened. The leopard-print dining room looks like George Steinbrenner’s private club. The waiters wear tuxes. You wear a jacket. And the kitchen roasts the majestic prime rib on the bone, its collar of fat suffused into the inner layer, the core a rose red all of it giving off the intoxicating aroma of old money. 1101 North Calvert Street; 410-539-1804;

(Barbara Haddock Taylor/Sun photographer)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 4:46 PM | | Comments (33)


While I'm certain that the Prime Rib doesn't need the kudos to remain supreme, it's cool to know that the original home is being recognized. Viva la Prime Rib!

Aw DANG, now I wish I'd taken my husband to The Prime Rib for his birthday dinner. I've always loved the place, but if we'd gone there, I'd have to turn to panhandling to pay the rest of my bills, durnit! It's nice to know the old-style classy joints still rule!

What I remember about my first (and only) visit to the Prime Rib was the smack-down perfect old-school service. Not to mention the food I ordered was also perfect (ribs, prime rib, potatoes au gratin, asparagus). Live jazz, warm atmosphere.

When I can afford it, I will go there more often. Though it was disappointing there was no one else even remotely my age there. It was all old(er) people, as in 57 plus. I would go for happy hour and sit at the small-ish bar, and sample the fare on a smaller and cheaper scale, except for the old factor. Don't want to be hit on by any of those guys. And it's not like Esquire will bring in the young ones; my 65 year old dad reads Esquire.

The Prime Rib is a classic.

Sometimes when I go I think for a minute about ordering something else, and I'm sure the lamb or even the chicken is really good, but in the end it is always a prime rib....oh and pineapple vodka.

Mmmmmmm Meat....

Real women eat steak too!!

In my opinion there are no better bartenders and no better bar in Baltimore. With the decoor it is always the 1960's and that is good. I am concerned that the average age of the clients is around 60. The restaurant captures a time and continues to deliver superb food and perhaps the best steak anywhere in the United Steaks. I am now living in Philadelphia so I encourage all in Baltimore to support this classic restaurant. I want it to be there when I return

When I was first married (the first time), we had two placed we went for very special occasions - The Prime Rib and The House of Welsh. Both were always stuck in a time warp. Prime Rib in the 60's and House of Welsh at the turn of the last century.

I guess I'm old, since Bourbon Girl listed my age as the beginning of 'oldness'.

Back in the day, before the IRS sucked the fun out of them, when Expense Reports were worth having, my then-husband used to take a lot of clients and visiting dignitaries to The Brass Elephant, Tio Pepe's and - most assuredly - The Prime Rib. There were times when I joined them. The service at all three of the restaurants was always just divine.

As someone who just turned 52 I appreciate the 57 cut for being old. Do you think more young people aren't there because of the cost or the atmosphere? Since I make a mean prime rib at home this won't draw me there. However the dress code might.

I resent that 57 has been tagged as "old" here. Chronologically I'm 58 but usually act like I'm 40 or so, and often feel 25 (usually keep that to myself though). As they say, don't judge the book by its cover.

I really appreciate the dress code at the Prime Rib, which ensures a fine dining experience. I used to enjoy the upstairs room at Ruth's Chris, but the last time I went for an anniversary dinner they let patrons in wearing jeans and t-shirts. For some meals, you want your surroundings to suggest a special occasion, and The Prime Rib always feels that way.

I'm 50 but I feel like a 25 year old. Too bad my wife won't let me date!

Bourbon Girl, you must be a mere child. Report back in 30 years and tell us how old you feel then, okay Hon?

I agree that a dress code is a good thing; I like dressing up for dinner at a great restaurant. I like The Prime Rib's 60's vibe...hell, I liked the '60's! Great as The Prime Rib's aged beef is--and it IS great--the best soft crab dinner I ever had was at The Prime Rib.

That's an optimistic lifespan for Bourbon Girl.

Was it me or were there always a few ladies at the bar "working the room"?
Not that theres anything wrong with that

Years ago I had some friends that worked at The Prime Rib. The portions are massive and hardly anyone finished their Prime Rib so my buddies would bring home the leftovers so I could give them to my Doberman.

Best fed dog in Baltimore. And yes he would chew your arm off sooner that give up his Prime Rib snacks.

Ouch Hue, beware the wrath of Bourbon Girl.

I just turned 65 and I think my DW wants to trade me in on three 21-year-olds. :)

So sorry to have offended anyone. I was merely trying to make the point that it's a drag for a single girl to go out and the only men at the place are your dad's age. Not fun.

Here's a peace offering. Old is a relative concept.

Groucho Marx said "You're only as old as the women you feel"

and Mae West said "it's not the men in your life, but the life in your men"

or something like that

I am 26. People my age steer away from places that have dress codes. It's a shame because a dress code is a good thing. When eating out is an occasion, I do not want to see some schlub in sandals and LL Bean shorts. Sorry. I wish my generation would embrace the whole idea of fine dining along with the effort that YOU the diner need to make. Heck - even in my office, few people wear ties anymore and fewer sport coats. Bums. If they aren't - they sure look like it!

Bourbon Girl, I'm old enough to remember when we weren't supposed to trust anyone over 30. Somehow, we all got over that. And, Rosebud, even though we are twins, I will always be your older sister!

I love the Prime Rib, but have to agree with Bourbon Girl that the average age of the diners there is around 60. Not that there's anything wrong with that. And fine for dinner.

But she was talking about happy hour at the bar as a way to perhaps dine a little cheaper there. If you're single and not in that 60s age range, it's understandable to desire a more diverse spot for happy hour.

Interesting - I didn't realize that the Sandbox skewed so much to the AARP crowd. I hereby nominate Bryanintimonium as our "youth expert." It's nice to know that there's someone with taste who is half my age!

Bryaninti monium (man, the kerning on this font is screwed up...), when I was young, I complained about my peers refusing to go to places that had a dress code (and there were more of them then). So, this is an old problem.

I also remember throwing an eight course formal supper, and every person I invited showed up in jeans. Then again, I was in camo.

So, I drove all the way into town from the cabin to have a green tea at Starbucks and check in on the Sandbox.

And what happens? I find out I'm old enough to be Bourbon Girl's grandfather, maybe great-grandfather.

I'm going back to the cabin and wait for the stars to shoot. Maybe one will veer off course and put me out of my misery.

Bucky - at least we'll be watching the same shooting stars tonight.... that is, until one hits you.

I hope that doesn't happen, I would miss you, as would the rest of the Sanders. Or Boxers.

Of course, we must note that you filled a vacuum during OMG's absence. Historically, people who step into such vacuums tend to be initially charming, but then turn into despots and tyrants, and try to take over the world. Bucky, what are your true intentions toward the Sandbox?

Bourbon Girl, eight years ago I responded to an internet personal ad from a woman who listed the Prime Rib as her favorite restaurant. That woman is now my wife, so she was able to find a guy under 30 in a round about way via the Prime Rib.

Just remember the old magazine ad: "Life. Consider the alternative."

RoCK--what a great way to meet someone compatible! I'm going to pass that one along to my sister who is a West Coast foodie. It combines this blog with BaltAmour.

Bourbon Girl, if I wanted to take over more of the world, I wouldn't start with a restaurant blog. LOL.

(It was a great night for the stars here, btw...nary a cloud in the sky. The moon was sort of a pain.)

I had the pleasure of enjoying the Prime Rib with friends (we are 28-30) during Baltimore WINTER Restaurant week... $35 for the prime rib... plus salad , sides and dessert! If you can't afford it today... hold out for next winter!

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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