In bars across America on Monday evening there is a tradition of unknown origin that has become one of the worst kept secrets. For a fair price, typically less the $15 per person, you can order a nice size steak with a couple of sides. At its most basic level, this offering makes complete sense. Monday evenings excluding Monday Night Football (September – December) typically are the slowest night for a bar. Aside from discounting drink prices, what better enticement can there be by offering a steak dinner for a reasonable price?
A little research on the internet shows that this secret is well documented with websites and specific pages dedicated to the reviews and listing of bars and restaurants that have “Steak Nights”. Interestingly enough, “Steak Night” is not dedicated to Monday night alone. It appears that competition for steak lovers who will also drink a few adult beverages is fierce with “Steak Night” being offered on most nights of the week at one or more locations.
Over the years I have eaten at a few of these locations around the United States. Typically, the customer does not get choose the steak and hopefully the steak cooked to their specification. There are a few locations where the customer may select their steak and even cook it themselves.
One of these “you pick, you cook” is located in Alamorio, CA a few miles east of Brawley, CA on US-78. To the best of my knowledge, Alamorio Bar is the name of the establishment, but that is just a guess. I did not see a sign or anything else that would say you are here. In fact, you are likely to drive past the place if you were not specifically told where the bar was located.
What this place lacks in advertising, decor and renovation is more then compensated by the fact that the beer is cold and on Monday nights you are able to personally select and cook a thick, beautifully marbled boneless rib eye that is hand-cut. I have eaten my fair share of steaks in my lifetime and I can say without reservation that you will be hard pressed to find a better quality boneless rib eye anywhere. It probably does not hurt that there is a beef packing plant only a few miles away.
After a beer or two, you select your steak and season it to your preference. My personal seasoning of choice is Worcestershire Sauce and Montreal Steak Seasoning. Then outside you go to cook your boneless rib eye on a hard wood fired grill. At any one time on Monday night there will be a half dozen to a dozen 24 ounce steaks grilling over the hot coals. For a steak of this thickness and the grill height from the hot coals, to cook the steak medium rare requires 12 – 14 minutes. There are those that question the logic of purchasing a steak then having to cook it yourself, but this one of those places where it just makes sense.
Once you have cooked your steak, you come back inside to the side buffet where salad, mushrooms, string beans, baked potatoes and bread rolls are available. In addition to the side dishes offered, customers are more then welcomed to bring their own vegetables to cook on the grill. I saw customers bring corn and green onions wrapped in aluminum foil to cook with their steak.
The steak was perfect. I prefer a rib eye to all cuts of beef and the rib eye offered at the Alamorio Bar is simply one of the best. There are times when sitting down at a nice steak house is preferred. Even cooking the steak at home with family and friends is nice. However, when the option to eat a magnificent boneless rib eye that you cook yourself and do not have to tend the grill or clean up is offered, there really is no other option.
Locations such as the Alamorio Bar are far and few in between, but the option to have a well priced steak at a bar is more frequent option then most of us realize.