Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Ruth's Chris
Indianapolis, IN and around the USA, Mexico, Canada
Review by SuSu, Rosie, MaceVindaloo, Diana, VagBoy, Csillag, BunchBox

It shouldn't be a surprise that in the Midwest USA, meat is king ... though even towns deep in the American Heartland tend to be affected more by food franchises and chains than local efforts. Downtown Indianapolis tends to be filled with brewpub type places, as well as standards like Chicka Filla, Johnny Rocket's, McD's, etc. Admittedly, it's getting harder and harder to come across examples of local fare if you're restricted to downtown and main drag areas as a tourist of business person.

So we ended up at Ruth's Chris for steaks. Though this medium/high level eatery is prevalent in North America, it's not as well-distributed as say, The Olive Garden or Red Lobster. For one, it's pricier and is more in line with the classical steakhouses of yore. But it's got a woman's name on it ... Ruth was apparently widowed and decided to make her way in a man's world by providing what men like, at a premium price. (It's not a brothel, but the effects of the steak on men might be similar!)

Even though the prices can cause a bit of stickershock for those who don't have such establishments in their areas, the steaks are cooked skillfully, whether you order rare or well done. You will not be disappointed with any food you order at Ruth's Chris, and the service is good, too. They explain that the side dishes and appetizers are large, the mains come unadorned, and sharing is A-Okay by them. Plates holding the quivering slabs of meat are heated to 500F / 225C in a tablespoon of butter so it sizzles with a tasty, mouth-watering aroma.

Being there are only a few swanky places downtown, this place was full of prom-goers on this cold April night: girls in strapless and backless dresses, boys in tuxedos, all trying not to look at the bill when it came. Well, you're only young once, and let's face it ... most of us will never be more attractive than when we were 18! So live it up, we say.

One of us hoarded the creamed spinach, another two or three fought over the crab-stuffed mushrooms. Three of us ordered the "Cowboy Ribeye" which is the same cut as a prime rib, only as a steak -- the "cowboy" moniker refers to keeping the "bone-in" the steak. Otherwise, they are rib-eyes, and those come in petit or "big" sizes, and a few ordered one or the other. One person opted for lamb chops, since they get them so rarely at home ... but they needed instruction regarding how to slice this bit of meat. It's really the same as a steak, just smaller, but it's not obvious to most. We did have fun harassing the poor guy! (The staff discretely remained invisible, so as not to embarrass him further!)

A few of us who can be accused of being rednecks (and proud of it, alas) swooned at the cost of the meal (about $75 per person) till we referred them to Le Bernardin ... okay, Indianapolis is the type of town where there is an interface between politicos and rednecks. So this type of criticism must be common. But the meal was good and worthwhile, but we will have to remember to prepare those who might not be used to actually paying for good quality food that's prepared very well!

One odd thing did happen ... a very short, elderly woman showed up at the table and looked at us for a moment before asking if everything was okay. We had no clue who she was ... turns out she's the manager. She should have introduced herself! Scared the bejeesus out of one of us, who spilled her tumbler of water in suprise.

images from www.ruthschris.com


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