Men love steak. Steak love men. In this love affair, women might just always come second. But our confusion over this love affair is about to be myth busted by GuyTalk columnist Will Wilson of The SixThirty. Will is breaking down what a steak means about the man, and with the help of Sullivan’s Steakhouse in Chicago, we are learning just what you can tell about your guy from his steak order.
They say you can tell a lot about a man by the way he carries himself. But I think there’s another way to learn a lot about who someone is, a way that’s both primal and sophisticated, a method that penetrates the deepest corner of your soul.
I’m talking about the cut of your steak.
A few weeks ago, our friends at Sullivan’s Steakhouse set us up with a phenomenal meal to show off their winter menu. My choice, an extra-rare tomahawk ribeye, was met with a grin and definitive nod of approval from our waiter, who then remarked, “Fine order. Great cut. You can tell a lot about someone from how they order their steak.”
That got me thinking about the nature of a steakhouse order. Is there a behavioral science behind this? Is there something psychological? No one knows for sure, but study (based on no scientific evidence whatsoever) was enlightening all the same.
We broke down the order into three dimensions:
CUT: Your selection of beef and the basis of your meal.
COOK: How you want your steak prepared with fire.
COCKTAIL: What liquid libation you want to accompany your meal.
The granddaddy of all cuts is not messing around. It’s bigger, it’s better, and it’s still got the bone in it. In life, you choose to go big or go home, enjoying bigger, bolder and more brazen tastes in everything you do. Life’s too short to be tame.
SIRLOIN/NEW YORK STRIP
Sometimes simpler is better, and going classic means you know exactly what you’re getting. To you, steak is steak as long as it’s made the way you prefer, and you live life the same way. You’re the kind who’s just as happy with a backyard barbecue as you are with an evening out.
Just because it’s a cut of cow, doesn’t mean it has to be crude. You take a lesson from the French and go for quality over quantity with the smaller, juicier tenderloin cut. You appreciate premium and know that no large amount of anything mediocre can make up for the finer things done right.
You value flavor overall. No counting carbs, no dodging cholesterol, no ‘lean cuts’ (whatever the hell those are). No, you want those ribbons of fat running through your steak to bring the biggest flavor to the table, which means you’re the kind of man who knows what he wants and goes for it. To quote Ron Swanson, “Never half ass two things. Whole ass one thing.” You sir, are a whole ass kind of guy.
Let’s not beat around the bush, steak is about as anti-vegetarian as you can go, with the exception of veal or lamb. Ordering a steak rare means you want to keep all the natural flavor.
Straight-forward middle ground. Not too cooked, not too rare. Just right. You move in moderation and like to play it close to the hip, with little risk.
You’re no nonsense with your steak. No pink, no blood. Cook it all the way through to completion. That’s how you roll. You see things through, don’t flake, and stick to your guns in everything you do, making you reliable and trustworthy—if a little predictable.
You are a savage, and I respect that. I once ordered a steak “blue” at Sullivan’s and the waiter asked me if I knew what that meant. I laughed and told him to put it on the grill, look at it, and put it back on the plate. Then he laughed too.
This cook is really the most primal way to enjoy your steak, and means you’re in it for the sheer enjoyment of a great cut of meat. You’re a carnivore to the core, so get back to your cro-magnon roots, go outside, and club yourself some dinner.
Red meat and bourbon are about as American as apple pie and baseball, and go together better than peanut butter and jelly. Bourbon for your steak is a classic choice, meaning you stick to traditions that many have enjoyed before you.
If you’re going with a cocktail, you’re going with a classic from the Mad Men era. The bourbon in both of these is already perfect for a steak. Ordering one of these says you’re going for a little flair with your fare, and show you hold an evening at a steakhouse in high regard.
Complexity isn’t always better—sometimes its’ the simplest things that really shine through. Ordering a beer with your steak means you’re of the simple, no-frills kind of disposition. Down to earth is your demeanor to the core.
Red wine is a sophisticated counterpart to steak that no man should shy away from. If you get white wine with a steak you don’t deserve the steak. I will find you and take it from you.
The quintessential steak companion comes in many forms, but I find it best to pair with a Speyside like Macallan. Regardless of your personal preference, a selection of scotch to go with your steak says you’ve figured it all out. The sophistication of champagne, the complexity of wine, and the soul of whiskey means a well-balanced gentleman who knows his tastes to be refined, reserved, and uniquely his.
For Chicago locals, check out Sullivan’s Steakhouse at your earliest convenience for a hearty winter meal you won’t forget. Oh, and don’t skip the King Crab Mac & Cheese; it doesn’t say anything about you as a person if you order it, but its pretty dang incredible.