Words & Deeds

New $115 steak at Ruth’s Chris in Boise? I’m in. (You’ll buy, right?)

Ka-ching! The 40-ounce, bone-in, Tomahawk Ribeye is new at Ruth’s Chris in Boise.
Ka-ching! The 40-ounce, bone-in, Tomahawk Ribeye is new at Ruth’s Chris in Boise. Ruth’s Chris

Peering over the shoulder of my brother-in-law Saturday as he sweated over several steaks, I was equal parts unhelpful and overbearing.

What is it about another man grilling that brings out the inner Gordon Ramsay in all male bystanders?

“Dude, you’re torching them!” I scolded, jiggling the ice in my Jack and cola. “Get ’em out of the fire!”

“Why did Mom buy rib-eyes?” he lamented as fat drippings caused the Pioneer Fire to rage in his Weber Genesis.

“Rib-eyes are the best.” I took a knowing sip. “Look at those Costco fatties. You’ve just gotta turn them over gently.”

“Argh! When I worked at Chart House,” he said, “we would cook steaks to perfection by dipping them in super-hot au jus.”

“Gotcha. Just serve those puppies burned-side down.”

Minutes later, we feasted. I’ve never tasted a less-than-satisfying rib-eye.

Still, a recent menu addition at Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Downtown Boise makes me wonder: Just how mind blowing can a rib-eye get?

The Tomahawk Ribeye, a 40-ounce, bone-in, specialty cut, costs $115.

My mouth waters imagining it. My wallet does, too — in credit-card tears.

I grew up surrounded by cattle. Every year to this day, my dad generously gives me a quarter-side of Angus beef raised in the pasture behind my childhood home. I deeply appreciate the sensory explosion created by a quality steak.

That said, I’m also the same guy who gave high fives last month after hearing that Taco John’s was returning to the Treasure Valley. (Judging from the number of page views when this major Meridian news broke at the Idaho Statesman, I am not alone in my fondness for Taco Bravos.)

You can buy a lot of Taco John’s for $115.

I’ve never been to Ruth’s Chris. At special-occasion steakhouse time, it’s always been locally owned Chandlers for me. I always order the Cowboy Cut, a 24-ounce, aged, bone-in, rib-eye. It’s $48.

If your name is Warren Buffett, dropping $115 for a large, decadent steak probably isn’t a major deal. Besides, you’d split the Tomahawk Ribeye with at least one other person, right? (OK, I wouldn’t.) A Ruth’s Chris manager gladly will slice it for you, table side.

But most us will never make this splurge. It’s just too much cabbage for a steak.

Then again, my wedding anniversary is in three weeks. My wife probably has wanted to bring some sort of tomahawk into our marriage a few times over the years.

I am tempted, Ruth’s Chris. Maybe I’d even share.

Just one question: Since sides always have to be ordered separately at upscale steakhouses, can I bring my own Potato Oles?

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