Peter Luger Steakhouse hit back in The New York Times for an excellent, zero-star review that went viral on Tuesday to insist it has the best steak in New York City, despite what critics say.
The Times food critic, Pete Wells, described the restaurant as an expensive & # 39; scam & # 39; where customers are treated roughly by staff and & # 39; processed & # 39; at the front door.
He destroyed the food, which he said was unevenly cooked and underwhelming, and threw the restaurant managers who take everything out of the cupboard to make things uncomfortable.
New Yorkers rejoiced in his criticism and went to Twitter in large numbers to say that they had long felt the same about the restaurant.
Many called the review & # 39; past due & # 39; and rattled the names of other notable places such as 4 Charles Prime Rib and Keens who they thought were superior.
But restaurant owner Jody Storch hit back & # 39;
She said The New York Post: & # 39; We know who we are and have always been. The best steak you can eat. Not the newest kale salad.
The facade of the restaurant. There is almost always a rule inside, even for those who have a reservation
& Although the reviewers and their whims have changed, Lugers has always focused on doing one exceptionally good thing – serving the highest quality steak – where a member of our family buys each piece of USDA Prime beef individually, just as we have been doing for decades. & # 39;
& # 39; We know who we are and have always been. The best steak you can eat. Not the newest kale salad.
Peter Luger owner Jody Storch
A waiter who has worked in the restaurant for 30 years has also rejected the harsh criticism of the Times.
& # 39; Nothing is good enough. When (Wells) took pictures here, we had bets at the back on how much garbage he was going to write, & said the man, who did not want to be mentioned.
He also criticized Wells for ordering sole during one of his visits.
& # 39; The meat has always been our main goal. We only have steak. If you go to a steakhouse to eat fish, what are you doing? & # 39; he said.
Wells criticism was embraced by New Yorkers who said they shared the opinion that the expensive eatery had gone downhill.
The New York Times review on Tuesday that gave the restaurant zero stars
The proposed reasons for the demise vary, but some say it was annoyed by the departure of Wolfgang Zweiner, the long-running head waiter who left in 2004. Steak restaurant & # 39 ;.
New York Times food critic Pete Wells
Employees of Peter Luger, who are said to be difficult to get hold of because of their long-standing but recently abolished no online reservation policy, could not be reached. There was no response on Tuesday to the Brooklyn restaurant's headphone line.
The restaurant is located under the Williamsburg Bridge and has attracted wealthy Manhattan steaks for decades.
It opened in 1887, when it was known as Carl Lugers Café, Billiards and Bowling Alley.
Owner Peter Luger owned the restaurant, but it was named after his cousin, Carl.
It was taken over in 1920 by Sol Forman, a local businessman, and over the years grew into one of the best steakhouses in the five boroughs.
The restaurant has a Michelin star and no doubt has a line of diners, even those who have reservations, at the door every day.
But, Wells writes, it has lost its charm and is no longer worth its exorbitant prizes.
The Ministry of Motor Vehicles is a block party compared to the line at Peter Luger
For example, steak for two is $ 109. A side dish of sliced tomatoes and onions is $ 16.95 and the famous thick bacon is $ 6.95 each.
& # 39; I no longer know when the doubts started, but they have grown over time & # 39 ;, he writes and explains that he has been in the restaurant since the 1990s, once a year like to go out for a life-changing steak.
& # 39; Diners who walk through the door and literally want to hand over stacks of money are not greeted; they are processed …
The menu at Peter Luger where steak for two costs $ 109 and a side of raw, sliced tomato and onion is $ 16.95
The restaurant is best known for its porterhouse steak. But Wells described it as unevenly cooked and far from the best piece of meat in New York City
& # 39; There is almost always a wait, with or without a reservation, and there is almost always a long line of supplications against the wall.
& # 39; A friendly word or a reassuring smile from someone in the staff would pass the time. The smile never comes.
& # 39; The Ministry of Motor Vehicles is a blockparty compared to the line at Peter Luger & # 39 ;, he writes.
The problems also don't end up on the line, according to Wells, who also says that the once & # 39; charmingly brusque & # 39; waiters are now just rude and disconnected.
& # 39; The waiters, who were once charmingly brusque, now give the strong impression that this endless demand for food and drink is everything in between and a well-deserved nap, & # 39; he wrote.
Wells also said the food was substandard.
& # 39; The shrimp cocktail has always tasted like cold latex dipped in ketchup and horseradish … Was the Caesar salad always so drippy, the croutons always straight out of a bag, the grated cheese always so white and rubbery? & # 39;
The meat, he said, was also nothing to write home about.
New Yorkers welcomed Wells' devastating criticism of the restaurant
& # 39; What worries me every time I eat a Luger porterhouse is the realization that it's just a steak and far from the best that New York has to offer, "he wrote.
New Yorkers and tourists who have eaten in the restaurant welcomed Wells & # 39; criticism of Twitter.
Some said they had long had the same opinion that it was too expensive and overrated, but that it had once been worth the hype.
Others said they experienced the poor service and the mediocre food Wells & # 39; experienced in the 1980s and 1990s.
They mentioned their other favorites, 4 Charles Prime Rib, Keens, The Beatrice Inn, while some said the steaks they eat in Nebraska were preferred for $ 20.
Peter Luger, who is still owned by the Forman family, did not address the bad review.
It remains on the Michelin star list.
The history of the Brooklyn restaurant known for & # 39; New York & # 39; s best steak & # 39;
Luger was opened in 1887 by Peter Luger, a German immigrant. It was originally the café, billiards and bowling alley of Carl Luger and, according to the restaurant's website, a favorite in the predominantly German neighborhood.
Peter Luger was the owner, but his cousin, Carl, led the kitchen and that's where it got its name.
Although popular, the restaurant rose thanks to the help of the Forman family, who ran a production company across the street.
& # 39; Forman Family has made everything from silverware to bowls to stamped metal giftware. The production site, on Broadway 185, served as headquarters for sale, and what better place for Sol Forman to take potential customers than the famous restaurant across the street? It was known that Sol ate two steaks a day – three when the fairs came through, & says the restaurant's website.
The restaurant was opened in the 1880s and was renovated in 1920 by the Forman family
When Peter Luger died, the restaurant fell into disrepair.
Sol Forman took over the restaurant after the death of Peter Luger
Forman was the only person who came to the auction to win it only for the price of the land. He revived it and when the Williamsburg Bridge was opened in 1903, the success multiplied by wealthier Manhattanites who came across the East River in search of a good steak.
The restaurant claims to have the title of New York's best steakhouse since the 1980s.
It has a Michelin star and a steady stream of tourists and new residents standing in line for a table on most evenings.
It is known for its rude service – trying to reserve online until recently was impossible and even an answer on the phone is rare.
Cash is the only accepted payment method (except for the Peter Luger credit card of the house).
Although it is known for porterhouse steak and hamburger at lunch, the restaurant is notorious for its expensive sides such as a $ 16.95 plate with tomato and onion and bacon for $ 6.95 each.
Peter Luger & # 39; s famous side of bacon, which is $ 6.95 each
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