- ABOUT US
Megan Rossman, Photography Editor
Photo by JOHN JERNIGAN
By Megan Rossman
August 15, 2013
I like it nearly raw. I like it crusted with brown sugar and sea salt. I like it marinated in teriyaki sauce. I like it with a glass of wine, bourbon, or beer. I like it grilled, broiled, baked, smoked, or dried into jerky. However you slice it, I love a good steak.
I also love cute, furry animals, even when I’m shoveling bites of their well-seasoned carcasses into my mouth. It’s a moral predicament sometimes, depending on my mood. I have considered vegetarianism, but the rigid guiding principle of that particular way of life has proved to be a major stumbling block. For now, I just congratulate myself every time I have a meal that isn’t meat based.
While last Thursday evening was no occasion for back patting of the vegetarian sort, a satisfied rub of my cow-filled belly was certainly in order. After a particularly trying day at the office, my Oklahoma Today editorial colleagues and I decided to drown our sorrows in plate loads of meat and a few beers at Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, a Stockyards City staple since 1910.
A horse-drawn wagon greeted me as I got out of my car, and the driver offered me a complimentary ride to the restaurant entrance, which was a few hundred feet away. Although I didn’t take him up on it, I appreciated the western-style welcome as I shuffled into the restaurant with the rest of the crowd.
Three things endeared the restaurant to me immediately: a) Steak. b) Our waiter, Billy Jack. He had a voice like rich mahogany and an easygoing, competent tableside manner. c) Steak.
The food at Cattlemen’s is a no-frills affair. Every entree includes either a baked potato, steamed vegetables, or French fries, and a big, fat roll. A salad arrives before the main course—I recommend the creamy, garlicky, cheesy house dressing on that. If you’re into the idea, the lamb fries—if you don't know what they are, Google them—are an appetizer option. The meat, of course, is the main attraction. Whether your preference is charred or bleeding, there’s a steak for every palate here. I opted for ribeye, pretty much raw. It was good.
Once I pushed it aside, my plate looked like a scene from Platoon. Bacon bits, potato skin, and ribbons of bloody gristle were the only things I left behind on my Cattlemen’s tour of duty. I’ll spare you the grisly photographic evidence.
A good steak isn’t a hard thing to come by in Oklahoma. Keeping with the cowboy theme of the September/October issue of Oklahoma Today, its Food & Drink section offers eleven western-style steak houses, from Cattlemen’s to Click’s, an expert’s guide to cooking the perfect steak, and an interview with acclaimed chuck wagon chef Kent Rollins. Look for that soon in mailboxes, newsstands, and virtual newsstands.
In the meantime, light those charcoals, head to your favorite local steak house, or enjoy whatever meat substitute your heart desires.