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Hall's Chophouse: Beautiful Steaks

Hall's Chophouse: Beautiful Steaks


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There is only one word that could describe our recent dining experience at Halls Chophouse – perfect! In an era where great service and unbelievable food seems hard to find, at Halls Chophouse it is plentiful.

I must admit that I’m not a big red meat eater. Let me say that those words are a thing of the past.

Invited by our friends Dean and Lisa for a birthday celebration, we were looking forward to trying it out. Let me just say that Halls Chophouse exceeded our expectations.

Upon our arrival we were quickly greeted by a gentleman who not only shook our hands, offered to take our coats and offered to put the flowers that I was carrying into water (they were a gift). He also mentioned that he was Billy Hall and if there was anything that he could do for us during the evening, we should not hesitate to ask.

Since we were a tad early for our dinner reservation we met our friends at the bar and enjoyed a beverage. Service there was stellar. Beverages were delivered promptly, glassware was sparkling, frosted if needed and the bartender was friendly, yet not intrusive. When we went to inquire about being seated (since we had passed our scheduled reservation time) we were told, “When you are ready, so are we. Take your time.”

Upon departing the bar and heading upstairs to the dining area, servers were quickly called to carry our drinks for us. A large bottle of sparkling water also ordered would be, “Taken upstairs for us”.

We were quickly poured water and greeted by our server, Kara (I’m sorry if I am spelling her name incorrectly as it could be Cara). She offered some suggestions and also told us the specials. Piping hot sourdough bread and creamy butter were quickly brought to the table. Any and everyone on duty that walked by were quick to say “Happy Birthday” to our friend, which was nice.

After some deliberation we landed on what we would order. The French onion soup was served hot, with a pile of melted cheese and crispy fried onion strings, the ½ chopped salad was a cool mix of great flavors with a crisp ring of chopped bacon encircling it. My “simple salad” was fresh, lightly dressed and topped with dates, goat cheese and halved grape tomatoes. We could not wait for our entrees to arrive.

Before you knew it our table was being cleared. The service style for lack of a better analogy could be described as “ants on a cookie”. People were all over the table, and then just as quickly, they were gone.

Dinner arrived, all at once as multiple food servers descended upon the table. My Maine Lobster was steaming hot and the size of my arm, the Cedar Planked Broiled Salmon was in fact served on the plank with an accompaniment of succulent tomato and cucumber yogurt sauce.

But the crowning event had to be the steaks. The Bone in Rib Eye and the (32 oz.) Bone in Porterhouse were a sight to behold. Not only beautiful, but they were cooked perfectly. As we ate our meal someone remarked, “Oak Steakhouse should be embarrassed.” We couldn’t agree more.

We ordered a few side dishes (since a half a cow wasn’t enough…), and the servers plated them for us, coming back frequently to see if we’d like anything else. This was simply a terrific team approach.
Upon leaving Mr. Hall was at the top of the stairs shaking everyone’s hand, wishing them Happy New Year and inviting everyone back. At the bottom of the stairs Billy Hall was doing the same. I even saw him hug a few people and again wished our friend Happy Birthday.

As we walked to our cars we could not get over what a “Wow” experience this had been, truly a cut above. I can’t wait to go back.


Logo-chophouse

Use the button below to make a reservation, or for personal assistance, please call 864.335.4200. We offer complimentary valet service for our patrons.

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Excellent Everything

“Wow. That pretty much sums it up in a nutshell. From the decor to the service to the food- 5 stars across the board.”


ALABAMA: George's Steak Pit in Sheffield

Georges Steak Pit/Facebook

George's has been in business since 1950, now under the operation of the original owners' son, Frank Vafinis. What makes this spot unique is its cooking method, featuring steaks grilled over an open flame made from burning hickory wood logs. The pit creates beautiful steak that's fully complemented with potatoes, salad, and vegetables. Locals and visitors both love the atmosphere and come often for delicious food.


Halls Chophouse

I first learned about Halls Chophouse in my Seminar in Entrepreneurship class where they came to speak to us. I admire that it’s a family run business that is based mainly on quality of service and building and cultivating relationships with their customers. A lot of places talk a lot about customer service, but for many, it’s just that—talk. Halls actually delivers on its promises. They give you great service and great food. Seriously good food. I’ve said before that Husk is my favorite restaurant, but if I’m craving steak, there is not even a competition. Halls would win out every time. Literally the best steak I’ve ever eaten. And this is coming from a girl who doesn’t actually like steak. (Ditto salad. I’ll talk more about the chopped salad later, but trust me—it’s as close to divine as a salad will ever get). I’ve ordered steaks at other restaurants in Charleston before—Peninsula Grill, Husk, Red Drum, 82 Queen, and Grill 225—and there’s no comparison. I haven’t been to Oak yet, and I have a feeling I probably won’t go anytime soon, either. I just can’t imagine they’d be better than Halls.

They’re better than you, Oak, and they know it.

I’ve been to Halls for dinner five times or so. The first time was with my dad and Shay to spend the gift certificate they gave out to my class (that’s good marketing right there. I saved $25 but probably spent 3 times that on the meal for the three of us. And trust me, it was worth every penny). We started off with the she-crab soup which was really good. I hate it when restaurants add too much sherry to their she-crab soup, but Halls does it right. The dominant flavor is the crab, with only a hint of sherry—exactly how a good she-crab soup should be.

Does this qualify as pornography? I hope so.

I then got the Halls Chopped salad, which is Uh- May-Zing. I live for chopped salad. If more restaurants had them, I’d eat salad way more often, and if they all tasted like Halls, I’d actually enjoy eating them. It has lettuce and tomato and celery and black-eyed peas, peppers and bacon and a whole bunch of other stuff in a buttermilk dressing. But it’s perfectly balanced with the dressing. I hate it when my salad is drowning in salad dressing, but the Halls salad is perfect in every sense of the word. I’d say I’d go there just for the salad, but I know there’s no way I’d go there for food and not get a steak.

Touch my salad, and you lose a finger.

Shay got the filet mignon, while my dad opted for the prime rib. This being my first time at Halls (not realizing how amazing their steaks are), I opted for the lobster. The lobster was about 4 pounds and served with plenty of butter.

Shay offered me a bite of her filet (which she’d gotten butterflied and cooked to medium well) and as soon as it touched my tongue, I knew I’d ordered the wrong thing. Don’t get me wrong, the lobster is delicious, but it’s nothing compared to the filet. Did I mention it’s the best filet I’ve ever had? Because it’s the best filet I’ve ever had. The prime rib was top notch as well. I’m pretty sure none of us spoke after the entrées had been delivered we were too busy enjoying the food to carry on a conversation.

They serve their sides family style, meaning that one side serves 2-4 people. They’re pretty big. For sides we got the asparagus with hollandaise and the pepper jack grits. Now, as a southerner, I am particular about my grits. Quaker sells this instant crap that says “Grits” on it, but trust me—those are not grits. Halls serves real grits. Thick and creamy and delicious. Not cheesy enough so that you lose the flavor of the grits themselves, but just cheesy enough to make the dish feel complete. They are all about balance at Halls. It just works perfectly.

How could you not want to eat that whole skillet?

The second time I went to Halls was for my mom’s birthday. It was my parents and me, and we went all out. We got spicy shrimp and tempura lobster as starters. I didn’t really care for the lobster, but my parents loved it. The spicy shrimp were pretty good, but I was expecting them to be boiled shrimp, like you’d find in a Creole or jambalaya, but they were just fried shrimp tossed in a spicy sauce. They were still good, I’d just had my heart set on non-fried shrimp. I once again got the chopped salad while Tina opted for the roasted beet salad (who orders things like that? Really, Tina? Really?). The chopped salad is better. I almost stabbed Tina for trying to steal a forkful of my salad. I don’t play around. For our entrées, I chose the filet.

Did I mention it’s the best filet I’ve ever had? I did? Ok, well I just want you to understand that it’s THE BEST FILET I’VE EVER HAD.

You can get sauces on the side with your steak, like Gorgonzola sauce, or béarnaise, but trust me—you don’t need any sauce. The meat tastes amazing all on its own (that’s what she said!). I can’t remember what Tina and Russ got, because I was too focused on my own food to take the time to care about their choices. All I know is that there was meat, there was a lot of it, and we ate it all. Ron Swanson would be proud.

For sides this time, we got the asparagus again, and the macaroni and cheese. Macaroni and cheese is one of my weaknesses. It’s the one thing I seem to be unable to resist. It’s my kryptonite. Even when I’m dieting, if there’s mac and cheese within reach, I won’t even hesitate. I just start devouring it without giving myself time to think about it. The mac and cheese at Halls is good. It’s not great, but it’s good. It’s more creamy than cheesy, and I prefer my mac and cheese to be extra cheesy. The waitress was raving about the mac and cheese (she loves it. It’s her favorite), so I guess it’s all a matter of personal preference. I do have to say that I’m a fan of the squiggly noodles. I’d just prefer more cheesy in the saucey pleasey! Next time, I’d just stick with the grits.

Macaroni skillets are what I dream about at night.

You may have noticed that I clarified both of my visits by saying “The first/second time I went for dinner.” This is because Halls has an amazing bar. Rather, they have one drink that I’m obsessed with called the 434 martini. It’s pineapple infused vodka that’s served ice cold and frothy. It’s not overly fruity, but it definitely tastes nothing like alcohol. Except for the fact that it’s straight alcohol. So you don’t realize how much you’ve actually had until you stand up to go to the bathroom after the 5 th one and you almost fall on your face (that’s actually a true story about my dad the night I graduated). The first time I had one was at a party hosted at Halls for my entrepreneurship class after our final exam. It was a 2 hour reception with free food and drinks courtesy of Tommy Baker (anytime there are free drinks involved, you can guarantee I’m going to make an appearance). I made Lily come with me and we started drinking martinis, excited for some free Halls food. We found out, about 3 martinis in, that the “free food” was actually a veggie tray. Don’t get me wrong, I love carrot sticks, but if I’d known that’s all the food I was going to be having, I would have eaten something hearty before I starting downing liquor. Needless to say, Lily and I had a great time.

Don’t be fooled by how pretty it looks. It’s deadly. And delicious

I took my mom to Halls for drinks before we went to Pantheon for the drag show, and we sat at one of the community bar tables drinking and hanging out. One of the Hall family members, usually Billy or Tommy, came by a number of times to make sure we had everything we needed and that we were enjoying ourselves (we were). We stayed for about an hour, and we getting ready to head out to go across the street to O-Ku (they make these habanero-infused vodka martinis with sugared rims that my mother is obsessed with) when Tommy Hall stopped us to ask why we were leaving so soon. My mother, being my mother, told him “We’re going over to O-Ku to get sugar and spice martinis. They’re my favorite.” Tommy Hall replied “O-Ku is great, but did you know we actually invented those? Why don’t you have a seat and I’ll bring you one.” So we sat back down and he brought us a round on the house. Tina was skeptical that they would be as good as O-Ku’s, so she was quite surprised to find out that she actually liked these more. Apparently the ones that Halls makes are spicier. I don’t really do spicy. I took one sip and then had to chug a gallon of water to be able to feel my lips again.

It’s easy to confuse this with the 434. But, you will know you made a mistake IMMEDIATELY after taking a sip.

I’ve literally never had a bad experience at Halls. Every time we leave, Billy is there to shake our hands, or give us a hug and thank us for coming. Once he even chased us down the street, to make sure he thanked us properly. The service continues, even when you’re not at the restaurant. They sent my mom a hand-written thank you note, telling her how much they appreciated her coming into the restaurant on her birthday. They even wished me a happy birthday on Facebook, even though I hadn’t been to Halls in over 2 months. They’re all about the relationships that they build with their customers. Pairing their outstanding customer service with their delectable food (did I mention the filet is the best I ever had??) and you have a recipe for an unforgettable night out.

I may have forgotten to mention the tray of meat.

Summary: Get the steak and the grits. Drink the 434. Tip your server.

Halls Chophouse
434 King Street
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 727-0090


IZZY’S STEAK AND CHOPHOUSE OAKLAND

My downtown in now “Uptown” and a brand new steakhouse has opened their trendy barn doors. We are talking about ‘Izzy’s Oakland’ a branch of the popular San Francisco restaurant Izzy’s Steak and Chophouse. The Oakland Magazine had just written a favorable review about Izzy’s Oakland. Izzy’s website made this proclamation “Locally owned and operated, Izzy’s Steaks & Chops has long been a favorite of Bay Area residents who appreciate the very best Midwestern steaks and chops. All our beef is corn fed and our New York Steaks are aged at least 21 days to produce a one of a kind flavorful product." . We also found a ‘Groupon’ a discount to seal the decision to dine at Izzy’s Oakland.

Parking Karma was present by the open sparking spot right in front of the kitchen door. We walked through the front doors to take in a trendy, hip(ster), inviting, fun looking bar area. It was Monday 6:00 pm and there was only a handful of people in the bar and an almost empty dining area. There was a lot to take in surveying the kitschy art ordaining wall space. The restaurant had a casual feeling. There was even a shelf full of hot sauces and condiments that framed the room.

Our waitress was exemplary in professional service. From menu recommendations, positive minimal personal interaction and even an effort at bread crumb removal made our waitress the perfect server. You know I had my eye on the New York Sirloin steak. It is interesting that Izzy’s calls this a sirloin and not a New York strip. They are both correct but from my understanding using the sirloin moniker is usually when the bone is included. (Donna, can you help me on this?). Ms. Goofy ordered the skirt steak. What is nice about Izzy’s your entrée comes with two sides. That is almost unheard of in most steakhouses today. With our Groupon purchase we also had our choice of starters and a dessert. We were ready for a feast.

The kitchen graciously split our house salad. A generous proportion of mixed greens were dressed with oil and vinegar that was a tad on the sweet side. Promptly our entrees were delivered. Izzy’s does not skimp on the proportions. These were huge plates. My steak had all the right moves. Tender with massive corn-fed bliss was the verdict. I have to mention the side of creamed spinach. It was so decadent with several cheeses and rich cream. What a treat. Ms. Goofy enjoyed her flank steak but even though it had fantastic flavor it had a tug and chew to it. I sampled some of her flank steak and agreed. It was inconsistent in texture. One bite was tender and then next was a little tough.

Our dinner crescendo was with a house made New York cheesecake that was delicious. One last observation of our dining experience was the waitress’s crumb removal technique. She took her hand and flexed her fingers rigid to form a human crumb sweeper. With one deft sweep she accomplished crumb removal to my enjoyment. Our dining experience overall was very enjoyable. Except for a little tug to the bite in Ms. Goofy’s flank steak we left Izzy’s with satisfaction and a smile on our face. Izzy’s is a casual Uptown trending great steakhouse. We shall return.


How to Grill Filet Mignon

Filet Mignon…even the name sounds intimidating. Most captains of the grill panic at the shear mention of this great piece of meat. Nightmares of burning, drying and otherwise screwing up this fine cut of beef can make even the most seasoned grill chef break out in hives! Why the stress? Because this is an expensive cut of meat. The filet is cut from the tenderloin and the average cow only contains 4 – 6 pounds of it, hence the cost. Not to fear though, we will show you how easy it can be with step by step directions. The key is to keep it simple and let the tenderness and flavor of this awesome cut of beef shine through.

Less IS More…

When grilling filet mignon (and almost any other grilled steak for that matter), less is definitely more. Less seasoning, less grilling time, less flipping, less poking and prodding…you get the point. So there is no need to panic, filet mignon is such a prime cut of meat that it is very easy to grill a masterpiece, especially if you purchase high quality and all-natural filets. Before you even touch that steak, let’s look at what you should never, ever do to that poor juicy steak.

  • NEVER puncture your steak! We will talk about how to tell if it is done later.
  • NEVER close the lid! My Dad used to say “if you are looking, you are not cooking”. Sorry Dad, that’s not true for steak…
  • NEVER cook it too long. The best way to upset your steak is to cook it too long. There is nothing worst than a $15 piece of beef jerky. Remember, you can always throw it back on for a few more minutes.

Grilling Filet Mignon, Step by Step…

Let’s break this thing down so you can see how easy this is going to be.


Halls Chophouse

I first learned about Halls Chophouse in my Seminar in Entrepreneurship class where they came to speak to us. I admire that it’s a family run business that is based mainly on quality of service and building and cultivating relationships with their customers. A lot of places talk a lot about customer service, but for many, it’s just that—talk. Halls actually delivers on its promises. They give you great service and great food. Seriously good food. I’ve said before that Husk is my favorite restaurant, but if I’m craving steak, there is not even a competition. Halls would win out every time. Literally the best steak I’ve ever eaten. And this is coming from a girl who doesn’t actually like steak. (Ditto salad. I’ll talk more about the chopped salad later, but trust me—it’s as close to divine as a salad will ever get). I’ve ordered steaks at other restaurants in Charleston before—Peninsula Grill, Husk, Red Drum, 82 Queen, and Grill 225—and there’s no comparison. I haven’t been to Oak yet, and I have a feeling I probably won’t go anytime soon, either. I just can’t imagine they’d be better than Halls.

They’re better than you, Oak, and they know it.

I’ve been to Halls for dinner five times or so. The first time was with my dad and Shay to spend the gift certificate they gave out to my class (that’s good marketing right there. I saved $25 but probably spent 3 times that on the meal for the three of us. And trust me, it was worth every penny). We started off with the she-crab soup which was really good. I hate it when restaurants add too much sherry to their she-crab soup, but Halls does it right. The dominant flavor is the crab, with only a hint of sherry—exactly how a good she-crab soup should be.

Does this qualify as pornography? I hope so.

I then got the Halls Chopped salad, which is Uh- May-Zing. I live for chopped salad. If more restaurants had them, I’d eat salad way more often, and if they all tasted like Halls, I’d actually enjoy eating them. It has lettuce and tomato and celery and black-eyed peas, peppers and bacon and a whole bunch of other stuff in a buttermilk dressing. But it’s perfectly balanced with the dressing. I hate it when my salad is drowning in salad dressing, but the Halls salad is perfect in every sense of the word. I’d say I’d go there just for the salad, but I know there’s no way I’d go there for food and not get a steak.

Touch my salad, and you lose a finger.

Shay got the filet mignon, while my dad opted for the prime rib. This being my first time at Halls (not realizing how amazing their steaks are), I opted for the lobster. The lobster was about 4 pounds and it was taken out of the shell and arranged in the lobster shape when they serve it to you, so basically all you have to do is dip it in butter and shove it in your face (which I did approximately 3.5 seconds after they set it down). I do love me some lobstah.

This is not a picture of the lobster from Halls. I found this on Google so you would understand.

Shay offered me a bite of her filet (which she’d gotten butterflied and cooked to medium well) and as soon as it touched my tongue, I knew I’d ordered the wrong thing. Don’t get me wrong, the lobster is delicious, but it’s nothing compared to the filet. Did I mention it’s the best filet I’ve ever had? Because it’s the best filet I’ve ever had. The prime rib was top notch as well. I’m pretty sure none of us spoke after the entrées had been delivered we were too busy enjoying the food to carry on a conversation.

They serve their sides family style, meaning that one side serves 2-4 people. They’re pretty big. For sides we got the asparagus with hollandaise and the pepper jack grits. Now, as a southerner, I am particular about my grits. Quaker sells this instant crap that says “Grits” on it, but trust me—those are not grits. Halls serves real grits. Thick and creamy and delicious. Not cheesy enough so that you lose the flavor of the grits themselves, but just cheesy enough to make the dish feel complete. They are all about balance Halls. It just works perfectly. The asparagus is a side that you might have a harder time stretching out amongst four people. It is perfectly cooked. Not mushy like that crap that comes out of a can (which is the reason I thought I hated asparagus for the first 20 years of my life. Thanks mom). I usually don’t like hollandaise partly because I don’t really like eggs (see my Husk review for more info), but mostly because when I had to make it in class, I got a blister from whisking so much that took 2 weeks to heal. It was painful. Plus my hollandaise tasted terrible, so then I was mad that I got a blister making nasty crap that I didn’t even enjoy eating. Hollandaise is a douche bag. But the hollandaise from Halls is perfect. It tastes exactly how hollandaise should. Not too eggy, not too buttery, but creamy and perfect. It’s delicious, and a perfect complement to the asparagus.

I don’t even like eggs benedict, but that looks AMAZING

The second time I went to Halls was for my mom’s birthday. It was my parents and me, and we went all out. We got spicy shrimp and tempura lobster as starters. I didn’t really care for the lobster, but my parents loved it. The spicy shrimp were pretty good, but I was expecting them to be boiled shrimp, like you’d find in a Creole or jambalaya, but they were just fried shrimp tossed in a spicy sauce. They were still good, I’d just had my heart set on non-fried shrimp. I once again got the chopped salad while Tina opted for the roasted beet salad (who orders things like that? Really, Tina? Really?). The chopped salad is better. I almost stabbed Tina for trying to steal a forkful of my salad. I don’t play around. For our entrées, I chose the filet (did I mention it’s the best filet I’ve ever had? I did? Ok, well I just want you to understand that it’s THE BEST FILET I’VE EVER HAD). You can get sauces on the side with your steak, like Gorgonzola sauce, or béarnaise, but trust me—you don’t need any sauce. The meat tastes amazing all on its own (that’s what she said!). I can’t remember what Tina and Russ got, because I was too focused on my own food to take the time to care about their choices. All I know is that there was meat, there was a lot of it, and we ate it all. Ron Swanson would be proud.

For sides this time, we got the asparagus again, and the macaroni and cheese. Macaroni and cheese is one of my weaknesses. It’s the one thing I seem to be unable to resist. It’s my kryptonite. Even when I’m dieting, if there’s mac and cheese within reach, I won’t even hesitate. I just start devouring it without giving myself time to think about it. The mac and cheese at Halls is good. It’s not great, but it’s good. It’s more creamy than cheesy, and I prefer my mac and cheese to be extra cheesy. The waitress was raving about the mac and cheese (she loves it. It’s her favorite), so I guess it’s all a matter of personal preference. I do have to say that I’m a fan of the squiggly noodles. I’d just prefer more cheesy in the saucey pleasey! Next time, I’d just stick with the grits.

Macaroni skillets are what I dream about at night.

You may have noticed that I clarified both of my visits by saying “The first/second time I went for dinner.” This is because Halls has an amazing bar. Rather, they have one drink that I’m obsessed with called the 434 martini. It’s pineapple infused vodka that’s served ice cold and frothy. It’s not overly fruity, but it definitely tastes nothing like alcohol. Except for the fact that it’s straight alcohol. So you don’t realize how much you’ve actually had until you stand up to go to the bathroom after the 5 th one and you almost fall on your face (that’s actually a true story about my dad the night I graduated). The first time I had one was at a party hosted at Halls for my entrepreneurship class after our final exam. It was a 2 hour reception with free food and drinks courtesy of Tommy Baker (anytime there are free drinks involved, you can guarantee I’m going to make an appearance). I made Lily come with me and we started drinking martinis, excited for some free Halls food. We found out, about 3 martinis in, that the “free food” was actually a veggie tray. Don’t get me wrong, I love carrot sticks, but if I’d known that’s all the food I was going to be having, I would have eaten something hearty before I starting downing liquor. Needless to say, Lily and I had a great time.

Don’t be fooled by how pretty it looks. It’s deadly. And delicious.

I took my mom and Jenn to Halls for drinks before we went to Pantheon for the drag show, and we sat at one of the community bar tables drinking and hanging out. One of the Hall family members, usually Billy or Tommy, came by a number of times to make sure we had everything we needed and that we were enjoying ourselves (we were). We stayed for about an hour, and we getting ready to head out to go across the street to O-Ku (they make these habanero-infused vodka martinis with sugared rims that my mother is obsessed with) when Tommy Hall stopped us to ask why we were leaving so soon. My mother, being my mother, told him “We’re going over to O-Ku to get sugar and spice martinis. They’re my favorite.” Tommy Hall replied “O-Ku is great, but did you know we actually invented those? Why don’t you have a seat and I’ll bring you one.” So we sat back down and he brought us a round on the house. Tina was skeptical that they would be as good as O-Ku’s, so she was quite surprised to find out that she actually liked these more. Apparently the ones that Halls makes are spicier. I don’t really do spicy. I took one sip and then had to chug a gallon of water to be able to feel my lips again.

It’s easy to confuse this with the 434. But, you will know you made a mistake IMMEDIATELY after taking a sip.

I’ve literally never had a bad experience at Halls. Every time we leave, Billy is there to shake our hands, or give us a hug and thank us for coming. Once he even chased us down the street, to make sure he thanked us properly. The service continues, even when you’re not at the restaurant. They sent my mom a hand-written thank you note, telling her how much they appreciated her coming into the restaurant on her birthday. They even wished me a happy birthday on Facebook, even though I hadn’t been to Halls in over 2 months. They’re all about the relationships that they build with their customers. Pairing their outstanding customer service with their delectable food (did I mention the filet is the best I ever had??) and you have a recipe for an unforgettable night out.

I may have forgotten to mention the tray of meat.

Summary: Get the steak and the grits. Avoid the macaroni. Drink the 434. Tip your server.


  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. cayenne powder
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  1. In a bowl, combine the butter and seasonings to create the Cajun Butter mixture. Drop the mixture onto some plastic wrap and roll it into a thick log, sealing both ends of the wrap, sort of like a gigantic butter-flavored jolly rancher. Place it in the fridge or freezer to re-solidify.
  2. Build a two-zone fire using your charcoal grill and piling lit coals to one side of the grill, leaving the other open for an “indirect” area. If you are using a gas grill you can do the same with the Charcoal Tray or even by lighting two, side-by-side burners to high. If you are using gas, use the Napoleon Smoker Pipe or Napoleon Smoker Box, fill either one with soaked wood chips and place over the burners being used for this recipe. Preheat your grill for at least 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. While the grill is warming, season the bavette thoroughly with the salt, garlic, and freshly ground pepper.
  4. For charcoal (because with gas you already have the smoke going) add a small handful of hickory wood chips or a single hickory chunk to the charcoal. Sear the beef over direct heat for 2 minutes or until beautiful grill marks have formed. Flip the meat and sear the other side in the same fashion. Once fully seared, move the bavette off direct heat, whether that means moving it away from the coals or the burners, and allow it to finish. This takes anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes. Check every few minutes with an instant-read BBQ thermometer or use the Napoleon Bluetooth Digital BBQ Thermometer to keep an eye on the meat for you.
  5. Once the bavette reaches 130°F remove it from the heat and allow it to rest on a board. Just before slicing, slice 2 or 3 discs of butter from the now solid Cajun Butter and place it on the meat to begin melting before you slice and serve.
  6. Serve with garlicky Cajun Butter green beans and fresh cornbread.

Atmosphere

If sinking your teeth into a superb steak was the only reason you came to eat at Hal's, it could really be enough. However, Hal's is much more than that and generations of his loyal diners know it.

It's because the first time you step inside of Hal's, you know this is more than just a great meal. At Hal's, it's the sumptuous New Orleans inspired menu coupled with a complete dining experience that brings people back. It's the comfortable atmosphere that greets you when you arrive, the live entertainment, the smells of the open kitchen, the warm interior and the city lights dining on the upper patio that make an impression. And it's the wide selection of fine wines, the mingling at the lively bar, the 'we work here because we love what we do' attitude, and the feeling that everyone who walks into Hal's is part of one big family that makes this place special.

Hal's offers the kind of relaxed, easy elegance rarely found these days from a knowledgeable wait staff that immediately lets you know you're in good hands. It's why Hal's is the place where locals go to eat and play, where Atlanta's power dinners happen and why Hal's boasts such a large number of repeat clientele. Hal's customers understand first-hand the experience of dining on terrific food, while relaxing, unwinding and enjoying the company of friends, family and business associates.


Halls Chophouse

Every night is a special occasion at Halls Chophouse, where guests are showered with personal attention from the moment they arrive to the time they depart. Downstairs, the décor shimmers with the refinement of rich mahogany and leather, yet the comfortable atmosphere is jovial and relaxed. The central community table poised between the handsome bar and intimate banquettes is a tempting option, but the stairway also begs a trip upstairs, where tables are set within another beautiful dining room and a private space offers glassed views and quiet conversation. Chef Matthew Niessner is responsible for the elegant cuisine, and though beef is the house specialty, other American favorites are offered as well. Maine lobster, pan-roasted grouper, scallops, and a daily fresh catch comprise the surf options while veal and lamb chops round out the turf selections. À la carte sides such as creamed spinach, asparagus with hollandaise, and onion rings may be preceded by flavorful soups, oysters on the half shell, and a variety of salads, including Halls’ wondrous chopped masterpiece of bacon, peppers, celery, tomatoes, feta, and black-eyed peas with peppercorn buttermilk dressing. Our recent evening began with a choice upstairs table beside an open window overlooking the stairway—the perfect vantage point for enjoying the well-orchestrated theater of the dining room, where soft tunes were being played on the piano. Members of the Hall family were nearby at all times, and those who hadn’t greeted us downstairs made their way to our table intermittently throughout the evening. After considerable deliberation, our selections were classic all the way, beginning with jumbo lump crab cakes and oysters Rockefeller. The first was delicious, consisting of well-seasoned pure crab finished with a light crumb crust and served with creole remoulade. The oysters Rockefeller that had been described as “the best you’ll ever have” were, indeed, an extraordinary combination of ethereal herbed topping baked with Blue Point oysters and lightly finished with bread crumbs and a hint of Pernod. Upon requesting the recipe, we were told that the chef’s secret is carefully guarded. A fan of a good iceberg wedge, I was not disappointed with the fresh, cold lettuce served with avocado fans, red and green heirloom tomatoes, two slices of crisp bacon, and pleasantly light blue-cheese dressing. My dining partner enjoyed chopped Caesar with the perfect amount of garlic, white anchovies, sourdough croutons, and dressing with a touch of walnut. Though there were a number of evening specials offered, we decided to go with the beef. Halls features prime Allen Brothers Chicago beef as well as T-bone from local Legare Farms. I savored every bite of Red’s Prime Cut sirloin, which was tender, aged to perfection, and served with maître d’ butter and luxurious fries splashed with truffle oil and Parmesan. My friend tried the prime filet of richly marbled rib eye with grilled portobello mushrooms as a side. We could have added sauces including béarnaise, peppercorn brandy, and red-wine bordelaise but chose instead to enjoy the excellent beef in its expertly seasoned, pure state. For dessert, we chose Valrhona molten chocolate lava cake with pineapple sauce, chocolate ice cream and raspberries, and Maker’s Mark pecan tart. These quickly disappeared with the last of the wines, including MacMurray and Morgan pinot noirs and Girard cabernet chosen from the generous list. We enjoyed warm, capable service throughout the evening from the Halls and the rest of the team. Patrons were diverse, including families and large parties, all of whom seemed to relax in the unhurried environment. The recession isn’t in evidence here, as tables turned regularly in spite of pricey entrées. Upon departure, we were reminded that in addition to dinner, prime burgers are now being served as a bar special from 5 to 6 p.m. on Sundays. That and the lovely private dining room are irresistible opportunities for the next visit. Halls Chophouse 434 King St., (843) 727-0090, www.hallschophouse.com Dinner: Nightly, 5-10 p.m. Bar: Nightly, 4 p.m. until Average entrée: $32

With impeccable service, the iconic restaurant makes a case for why the old school gets it right


Watch the video: Halls Chophouse, Best Steakhouse in America according to Yelp users


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