GPS coordinates-N 45º01.216′ W093º29.487′
Monday thru Thursday: 5 to 10 pm
Friday and Saturday: 4 to 11 pm
Sunday: 4 to 9 pm
by Kevin Wynn
As a general principle, I avoid restaurants in suburban strip mall locations like an Iraqi dictator avoids cruise missiles. It’s not that good eating can’t be found in such locations, it’s just that every one I’ve been to feels contrived, sterile. I appreciate the experience of dining at a joint that’s been a fixture, earned its reputations. Sometimes though, I’m surprised by what I find.
A couple years ago I got a tip from an acquaintance on this place, a steakhouse in Plymouth where you can not only have a great steak, but if you want, you can grill it yourself! I love a good steak. Great big, well aged and marbled slabs of beef, grilled over an open flame, seasoned lightly. Yeah, baby! Throw in the fact that I, like most guys of my advanced age, consider myself a master of the back yard barbeque grill and a place like Howie G’s is right up my alley.
Right off the bat, I’ll tell you that this the third time I’ve eaten at Howie G’s, and the best three steaks I’ve had in my life, I grilled myself. I don’t what it is exactly. Could be the cuts of meat are just soooo good I can’t screw them up, or maybe it’s that the huge stainless steel grills hold such a consistent temperature that it makes any Jack with a spatula look good. Filets or T-bones, strip or ribeye, I’m the king of the grill at Howie G’s. But I know the secret that most backyard grill kings have learned. It’s got less to do with technique, and everything to do with having a tall, cold glass of beer in your hand while the meat is on the grill. That’s it, the secret to perfect grilling. I swear, it’s true!
So what’s this place like? The official story about Howie G’s involves something about a guy from New York who moooo’ved to St. Paul, and played baseball wearing orange corduroys while learning about the meat business. I might not have that entirely correct, so you’ll have to read it for yourself inside the menu. The important part is that out of this legend has come an entertaining place to enjoy a phenomenal steak.
All the steak dinners come with choice of soup or salad, and the potato bar. This time we all tried the spinach salad w/ raspberry vinaigrette, sliced strawberries and almonds, which was universally acclaimed by my group (myself, my wife Denise, and our parents).
Then, it’s off to select your steak from the cooler. The selection is as broad as it is mouthwatering, ranging from a 10 oz. Filet Mignon or Top Sirloin, to the 16 oz Ribeye, 20 oz T-Bone and 32 oz Porterhouse, there’s a perfectly aged, beautiful cut for any appetite. Prices range from $16.00 to $37.00. Straying from strictly steak are the Short Ribs, Marinated Chicken Breast, Pork Chops, Walleye, Salmon Filet, and Swordfish Steaks. And there are Bourbon Steak, Teriyaki Salmon and Calypso Shrimp Kabobs. As good as they look, I may never sample any of these. I just can’t imagine not having steak when I come here.
I selected my Ribeye and took by glass of Bass Ale to the grill and threw that hunk of meat on there, then somehow ended up in charge of the grilling for four other members of my party, too. I guess my “rep” as the Grill King intimidated them. At my disposal were various implements and seasonings (my fave is the Caribbean Jerk mixture). In no time I’d prepared five perfectly done steaks, from the Filet to the T-Bones, complete with Texas toast, while my family loaded their plates at the excellent potato bar. Only my dad chose to have the pro chef grill his Top Sirloin (and I dare say I could have done better).
As we finished our feast, we were taunted with dessert options and chose to split an Empire State Building Cheesecake and a Broadway Ice Cream Sandwich, neither of which I could adequately describe. We managed to find room to pretty well finish them off though.
There’s one more menu item I must mention, and it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s called The World Famous Sammy G. Sirloin. I don’t know who Sammy is, but this is 48 oz of prime beef, and if you eat the whole thing in 30 minutes, you get a coupon for a free steak on your next visit. Let me know if any of you pull this off. Seriously, whatever you choose, you’ll be impressed enough to be lured back time and again.
Head out Highway 55, west from 494 about 5 miles to County Rd 24, you’ll see Howie G’s on the south side of the highway before you get to the stoplight.
A couple more closing notes- They don’t do reservations, just show up with an evening to enjoy, find a spot in the pub and wait for your little pager to go off while enjoying the good company of whomever you happen to be with that evening. Also, if it’s your birthday, you get a free steak dinner. Can’t pass that up, can you?
Eat well. Ride well.
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