If you’re from Southern Indiana, steak is in your blood. On any given night at traditional steakhouses and our more modern meateries, dining rooms are filled with patrons ordering ribeyes, New York strips, tenderloins, and T-bones cooked to specific levels of doneness.
Steak, which derives its name for the Old Norse word for roast, “steik,” generally is served the American way — with a starch and a vegetable. While the chemical reaction of cooking meat is constant (it’s called the Maillard reaction), what distinguishes steaks at our steakhouses is all the extras — the flavor enhancements, side dishes, and dining atmosphere. Here are our favorite places for a good steak.
Cork ‘n Cleaver
Cork ‘n Cleaver, voted the Best Romantic Restaurant in the January/February 2013 issue of Evansville Living, fits any occasion whether it’s for a romantic dinner, a business lunch, or a family gathering. At dinner, read from the menu which is an actual meat cleaver and dine on delicious steaks made by the locally owned and operated restaurant such as the chop steak, a 10-ounce found sirloin with mushroom gravy, or the New York strip, a hand-cut 8-ounce New York strip steak grilled to order.
650 S. Hebron Ave., 812-479-6974
Western Rib-Eye & Ribs
In their fourth decade of restaurant management, the Nix family — builders and former owners Harold and Carolyn Nix, and current owners David and Dan Nix — says Western Rib-Eye & Ribs’ success comes from its family feel. Opened in 1975, Western Rib-Eye started with three menu items: ribeye, filet, and lobster, all paired with a baked potato and a trip to the create-your-own salad bar. The restaurant’s exterior makeover and new logo were celebrated in the February/March 2014 issue of Evansville Business.
1401 N. Boeke Road, 812-476-5405
The historic Haub House that stands today along the railroad tracks running through Haubstadt, Indiana, originally began as a grain warehouse built in 1900. The restaurant opened in 1970 after several businesses came and went. All of its meats are carefully selected, aged in its locker, hand-cut, and trimmed earning the restaurant the honor of Best Steaks in the January/February 2010 issue of Evansville Living.
101 E. Haub St., Haubstadt, IN, 812-768-6462
N.W. Chophouse & Wine Bar
N.W. Chophouse & Wine Bar had humble beginnings as a small hut in a Newburgh, Indiana, parking lot called Steak & Take Grill. As owner Nick Weisenborn established customers and a strong reputation, N.W. Chophouse came to fruition in the spring of 2013. Bursting with flavor is a promise kept for its customers by N.W. Chophouse & Wine Bar. The restaurant serves expertly butchered USDA prime steaks from local grassfed stock. Dine on Lillian’s filet, a chargrilled 8-ounce, which is served with a side and a salad.
7799 Indiana 66, Newburgh, IN, 812-853-9500
Just a quick 15-minute drive north of Evansville, it’s worth the trip for Gemeca Inn, which specializes in steaks. Try the Delmonico, the Gemeca Inn’s signature steak. This 12-ounce hand-selected tender beef cut from the eye of the rib is served on a sizzling steak plate. Enjoy your steak with any of the items from the restaurant’s extensive menu, whether it’s a loaded baked potato or sautéed mushrooms, onions, or peppers.
802 E. Locust St., Fort Branch, IN, 812-753-4441
House of Como
When Martha Hage’s late husband George opened the restaurant in 1969, he implemented Labanese family recipes as the restaurant’s flagship dishes, but incorporated familiar favorites such as massive, juicy steaks, and sirloins. Known for its year-round Christmas décor, a fire forced the Evansville staple to close for more than a year and a half. Its return was highly anticipated and featured in “Don’t Skip a Meal” in the January/February 2013 issue of Evansville Living.
2700 S. Kentucky Ave., 812-422-0572
Cavanaugh’s offers savory steaks paired with gorgeous winding river views on level two of the Riverfront Pavilion in Tropicana Evansville. All of its beef is hand cut and carefully trimmed to specifications and charbroiled to the desired level of cooking. Its many irresistible steak options are now being matched with recent renovations including new furnishings, wall coverings, carpeting, and menu updates. For more information on the upcoming renovations, see “Chew on This.”
421 N.W. Riverside Dr., 812-433-4333
Longhorn Steakhouse, Texas Roadhouse, Logan’s Roadhouse, Outback Steakhouse
Sometimes you just crave steak in a western (or Australian) atmosphere. For many, casual steakhouse chain restaurants are their favorites to satisfy the craving. These affordable locations are known for their steaks and sides in a relaxed, casual atmosphere. Their steaks are fresh, aged, and hand-trimmed to your specifications and seasoned and expertly grilled.
Longhorn Steakhouse, 320 N. Green River Road, 812-473-2400; Texas Roadhouse, 7900 Eagle Crest Blvd., 812-477-7427; Logan’s Roadhouse, 5645 Pearl Drive, 812-421-0908 or 1 N. Burkhardt, 812-471-8403; Outback Steakhouse, 7201 E. Indiana St., 812-474-0005.
Knob Hill Tavern
While it’s the fiddlers get most of the attention, Knob Hill Tavern’s steaks deserve the spotlight as well. Enjoy the 8-ounce filet mignon with complements of a potato and a garden salad and top it off with some delicious craft brews. Whether you settle in by the fireplace or save a seat at the bar, it’s a tavern dining experience that pleases!
1016 Indiana 662 W., Newburgh, IN, 812-853-9550
Madeleine’s A Fusion Restaurant
Madeleine’s A Fusion Restaurant features only the freshest seafood and choice meats matched with an intimate dining experience provided by Evansville’s only fusion restaurant. Guests can never go wrong with any of the prime steaks, including the dry-aged blackened bone-in ribeye or Philadelphia-style strip steak. Pair your entrée with the delicious lobster macaroni and cheese featured in this issue’s “Hot Dish."
423 S.E. Second St., 812-491-8611