Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine's card? No.
Red roses? No.
Chocolate? Maybe after dinner.
What do you want for Valentine's dinner? Steak.

thanks Mike! http://www.flickr.com/photos/anotherpintplease/3122808298/in/set-72157604666586565

This year we decided that instead of spending the evening staring at each other all moon-faced, we'd celebrate with some great friends who also love steak.

We scored a reservation for 4 at our favorite LOCAL steakhouse - Austin Land and Cattle Company. It's a great place, and we were happy to be there with Karin and Connie for their first time in.

Don't be fooled by the ho-hum exterior. You won't have to see it for long. Inside, there's the just right mix of fancy and casual. Dark wood, black and white tablecloths, and decor leaning towards Texas-y Folk-y with a near life-sized John Wayne cut out thrown in for good measure.

We started with some of their Shiner battered mushrooms with creamy chipotle sauce. A bottle of an Oregon Pinot Noir. I don't remember which one. Andy and I had our usual steaks, filet and NY strip. Karin had the bone-in Rib Eye. Connie had a no bone Rib Eye. Karin and I opted for drinks instead of dessert. She had a 10-year old tawny port and I had a White Cadillac, which turned out to be liquid dessert. Andy had cheese cake - plain, thank you very much - and Connie had warm fudge brownie pie with ice cream. As usual, the steaks were cooked exactly the way we ordered.

Being Valentine's Day, almost every woman in the place wore red (we didn't). And, being Valentine's Day, most couples just sat staring moon-faced at each other (we didn't).


Beefy Love in Orlando and Beyond

We talked about starting a blog about our anniversary trips and dinners, but we never really got it going. We started this steak dinner and trip tradition after we got married (in jail - another story for another time).

Before we got married, Andy took me on a date to Charley's Steakhouse on International Drive in Orlando. As I recall, our waiter brought a trolley displaying the steak and other selections, and took the time to describe each of the various cuts available and the differences between them. He explained that they dry age the beef for something like 6 weeks, and also cut their steaks, daily, in-house. We ordered what was to become "the usual" for each of us - NY Strip for me, filet mignon for Andy.

The steak was melt-in-your-mouth fantastic. Perfectly seasoned and cooked. I thought, Andy "sure knows the way to a carnivore girl's heart!" Up to that point, it was the best steak I'd ever had.

We bought shoes and from the roof of our hotel saw a shuttle launch. I don't remember much else from the trip, but looking back, it gave rise to what would become our anniversary tradition.

Since then, there have been many more yummy steaks and fabulous trips. I'll be posting about all of them; I've managed to remember to take pictures of some of them. I hope there are many more steaks, anniversaries, and blog posts to come.