Hot Stuff Guys Used To Do: Beefsteak Dinners

beefsteak dinner

Have you noticed that men seem nearly concerned about their bodies as women, lately? I feel like suddenly I keep encountering men who know more than I do about juice cleanses and the benefits of protein shakes and basically not eating solids, ever. Eating only baby food and duck’s blood soup, Empress Sisi style. The thing is, I do not really want to talk about the benefits of kale smoothies with my man friends, because I already have 100 female friends who can talk about them forever. Really, all I want is a man who eats steak. With his hands. Just men with raw steaks hanging out of their mouths, like some sort of Bosch nightmare creatures.

That’d be awesome.

Shame no one has beefsteak dinners anymore.

God, Beefsteak dinners were great. They were a weird 19th century dining trend. The Museum of the City of New York explains:

Beefsteaks were initially all-male gatherings, with small groups of men gathering in rustic taverns or dingy cellars where, sitting on crates or stools, they would sing, tell stories, eat steaks, and drink ale with abandon. In these “dungeons,” etiquette was set aside. No knives or forks were allowed. The participants ate tender morsels of beef steak, accompanied by gravy-sopped slices of bread, with their hands, wiping the grease on large napkins or aprons.

In the New Yorker, Joseph Mitchell remarked:

The life of the party at a beefsteak used to be the man who let out the most ecstatic grunts, drank the most beer, ate the most steak, and got the most grease on his ears, but women do not esteem a glutton, and at the contemporary beefsteak it is unusual for a man to do away with more than three pounds of meat and twenty-five glasses of beer. Until around 1920, beefsteak etiquette was quite rigid. Knives, forks, napkins, and tablecloths never had been permitted; a man was supposed to eat with his hands…


I hope so.

…“The foundation of a good beefsteak is an overflowing amount of meat and beer. The tickets usually cost five bucks, and the rule is ‘All you can hold for five bucks.’ If you’re able to hold a little more when you start home, you haven’t been to a beefsteak, you’ve been to a banquet that they called a beefsteak.”

Mitchell also claimed of the dining experience “”I’m so full I’m about to pop. Push those kidneys a little nearer, if you don’t mind.”

Yes. More kidneys, always more.

Share This Post:
    • hmhque

      Fascinating, I had never heard of this but imagine it is the birth of our modern day steak houses?

    • Nikola

      I want to go to there.

      God I love meat. Have you been to a Brazilian steakhouse Jennifer? They bring meat, all kinds of meat, perfectly cooked and seasoned, fresh, hot, dripping meat, directly to your table, and don’t stop until you say when. It is the best thing ever. All they need to do is add an all you can drink option and they are my idea of heaven.

      • MR

        It comes from, because las pampas in Argentina are so close.

    • Lastango
    • Paulie and Pauline

      Wait, what? All you have to do is bridge and tunnel your way to Joisey to find the beefsteak tradition alive and well. Over here on the mainland, we still have a hefty supply of middle-aged I-TAL-yun men who sport stained t-shirts over beer guts without a hint of irony, who routinely gather in church basements and VFW halls to eat and drink and raise a little money for something-or-other. If watching us makes your ladyparts beep, come on over and knock yourselves out.