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It's Dads Night... And The Feeling's Right

Andre's Steakhouse

2800 Tamiami Trail North, Naples, FL

Steakhouses. It seems like any town with a mayor and a country club has to have a classic steakhouse. Prior to Yelp and the collective minds of amateur internet food experts (*cough cough cough*), if you were in any random US city for on business, you'd head to the local steakhouse to ensure yourself a good cocktail, a nice hunk of meat and some tasty sides to go alongside. The interior is always some version of dark wood, banquets, a long dark wood bar with a TV hanging above, waiters in uniforms and a sign that pre-dates neon. Whether you're in San Diego or Indianapolis the local steakhouse is as much a part of Americana as country music and the pep rally. In the latter, I drank next to an Afghan war vet who, after a spirited discussion of early 80s post-punk, invited me to an illicit couples party, after which Indy's version of Don Magic Juan walked in, dressed in all purple velvet with freakishly long fingernails. Now, I'm as much a patriot as the next guy, and I love to help out our Armed Forces, but a midwestern swingers party is where I draw the line.

I will confess I'm not the biggest straight-up steak fan, preferring a little more preparation than salt, pepper, grill (though I love me some Korean BBQ and Chimmichurri on a nice skirt steak, note: The Meat King's wife, Chimmi Hendrix, makes the best I've had anywhere, restaurants included), but I've had some significant milestone life-altering meals in my life at places like these, frisky servicemen notwithstanding.

Once a month, the dads at Boogs's school get socially to eat, drink and talk about whatever dads talk about these days. We have a rotation of places and one of those heavy in the rotation is Andre's Steakhouse. Andre's is about as spartan as you can get and still feel like the classic American steakhouse.

Rumor has it it was founded in the early 90s by a refugee from the famous cash-only Peter Luger's in Brooklyn, although I have no confirmation and that could be another Naples legend like how all steak is Waygu here. It says on the sign outside that it was founded in 1993, although the sign looks like it was made in 1973. Perhaps 90s sign technology hadn't reached Naples yet at that point. Town was a LOT sleepier back then. The interior looks like it hasn't been touched since 1953, so if they are going for old school, it has been achieved and then some.

This month's hang, organized by The Great Chet (formerly Chet Champion) included friends you've met: Captain Neon, The Admiral, Jamie, Just Jamie, The Meat King, along with new to you friends Young America's Mayor (Yam) and the Austrian Ironman. Sadly, Boy Wonder cancelled due to illness. I assume he forgot to take his Flintstones that day. With drinks in hand, this merry band of paternity allowed the Meat King to do his royal duty and order for everyone. Normally a more Herculean task for these gents, the menu is as simple as the restaurant. There are about four appetizers and four cuts of steak, all meant to be shared. There's also a fish dish, but I didn't pay much attention to that.

One of the classic things that Andre's has taken from Luger's (and a lot of other steakhouses do this) is the giant slab bacon appetizer. More porky salty steak than traditional back, it's pretty much good everywhere, because bacon is delicious. Andre's happens to be exceptional as it crispy yet tender, more like a pork belly than true breakfast bacon.

We also ordered tomatoes and onions, which I think is their version salad. Not much to say here. it's tomatoes and onions. And of course, shrimp cocktail...because ...shrimp cocktail?

Like I said, not a lot to the menu and you pretty much go to Andre's to eat meat, drink and ...drink while eating meat.

For the mains, it's pretty simple, you can get your choice of porterhouse, t-bone, or New York Strip and kinda do the math based on how many people you have. With the seven of us meating it up, we ordered all three cuts, to be served family style (The Great Chet, being the kind man he is, only eats chicken and fish, yet he picked the steakhouse because he's the selfless, kind Great Chet. Anything less and he'd be just the Good Chet, or even the Just Ok Chet).

Potentially Jamie, Just Jamie's Hands, Just Hands

As mentioned, this isn't the type of place that has about thirty sides. You want clams casino? Nope. You want lobster mac and cheese? Not a chance. If you want a plate of potatoes, a plate of vaguely creamed spinach and some sauteed mushrooms that's about the extent of this, so I hope you eat meat and are ok with the meat sweats afterwards, cause both of those things are inevitable.

In addition to the steak, we ordered the potatoes, which are basically really good home fries but slightly less fried along with the aforementioned mushrooms and spinach. As repeated, the star here is the vibe and the steak, so you don't want to get that ruined by people going gaga for au gratin.

As far as the quality of the steak goes, it's VERY good steak that pairs really nicely with a heavy dry red. They have their own steak sauce as well that's a nice companion. Or that might have been the dressing for the tomatoes and onions, either way, not bad.

As the conversation swelled between talk of the latest European art house film, the merits of Goya's early 19th century work when he became mad with hearing issues and his earlier more political late 18th century work as well as the finer points of ....oh who the hell am I kidding. We talked about our kids, vacation and the stock market. It's a Naples Dads group, not the salon with Dorothy Parker.

We finished up the meal with a nice piece of cherry apple strudel. Some people say there's no such thing as bad pizza, I say there's no such thing as a bad dessert containing apples. This was pretty good, although I wished the crust were a little flakier, but it pleased the Austrian Strongman and I imagine he has more strudel experience than the rest of us at the table...or is that stereotyping? I mean I DO know a lot about bagels..

In summary, if you want to feel the oldest of the old school steakhouse vibes, with no frills, excellent service and a nice piece of meat or two, Dinner at Andre's is going to be your spot.

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Mr. Bites
Mr. Bites
Mar 28, 2022

I never went to PL, but there was a place near the seaport that was supposedly opened by his second in command. that's where I learned about the joy of the slab of steakhouse bacon


We have dined at the original Peter Lugar’s in Williamsburg many, many times in our years in NY. Adre’s is a close second, but needless to say, prefer the original.

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