10 steakhouse chains that serve the best appetizers
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While meat is always the main event when dining at a steakhouse, don’t ignore the entrees and side dishes when ordering. For the indecisive, ordering a smaller steak and a couple of entrees can make the meal more interesting, providing an opportunity to sample more than just one or two of the chef’s creations.
When dining at a steakhouse you love, it’s safe to assume that your steak will be tough, so why not branch out and see what other cooking tricks — other than a good sear — that chefs have in the kitchen wearing on their white sleeves?
Steakhouses often offer amazing cooked seafood entrees that you may not find anywhere else, delicious bacon morsels and rich, surprising dips for the entire table. Below, find our picks for the best appetizers at any steakhouse. Make sure to leave room for the main event though!
Steak BLT: Lobster Cobb Salad
What better way to prepare your stomach for delicious steak than with a steak salad? This Lobster Cobb Salad from BLT Steak goes even further, and can be a snack in itself. For this hearty salad, romaine, iceberg, and arugula are tossed with lobster, avocado, egg halves, bacon, and fried shallots, all topped with a buttermilk dressing.
Black Angus: Hot, crunchy honey Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts have been on fire since I was a kid, and chefs have been adding them to menus as creative sides and garnishes at restaurants all over the country. Black Angus has a version that turns these little cabbages into crunchy, sweet, and tangy bites. Oven-baked sprouts, tossed with smoked bacon and blue cheese, then drizzled with hot honey for a delicious appetizer.
The Capital Grill: Cherrywood Smoked Bacon
Not many people can do without bacon, and the Capital Grille appetizer, made with Nueske’s signature cherry wood-smoked bacon, is a fun treat. The bacon is served in thick, bite-sized pieces, coated in a rich Korean barbecue glaze and topped with pickled shallots to balance the sweetness.
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar: Crab cakes
Crab cakes are a steakhouse classic, and Fleming’s is one of the best. To start your meal, you’ll get two crab cakes stuffed with crab. The delicious duo sits in a rich, creamy sauce made with roasted red peppers and lemon butter.
Long Horn Steakhouse: Spinach Parmesan Sauce
This creamy classic is such a beloved appetizer at LongHorn that copycat recipes have been popping up online. But, if you don’t feel like cooking, order this appetizer for lunch or dinner, and enjoy a house-made four-cheese spread with baked spinach and topped with more cheese: Parmesan cheese and garlic create a crunchy topping. Scoop it all up with freshly fried flatbread chips.
Morton’s The Steakhouse: Wagyu Meatballs
Starting your meaty meal with meatballs may seem like overkill, but you should never skip anything SRF on the menu. Why? Snake River Farms is one of the world’s best beef providers. Its beef is the result of crossing Japanese Wagyu cattle with continental cattle breeds, which are highly prized for their extreme marbling. These rich meatballs are seasoned in Morton’s Kitchen with a blend of spices and served with just the right amount of red sauce.
Nakhla: Oyster dish
What’s not to like about grilled oysters? It’s the perfect mouth-sized size, with plenty of butter and a nice bit of crustacean. With an Italian menu, it’s no surprise that the Palm offers two options of classic grilled oysters on one plate: oyster oreganata with breadcrumbs and seasoning, and oyster casino, which adds bacon, peppers and onions.
Saltgrass Steakhouse: Queso Fresco
Founded in the Lone Star State, Saltgrass Steakhouse leans heavily on Texas influences, especially with their delicious queso blanco appetizer. Queso blanco is served in a cast iron skillet, thawed and mixed with flavorful pico de gallo, cilantro, and scallions. Scoop everything up with crunchy tostada chips before getting to the main event.
Smith Wolinsky: Burrata
Burrata, which is a crust of mozzarella cheese wrapped around a rich mixture of cheese curds and cream that forms a pliable ball, has seen a surge in popularity over the past decade. Get this appetizer from Smith & Wollensky, and you’ll get a gooey cheese ball served with basil pesto, cilantro, tomato sauce, and crostini. You can add prosciutto for an extra dose of salty protein.
Texas Roadhouse: Rattlesnake bites
Fried cheese is always satisfying, and this appetizer from Texas Roadhouse is a perfect example. To make these bites, jalapeno peppers are cut into cubes, mixed with Jack cheese, and then fried well. Finally, they’re served with a spicy Cajun sauce for dipping.
Tanya Edwards is a seasoned food and health journalist who has held positions at Yahoo Health as managing editor and at Food Network as director of programming. Read more about Tanya