Ribeye top choice for local steak lovers

Juicy cut is the most popular pick of Wichita beef fans. Here's where to find it.

By Joe Stumpe | Photography by Michelle Adams

Ribeye is the most popular steak at the Hereford House, Hangar One Steakhouse and Scotch and Sirloin. Tenderloin filets rule at the Gaslamp Grille, Larkspur and Chester's Chophouse. Starting to see a pattern here? When it comes to steak these two premium cuts are the choice of most Wichita diners.

You could say ribeye is also the most popular steak at yet another top Wichita restaurant  Legends in the Airport Hilton  when you consider that Legends best-seller, prime rib, is really just a lot of ribeye roasted whole instead of sliced and grilled individually. What makes the ribeye the steak of choice for so many beef lovers? The answer is the makeup of the cut.

Ribeye steaks come with the highest proportion of marbling of any steak. Marbling is the interior fat that adds flavor and keeps meat tender during cooking. When meat is cooked properly, this interior fat all but melts away, leaving nothing but the aforementioned flavor behind.

Because of its marbling, ribeye can also be cooked beyond the medium rare doneness recommended by most chefs. For diners who prefer it that way, ribeye can be cooked up to medium well done without drying out.

Each restaurant has its own method of preparation that enhances ribeye. The Hereford House at Terradyne and Scotch and Sirloin both start with Cargill's Sterling Silver brand of beef and are known for broiling the steaks at high temperatures  several hundred degrees above what most home kitchens are capable of.

The secret in this type of dish, with the marbling, is the way we cook it on this broiler, Mike Issa of the Hereford House said. It really needs a lot of heat to get that sizzle and melt that marbling inside.

Ribeye steaks come with the highest portion of marbling of any steak.When meat is cooked properly, this interior fat all but melts away, leaving nothing but the aforementioned flavor behind.

Boneless 7-oz. and 15-oz. ribeyes are the Scotch and Sirloin's big sellers. At the Hereford House, a bone-in ribeye 22 ounces or bigger gets the nod. Bone-in ribeyes are usually called cowboy ribeyes. Every time we put it on a plate the reaction (from customers) is one word  wow, Issa said. It's like a journey to finish it  one that often includes a trip home as delicious leftovers.

Hangar One's chef, Ryan Harjo, swears by the Butcher Block brand of certified Angus beef for ribeye and other steaks. After a minimum of 21 days aging (which adds to the meat's tenderness), Harjo hand-cuts the steaks daily into 12-oz. servings. Although there are more and less expensive steaks on the menu, Harjo said, I think you get the best product for your money with that particular cut. That fat flavor transfers over to the meat. The marbling throughout is pretty uniform. Every bite you take you get that nice, tender flavorful taste.

At Legends, chef Larry Walker serves beef from Creekstone Farms in Arkansas City. It's almost local, Walker said. We know exactly where it's coming from. Ribeye is always on the menu, with specials on 16-oz. ribeye steaks on Wednesday and a popular all-you-can eat prime rib dinner Friday.

Tenderloin filets live up to their name because they come from a muscle of the cow that doesn't get much work and is therefore tender. It appeals to women and guys,' Bobby Lane of Chester's Chophouse said. There's no fat, mess or muss. It's always perfect. Interestingly, the filet's price  it's generally the most expensive steak on a menu  makes it popular, he notes. People who wouldn't feel comfortable cooking a pricey piece of meat at home will order it in a restaurant for a special occasion.

Chester's grills its filets over an oak fire, then brushes them with a little olive oil and butter. Because filets tend to be smaller and less strongly flavored than ribeye, they also lend themselves to more elaborate preparations.

At the Gaslamp Grille, the steak is lightly coated with cracked peppercorns, grilled and then served with a sherry cream and veal demiglaze sauce. At Larkspur, they come topped with crab meat and bernaise sauce, covered with mushrooms and wine sauce or skewered on kabobs with a teriakyi glaze.

We sell a lot of ribeye, Larskpur owner Ty Issa said, but tenderloin is No. 1.

Ribeye Round-up

Restaurants mentioned in this article include:

Hangar One 5925 W. Kellogg Dr. |316.941.4900

Hereford House at Terradyne | 1400 Terradyne Dr. | Andover | 316.733.7800

Legends (in the Airport HIlton) | 2098 Airport Road | 316.945.5272

Scotch and Sirloin | 5325 E. Kellogg | 316.685.8701

Larkspur | 904 E. Douglas | 316.262.5275

Gaslamp Grille | 550 N. Rock Road | 316.260.1432

Chester's Chophouse | 1550 N. Webb Road | 316.201.1300

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