Welcome to Ask Eater, a column from Eater Austin where the site’s editors answer specific or baffling restaurant requests from readers. Have a question for us? Submit your questions via email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Ask Eater Question.”
Dear Eater —
I am and have been on the hunt for quite some time for one of those old-school slabs of prime rib. Not a prime rib sandwich, not a prime rib taco, but a thick medium-rare slab of prime rib and a baked potato...maybe a salad bar.
There used to be that Old San Francisco Steakhouse on North I-35 that served them. It closed about 10 years ago. Please give me THAT prime rib map!
Dear Prime Rib Seeker —
I have good news and bad news for you. But mostly good.
The bad news first: You may have noticed that prime rib — aka standing roast, that juicy, medium-rare cut of beef that comes from the sixth through twelfth ribs of the cow — may appear on special menus but is hard to find as a regular dish. There’s a reason for that.
Prime rib has to be roasted whole and served the same day. That means restaurants risk a lot of waste if the dish doesn’t sell. Alternately, prime rib could be broken down into seven rib-eye steaks (since it uses the same cut of meat), which can be cooked on the fly and therefore last longer. Given the ever-rising cost of beef, this is likely why you don’t see prime rib on many menus.
However, we are in the land of beef, so of course, you have some options for prime rib in Austin — although since we are still in the era of COVID, a salad bar is probably too much to hope for.
The first, and probably best, the option is under-appreciated neighborhood gem Bartlett’s. The North Shoal Creek restaurant has it on its lunch and dinner menu (it, in fact, comes with a baked potato).
Another option is Brentwood barbecue spot Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew. Every Wednesday, it offers a smoked prime rib special, which comes with a cheesy tater tot casserole. (Stiles Switch definitely does not have a salad bar.)
If you’re down south, Carve American Grille, an offshoot of Perry’s, serves prime rib on Thursdays with a twice-baked potato. The restaurant is also planning a second location in the Grove near Allandale.
A few other options for you to try: Chez Zee has a weekend special ancho-rubbed, smoked prime rib with mashed potatoes and green beans, and Steiner Ranch Steakhouse serves prime rib daily. Provision in the Triangle also serves prime rib on Fridays and Saturdays.
So, while it may not be the exact experience you were hoping for, I am confident you have some great options for prime rib here. Let me know what you think!
Have questions about the Austin dining scene? Send questions via email to email@example.com with the subject line “Ask Eater Question.” Eater will feature the answer to one or more questions each month, providing guidance to the questions that plague Austin diners (be sure to specify a part of town, if relevant). People who write in with questions remain anonymous, so go wild.
Update: This article has been updated to add Provision’s prime rib.