Charlie’s Steak House was started by Charlie Petrossi in 1952. It’s one of New Orleans oldest steakhouses and prides itself on its unique service model. There is no menu passed out, if you ask for one you are laughed at as a first-timer. You simply tell your waiter which steak you want, how you want it cooked and the server will suggest your sides. They were closed for 3 years after Hurricane Katrina and only opened after the family sold it to Matthew Dwyer who had lived nearby and helped with bartending duties. He purchased Charlie’s in 2007 and re-opened in 2008 but tragically died at age 49 in the summer of 2020 as Covid was taking over. Several couples joined forces to have the historic restaurant start up again in January 2021. They do have a menu on their website <charliessteakhousenola.com>, so look it over before you go. The food is good not great but it’s fun to go to such a retro place.
You enter through the large bar room whose walls are covered with photos. There are downstairs and upstairs dining rooms, but I didn’t go upstairs. Downstairs the white cloth covered tables are fairly close and set with a dark green napkin to match the armless chair cushion. Wood walls, tile floor and acoustic ceiling make up the room that also has photos and paintings on the walls. They have a limited wine list but a full bar. The server was very friendly and welcomed us back, even though we’d never been before.
The onion rings were thin and crispy and piled high. They are the string variety of onion rings and house made but the coating was too thick and overwhelmed the onion. They also were not served piping hot.
The Classic Wedge Salad includes their famous Bleu Cheese dressing, tomato and onion slices on a wedge of iceberg lettuce. (You can choose 1000 Island or Italian dressing also). The cheese was well flavored and a generous enough amount you could keep some to smear on your upcoming steak. The server suggested is was good to drop some onion rings on top of the salad as an addition. Both were good options.
A 10 oz filet was cooked exactly as ordered. One of their signatures is that the steak comes out on a metal plate of sizzling butter. This does help with the lack of natural marbling in a filet. The meat was tender but not exceptionally beefy. The other steak cuts I saw coming out were thinner.
Charlie’s Potatoes Au Gratin was a good substitue as they were out of the Crabmeat Au Gratin. The creamy sauce surrounds the tender, nicely cooked potatoes and then it’s all topped with more cheese. It was the best plate of the evening.