The almighty steak is still the king of the caveman diet. I know most of you ladies enjoy a nice hunk of beef from time to time, but to us male Neanderthals nothing will put the metaphorical hair on our chest quicker than slightly bloody charred protein.
Steak is largely a man’s game, which possibly accounts for the reason you of the fairer sex will definitely outlive us. It’s historically proven. We need that red meat so we can open jars, work on cars, chop the wood and sling the pig skin. Allow us our brawn to pick up where our feeble minds trailed off. It isn’t much to ask.
Recently Rob was abandoned by his family for a few days. I was flying solo. And a friend of ours rolled into town. A very special friend. Some of you readers may know our buddy from south of the border, good old Carlos Danger. When Carlos comes out to play things get serious. He’s a little over five feet high, but don’t let his diminutive size fool you. The man can put away some groceries.
A little gruff, a little Napoleonic, hard to get to know, but get a few drinks in Carlos and he’s a delight to be around. I always tease him how it would be so much cooler if Danger were his middle name, but due to the language barrier my joke is wasted on our pint-sized friend.
Throw together three guys sans wives and discussion of dinner turns immediately to steak. I’d heard good things about Briquettes in West Mobile, so off we went.
I find it odd to visit a steak house in the middle of a strip mall, but my concerns soon subsided. We were seated immediately and within seconds I was swilling Sam Adams ($5 per pint) while Rob enjoyed a Stella Artois ($4.50) and Carlos a Sweetwater 420 ($5). A brief glance at the appetizer menu and I ordered for us. Raw Oysters ($10.99 per dozen) were a must at that price. I can’t believe I am excited about $11 oysters, but some spats are going for $15 and above around here. These were a good medium average for half shells and were no contest for the three of us.
I know Carlos well enough that he’d be upset if I didn’t order chargrilled oysters ($15.99 per dozen). I was happy to oblige. It’s the rage these days, but chargrilled are amazing. These were very simply done with a bit of cheese and a ton of flavor. Carlos, the aficionado, says these are some of the better in this town.
Rob fancies himself a New York Strip ($19.29) man. He ordered a bone-in strip but received the boneless. No worries. The steak was wonderfully prepared and the bill was adjusted accordingly. Grilled corn was his one side item and his salad was adorned with blue cheese.
Carlos and I had a brief argument over which of us would get the T-Bone ($21.49). Our rule is that we all get something different. I was going to stand my ground, but this little fella has a temper. Turns out he’s pretty handy with a blade and even did a little time in the ‘80s after an incident involving French fries. Never touch Carlos’ fries. I relented. Carlos ordered mid rare and got an almost medium steak. This didn’t stop him from devouring it with little complaint. Garlic mashed potatoes were his side.
Lucky for me the bone-in ribeye ($22.99) was the steak of the night. They knocked it out of the park when they cooked this bad boy. I also ordered mid rare, and they erred on the side of rare. Perfect. That is exactly how I’d hoped it would work out. It pays to be nice. I also had the garlic mash just to spite my short friend. Stellar.
Three steaks deserves three desserts. I bit first on the cheesecake ($5.99). This one isn’t made in-house, but who cares. It was decadent. Some kind of raspberry topping made it better. Rob ordered the other imported dessert with the Key lime pie ($4.99). I’d say it was even better than the cheesecake.
But it was Carlos Danger who won the dessert award with Apple Brown Betty ($6.99). Brown sugar and apples were topped with vanilla ice cream, and was perfect for any sweet tooth. I did convince Mr. Danger to allow me one bite.
We paid the bill, left with bellies full and hit the town bar hopping Danger-style.
It’s nice to visit a place that uses wood to cook the steaks. Our waitress informed us that they use pecan and red oak. It pays off. Not many complaints from me regarding service, flavor and price. If you visit the website www.briquettessteakhouse.com you may notice a difference in price from the ones I quoted here.
None of those differences ever amounted to over a dollar or two. I do like the fact that this is a locally owned and operated facility that seems to be doing well. The only drawback for me is that it is too far away from those of us whose caves are in MiMo.
If you don’t mind the trip out to Schillinger, go see for yourself. I expect to have Briquettes around for many more years. I’m pretty sure if we can convince Carlos Danger to move to the Azalea City his appetite would keep them in business. I personally don’t know if my liver can handle such a thing.
720 A Schillinger Rd.
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