The Low Carb Luxury Online Magazine 

MARCH 14, 2003     PAGE FOUR      
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   Content Links
 News & Product Of The Month
 From Lora's Desk
 Hints and Tips!
 Meet The Merchant
 Questions and Answers
 St. Patrick's Day Recipes
 Just For Fun


Synergy Diet

  The Low Carb Connoisseur

                  Meet The Merchant

Low Carb Luxury offers a Special Feature called "Meet The Merchant" that allows you, the reader (and shopper) to get a better "look" at the merchants we all deal with. There's a nice "comfort level" that comes with knowing something about the merchant to whom you trust your shopping needs.

Our "regularly scheduled" merchant submission here did not come to pass this issue because of some unavoidable delays on their part. It occurred to us that this might be the perfect opportunity for us to highlight some of the merchants and businesses that are NOT online shopping venues; but who are doing a splendid job and deserve the extra recognition.

We'll do such write-ups from time to time as we find exceptional companies. In this instance, there was little doubt that we would begin with a chain of restaurants that have earned our business and continue to do so on each and every visit — Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.

                               Ruth's Chris

              The Name You Know... The Steak You Love

                     "Red meat is not bad for you. Now blue-green meat, thatís bad for you!"
                                                                      Tommy Smothers

Before I get into the "meat" (no pun intended) of this review, let me answer the question that I am constantly asked about the name of our favorite restaurant, Ruth's Chris:

Chris Steak HouseHow Ruth's Chris Got Its Name...

"Ruth's Chris Steak House" is such a tongue-twister that one restaurant critic suggested it be used as a sobriety test: anyone who could say that name three times certainly couldn't be intoxicated. The year was 1965 when Ruth Fertel (a single mother with two young sons) bought a small eatery in New Orleans known as Chris Steak House. She mortgaged her home and put up $18,000 for the purchase.

The owner (Chris Matulich) gave Ruth the right to keep the name as long as the restaurant stayed in the original location. But after a fire forced her to relocate, she needed a new name because that agreement forbid her from using "Chris Steak House" (which is how everyone knew the joint). She simply tacked on her own name, outraging every naming consultant on the planet. "I've always hated the name," Ruth told Fortune Magazine, "but we've always managed to work around it and we've always made the steak the star." It has proven to be effective as people remember the name because it's so unusual. It has also had an additional benefit... people stopped calling her Chris. (Sadly, Ruth passed away nearly one year ago.)

Okay, with that out of the way, here's a quick overview of "Ruth's" (how the employees refer to the restaurant name.) If you love great steak, this is the place. If you're low carbing and like the idea of choosing your own sides for your steak (or chicken, veal, seafood..), rather than having a potato or other starch pushed your way, this is the place. In fact, you select each portion of your meal separately... from appetizers to soup to salad, and then to your entree. And each category has plenty to choose from to keep a low carb or sugarfree dieter well-fed, happy, and totally on-plan.

filet mignon My favorite meal? I usually start with the Shrimp Remoulade (chilled shrimp in a spicy mayo-based sauce that's to die for!), then have the petit filet mignon (with either bearnaise sauce or hollandaise) cooked medium rare with extra butter. All steaks are PRIME and are served on (very) hot plates. My favorite sides are the broccoli au gratin (with a mountain of melted cheddar on top, just slightly crunchy around the edges), or the creamed spinach (made with real cream and butter plus a hint of red pepper.) I can never eat both because the portions are HUGE. I have never once left that restaurant without a "doggie bag". (No, I don't have a dog.)

But you can have your sides prepared in a myriad of ways... steamed, steamed with butter, creamed, au gratin, with hollandaise, etc. And they offer broccoli, mushrooms, asparagus, spinach, and some locations offer cauliflower. That's a LOT of low carb choices. High carb veggies like corn or beans are nowhere on the menu.

Equally wonderful are their other cuts of steak, their veal, or their garlicy chicken breasts. I completely enjoyed the one time I had lobster tail there as well.

As for soups, it's hard to say if the Seafood Bisque or the Onion au Gratin (French Onion Soup) is the best. They are both divine.

In appetizers, when I don't get the Shrimp Remoulade, I always go for either the "Sizzlin Blue Crab Cakes" in fresh butter, or the "Mushrooms Stuffed with Crabmeat" covered in Romano cheese. Both use only the barest hint of breadcrumbs, keeping these dishes quite low carb. And the crabmeat (you'll find no artificial crab here!) is of excellent quality.

Their superb wine list, winner of the Wine Spectator "Award of Excellence," includes many premium California and imported wines. Many premium wines are available by the glass.

In short, the food is great. Ruth's is a national chain with locations in Canada, Hong Kong, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Taiwan as well. Since Richard and I have to do a lot of traveling for our jobs, we've had occasion to eat at quite a lot of Ruth's Chris Restaurants. On only two occasions did we find a location to be less than excellent, but the two we found to excel were the Beverly Hills, California location, and even more so, our own closest restaurant in Columbus, Ohio.

The rest of my comments will be specific to our "home" location in Columbus, since that's who we're so very familiar with. And as I have said at our site before, if you are in driving distance of this great restaurant, make it a point to go!

Delicious food and carb-friendly choices aside, the real reason to spend your time (and money) here are the people. The staff at Ruth's Chris of Columbus are probably the single most accommodating and pleasant team of restaurant folk we've ever encountered. My low carb needs are always remembered and respected. I am served freshly cut berries in a delightful presentation, making me feel as special as those who are able to relish their rich desserts.

Aaron at Ruth's Chris Columbus Their managers will assure your meal is perfection. This is especially true of Manager Adrian Rosu, who deserves special note for always going the extra mile. He supports his wait staff in one of the most attentive, and compassionate manners I've ever seen.

As for servers, ask for Aaron Gillum. Aaron has found a way to be proper, polite, a master of efficiency, and totally in his element, while making you feel pampered and special. One never doubts that his chief concern is making the customer happy and at ease. Really bright, and with a great sense of humor, Aaron represents the best that Ruth's Chris has to offer.

Another server there who will keep you smiling (and will work hard to make sure your meal is a low carb delight) is Nicole Dent. She's approachable, warm, and carries her sense of humor with her at all times. She puts a spirited spin on every visit in which she waits on you, and her smile is infectious.

In the end, the team at Ruth's Chris Columbus is an exceptional one, making the entire experience a 5-star event. They have our highest recommendation. If you have a special evening in mind, check them out. Should I ever win the lottery, I might just eat there every night! With superior food and service, Ruthís Chris proves itís possible to find the perfect steak ó cooked and served to perfection every night. Oh, and for a Friday or Saturday night, remember to get reservations!  We drive over an hour each way when we go... they're that good.

                  Written by Lora Ruffner for Low Carb Luxury

                  Visit the Ruth's Chris website to learn more or find a location.

                  Ruth's Chris of Columbus is located at:
                  7550 Highcross Blvd.
                  Columbus, Ohio 43235

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