Not too long ago I came upon Monica Eng’s essay Morality Bites, and I vowed to cut down on meat. Well, I’ve been keeping my words, just not all of them: I cut meat. And eat it too. Two weeks ago I entrusted myself on an alphabetical quest for the best steak within ten miles of Berkeley, starting with The Alley. This week, Buckhorn is up to the chopping board.
Okay. So it is a chain. A meat-up version of Burger King. Bigger plates, bigger menu, bigger service (they offer catering), big customers. As of today, Buckhorn Grill has opened only seven locations in the Bay Area, so I think we can excuse myself for bucking off my no-chain rule to blog about them. Of course it’s not really that qualified to be in the steakhouse category, there ain’t no sirloin, T-bone, or filet mignon. All it has is tri-tip, or triangular steak, a boneless cut from the bottom sirloin, with charcoaled rim and lotsa salt.
Mudpie opted for the regular 6-oz platter at $12.95, while I headed down the 10-oz Dad’s Cut at $15.95. Talk about glutton embarrassment. The only difference is a slice of tri-tip. The Bay Area health-conscious trend shows up here in big chunks of grilled squash, carrot, and asparagus. Yes, if you’re gonna eat meat, make sure you doubly expand your tummy for a lot of veggie, too, then cement it with mashed potato and gravy. Actually the carrot is quite delicious, the dried skin and gummy inside remind me of a beautifully grilled sweet potato. Meanwhile, the black cup of meat dripping looks attractive, but it’s just too light to accentuate the airy bread.
So is it the best tri-tip on the planet? It’s tasty, but I think I can get better at Sbisa, for a much cheaper price (all you can eat at $8.25). That said, next time I get a craving I’d order a 2-lb whole tri-tip for $20, and unbuckle the belt.
Address: Buckhorn Grill (in the Emeryville Bay Street Mall)
5614 Bay St (at Shellmound St)
Emeryville, CA 94608
Previously on Steak Search: The Alley (Oakland)
Next on Steak Search: Prime Spot (Oakland)