Beef: It’s What’s for Dinner When You’ve Had a Very Bad Day

Saturday started out bad and got worse. I woke up indisposed, due to the inadvertent consumption of immoderate amounts of wine the night before. Thus impaired, I had a ham and cheese croissant formiddle_r2_c4.jpg breakfast. Yummy, maybe, but full of white flour and industrial ham. Blech. Then a package arrived from a friend of my mother's, proving that she doesn't even need to communicate with me directly to completely enrage me: Her friends do it for her. Then we went to a barbecue, where I, in a fury, ate Pringles and drank Sprite. Double blech with bile on top.

We were supposed to go out to dinner with a friend of Sir Loin's -- they had gotten it into their heads that they needed to go to a steak restaurant together. Okay, fine. But C&L Steakhouse seems to have closed -- phone number disconnected. Damn. Harris' is always an option, but I can only think of the giant feedlots at Harris Ranch and the booth-and-couth crowd there doesn't really do it for me. Snoots. But we made a reservation anyway, just before heading out to the BBQ. When we got home, I glumly poked around on the Internet, not excited about a steak dinner, not excited about the martini we would have beforehand, not exited about very much, really. Until I poked my way onto the Web site for the Acme Chophouse. It promised grass-fed beef. Nice. I told Sir Loin to pick up the phone. But then. Then I clicked over to the dinner menu. Grassfed my ass, they also have grass-fed and -finished rib eyes from Marin Sun Farms. I told Sir Loin to hurry it up already!

Acme buys the meat from Marin Sun and then ages it for 40 days there at the restaurant. The result, said our helpful server, is a rib eye that has the tenderness of a filet. I asked if the other steaks on the menu were from Marin Sun. "No," he said slightly conspiratorially. "They're corn finished." They're Niman, which I also eat with gusto, but the prospect of a grass-tastic Marin Sun steak was too much to resist (even given the jaw-dropping price). I ordered it. So did everyone else at the table. This resulted in a slightly tense moment: Would the kitchen have enough for us all? There might only be a few left. The server swooped back to the kitchen, secured the steaks before anyone else could snag 'em, and returned a few minutes later (victorious) to get our drinks order.

Sadly, we didn't take any pictures of the steak -- we only had camera phones, and the light wasn't really enough to get a good images. They were enormous, though, and brown. And they tasted wonderful: perfect texture, not too smooth, slightly gamey. Sir Loin proclaimed his over salted, but what goes better with meat than salt? I could feel my omega-3 fatty acid levels practically skyrocketing. Which was a nice image to have, because I also felt a little like Homer Simpson in the episode where he gets meat poisoning. I must get up to their butcher shop in Point Reyes so I can self-administer my own grass-fed beef at will, even when I haven't had a Very Bad Day.

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