I had an errand to run near Herald Square yesterday. Keens Steakhouse is the only decent restaurant nearby, so I dropped in for a light supper. A bit before 6:00 p.m., they were already nearly full, which is remarkable for a restaurant this enormous that is not in the theater district. Had I arrived just a few minutes later, I would have had to wait for a table.
There’s a casual “pub” at Keens that doesn’t take reservations. You can order from the over-priced dining room menu, but the pub also has its own menu that, if not cheap, is at least reasonable. I’ve written about Keens a number of times, so I’ll get right to the beef.
Prime Rib Hash ($16.50; left) caught my eye. It’s basically a play on corned beef hash, with diced prime rib as the main ingredient, and a fried egg replacing the usual gravy. In the interest of science, I had to try it.
The verdict? It’s pretty good, though surely not meant to be dinner on its own. Four people could share it as an appetizer. It’s that big. So naturally, I ate the whole thing myself (and nothing else).
For its steaks, Keens charges premium prices for a second-tier product. The décor is one-of-a-kind, but you always have the feeling that the staff is thinking about the next thousand customers.
They do have a few dishes no one else is serving, especially the incomparable mutton chop, to which I can now add the Prime Rib Hash.
Keens Steakhouse (72 W. 36th Street, east of Sixth Avenue, West Midtown)