Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Meat Fest at the Home of Turducken

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Meat Fest at the Home of Turducken

Article excerpt

Eating Companion (EC) and I are meeting some friends at the famous Alpine Steakhouse, home of the (in)famous Turducken ("As Seen on the Food Network!"). As a cub reporter I got sent out to interview Alpine's crew while they watched the episode of Guy Fieri's "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives" air live. A few months later my own dear Poppa decided the Turducken would be the perfect surprise treat for Thanksgiving, and, well... Let's just say it didn't go over well. The turducken on the episode looked gorgeous, but in person it was a mess, with dry spots and soggy pockets, tough bits and undercooked areas.

But we're here to give the place a proper assessment, as we've been told time and time again that their burgers are killer and that their Philly is top shelf. Inside the place has a German or Bavarian butcher shop feel -- they do dry-aged Prime steaks, veal, fresh seafood, a case full of deli salads, "Imported Sauerkraut," a good selection of European beers, and a fairly priced lunch menu of burgers and specialty sandwiches.

We order some iced teas and decide on some sandwiches: a Philly ($6), a 1/2-pound Alpine Bacon Cheeseburger with a side of German potato salad ($8.95), a French Dip with cucumber salad ($10.95), a "New York Style Reuben" (which I believe indicates the use of corned beef, but is there another kind?) with fries ($8.95), and, for good measure, a Turducken sandwich (served with cheddar cheese, gravy and cranberry sauce, $6). EC is looking over my shoulder at something apparently very exciting. I can hear what sounds like flesh being hacked apart just behind me.

"What exactly is going on behind me?" I ask. He takes a second to respond. "Meat," he says. "Meat is happening behind you. It's amazing to watch."

The place is quiet and clean inside, busy for a weekday. The waitstaff is superbly friendly and all seem to be in suspiciously good moods.

The food takes no time at all, and we're off, divvying sammies, reaching across the table for fries and potato salad. …

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