Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Right on Track at Vintage Steakhouse?

The Vintage Steakhouse
26701-B Verdugo Street
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

Finding a good steakhouse can be very hard. Like barbecue restaurants, there are many factors that can turn you off from a steak place. Sides can be bad, the steaks can be tough, service can be horrible, or the restaurant can just be over-priced. So with this in mind, I dragged my steak expert/friend, Matt out with me and we tried a new place for both of us, Vintage Steakhouse.

We arrived at 7 on a Thursday night, without a reservation, and had no problem getting a seat. The Vintage Steakhouse is situated right next to the San Juan Capistrano Depot. Staying with the railroad theme, The Vintage has a fully restored 1927 Pullman railway car, which houses one of their two dining rooms. We were seated in here.  Enough of the ambiance, let's see some food.

Here is a quick shot of the bread basket that was given to us. There was nothing really too memorable about this bread, but it did come out very warm.

Both Matt and I ordered salads, because man can not live on steak alone. Well, I probably could, but I wanted a nice balanced dinner, plus I was real hungry. I had the Caesar Salad above. This was your basic Caesar salad. I liked that this had plenty of cheese on it and was served cold, but it was a little light on the dressing. Matt went with the Spinach Salad. He felt this salad was good, but would have been made better with some goat cheese added.

We only went with one appetizer to split between us, the Orecchiette Au Gratin. This was bell shaped pasta in a cheese sauce with applewood smoked bacon. This was so rich, it makes Donald Trump feel homeless. I liked the sauce at first, but then it got to be too much. This is a very heavy appetizer, so I am glad we split this.

For dinner I  was torn between a few items, but I went with my old standby, the Filet Mignon. At the Vintage they are very proud to point out the fact that they grill all of their meats over a mesquite grill. The filet here was pretty good. Very tender, and had a great flavor. I ordered this medium rare and that is the way it came out. I did not really need the sauces that we were provided with above, but they were nice accompaniments. The best of the bunch was the Bearnaise sauce, but the Cabernet Demi and Wild Mushroom Bordelaise were not too bad either. I also wanted to give props to Vintage for including sides with their steaks. A lot of the more upscale restaurants sell everything ala carte, not so here. The twice baked potato is the way to go. The inside was fluffy, and had just enough cheese to avoid being called bland. The vegetables were just veggies. Nothing made them stand out.

Matt heard the specials, and took this one. The Tomahawk Chop is a bone in rib eye. Sorry the picture makes the meat look so dark. Matt felt that this steak was cooked to his liking, the flavor was good, and meat was very tender. He remarked that the veggies were fresh, also he is not much of a potato guy, but he liked the twice baked potato as well.

Lastly, we had dessert. I stole Matt's choice for dessert, which you will see next. So he settled on the Vintage Train Car. This dessert was made up of puff pastry, with cinnamon cream, and then rolled in sugar and cinnamon, and finished off with a caramel drizzle. This was not the best dessert. With all of the big flavors here, this was kind of subdued. If you want a light dessert, this is probably the way to go. I give them credit for the presentation, but I would not get this again.

The best dessert that I have had in awhile was the Peanut Butter Creme Brulee here. I wish more places would put this on their menus. The peanut butter was very smooth, and had big flavor. This was served with chocolate sauce and whipped cream. I really enjoy Reese's candy, but the chocolate sauce did not match up as well with the peanut butter here for some reason. The way to go with this was to eat this with the whipped cream. Very good.

The Vintage Steakhouse proves that a steak place does not have to be crazy expensive for it to be good. The meats here were very good, and they ranged in the $30 and under price range. I was not too crazy with the choices of appetizers, and the dinner menu is a little small, but you should be able to find something on there that will make you happy. The crowd here is definitely older. The service also left a lot to desired. Our waitress was MIA for a lot of the night, leaving the food runner and bussers to do almost everything. There were long gaps when glasses were empty and plates were left on the table. We were in no rush, but I am sure if you were going to be catching a movie or something where you were on a timeline, it could be annoying. All in all, a very satisfying meal.

Out of five bottles of wine, (because in wine making, grapes picked in a specific year turn a bottle of wine into vintage wine), five being best to zero being worst, the Vintage Steakhouse gets 3 bottles of wine.

For more information on Vintage Steakhouse, click here:

 Vintage Steakhouse on Urbanspoon


  1. That stake looks excellent! I always love finding great steakhouses. What do you look for when choosing a steakhouse to eat at? I am surrounded by options in my city but don't know where to start.

  2. Casey - Thanks for taking the time to comment on our blog. I have come to the conclusion that the more you pay for a steak, the better it will taste. The steak here at Vintage is a pretty good, middle of the road steak, but there's much better. You'll just have to have to pay a lot more for it.