It’s no wonder hanger steak was a cut butchers once saved only for themselves. In Decatur’s former train depot, pony up to the stunning bar, and look beyond the admittedly spectacular oyster selection for this steakhouse-worthy plate. Full of beefy flavor and richness, the meat is hickory-smoked, peppercorn-crusted and tender. The caramelized edges have those coveted charred bits; on the side sits a delicate circle of potato pave. $30.
In chef Kevin Rathbun’s temple to big steaks and expense-account dining, the dry-aged steak for two is a Goldilocks version of indulgence: Not too big, not too small, and aged for 30-40 days until the meat’s developed a complex, funky flavor that is just right. This 26-ounce porterhouse is served bone-in and conveniently sliced for easy access. Enjoy the deeply flavored meat on its own or say screw Goldilocks and dunk each bite in Rathbun’s outrageous, melty black truffle butter. Steaks are served a la carte, but we recommend sampling a shareable side of jalapeño creamed corn or cheesy scalloped sweet potatoes. This is not the time or place for calorie counting, temperance, or restraint, so relax and enjoy. $72.
Pure meat nirvana: blood, fat and tang come together in one hulking slab of flesh. Get it with some sweet and fluffy corn pudding and creamed spinach (which isn’t on the menu, but they’ll make it on request) and you’ll feel the virile thrill of the manliest meal in town. $45.
Is it possible the best cheesesteak in town could be bested by another cheesesteak on the same menu? Fred’s regular cheesesteak is the standard bearer, but the ‘Shroom Shire version ups the ante, adding garlic aioli and a house mushroom-Worcestershire sauce that gives a powerful umami punch to the gut. Fred’s also mixes in provolone with its usual American cheese on this version. It’s still as gooey and messy as all get out, but a bit more refined. $14. 99
Jaws drop on cue when this brunch dish emerges from the kitchen — a steak and eggs platter that can feed a party of four, featuring a massive dry-aged, bone-in rib-eye cooked sous vide with aromatics like fennel and coriander, then finished on a Big Green Egg. Accoutrements vary week to week (as does the size and price of each steak), but you can expect several sunny-side-up eggs, a scattering of fried shrimp or oysters, sauces like a hollandaise or charred onion cream, and sides of grits or hash browns. Splurge away; that’s what brunch is for.
There’s something magical that happens with the best steak tartar, an alchemy that turns high-quality raw beef into a creamy wonder. Punctuated by shallots and capers, and topped with a gooey raw egg yolk, this paragon of protein is pure pleasure. $14.95.
You don’t have to be a vegetarian to appreciate the brilliance of Cooks and Soldiers’ veggie “tartare” — a tomato-based riff on steak tartare made possible by a healthy dose of molecular gastronomy. Chunky cured tomato replaces the raw beef, and a stunning carrot-juice orb poses as the egg yolk typically found on the classic dish. A house-made vegetarian Worcestershire (no anchovies) plus the traditional capers, onion, and Dijon mustard, balance out the tartare’s bright tomato sweetness. You’ll never miss the beef. $7.
The most noteworthy cheese steak in Atlanta is located off an access road of I-285. At the Mad Italian, khaki-clad office workers, after-church crowds, and scary biker dudes all unite under one roof in pursuit of cheese steak bliss. The sandwich’s “proper roll,” as its called, has its own dedicated page on the Mad Italian’s website. It’s an airy, crusty, hefty roll that stands up to the juicy filling. The tender, thinly sliced steak is grilled until the meat forms those delightful crispy bits around the edges. Along with a smattering of translucent grilled onions, the sandwich is draped with gooey melted white American cheese. It comes in 6-, 8-, and 10-inch varieties. Get the 10. Six-inch: $6.49/8-inch: $7.99/10-inch: $10.99.