Foodstuff

Chained Meat

In Broward and Palm Beach counties, there are two Morton's the Steakhouses (West Palm Beach and Boca Raton), two Ruth's Chris (Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton), and two Shula's Steakhouses (Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach Gardens).

All of these chains, popular throughout the Midwest, South, and East, claim zealous adherents who tout the superiority of their favorite -- which is strange, because all offer similarly good, safe food, served professionally in upscale atmospheres. The differences are mainly around the edges, among the appetizers, side orders, and desserts. Little ventured, much (weight) gained is the idea. You may not remember what you ate at any of the steak-house chains, but your wallet will -- and sometimes not feel too kindly about it.

Handsome, clubby, and very corporate, Morton's excels at the USDA double-cut, 14-ounce filet mignon -- and the hamburger. Order the chocolate soufflé for dessert at the start of the meal to ensure prompt delivery.

A little less corporate yet still determinedly upscale, Ruth's Chris started in New Orleans, and the appetizers have a Cajun feel. Steaks are served sizzling in butter. Lots of potato side dishes and a popular dessert called chocolate sin cake -- very '80s.

Specializing in certified Angus beef, Shula's offers more of the same: expensive, competent, unexciting food, heavy on the beef and even heavier on the football memorabilia, as if the world stopped with that perfect 1972 season capped by the Super Bowl victory.

Morton's the Steakhouse

777 S. Flagler Dr.

West Palm Beach

561-835-9664

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Morton's the Steakhouse

5050 Town Center Cir.

Boca Raton

561-392-7724

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Ruth's Chris Steak House

2525 N. Federal Hwy.

Fort Lauderdale

954-565-2338

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Ruth's Chris Steak House

225 NE Mizner Blvd., Ste. 100

Boca Raton

561-392-6746

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Shula's on the Beach

321 S. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd.

Fort Lauderdale

954-355-4000

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Shula's Steak House

400 Avenue of Champions

Palm Beach Gardens

561-627-4852

 
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