No preTender is this Pyramid jewel

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Recently I met up with a friend who was in town for a few days. He was staying at the Luxor so we decided to dine there for dinner. The Luxor is not a Strip casino that I go to very often, but since he was staying there I figured it was a good chance to try out one of their restaurants.

Since my friend was in the mood for steak, we went to Luxor’s steakhouse Tender. Tender is located on the casino floor just a few steps away from the sports book. In my business all trips to a casino either start or end at the sports book. We were watching a snoozer of a Monday game between Tennessee and the Jets. Personally, I could only stomach the first half so we went to eat at halftime.

As we entered Tender Steak & Seafood it offered classic steakhouse décor – big leather booths, lots of rich wood. Yes this is your classic Vegas steakhouse.

We both ordered the same appetizer. They had this interesting Soup Sampler. For $10 you are served three different soups to try. It’s served in a three bowl dish that was an appealing way to present it. I chose the pumpkin squash and apple soup. This was a very sweet soup I had always wanted to try, but was afraid I wouldn’t like it.

Having it as part of the three-soup sampler made it an easy choice since I had two more soups if this one was a miss. I actually enjoyed it and the sampler size was just right because of the sweetness of this soup. My second choice was the Maine lobster bisque, which was very tasty, but I would have liked a little more lobster in my bisque. Then again. don’t we all want more lobster?

The final choice was the wild mushroom soup that, of the three, was my favorite. This soup was excellent, and if I go back I would most likely get a bowl of it. Now it was time to make a meat selection for dinner. First off, Tender prides itself in serving only meat from ranchers who raise their animals humanely and are fed no growth hormones or antibiotics.

They also get their beef from different parts. You can choose where your beef was raised. You get to choose from range fed Silver Fern Farms beef from New Zealand, or Black Angus Beef from Omaha or Wagyu Kobe Style beef from Dixon Ranch in North Dakota. Your decisions are not done yet because you need to decide if you want dry aged beef or normal, and if you want a boneless cut or a bone-in cut.

This was an easy choice for me; I went with dry aged and bone in. Too many people want boneless because they don’t want to pay for the bone. As someone who grew up in the family meat packing business I can tell you if you want the most flavor out of your steak go with bone-in all the time.

The bone gives your meat extra flavor as it cooks; trust me on this. I had the N.Y. strip and it was cooked to perfection. Very tasty. If you are feeling adventurous you can also try some range fed bison cuts from Durham Ranch in Wyoming. We ordered the grilled asparagus as our side dish and it was absolutely perfectly done. Nice grill marks and seasoned just right. Most importantly, it was not over cooked (I hate mushy asparagus).

We rounded out our meal with dessert. They had several tempting choices. My friend went with Grandma’s old fashion chocolate cake served with a scoop of vanilla bean gelato. I went with the Campfire. This was a warm chocolate brownie on top of a graham cracker cake crust topped with fire roasted homemade marshmallows with peanut butter gelato on the side. I was torn between this one and the Banana Foster’s bread pudding, which I will try on my next visit.

I enjoyed my dinner at Tender Steak & Seafood. The Luxor is worth a trip down to the south end of the Strip. I give Tender Steak & Seafood 3.75 Forks!

Marco D’Angelo is the senior handicapper at Pregame.com. He co-hosts FIRST PREVIEW every Thursday night at 11 pm on ESPN 1100 AM/98.9 FM. Follow him on twitter: @MarcoInVegas. Contact him at [email protected].

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