Dollar-Wise Gourmet: Cheap Steaks for Cheapskates


Steaks are not cheap. At a top-of-the-line steakhouse, you easily can fork over $35 or $40 for a prime piece of meat—and that’s just the meat, no sides. Since those dollars are way too big for Dollar-Wise, I went out to find some local spots offering a full meal— including a decent steak—at a reasonable, all-inclusive price. I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. Here are my top four picks— all under $15.


SPOT: LES BAUX 5090 Folsom Blvd.
STEAK: Midsize bistro steak served with creamy brandy peppercorn sauce
SIDES: Frites (french fries)
VERDICT: Lean, tender, mediumthick steak, and the sauce added a lively twist; divine fries
COST: $10
OTHER GOODIES: All wines are $6 per glass, and the bread (served with dinner) is to die for. This is one of the city’s nicest bistro/bakeries, and it’s popular, so time your visit accordingly.


SPOT: BERT’S DINER 8972 Grant Line Road, Elk Grove
STEAK: New York, 14 oz.
SIDES: Soup and salad, plus two sides from a long list of choices including baked potato, fries, onion rings, beans and fruit
VERDICT: Thumbs-up from The Boyfriend, who’s finicky about steak; sides were simple but agreeable
COST: $9.99 (a standing Tuesdaynight special)
OTHER GOODIES: With house wine at $2.79 a glass and “At the Hop” on the jukebox, how can you go wrong?


SPOT: BROOKFIELDS RESTAURANT 4343 Madison Ave. (other locations in Rancho Cordova and Roseville)

Roy Wilcox

STEAK: Flat iron, 10-oz. aged Certified Angus Beef
SIDES: Choice of baked or mashed potato; fresh sautéed vegetables (broccoli, squash, carrots, asparagus); fresh sourdough rolls come with the meal, too
VERDICT: Surprisingly thick steak, juicy and tasty; loved the veggies, too
COST: $13.97
OTHER GOODIES: Cushy booths, exemplary service, and a big glass of red wine was only $3 during happy hour. Bada bing!


SPOT: DAD’S KITCHEN 2968 Freeport Blvd.
STEAK: Organic New York, 8 oz.
SIDES: Choice of fries (Dad’s classic, seasoned, garlic Parmesan or habanero blue cheese)
VERDICT: Lovely piece of meat; fantastic fries
COST: $13
OTHER GOODIES: Wine and beer are $3 a glass during happy hour; service is friendly and efficient; and there’s a pretty patio in back.