Well Done, Kix Brooks

What I Would've Ordered at Star's Steak Out

I already know I’m going to love Kix Brooks’ TV special. It stars Brooks and steaks, and what could be better than that pairing?

Plus, there was wine.

Brooks recently hoped on his tour bus and headed for some of the best steak spots in Chicago, Louisville and Nashville.

“It doesn’t matter where you are in the country, steakhouses are in every small town to big city,” he said. “I really think that local steakhouses say a lot about the personality of their community, so this show was a great way to get to know a few towns and their people better over a great steak dinner and a glass of wine.”

In my hometown of Chicago, Brooks went to three of our very best — Chicago Cut, Gibson’s and Zed 451.

I don’t know yet what Brooks ordered at these hot spots. But if I’d gone with him, I know exactly what I would’ve had.

Chicago Cut is known for dry aging the beef for 35 days. Plus, they do not have a filet mignon all the time, so I would’ve gone with the 8-ounce center barrel cut with creamy horseradish. Maybe some sides, too. But after that steak, I’d need to leave room for dessert. And by dessert, I mean the Château Bel-Air Sauternes 2009 because Brooks would be paying, and it reportedly pairs well with cheesecake.

Gibson’s has been in Chicago longer than I have and is proud to say that their black angus beef is corn fed for 120 days. I’ve already been to dinner there at least a hundred times — sometimes opting just for the loaded wedge salad instead of steak — so I have my go-to steaks on their menu. But for Brooks, I’d probably do something new and different. Like the T-bone, which is small enough to finish and under $50. I wouldn’t want to bankrupt Brooks.

Zed 451– named for the temperature at which fire ignites — is the most modern one of the group. And since their steaks aren’t as old-school, I think I’d try something more exotic. As tempting as it would be to just get a good ol’ sirloin marinated in buttermilk ranch, I think I’d go for the hanger steak because it’s marinated in Argentinean chimichurri.

Brooks’ special Steak Out With Kix Brooks will premiere on the Cooking Channel on Sunday (Nov. 2 ).

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.