$30 Steak

It’s no secret that I love meat.

Steak is my favorite food of all time. I love philly cheesesteaks, and I consider myself a connoisseur. I’ve tried all of the sandwiches, from your neighborhood Chili’s ( I stopped going there once it was taken off the menu), to Pat’s in the city of brotherly love. I like your T-bone variety (before I knew you didn’t have to burn your steak to eat it), and the finer cuts, like a good ribeye or N.Y. strip. Ok, now I’m hungry.

So when one of my besties invited me over to celebrate New Year’s Eve with her and her peeps because her fiance would be grilling steaks, my mouth started to water. But the strength of my laziness is undeniable, and I thought, I don’t want to go anywhere, but I could get myself one for dinner. I decided I would go pick up a goos steak, maybe some “fri-tays”, and settle into a lovely evening on my balcony with free fireworks, Trader Joe’s champagne, yachts blasting Cardi B, and chilling with my dog niece.

On my way home from work, I stopped at the fancy grocery store, where “family-owned market” means your cheese is going to be at least $2 more expensive. As I neared the meat market, I slid past the packaged steaks, and thought I would be an adult and go up to the counter. Oh, yes, I thought I would be uppity today, and not pick through all the strip steaks, to find the $9.78 over the $9.97. I had to take a number and everything. When homeboy called my number, I waved my hand, and everyone ignored me. I thought, how do rich people do this? Are you supposed to yell out? Ring a bell? Clap your hands? So I spoke up, as the guy proceeded to the next number, and I was still muffled by the sounds of suburbanites reaching for their money clips. Finally, the guy sees me and apologizes, saying he was deaf in one ear. We laugh at that, and now I realize I’m reenacting a Whole Foods commercial, actually interacting with my butcher.

I proceed to tell Meat Man that I am looking for a really good cut of steak, with some prime, marbley fat. My mind starts to wander back in time to when I went to Chicago and had the best steak of my life at Michael Jordan Steakhouse on Michigan Avenue. The meat fell apart like butter, and the only stain on the meal was that someone ordered duck fat rice because it was the closest thing to Chinese food, but I’m not here to talk about the past. After hearing my request, Meat Man gets a gleam in his eye and says “Oh, well you need to go with our famous ribeye here”, as he waves his hand across several cuts of steak that had what seemed like 45 “2”s floating above it. When I cleared my head, I realize I was looking at the price of the steak, which was $22.27 per pound. What in the what?

I responded with a cool “Oh ok”, so as not to unveil my fear that I was about to buy the most expensive steak in my life. As he asked me which one I wanted, I kept him moving from cut to cut, until he hovered over what I thought was the smallest yet respectable choice. As he slapped it down on the scale, he yelled out “Ok, that’s going to be about $23.99, at 1.03 pounds, is that ok?” I said sure, just trying to end the trauma as fast as possible. Next thing I hear is “Ok, that’s $28.89.” Huh? Had I heard him wrong the entire time? He said it was a little over a pound, so why isn’t it less that $24? Is there a rich tax I don’t know about? Do fancy people not care? Oh, maybe there’s included gratuity and it’s inherent, so I shouldn’t say anything.

So I thanked Meat Man for my $30 steak, and he kept gushing over the fact that the steak would be so good on the grill. Ah, yes, sounds yummy, I’m very excited, I think I said, knowing good and well this thing was going into a skillet my granny sent me from QVC. I get home and cook the steak the way Gordon Ramsey instructed me to on Facebook, and seriously, the steak was freaking amazing. It may have actually been worth the money, and I kept this in mind as I took 5 minutes to eat every bite. No sauces needed, as it tasted like champagne on the top shelf, and cut from a cow who came from a two-parent vegan household. Knowing this would never happen again, I relished the last few moments of wonder what life would be like if I was Mariah Carey.


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