Our own humble little steak joint Bern's Steak Emporium (they have a great wine selection, if you didn't know) was just named Best Steak House in the country by Rachael Ray's Every Day with Rachael Ray. Ray is a television cooking show host who recently branched out into publishing and donut promotion.
Ms. Ray sent a cadre of critics cross-country via train and aeroplane to survey the finest beef purveyors in the land, then pit them against one another in a bracket-style competition reminiscent of the spring round-ball tournament of our nation's student athletics programs. And, lo and behold, Bern's came out the victor!
Bern's owner David Laxer was rendered almost speechless when notified of the results, saying "gosh, to have a little restaurant like Bern's -- in a sleepy town like Tampa -- picked above some of the nation's big city steak institutions, well, it's humbling." He plans on cutting the article out of the magazine, having it laminated, and eventually tacking it in a position of honor on Bern's Wall of Fame alongside pictures of George Steinbrenner and a menu signed by Gerald Ford.
For the full press release -- including the misspelling of Ms. Ray's first name -- read after the break:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tampa Bay Foodies Take Note
Rachel Ray has Spoken
The Number One Steak House in America is Bern's Steak House
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Tampa, FL - After a March-madness style elimination round, Rachel Ray's magazine, Every Day with Rachel Ray, has named Bern's Steak House the best steak house in America. Not too shabby for a 53-year old legend that started as a steak sandwich joint in a strip shopping center who many in Tampa still don't realize is a landmark and icon in the hospitality industry.
Competing with nearly 20 other top rated steak houses across America; after 17 critics and seven plane flights, John T. Edge, a respected food writer, had the honor of dining at Tampa's legend and writing the final piece in which he says, "...I know - even before my medium-rare porterhouse arrives, even before I sink a fork into an order of hash browns that looks as thick as a paving tile and tastes like a pure snowdrift of potato, onion and butter - that I have arrived. I am about to experience an epic meal at the one, the only Great American Steakhouse."
"We are extremely honored to be named best in the country," said owner, David Laxer, son of Bern Laxer, Bern's founder. "We believe we are the best, and we continuously strive to continue to deliver great service, fantastic food and outstanding wine to our guests every single evening - but it is certainly nice to be recognized."
"Every single evening we try and live by Bern Laxer's original philosophy, the customer must come back,'" said Andy Minney, co-executive chef of Bern's. "It really means something to us to continue to deliver Bern's original vision on a daily basis."
Whether you are a fan of the raven haired Rachel Ray or not, you have to acknowledge her influence on American cuisine. Her magazine, Every Day with Rachel Ray has a circulation of nearly 2 million and her television shows pull in millions of watchers daily.
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