Sometimes it's nice to get all gussied up and head out to a fancy steak house with its expensive cuts of beef, shamefully pricey wine lists and sumptuous surroundings. Other times you just want meat. On a plate. Unapologetically simple. At these times, there is no better option than Tucker's Place in Soulard. Apparently, no one told this St. Louis institution (which also has locations in south and west counties) that big steaks require diners to take out a second mortgage. Instead, Tucker's Place seems to thumb its nose at the fine-dining steak-house concept altogether while serving up some of the thickest, juiciest cuts in town, at an affordable price and in an unpretentious atmosphere. Tucker's Tuesday night prime-rib special is a perfect example of a ridiculously large, well-executed specimen of carnivorous delight. For a mere $23.95, diners can dive into a 24-ounce behemoth, cut so thick one wonders how the plate can sustain its weight. A restrained basting of the savory and sticky signature steak sauce glazes the meat, and its time on the well-seasoned grill gives it that robust meaty char. There are no foie gras or truffle butter add-ons available here. Instead, the steak is accompanied by a simple baked potato, a side salad and some rolls. Tucker's in Soulard has a saloon-like atmosphere, so it's probably not the place to crack open the 1997 Opus One, but you wouldn't be able to tell that from the steaks.
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