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addiction, American, food, Phoenix, remembering, restaurants

“It’s What’s For Dinner…!”

Brigid did a recent post about home cookin’ (who knew? :-)) with Mr. B and Midwest Chick, and included STEAK!

Geez, I miss steak…  :-(  (the image of Guffaw as Homer Simpson, reclining on the couch and drooling)

I’ve had a couple ‘home-cooked’ and a couple at ‘steakhouse’ versions in the past few years, but very few have met my very high standards.  Even when prepared by me.

There’s one place that sticks out in my mind that gets it right, perhaps because I discovered it in adulthood and have only been 5 or 6 times.  And not in recent years.


a recent billboard


Founded in downtown Phoenix by Jack Durant (before 1953) this place embodies a time capsule for the late 50s, early 60s in terms of service, food and ambience.  If The Rat Pack ever ate in Phoenix, this would have been their place.

The wait staff all wear tuxedo dress.  The place is dark and cool, even in the Arizona Summers.  The red flocked wallpaper is above the red leather booths.  Think San Francisco’s Ernie’s in a smaller venue.  The restrooms are well-appointed and the bar is fully stocked.

And the food.  The best steaks and seafood on the planet.  (I’ve taken the opinion of others on the seafood).

One parks in the rear (or uses the varlet valet), and usually enters through the impeccably clean, organized KITCHEN (!), directly adjacent to the massive broiler.

Reservations are recommended for evening hours.  The dress code, surprisingly, is as follows:  NO SLEEVELESS SHIRTS ON MEN.  I guess not surprising, as this IS Arizona.  :-)

The desserts are to die for.  The wait staff is always there, but never hovers.

Jack passed a few years ago.  Ernie’s no longer exists.  But Jack’s restaurant continues!

The billboard above the restaurant used to say it all.

“Durant’s is the finest restaurant in the World!  signed/Jack Durant”

Durant’s gave me nothing to write this.  FTC, find your own steak place!

h/t Brigid

About guffaw1952

I'm a child of the 50's. libertarian, now medically-retired. I've been a certified firearms trainer, a private investigator, and worked for a major credit card company for almost 22 years. I am a proud NRA Life Member. I am a limited-government, free-market capitalist, who believes in the U.S. Constitution and the Rule of Law.


14 thoughts on ““It’s What’s For Dinner…!”

  1. Sounds like a good place to eat. Spendy, but good.

    Posted by Rev. Paul | September 16, 2013, 8:32 am
  2. Durant’s is a fine restaurant. It used to be the place my husband and I took my grandmother to in order to celebrate special occasions.

    The food is delicious, as are the cocktails, made and served according to classic protocols.

    A part of me always feels a little sad going there, though.

    When Jack Durant died, he left no human dependents, but he did have his beloved bulldog, Humble.
    Jack left his house and a pot of money to Humble in his will, specifying that Humble be allowed to live out his live in the home he knew, and that he have a paid caretaker to care for him.

    After Humble’s death, the house was to be sold, and all profits and any other remaining assets of Humble’s would be split amongst a number of Durant’s long-time employees.

    This was all to be handled by a few of Durant’s closest business associates.

    One year to the day of Jack’s death, Humble was euthanized, allegedly for having cancer, although no medical records were ever provided for proof.

    The house was quickly put up for sale, but none of the employees ever saw any proceeds from Humble’s “estate”.

    Attempts to get information from the lawyers and business associates were blocked. (Although it turned out that Humble’s “caretaker” for that one year was the young daughter of one of the business associates).

    I like to think that Jack and Humble are now together, above the rotten greediness that turned their legacies sour.

    Posted by Tomi | September 16, 2013, 8:36 am
  3. And now I’m hungry…

    Posted by ProudHillbilly | September 16, 2013, 11:12 am
  4. Paul’s Monterey Inn, Albuquerque, NM. A Sixties steakhouse with the same decor, same Sinatra music, same waitresses! Only regulars, the only place I will take a seat not facing the door.

    Posted by neal | September 16, 2013, 12:49 pm
    • Missed that when I was in Albuquerque!
      (I did find the pizza place that delivered whole-wheat crust pizza, and a health food emporium – Twenty Carrots – bu the university, though).
      Lots of strategic seating @ Durant’s

      Posted by guffaw1952 | September 16, 2013, 4:47 pm
  5. I’ve got to add that one to the list!!!

    Posted by Old NFO | September 17, 2013, 4:20 am
  6. I detest chain food but if someone else is buying…….Wifey and I had the best steak of our lives at of all places Houston’s. Twice now…..Allen Bros. cooked to medium rare perfection with a side for under $35.00

    Posted by Luke Skywalker | September 17, 2013, 9:48 am

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