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Medium Rare, Cleveland Park - $19.50 Steak Frites (with Second Helping!) Now Has a Second Branch on Barracks Row

Cleveland Park American Steakhouse Steak Frites $19.50 Prix Fixe

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#101 DonRocks

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 08:00 AM

The restaurant business is almost a statistically impossible business. Very few succeed long term. I decided In May 2008, when the first BGR opened I would do it differently . a) invest in great people, develop their individual skills to help them succeed far beyond their time working with me. b ) be accessible (I still answer every customer comment myself and personally write a thank you note to anyone who takes the time to proactively give me feedback to make my teams better c) I've never said no to a charity or cause (check my record) I believe a local business has an obligation to controbite to the community that supports its success. D) If other restaurant companies do it , I do the opposite (many claim great software , systems , technology , manuals etc, yet 80% don't make it to their 3rd anniversary . DC's a wonderful foodie/restaurant community, we all root for each others success, we all help each other and we all share.things. This board is the heartbeat of it. Happy Holidays !!!


Mark, I just read this most recent exchange. I don't say this often enough, but *thank you* for your participation here. It has always meant a lot to me, and I echo what darkstar said in his most recent post. This type of dialog, this type of open exchange, is what I'd hoped for when I founded donrockwell.com - I have always maintained that the diner-restaurant relationship should not be an "us vs. them" mentality, and that restaurants are our friends, and that customers are restaurants' friends - or should be. And quite honestly, at 8 AM I'm now craving a steak frites, in particular your crack sauce to dunk my fries in.

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#102 Waitman

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 07:55 AM

Don't know if this place was ever good, but it kind of sucked last night. Limp salad, limp frites, meh beef and a sauce chiefly memorable for the floury texture of its thickener. You'd think it would be hard to screw up so simple a formula, but they did.


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#103 mbucher

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 03:27 PM

Thx waitman for the feedback and the jab ;). Will definitely look into the items you mentioned and address anything that's awry. That being said as per our direct msg thread . Apologies and please come back and enjoy your next dinner on me and please report back the experience .
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#104 zoramargolis

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 03:33 PM

^ one of the many things I love about this community is exemplified by the above exchange.
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#105 mbucher

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 04:40 PM

You know I've been reviewing waitmans prior postings and I don't really think any of the prior posts were ever really that good, they seem to be limp, without passion, lumpy with improper punctuation and notably poor spelling.;). I hopefully made someone laugh this gorgeous afternoon ! Enjoy this great DC weather !
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#106 Waitman

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 08:07 AM

You know I've been reviewing waitmans prior postings and I don't really think any of the prior posts were ever really that good, they seem to be limp, without passion, lumpy with improper punctuation and notably poor spelling. ;). I hopefully made someone laugh this gorgeous afternoon ! Enjoy this great DC weather !

 

What are you, the frickin' NSA rummaging through my deepest dreams and bitterest nightmares?

 

I'll definitely cop to the last two charges.


"Don't go braggin' about how cool and clean your kitchen is. 'Caus if your kitchen's so cool and clean, ain't nothin' cookin'!"

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#107 Pat

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 11:04 AM

Per Young and Hungry, Fusion Grill is no more and is being replaced by a Medium Rare. 

 

I wonder what kind of competition that will provide Bearnaise.



#108 Mark Dedrick

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 11:52 AM

 

I wonder what kind of competition that will provide Bearnaise.

 

Was wondering that exact thing. I haven't been to either, so I'm uniquely positioned to have absolutely no idea.


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#109 Tujague

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 11:56 AM

Very interesting development. My guess is that the Hill can bear the competition, and it may up Spike's game. Win-win. I haven't been to either place, but my perception is that Bearnaise has a bit more varied menu and a "name," which will attract a slightly different crowd.

 

The sign outside Fusion says they are moving. Does anyone know where?


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#110 DonRocks

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 12:19 PM

I wonder what kind of competition that will provide Bearnaise.

 

A lot. It's a classic case of moving in and undercutting the competition. Bearnaise has a better location (that "Spike Block" is a pretty impressive piece of real estate), a much broader menu, and a very talented cook in Brad Race (ain't no way Medium Rare is going to put out a steak tartare like Bearnaise does - btw, just to compete the picture, Montmartre's tartare is far superior to Bernaise's, and they also offer a hanger steak composed plate for $24.95).

 

But even though they may be a half mile apart, it's the "same" neigborhood, and steak prices are literally half as much at Medium Rare (Bearnaise's steak-frites prices are $28, $38, and $42). There is a legitimate discussion to be had regarding the quality of the beef at Medium Rare, but to the vast majority of diners, it's all just a "steak frites," people *love* saving money and getting free things, and everyone's primal thought (even my own) upon hearing about a $19.50 steak dinner - with a free second helping - is almost the same type of psyche that has made Groupon successful - I suspect Mark Bucher didn't open this second outpost because he was losing money on the first.


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#111 mbucher

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 03:53 PM

Hi there.. So here's the chime in. In my opinion there's zero competition between barracks row and the two blocks up against the Capitol building at dinner. For lunch maybe. For dinner highly unlikely . But medium rare isn't open for lunch. As for the steak. I get it. It's hard for foodies to understand how can it be for the the price, any type of quality. It's certainly easy to speculate. But I suggest that (as one of the regions largest relationship guys with meat suppliers ) wouldnt you think I have some extraordinary relationships and that's why I'm centric around beef in particular ? That being said , we certainly don't fake what it's not as some high end steak houses do "prime filet"anyone ? Doesn't exisit.. No marbling.;).. We consistently serve Certified Angus or higher .Nothing lower, never, won't happen here. So there you have it and again why this board trumps all others. Direct and complete transparency and a quick response . Now don't ask for the secret sauce recipe;)
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#112 bookluvingbabe

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 05:06 PM

But why not open for lunch?  Please?

 

Especially since I think Sonoma is now off my list of nice lunch places.  Sigh...



#113 Barbara

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 08:16 PM

Those of you planning on going to the Uptown to see "Gravity" (and, yes, you certainly should see it--even if Sci-Fi movies aren't your cup of tea) and then popping into Medium Rare for a meal, might want to reconsider. While the 4:45 showing this afternoon was hardly packed, it seems that everybody else in the theater had the same idea we did. By the time we got there at 6:35 or so, there was an hour wait. We went to Spices, instead. Too bad, because it would have the first time any of the three of us had eaten at MR. We'll try again some other time.



#114 mbucher

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 09:21 PM

Thanks for stopping by. We obviously couldn't control the weather tonight and as a result of the rain we couldn't use 60 seats on the patio. Hope to see you again soon .

#115 Barbara

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 09:36 AM

Thanks for stopping by. We obviously couldn't control the weather tonight and as a result of the rain we couldn't use 60 seats on the patio. Hope to see you again soon .

 

Yeah, we noticed that.



#116 darkstar965

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 08:19 PM

We hit Medium Rare tonight after catching the documentary Spinning Plates on E St since, well, the Uptown doesn't usually show movies like that.  :(

 

Wasn't too busy; maybe half full.  Our salad weren't limp and were actually quite good beyond being crisp.  I love that Medium Rare has not done what many spots do after the initial popularity wave: start cutting corners on quality.  Exhibit A: the bread which I believe (based on taste and texture) is still Panorama. Whatever one thinks of the beef, it is consistent. Likewise on the secret sauce, which we always enjoy though not sure whether any flour is in there to thicken as Waitman suspects.  

 

One of my main complaints about MR in the past (which is upthread somewhere but link not necessary) is/was the training that had them delivering the "seconds" before any normal human could possibly have finished the firsts.

 

Not tonight.  There was reasonable and much appreciated spacing between salad, first and second servings.


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#117 mbucher

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 12:05 AM

Mer ci' . not a single change. Same vendors , same recipes and shockingly if you look closely many of the same faces working . Our secret sauce goes far beyond just "the sauce " Never a cut corner . No matter what beef prices do,no matter what butter prices do we ride it out. Steady as she goes. Thanks for coming by again ......... And as always thanks for the honest ,well written. and perceptive feedback....
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#118 cheezepowder

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 07:39 PM

Medium Rare at Barracks Row (515 8th St, SE) is opening on Jan. 20 (via Medium Rare tweet and Facebook).







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Cleveland Park, American, Steakhouse, Steak Frites, $19.50 Prix Fixe

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