Depending on how upscale the steak house is, the appetizer list can either be your saving grace or your downfall. Lowbrow steak sellers are most likely pushing wings, potato skins, and cheese fries almost exclusively. But if your restaurant requires a reservation, expect to find first-class starters like raw oysters and shrimp and crab cocktails.
What a novel concept: Feed cows what they were born to eat! Unfortunately, most American steers are raised on corn, which makes for a more mild-tasting, fat-swaddled cut of beef. Grass-fed beef, on the other hand, is lean and loaded with omega-3 fatty acids.
A plate of steak house fries or hash browns will likely add 500 calories to your beef entree, and a large baked potato has nearly 300 calories before factoring in toppings. That means mashed is the way to go, since even a huge scoop rarely tops the 250-calorie mark.
A term given out by the USDA that means a piece of beef is deeply marbled--which is code for incredibly fat-strewn. Only 3 percent of beef processed in the United States receives this rating, and most of that goes to restaurants. You'll pay for it on the plate, and then again on the scale.
5 Choice of Sauce
A sauce can make or break your hunk of beef. Béarnaise, made almost entirely from egg yolks and melted butter, is the worst of the options. Peppercorn, based on wine or brandy, beef stock, and green peppercorns, is the best.
6 Rib Eye
A rib eye has one-and-a-half times the fat of a sirloin. If you want a better middle ground, try a strip steak.
This is probably the leanest cut you'll find on the menu, and aside from filet mignon, it's the only one you can eat without blasting past 500 calories. Just be sure to cap your serving at 9 ounces.
This big boy consists of two distinct cuts of beef: The tenderloin and the strip loin. After you cut a 20-ounce porterhouse from the bone, you have about 14 ounces of meat, 1,100 calories, and 32 grams of saturated fat.
9 Steak Burger
Steak house burgers are juicy for one reason: They're made form leftover steak trimmings, which can carry fat levels in excess of 30 percent. You're much better off with a regular steak.
10 Chicken Fried Steak
Steak faces plenty of challenges without being breaded and fried like a piece of crispy chicken. It's a fat-on-fat crime, with a gravy misdemeanor to top it all off. Just be sure you have your cardiologist on speed dial.