Michael Bauer Watch: Why So Few Steakhouses?

Categories: Lauriston, Meat
You can take the boy out of Kansas City, but you can't take Kansas City out of the boy. In his blog today, the butcher's son mulls over a reader's question, why isn't SF a steakhouse town? and comes up with no good answer. "[T]his national trend has pretty much passed us by. Dare I say we're more interested in fish and produce than meat and potatoes? We may be more of a wheatgrass and granola culture. Blame it on Berkeley."

Dude, how can you have made your living covering the restaurant scene here for over 20 years and not know the answer to that question? It's not about what people are interested in. It's about what they won't eat.

SF's dining public, just like Berkeley's, includes a significant percentage of people who have banished red meat from their diets: vegans, vegetarians, "pescatarians," and people who eat fish and poultry but not mammals. Even the average party of two probably includes a member of one of those groups, and with a party of four it's a near certainly.

Bottom line, our local market just can't support too many meat-centric restaurants. In this, the Bay Area is probably in the vanguard of the real national trend: people eating less beef out of concern for their health, the environment, budgets, animal rights, and so on.

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