BRONX, NY – The sad news came a week ago, in the form of a text, from one JG Clancy. No one had died. There wasn’t some terrible accident. Bachman Cheese Jax weren’t being discontinued. None of that. But, instead, yet another vestige of the New York City I grew up in was finally biting the dust.
No one would mistake Tad’s Steaks on 50th and 7th for a fine dining establishment. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. It’s a bargain-basement “steakhouse” (if you can call it that) smack dab in the middle of Manhattan and, as of January 5, 2020, it will be no more. Back in the day, Tad’s was the type of place where you could get a steak with sides for under 10 bucks. And even today you can still get out of there with dinner and change left over from your 20 spot. Not that I’ve been in Tad’s in years, but it always felt good to know it was there, calling to frugal locals and clueless tourists alike.
Like anyone or anything living on borrowed time, I’d like to share a few kind words about Tad’s in some sort of sporting fashion…
Tad’s signature sirloin steaks were as tough as any namby-pamby MMA fighter, and didn’t bleed anywhere near as much.
Eating at Tad’s was the same kind of no-frills cafeteria-like experience as pretty much every single Mets managerial search. You knew what you were in for, but at least you didn’t feel completely empty inside when it was over.
If you wanted tomatoes in your sad little side salad or fancied some onions on your steak, that would cost you extra. It’s like making the mistake of signing Carmelo Anthony and then hoping that he’ll play some sort of defense. What’s the point? Is it going to be any good anyway?
No upscale dining experience is complete without an accompanying libation, and Tad’s offered your standard Buds and crummy Cabernets to help make your meal more palatable. Funnily enough, those same cut-rate beverages work when you’re trying to choke down yet another rugby broadcast featuring our own Short Matt.
A day after a meal at Tad’s you were still picking bits of steak out of your teeth and wondering whether eating there was such a great idea. It’s easier trying to lure Rob Gronkowski out of retirement than it was trying to coax a Tad’s steak from your digestive tract.
Like Eli Manning, maybe Tad’s Steaks hung around New York longer than it needed to, but it will be fondly and funnily remembered. Not too many good meals, but lots of great laughs. Nothing much stays the same in New York. It’s a thousand little paper cuts until the city you remembered has changed completely with new stores, restaurants and buildings, and then the tear-down starts all over again. Happy trails, Tad’s. I may try to stop by one last time before the final dinner bell.
Come back tomorrow for Buddy Diaz, who never comments on my posts and probably never ate at Tad’s. So, he’s batting 1.000.