FIRST BITE: Uncle Jack’s Meat House, Duluth, Gwinnett
It’s always a good idea to give a restaurant a call prior to heading out especially if you’ve got more than a short drive. I always want to find out if (a) they do call ahead seating so we can avoid a wait or (b) sometimes they are completely booked and it would be a total waste of time driving there. Fortunately A happens more frequently than B, but B does happen and calling ahead has saved me tons of time (not to mention facing the disappointment of a hungry spouse).
When I called Uncle Jack’s Meat House, and told him “party of two”, he said “no problem, we’ll find you a place”. When we walked in, I was worried as it was Friday night and the place was packed. True to his word though, we were shown to an awesome booth where the seating was OH SO comfortable.
First, kudos to the management for choosing a location right by Gwinnett’s Infinite Energy Center (formerly known as the Gwinnett Arena). Home to the Atlanta Gladiators professional hockey team and host to numerous other events and concerts, we think this location was a brilliant choice for Uncle Jack’s Meat House.
Known for Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse in New York City, it’s one of the top steakhouses in New York. Can a bunch of Yankees bring a top NY steak to the deep South? The answer folks, is yes. Combine tufted red leather with white subway tiles, rolling meat hooks, and rustic wood; this décor alone harkens to another time but don’t let the trendy industrial look fool you. This is top-notch food and service like Gwinnett rarely is accustomed to. I dare say, it brings service and satisfaction to a whole new level.
We got started with a charcuterie of aged Serrano ham and Asher cheeses served on grilled bread with house-pickled vegetables. The bread had just a slight bit of char and a deep smoky flavor that set off the ham and cheese delightfully. The surprise though was the pickled vegetables that will light up your eyes and put a smile on your face. It was just a great way to start a meal.
Neither of us was up to having a full steak, so we went on the lighter side. Melanie chose the Ooey Gooey Mooey Burger and I selected the Jack’s Steak Sandwich. Both of us enjoyed our meals but there were a few add-ons we should mention. The Onion Jam that accompanies the burger is off-the-chain. There’s a smoky bacon flavor to it that is absolutely delicious. And speaking of bacon, the thick slice of bacon that comes with the burger is fantastic. It made me wish we’d gotten the bacon appetizer, which seemed to be popular as we saw it brought to several tables seated nearby.
We both wished for steak fries instead of the shoestring fries. There’s two problems with shoestring fries (1) no matter how hard you try, they won’t stay warm and (2) you can say that they are “house cut” but they scream they’re from a frozen bag. The opposite is true for both of these problems with steak fries. Just a suggestion, mind you.
Uncle Jack’s Meat House is a piece of New York – it’s loud and brash. People have fun here and if you don’t want to have fun, you need to find another place. Parking is tight, but a complimentary valet solves that problem. The service is great – you’ll be pampered like royalty. There’s several different seating options – inside, outside with a great view and sunset, or a conversation area complete with an outdoor fire pit. Uncle Jack’s Meat House is a blast and we think you’ll have a great time there. Guten appetit!