St. Elmo’s Steak House127 S. Illinois St. Indianapolis, IN. 46225
My best friend was in town, so we thought we would take her to the historic St. Elmo’s—the oldest steak house in Indy.
There is only one appetizer here (and there only needs to be one)—the world famous St. Elmo Shrimp Cocktail ($15.95). There were five pieces of shrimp (approximately 26/30 count) that come with a fiery sauce. The sauce is a 50/50 mixture of ketchup and horseradish. Two lemons come on the side and were squeezed over the sauce before consumption. The fiery sauce is not hot (taste-wise), but because of the amount of horseradish, it packs a nose clearing punch (think wasabi) depending on how much you put on top of your shrimp. If you are not looking for this punch, you can dial it down by putting a teaspoon or less on top of the shrimp. Sean likes horseradish, and was able to tolerate a tablespoons worth of it with just a slight tear in his eye. The shrimp also come with crackers hidden under the serving tray, and are best used to make open faced shrimp sandwiches. They provide great texture, a little salt, and the bread helps reduce the punch of the sauce. We feel a small note that at over $3 a shrimp this is not your best bargain.
Recommendation: World famous! Order at least one (five shrimp) for ever two people having the shrimp.
Soup and Sides
All entrées come with a soup and a side, which is nice that this steakhouse is not a la cart. Everyone got the Bean Soup (comes with any entrée), and everyone reading this needs to order the bean soup. It is a white bean soup that had tons of great flavors. The broth was thick and had a good amount of salt. The cracked pepper helped bring some smokiness to this soup.
Recommendation: Although we didn’t try the tomato soup (the other choice), this has to be the better of the two.
Sean and I both had the Baked Potato (comes with any entrée) with butter, cheese, chives, and bacon. The potato skin was salted (Sean used some of this to put on his steak) so the skin was crispy, but the inside of the potato itself was slightly undercooked on Sean’s. His potato’s inside was clumpy and slightly hard, certainly not fork tender. See the entrée photos for the baked potato pictures.
Recommendation: Pretty hard to screw this up, but we have definitely had a lot better elsewhere.
We ordered a side of Asparagus ($10.95). They were steamed and then salted. They were pretty plain Jane. There was a bearnaise sauce that came on the side. This “bearnaise” sauce should be renamed a salt sauce, because it was essentially liquid salt. The asparagus also were barely steamed, so it was very hard to chew through (we don’t mind some crunch, but this was a lot).
Recommendation: Steer clear of this.
It is worth mentioning this first, we ordered four steak and all our steaks were cooked as asked. The grill runs hot so all the stakes had a great crust on them, even the medium rare ones. Sean ordered the New York Strip ($38.95) for 14oz. He was starting to spread the whipped butter that comes with the bread over his steak when our waiter noticed and asked if he would like real butter instead. He came back seconds later with butter that he melted in the microwave. The steak was delicious, but lacked essential salt and pepper.
Recommendation: The steak was tasty, and cooked perfectly. Despite this, it still wasn’t one of the best tasting steaks we have had.
I had the Filet Mignon ($37.95 8oz / 43.95 12oz). I don’t have too much more to add about my steak that was different from Sean’s—properly cooked and good cross marks, but just lacked the depth of flavor I get at other steakhouses (or that Sean grills).
Recommendation: Good, just not great.
First we ordered the Blue and White Bread Pudding ($10.50). It comes with White Chocolate & Blueberries served with Bourbon Cream Sauce & Vanilla Ice Cream. A $2 donation is also made to Antoine Bethea Safe Coverage Foundation when this is ordered. Something about this bread pudding was off. We think it was because it was VERY dense and had a chewy texture rather than a melt in your mouth feel. The flavors were good, but the blueberry flavor was hard to find in some bites.
Recommendation: Not one of the best bread puddings we have had in the city.
We also ordered the Crème Brulee ($7.50). It was your run of the mill Crème Brulèe. Nothing bad, but nothing good to say. There was no vanilla bean and the crème was a tad runny.
We were very excited to be going to St. Elmo’s to try their steaks that have kept them running for over 100 years. The service was excellent which is expected at a fine dining establishment. The shrimp cocktail was superb, the soup was delicious, and their steaks were all good (but not excellent), but that asparagus was hard to forget. When you factor in the price tag, there are better steakhouses (even chains) for cheaper.
Location: Downtown Indy (Wholesale District)
Dress Code: Casual