Saturday, February 18th, 2012 | Food

My bears and I have been playing retrovores over the past few weeks, dining at classic establishments known for serving pretty much one thing one way for years: Falafel’s Drive-in in San Jose for falafel sandwiches; House of Prime Rib for prime rib; and Original Joe’s for Rat Pack Italian. A martini and a steak at Joe’s is one of my favorite comfort meals, although we went for lunch, so I had a grilled vegetable panino and iced tea, kind of more my high-fiber speed these days. The waiters, all male and Italiany, wore dressy black jackets and bow ties. At House of Prime Rib, the waiters were also dressed in black, slacks and vests, evoking the same era’s idea of casual. There’s only one thing to get there, and that’s the prime rib. It rests in a cow-sized stainless steel casket table side, waiting to be sliced and served. The waiters perform individual salad tossings, twirling the bowl as they dribble the 3-week aged dressing in a steady confident and dazzling stream from above. This is a man’s meal: meat, potato, some kind of creamed vegetable and a salad encased in creamy fatness. Vegetables don’t shine here, they serve as vehicles for more fatty pleasures. While fun to experience, my tastebuds are left wanting a little more. And a little less. But still, a whole lot of comfort.

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