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When you think of big, juicy premium steaks in the U.S. a number of names come to mind.  Ruth's Chris, Morton's of Chicago, The Capital Grille, The Palm and Don Shula's Steak House.  We've tried 'em all at various locations and for our money, Don Shula's rates up there with the best of 'em.

Most of the above mentioned restaurants are somewhat similar.  Most tempt diners with huge cuts of meat brought to the table to show just what they're ordering.  Most offer veggies and 'tatoes ala carte.  Shula's is a little less formal than some of the other big guys on the block but still plenty elegant.  If you happen to be dining there with your 3 young kids you don't feel out of place as you might at one of the other establishments.  Then again, some restaurants--quite honestly--would probably appreciate it if diners left the rug rats at home!

You'll notice the pleasant and fun atmosphere from the moment you are escorted to your table.  The menu is a colorful football on the table inscribed with details which is passed from diner to diner.  After all the creator of this restaurant used to dabble in NFL coaching and did fairly well!

As you pass the football around your server wheels the cart over and shows you all of the beefy and other selections including the huge porterhouse (my favorite), filet, strip, fish selection, the four pound live lobster (!), plus the huge baked potatoes, giant broccoli portion and the colossal beefsteak tomatoes.  And you'll notice one steak on the cart that looks more like a roast.  Eat that 48 ouncer and you get your name forever inscribed on a plaque.  They even have a special club for these trenchermen of carnivores and their names are featured on Shula's web site.

Shula's uses only certified Angus beef and it is always brought to the table cooked to perfection. At least it has been in all of our experiences there.  I always skip any appetizers in anticipation of the big porterhouse that will eventually be placed before me.  I do order a beefsteak tomato salad with blue cheese crumbled on it.  Excellent.  How do they always manage to find super fresh tomatoes year round?  Then I accompany my porterhouse with a huge baked potato.  My wife gets the filet with a spud and now and then we'll share an order of broccoli.  But keep in mind that a serving of broccoli at Shula's is like an entire bunch that you'd buy in your grocery store if not bigger.

My wife usually gets something light but sinfully rich for dessert and I just sip a cup of hot java and reflect on how wonderful the meal has been.

Shula's has several locations around the U.S. and you can find one in your part of the country by checking out their web site here.