A.J. Maxwell’s Gives You Good Steak for $10

In a lot of ways steak is like sushi.  You can find it cheap, but if you want the good stuff you’re going to have to shell out the cash.  It’s tough to get good versions of both for under $10 in Midtown, but at least in the steak category there have been a few exceptions.  Surprising everybody, my trip to Tad’s Steak brought me a lot of joy- but clearly the best option is when a nice steakhouse offers up some sort of special.  The Del Frisco’s bar menu loophole was the best by far, but as soon as Midtown Lunch’ers got on that, they raised the price from $9.99 to an understandable, but out of the ML price range, $11.95 $12.95.

Well, with a recession comes the recession specials… and A.J. Maxwell’s (on 49th btw. 5+6th) has created a take-out-only lunch special for those of us who’d like to enjoy a steak sandwich made with quality steak (or mini burgers, or a chicken sandwich) for just $10.  You get your choice of any one of the three, plus a soup or salad, for $10.

A.J. Maxwell’s is one of those wannabe old school steakhouses that probably wouldn’t exist if the tourist or expense account had never been invented.  I don’t know if their steaks are good, or worth the money, but I’m guessing they’re not bad.  And they must be better than Tad’s or the Steak Truck.  So, I called the number and ordered my $10 lunch specials (I didn’t want to choose… so I just got all three!)

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It may look huge in the photo, but the sandwiches are only slightly bigger than a half sandwich, and although the chicken sandwich was fine… we didn’t come here for no chicken!

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You get 2 mini burgers for your ten bucks, plus your choice of cheese, and these were definitely tasty.  Good quality meat, nicely cooked medium rare, and really flavorful.  It’s what you would expect a steak house’s burger to taste like.  Far superior to Pop Burger, but also more expensive.  If only they came with french fries!  Can’t decide if this was worth $10 though…

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The steak… now here’s what you’re looking for (ok so the photo does not look super appetizing, but trust me. It was good.)  Not a huge sandwich, but a good amount of steak. Perfectly cooked, medium rare.  The bread is a good french roll, cut in half, and perfectly tasty.  But in the end, all that really matters is the steak… and esaentially you’re getting 1/2 of a quality steak with bread and soup (or salad) for $10.  Not bad at all.

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Sadly both soups we tried (the pea soup and the cauliflower soup) were watery and just not that great.  The salad was perfectly fine (if you’re into that thing) but the thing that might put the special over the top is the “bread basket”.

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Along with our three lunch specials, they gave us a bag of bread and breadsticks… with a massive plastic container full of tasty salted butter.  Niiiiice.  Sure, it’s free when you eat there… but it’s a nice touch to see them include it in the lunch special.  Especially nice if the two mini burgers or the (half) steak sandwich doesn’t end up filling you up (which for some of our bigger eaters, might be a problem.)

All in all, it’s a pretty good lunch… although not as great a “deal” as it sounds.  If you order mini burgers off the bar menu, you get 4 (instead of 2) plus fries and onions rings (preferable to bad soup), all for $20.  So technically, you could order that to go for two people and split it for the same price as two lunch specials.  Sure, you have to share the fries and onion rings, but I didn’t really eat my soup anyway- so it’s win win.   Next time I might try to talk them into giving me fries with the special instead of soup.  (Why didn’t I think of that before damnit!)

THE +

  • Quality red meat, in Midtown, for lunch, for $10
  • Pefectly cooked mini burgers, and steak for the steak sandwich
  • The give you bread, breadsticks and butter!

THE -

  • The two soups we tried were pretty bad… and without eating the soup it may not be filling enough for lunch (unless you eat all the breadsticks)
  • The sandwiches were more like half sandwiches
  • No french fries!  That would put this special over the top…
  • Not sure if the burgers are worth the money… they were really good, but there are a lot of good burgers for under $10 in Midtown
  • It’s take out only

A.J. Maxwell’s, 57 W. 48th St. (btw. 5+6th), 212-262-6200

21 Comments

  • Zach, I am assuming you will be over to try out and report on the Palm’s 22 dollar lunch any old time now, right? :-)

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