The One Food People Outside of New England Don’t Get
I moved to New England from upstate New York in the mid-1980s. I was a poor college student with $300 to my name and no budget for fancy food.
I did make some lifelong friends who invited me over for dinner. They served up something delicious but completely foreign to me. I called my family to tell them of this new incredible meal I "discovered".
My family was so confused. "You had steak?", was the question. "No, steak tips", I quipped, and they asked, "What's that?". "It's small bites of very tender marinated steak", I answered. Then the question was, "Is it like stew meat"? "No, it's sirloin". "What? Sirloin in chunks and strips? Never heard of it", said my Dad, who's an amazing cook.
My whole life I've been trying to explain to New England outsiders what steak tips are. Seriously, unless you have lived here, you don't know.
The West Coast has "Tri-Tips", but it's not the same, and definitely not as tender in my opinion.
So, I stalked two of the most famous restaurants, specifically known for their amazingly delicious steak tips: The Tuckaway Tavern & Butchery in Raymond, NH, and The New Bridge Cafe' in Chelsea, MA.
The "Tuck", as locals call it, has a secret recipe for its sauce, because it really is all about the marinade. The Tuckaway Tavern does sell its marinade, but the closest you can get to a recipe is "it's Italian kicked up several notches", according to the butchery's website.
In 2016, Chef Bobby Marcotte finally released the infamous marinade recipe, and you can find it here. Wink, wink.
Chef Bobby has also been featured on Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and Tournament of Champions on The Food Network.
The New Bridge Cafe in Chelsea, MA, has been known for its steak tips since 1975. Anyone who's a foodie in New England knows about the famous steak tips this family restaurant serves. Business people, locals, and families show up to savor the steak tips.
There's good news. The New Bridge Cafe does sell its secret marinade sauce, but somehow, it's always better dining in the restaurant. Check out the menu at newbridgecafe.com
So, enjoy your steak tips and relish in the idea they are a New England classic.