Dinner at Doe’s last Saturday night proved to be a successful one, but before I get into the specifics, I’ll first mention that it’s wise to reserve your Porterhouse before heading to Doe’s on a Friday or Saturday night.

Which I did.

Smart decision …  because the restaurant was near capacity at 6:30 p.m. And I’m talking about both sides. We ended up having to sit near the ice machine at the only table available. This isn’t a complaint, and frankly, I was thankful something was available for our party of four.

Our group kept things very simple, ordering a 3-pound Porterhouse, which came with a pile of fries, buttered toast, potatoes, and soaked salad (for each person). We also split a 1/2-order of Delta tamales as an appetizer. Truth be told, I’ve never been blown away by Doe’s tamales, but this was a very respectable showing. The steamed tubes held their shape and didn’t crumble into little pieces upon consumption. Add to it a few spoonfuls of the accompanying chili, and it really was an ideal meal starter.

The soaked salad followed the tamales, and, per usual, was absolutely perfect. Pieces of iceberg lettuce, red onion, and tomato are soaked in a wonderfully tart dressing. It’s simple, bright, and vibrant, and if I had my druthers, would eat an entire tub of this salad.

Soaked Salad

Within minutes, the iconic plate of steak and fries hit the table. As many of you know, Doe’s slices the steak for you, a move that some folks dislike, but one that I think works well for family-style eating. On a Porterhouse, you have a t-bone that separates the strip from the leaner tenderloin. Both cuts of meat have their positives, but on this night, the filet really shined. It was super tender and cooked to a perfect medium rare, while the strip definitely fell near the rare range. Also, when the steak at Doe’s is at the top of its game, you’ll have that amazing crust, which I attribute to a strong broiler game. This steak was lacking in the crust department.

The real magic at Doe’s resides in the fries, specifically the ones resting on the bottom that soak up the meat juice. These fat-soaked potato sticks can’t be shoved into my mouth fast enough. True meat juice lovers will even ask for a side bowl of it (which we did), so that each fry gets the royal treatment.

Meat Juice

Hey, we even had room for dessert. Our server sold us on the house-made chocolate cake and apple cheesecake, both of which are almost must-orders, especially the chocolate cake. It’s classically simple with a thin layer of mousse that sets it apart from many versions around town.

Listen, is Doe’s the absolute best steak you’ll find in Little Rock? In my opinion, no. But, for me, it’s really about the sum of the parts. The well-prepared and reasonably priced steak is consistently delicious, and when you add to it all of the accompanying items mentioned above, along with great service in a setting with nostalgia and charm, then you’ve got yourself a great dinner experience.

Just make sure to reserve that steak.