Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Memories of Alexander's Steakhouse
This was a chain restaurant that took over the old Wyatt's Cafeteria location in the Biscayne Mall on the west side. Its claim to fame was the audience participation factor meaning you could pick out your raw steak and cook it over a big broiler they provided in the middle of the restaurant. Nothing like burning the hair off your arm while cooking your steak and leave the restaurant smelling like a charcoal grill. How I miss that!
We would go there in groups, usually celebrating someone leaving the job or moving out of Columbia. It had a great little bar with a popular happy hour but we mainly went there for the steaks. They had this special deal; if you could eat this humongous steak and its fixings with-in an hour you would get it free and your picture was taken to be displayed with other carnivores that busted their gut. My dear friend Garrick took the challenge and we cheered him on as he finished the half a cow on his plate. With his picture proudly displayed on the wall of fame he inspired others to increase their fat content and take several years off their lives.
An interesting side note, the next day at work Garrick could barely move as he complained of joint pain and a general feeling of hopelessness. He swore up and down that he had some sort of beef poisoning and that was causing his general feeling of woe. I don't remember Garrick joining us again after that incident but whenever we went to Alexander's his picture greeted us every time we walked in the place. As months went by and more of our friends left, I just quit going to Alexander's. Biscayne Mall fell into disarray as the stores moved out and soon Alexander's was the only business left except for the Wal-Mart which made itself separate from the mall. I remember reading in the paper that Alexander's was finally closing that location and they were not going to reopen in Columbia and thus another interesting restaurant bit the dust. But I sometimes wonder what happened to Garrick's picture and the dozens of other photos of those who kept our beef producers in business. Hopefully they are in a hall of fame somewhere.