Hankering for Juicy Steaks? A Food Gal Giveaway

How's this for a meal? And it can be yours. (Photo courtesy of Snake River Farms)

Then, you’ve come to the right place.

Wouldn’t you love to sink your teeth into a meltingly tender Wagyu sirloin from Snake River Farms? Yeah, that’s what I’m talkin’ about — deeply marbled American beef that’s like buttah.

You can. Here’s how:

Contest: One lucky Food Gal reader will win a free “Steak and Espresso Brava Salt” holiday package, courtesy of Snake River Farms. Valued at $100, this gourmet gift comes complete with six hand-trimmed, 4-ounce Wagyu petit sirloin steaks, a 4-ounce container of Espresso Brava salt (a mix of sea salt and espresso), and cooking directions.

Entries, limited to those in the continental United States, will be accepted through midnight PST Dec. 17. Winner will be announced Dec. 19. How’s that for a holiday present?

How to win?

Tell me about one of your most favorite times eating steak. Most memorable answer wins.

Here’s my own answer:

“Would you believe that one of my most cherished steak memories involves Sizzler? The steaks at that chain might not have anything on Wagyu. But when you’re a kid, you don’t care. I sure didn’t. All I knew was that it was such a treat to tag along with my parents on a weekend outing  to the local Sizzler’s. I felt so grown-up as my Dad let me order for myself. Always a filet mignon because they were small enough for me to manage.  I’d scurry down the line with my tray  to pick up my salad in that cheesy laminated wooden bowl (before the days of the salad bar) with my choice of dressing — always the vinaigrette. And of course, there was the baked potato — all fluffy and buttery. It was simple. It wasn’t gourmet. But back then, it was magical.”

These barbecue sauces pack a real powerhouse of flavor.

Winners of the Two Previous Contests: In last week’s first contest, I asked you to tell me how you are spunky or sassy. Best answer wins an S&S Brand Combo pack, filled with three spunky barbecue sauces and six sassy rubs.

Congrats to:

Natalie, who wrote, “There are 2 things LA is known for: being expensive and providing a haven for artists, dreamers, lost souls, and eccentrics of all shapes and sizes. Having the latter down pat, Hollywood was the clear and only choice to call my new home. Upon arriving, I knew I needed to find a job asap, but being a musician doesn’t necessarily ‘bring home the bacon’ steadily and when you do get a gig, its more like celery or saltines that you’re bringing home rather than crispy, fatty, oh so indulgent bacon. So naturally I decided to work as an extra and audience member for some extra cash, basically because I abhor the idea of having a ‘normal job.’ OK, now for the sassy part of the story. I was in the audience for ‘Lets Make A Deal,’ hosted by Wayne Brady. They paid $8 an hour for you to dress up in a ridiculous costume and sit there and watch people make fools of themselves and contemplate suicide as they unluckily swapped their newly won car for a mule. Half of the audience was paid and half acquired tickets from a website, making them eligible to become contestants if Mr. Brady fancied their costume. I dressed as a milk maid and sat in the back, happy I would be receiving $48 for doing nothing. Then something unimaginable happened; Wayne Brady picked me to be the next contestant (can you say, ‘new bedroom set!’)! They cut to break and we both walked to the stage. As Wayne was explaining to me how things worked, one of the producer’s assistants came up to us and told us I was not allowed to be a contestant because I was working as an extra. I tried to bargain and say I would give back the extra money in exchange for a chance to play, but he unflinchingly shot me down. I angrily went back to my seat. They picked another participant and started rolling again. Still heated, I decided take my rage out via the camera. I proudly lifted my middle finger up and aimed it right to the camera. I didn’t think anyone would actually notice, since I was all the way in the back. As the contestant was about to start playing, the producer yelled ‘cut’ and the cameras stopped rolling. Two large security guards then signaled for me to come with them. I was then escorted out and one of the producer’s assistants came up to me and told me, ‘You know the camera can see you. You can’t just give the bird on national television. This is a family show.’ I told him some not so nice things and needless to say, I am now and forevermore banned and blacklisted from Lets Make A Deal (ironically, for trying to make a deal). I guess they couldn’t handle the sass from a spunky milkmaid.”

Paxti's stuffed crust pizza. Oh my!

In last week’s second contest, I asked you to tell me what stuff you could never throw out or be without. Best answer wins a Paxti’s gift card good for one 14-inch stuffed crust pizza with two toppings to-go. The gift card, a value of $25, is redeemable at any Paxti’s Bay Area locations.

Congrats to:

Quyen, who wrote, “Rubber bands from the bundling of vegetables, green onions, or newspaper. When I was younger, we used these rubber bands to make toys like jumping ropes, slings, balls, etc. These homemade toys were such an important part of our childhood so that the kid who had the longer ropes usually became the most popular at the playground. Of course, I don’t play these toys anymore; but my sense of joy and pride swell whenever i look at my growing rubber band collection. Occasionally, I use the rubber bands to make cutie sauce bags; but, I can never throw them out.”

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  • Christopher Sorel

    Always enjoy a good steak on Sunday evenings for dinner. Though we would have to make chicken for my daughter but my son loved steak at age 2. Well it started to change on Sunday when my daughter was 4 she said wow that smells can I try. She then proceed to eat 3/4 of my NY Strip steak and I had grill myself another. From that day on we all eat steak and it is great to not have make something else.

  • Growing up in a Chinese household, we never went out for steak. It was just “too much meat” in my parents’ opinion. When I was 16 and dating my first real boyfriend, his parents took us on a road trip to LA. Everyone who’s ever driven down to SoCal knows that you must pass this incredibly smelly area known as Harris Ranch. Not only does it kill your appetite to smell all that cow poop, it usually makes you wanna throw up anything that’s left in your stomach at the time. But what does my boyfriend’s parents wanna do? Have a nice steak lunch there! Needless to say I did NOT have the appetite for a huge piece of meat that came from what was creating all that smell outside but was forced to choke down something anyway. I don’t think I had steak again for a VERY long time but nowadays I can make a pretty mean filet mignon in my very own cast iron!

  • When I was 12, I had a tonsillectomy. It made swallowing food very painful, so I survived on melted ice cream, warm Jell-O, and the like. On about day six of my recovery, my mother caught me in the kitchen sipping from the Worcestershire bottle. “Oh you poor dear, you must be hungry for meat! When you’re all well, I’ll make you a steak!” that sounded good, and I recovered as quickly as I could. One day I announced to my mom that I was ready for my steak. “What steak? I never promised you a steak.”
    I need the steak.

  • I was born to American parents in Germany in 1990, in the midst of the mad cow scare. My mom, being the paranoid person she was, swore us off of beef of any kind. Sushi? Sure. Beef hot dog? Do you want to go insane?

    Even when we came back to states in 1996, we were the weird kids who had to bring our own packs of turkey hot dogs to cookouts. I was teased at Girl Scouts. And could never quite stomach a Big Mac, much less a big steak.

    But then I met my current boyfriend, a man who subsisted on only fast food for a whole month growing up, who doesn’t understand the point of salad and who puts kielbasa in his Velveeta mac n’ cheese. Did I mention he was from Texas?

    His dad took us to Nick and Sam’s steakhouse in Dallas a few years ago. I kindly insisted on ordering sides of asparagus, but when it came to the steak- there was no question. The tray of beautifully marbled cuts came over to our table, and among the rubied, tender filets was a behemoth with a bone sticking out of it. This cowboy cut ribeye was a hunk of meat the size of my head clinging to a bone fit for a T-Rex.

    It came out a short bit later glistening with fat and leaking juice, missing the Bedrock bone but only slightly smaller in size. All of my oppressed beef-less childhood reared up in one moment, and we took down that club-sized cut like only carnivores could.

    Some people change their names, states or event religions for love. I took on steak, and am never looking back.

  • Years ago my wife and I were first married, we were living in a half flat in Laurel Heights and went to dinner at Alfred’s. Ordered drinks at the bar and discovered that I had left my wallet and money on the dresser. The bartender agreed to hold Grace hostage while I rushed home and back with my money. Upon arriving I found my wife with the manager and some of the staff enjoying themselves and we were envited to a tour of the kitchen and meat locker area to see their aging sides of beef. One of the chefs cut off two lovely, aged rib eyes that made up the best steak dinner I have ever had, and made for a wonderful memory.

  • When my son was in first grade, he got pneumonia. He was in the hospital for a full week. Used to home cooking, he was not having any part of the cafeteria food trays sent up with broth, Jell-O, and bowls of mystery stuff, so he was dropping weight and was skinny to start with.

    The doctor reviewed the medical chart and helpfully told my son that his Momma (me) could get him any food he’d like for dinner. I’m sure the doc was thinking a Happy Meal, take out pizza or some other kid treat.

    Ut oh.

    My son ordered steak and rolls. But, he was quite specific. He wanted steak grilled over charcoal and yeast rolls from scratch.

    The doctor looked worried at that and looked over at me. I just nodded. My mom (Maw) took a shift at the hospital while I went home and fired up the grill and started baking.

    One good meal and the temperature went down and the little guy got to come home from the hospital.

  • The most favorite time eating (actually, serving more than eating) steak was when I visited my 80+ year old Grandma in Australia this year with my kids (4 and 2). This trip, my kids were meeting their Great-Grandma for the very first time. 🙂 My Aunt organized a BBQ party at her house, where my Grandma and all of us were staying for this trip. My Grandma doesn’t eat steaks often as they’re not the most tender kind of meat out there for elderly. But she wants to try everything that we prepared. So, I sat down and cut the steak into smaller pieces for her, and for my kids. We had a wonderful family re-union. I was fortunate and thankful to have the chance to serve my Grandma some steaks. I don’t really recall how the steak tasted like as I was too busy serving and cooking. But sure it was the most memorial steak dinner for me. I just wish I can take my kids to visit My Grandma again in the near future.

  • For the first night of our married life I bought T-bone steaks and all the trimmings. I did them in the broiler – not the best way to cook a good piece of meat, but because it was the first meal I cooked for my new husband, they were wonderful!

  • to me, steak always invokes memories of my dad. when i was a young teen, he and i would ditch my mother while she was off at her weekly hair appointment and hang out together. we would traips all over the bay area discovering things and just enjoying the time together. he took me to the shadow brook restaurant one saturday for lunch. it was my first trip to the shadow brook and my first steak. this is one of my most treasured memories. i miss my dad.

  • Steaks? Growing up in Brazil, steak was part of our everyday meal, and I thought that I had steaks in every shape and possible flavor…but have to admit that never had it with expresso rub…
    Hope you have a wonderful week ahead Carolyn 🙂

  • Hehe very cute story about Sizzler Carolyn! I don’t really go for buffets now but I did way back when I was little! 😛

  • My grandpa owns a couple of Teppanyaki style steak restaurants in Osaka (he’s not a chef tho). When I was small I couldn’t swallow any meat (I often choked) but I remember when I could finally eat a piece of Matsuzaka Beef… it literary melt in my mouth (and I couldn’t “chew”? what??). Oh I still remember about the day I could eat and enjoy the steak… now surprisingly my son is having same issue not being able to swallow meat. I am “slicing” the good quality beef so that he won’t be missing the chance to eat great steak. Heeehe.

  • That salt sounds awesome! I know my family would love it as they are MAJOR steak eaters!

  • The steak looks fantastic! I wish I lived in the US. 🙁 Sad.

  • I remember one time when my brother and I were pretty darn small, my dad made steak and mashed potatoes for dinner, and my little brother hadn’t had steak yet in his memory and was so excited because we talked it up so much. It smelled good, it was all sizzling on the grill, my mom was excited about it — suspense was building! When it was finally ready, and my dad cut up the steak for my brother to eat, he put a piece in his mouth and chewed it a little bit before spitting it out on the plate. “This tastes like ZOMBIE SKIN!” Granted, I think he got a pretty crispy bit as his first taste, but it took him a while to give steak another chance. Those were some wasted years, haha! Either way, we still tease him about making “zombie skin” for dinner. 🙂

  • I can’t even remember the last time we had steak. Even the pictures made me salivate, LOL!
    Our funny steak story was about 35 years ago, my BIL spent a bunch of my father’s money buying “good steaks” from someone he knew. Well, My dad BBQed them. We were all so excited for these “good steaks”. I was the only one of the bunch of us to get a good one, the rest were leather. I always get a kick out of people who can get you “GOOD DEAL”, LOL!

  • Funny, thinking about steaks. Growing up, it was all about having them since that didn’t happen too often. As I got older, it became the fact that I could have them whenever I wanted. Now it’s about what the steaks actually represent: To us, it’s a good excuse to try any number of types/cuts of steak, good wine/beer, and superb company with our friends! There’s nothing like throwing some steaks on a BBQ and enjoying friends for the evening. While steaks are not the only meal we entertain, it’s by far our go-to main-stay just because everybody so enjoys them. When my best friend & I head for the dog shows (sorry, girls weekend, the hubbies are home!), she knows I’m going to be cooking steaks each night. So consider it an excuse for us to relax, kick our shoes off, and enjoy the people we like to share our time with. Did I mention that we BBQ year round and knock the snow off it this time of year! So if we won, we’d call up a good set of friends and enjoy an evening of food, drink, and talk. And if not, we’ll wish the winners the same, and go see what steaks I can pick up locally for ourselves. Happy Holidays to all! And to Snake River, I’m soooo glad I stumbled on you and am looking forward to working our way through your product line!

  • Harken back with me to those first great days of being out of college, working, and single. Well, maybe the first year or two.

    I decided to take my first trip to Chicago – because I could! My first dinner in the Windy City was memorable only because of how poor it was: a sausage at Michael Jordan’s Restaurant. The sausage was cold, which seemed to match the ambiance of the nearly-empty dining room.

    My second dinner would be exponentially better: steak at the restaurant of legendary Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray. I decided if I was going to have a steak, I was going to go all out with something I’d never, ever ordered before: a porterhouse. With grilled mushrooms. And a glass of red wine.

    The porterhouse was tender, juicy, had just the right amount of pepperiness, and most importantly, was delicious!

    In the years to come, I would not indulge in such a decadent dinner by myself. Now married with two kids, it’s out of the question! But for one glorious night, the steak was the show!

    By the way, the reason I went to Chicago was for, of all things, the annual Chicago Pinball Expo show. Chicago is the birthplace of modern pinball and where they still manufacture machines.

    Chicago: come for the pinball, stay for the steak!

  • Contest is now closed. Come back Monday to see who won and for the start of a delicious new contest.

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