Look, you knew it was never going to stay this good forever, because nothing ever does, and one day we all end up dust — even those of us who are steaks. With that in mind, it is my distinct displeasure to announce that Tad's Steaks near Times Square, quite possibly the last affordable meat cafeteria in town, will close in January. I do not know where you will buy your $9 beefmeals now.
Once upon a time, Tad's operated eight steak salons in New York City and 28 across the country, but now your only local option sits at 761 Seventh Avenue. For a few more months, you can still take in an affordable "steak show" at this lonely little "meat honkytonk" (Eater's phrase, not mine); still hunker down under a plastic Tiffany lampshade to saw away at your T-bone on a tray and slam Saran-wrapped wines; still rest your sirloin-sated head against the red velvet wallpaper as you marinate in sautéed onion smells. But then, come January 5th, it'll all be over: Tad's will turn off its broilers and close its doors, and you'll have to fly all the way to San Francisco for your fix.
Maybe you aren't moved by this news, or by the above description, but rest assured: the 60-something-year-old Tad's had its disciples, and will be missed. In our 2016 ode to the joint, writer Colin Dodds remembered the chophouse as "a vestige of a better, more democratic age in New York," and a welcome holdout in an era of uninspiring salad franchises making bold promises (satisfying! enjoyable! healthy!) they can't keep. Tad's, according to Dodds, was at least upfront with you about the situation, even as it upsold you for garnishes:
The steak was good enough. It was steak, and better than you’d get at a diner most of the time. It was cheap compared with other steaks, though not with other lunches.
At Tad’s, there are no adjectives on the walls, no promises that the cows have been “grass-fed” or that their flesh is “char-sizzled,” and no aspirational exhortations that you be a better you. It’s just a steak.
Tad’s Broiled Steaks may or may not make you a better you. But it will fill you up. And they will leave you alone, in almost every sense, which is nice. The steak may or may not be juicy. They never said it would be. But they'll ladle on some extra juice, no extra charge.
Tad's wasn't here to sell you lies; just steaks whose quality justified their low price point, plus accents (mushrooms! onions! salad tomatoes!) for a few cents extra if you wanted. RIP Tad's, we'll always have the meat memories.