8 Seafood Chains Where You Should Order Steak And 4 Where You Shouldn't

Steak dishes from seafood restaurant chains
Steak dishes from seafood restaurant chains - Static Media / Shutterstock / Getty

A seafood chain might not be the first place you think of when you want a steak. After all, seafood spots specialize in delicacies from the ocean like delicious lobster dishes, freshly shucked oysters, and flavorful steamed crab legs. However, the owners of seafood chains know that not everyone is a fan of fish, so many offer dishes from the land as well. Plus, steak and seafood go together like a dream, and it makes sense that many seafood restaurants put steak on their menus.

Regardless of whether you're planning on pairing your steak with seafood as part of a decadent surf and turf dish or having beef as your main meal, you want to ensure that you're getting a top-quality piece of meat. This is where some seafood chains excel over others. Some spots follow in the footsteps of the best steak restaurants and source only premium beef that is cut to precision and perfectly executed on the grill. Others not so much.

To help you determine which seafood chains serve the best steak and which don't quite cut it, we rounded up the top spots where diners say you should go for that tenderloin or ribeye, and a few where customers say the steak is seriously sub-par.

Read more: The Best Steakhouse In Every State

Order: Eddie V's Prime Seafood

Steak and lobster at Eddie V's Prime
Steak and lobster at Eddie V's Prime - eddievs_ / Instagram

Eddie V's Prime Seafood is a collection of upscale seafood restaurants that was founded in Austin, Texas in 2000. What started as a single restaurant has now grown into one of the top national seafood chains with 30 locations across the country. Each location offers elegant decor, polished service, and indulgent dishes made with premium ingredients. While the name explicitly states that seafood is a main focus, many diners consider the chain more of a steakhouse, which is an indication of how seriously it takes its meat.

There are several steaks on the menu at Eddie V's, including a filet mignon, bone-in New York strip, bone-in ribeye, and filet medallions. You can enhance your steak with add-ons like scallops or lobster tail, but many diners say it's good enough to stand on its own. As one diner on Yelp said, "The steak was free of any fat, and so tender you could cut it with a butter knife. The meat had the perfect amount of salt, and was cooked to a perfect medium rare, as requested." Another diner on OpenTable said, "The steak, cooked to perfection, was tender and succulent, a true testament to the chef's expertise."

Order: Bahama Breeze

Steak with Chimichurri at Bahama Breeze
Steak with Chimichurri at Bahama Breeze - bahamabreezeislandgrille / Instagram

Island-themed chain Bahama Breeze serves Caribbean-inspired cuisine in colorful settings that encourage diners to have fun. Many of the restaurants have beachy decor and host live bands that play reggae and Latin fusion tunes. The menus offer plenty of seafood dishes like crispy conch fritters, Caribbean red snapper, and jerk shrimp in a pineapple bowl. However, for those who prefer protein from the land, the chain also offers chicken, pork, and steak dishes.

If you have a hankering for steak at Bahama Breeze, many diners say the skirt steak churrasco is the way to go. Customers love the tenderness of the meat and the tasty marinade. The dish also comes with plantains, black beans, and rice, making it a substantial meal. One Google reviewer said, "I had the skirt steak churrasco and it was awesome. It was very moist and tender and had great flavor." Another diner left a Google review that said, "My skirt steak was cooked to perfection, flavorful, and enough for leftovers." Many customers also say that the price is fair for what you get, which is something that isn't often said about steak from many well-known steakhouse chains.

Skip: Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

Steak and shrimp at Bubba Gump
Steak and shrimp at Bubba Gump - officialbubbagump / Instagram

Inspired by the hit movie "Forrest Gump," Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is a family-friendly chain that specializes in shrimp and other Southern-style dishes from the sea. You can get your shrimp beer-battered, scampi style, in jambalaya, or New Orleans style in a bourbon sauce. The menu also has a "From the Farm" section with dishes like fried chicken, baby back ribs, and the 12-ounce boneless ribeye. When it comes to ranking Bubba Gump's menu items, customer reviews suggest that the steak should be at the bottom of the list.

"I ordered the "Forrest Surf and Turf," and the steak came out cold and hard to cut," said one Google review. "Once I managed through the bicep workout of cutting through that sirloin, I got an equally difficult task of chewing through those pieces." Another diner on Tripadvisor said the steak was, "Burnt tough as leather. Had to smother it in A1 or ketchup to even chew it." Other diners comment on how the steak comes out either overcooked or undercooked and how fatty the cut is. Based on the number of negative reviews, you're probably better off sticking to the seafood at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

Order: McCormick & Schmick's

Steak and shrimp scampi, McCormick & Schmick's
Steak and shrimp scampi, McCormick & Schmick's - mcandschmicks / Instagram

Since 1979, McCormick & Schmick's has been serving fresh seafood and succulent steaks. The chain is known for its commitment to using high-quality ingredients. It's one of the few seafood chains that never use frozen fish. It also sources its beef from grain-fed cows and ages its steaks to intensify the flavor. Although the chain has over 25 locations in the United States, it manages to offer consistently good food and service. As one diner said in a Google review, "This steakhouse has a standard that does not drop no matter what city you dine in."

There are several steaks on the menu at McCormick and Schmick's, including a USDA Prime New York strip, center-cut filet mignon, and a Black Angus ribeye. The ribeye gets particularly good feedback from diners. As one Google reviewer said, "Best steak I have ever eaten ... ribeye." Customers love the balance of the seasoning and flavor of the beef, as well as the tenderness of the meat, and how the steaks are typically cooked to perfection. Some diners also comment on how the steak is great value for the price. The steak at McCormick & Schmick's is a top-rated choice.

Order: Ocean Prime

Prime ribeye at Ocean Prime
Prime ribeye at Ocean Prime - oceanprime / Instagram

Ocean Prime is a seafood lover's dream. The ritzy chain offers enticing dishes like oysters on the half shell, sushi rolls, lobster linguine, and Chilean sea bass. There is also a section for steaks on the menu with cuts like the filet mignon, New York strip, and ribeye. If you love surf and turf, Ocean Prime gets great reviews for both its seafood and its steak. Based on what diners are saying, the seafood chain's offerings may even rival popular steakhouse chains' surf and turf.

In some cases, it seems the steak actually outshines the seafood at Ocean Prime. As one Google reviewer said, "The Wagyu steak is the reason why Ocean Prime earned a spot in my top five. I've had dozens of steaks from high-end restaurants, but this one managed to separate itself from all the others ... The steak just melted in your mouth." Another Google reviewer called the steak, "One of the best and most underrated steaks anywhere." Other adjectives that have been used to describe the steak include "sublime," "outstanding," and "life-changing."

Skip: Joe's Crab Shack

Shrimp and steak, Joe's Crab Shack
Shrimp and steak, Joe's Crab Shack - Joe's Crab Shack / Facebook

When many people think of Joe's Crab Shack, they think of buckets of seafood that are meant to be eaten by hand while wearing a plastic bib. The chain certainly isn't known for steak, although it does have a top sirloin on the menu. The steak is available as a meal with mashed potatoes and vegetables or as part of a surf and turf dish. It may seem like a solid choice for those craving red meat, but many diners say the steak is one of the things you should absolutely never order at Joe's Crab Shack.

There are a few reasons why the steak at Joe's Crab Shack gets less than favorable reviews. The first is the chain uses USDA Choice grade beef, which has less marbling than USDA Prime beef. Marbling is important for high-quality meat because it makes the steak juicer and more tender. Secondly, the chain seems to be wildly inconsistent when it comes to getting the temperatures right on its steaks. As one Yelp reviewer said, "My steak was overcooked and burnt. My husband's steak was undercooked." A Google reviewer said, "They definitely cannot cook a steak. Overpriced for what it is for sure."

Order: Truluck's

Steak with roasted garlic at Truluck's
Steak with roasted garlic at Truluck's - trulucksrestaurant / Instagram

Truluck's earned a spot on our list of chains that use the highest quality seafood thanks to its commitment to sustainable harvesting and serving the freshest possible seafood. For example, the chain only serves stone crabs while the crustaceans are in season and never serves frozen stone crab claws. The seafood chain puts just as much thought into its steaks, offering only USDA Prime steaks that have been hand-cut and aged for at least 30 days.

There are a few different steak options to choose from at Truluck's, including a filet mignon, ribeye, and New York strip. The chain also does a mean steak frites with a chef's cut steak and truffle fries. Each steak is seasoned with Truluck's special spice blend and broiled at a blistering 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. The results are tasty steaks with a beautiful sear on the outside and tender, juicy meat on the inside. Diners say it's on par with, if not better than, any steakhouse. For instance, one diner left a Google review that said, "I have not had steak anywhere else since I've tried Truluck's, even though many have tried to stir me away."

Order: Legal Sea Foods

Steak and shrimp, Legal Sea Foods
Steak and shrimp, Legal Sea Foods - legalseafoods / Instagram

Legal Sea Foods began as a small family-run restaurant next to a fish market at Inman Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The set-up was nothing fancy, but word of mouth soon spread about the excellent seafood. The chain now has 26 locations along the East Coast. Seafood is still the main highlight of the menu, but there are also a few dishes for landlubbers, including a New York strip and filet mignon. Many diners find the steak just as satisfying as the seafood.

The steaks at Legal Sea Foods are brushed with garlic butter, served with crispy potato wedges and roasted mushrooms on the side. You can also add seafood like shrimp, scallops, or a lobster tail to create a surf and turf meal. Numerous customers comment on how the steaks are cooked perfectly and how tender the meat is. Some are taken aback at just how good the steak is, like one diner on Yelp who said, "Excellent steak with amazing potatoes that took me by surprise of the incredible taste it had." A Tripadvisor reviewer went so far as to say, "Yes this is a seafood place, but I got probably one of the best steaks I ever had!"

Skip: Kona Grill

Steak with Oscar sauce, Kona Grill
Steak with Oscar sauce, Kona Grill - konagrill / Instagram

Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Kona Grill claims to be "America's grill." However, the chain has gone through some hard times in recent years. Sales started dropping around 2017, causing many stores to close. In 2019, the chain filed for bankruptcy.  At one point it was among a handful of seafood chains that were disappearing across the country. According to FSR magazine, the chain did a turnaround when it was purchased by ONE Group Hospitality. Sadly though, customers find that the quality of the food is still lacking.

A quick look on review sites reveals a slew of scathing reviews, with many of them honed in on the steak. Take for example one diner on Yelp who said, "I hate to say, worst steak I have had in a few years. Ordered medium rare, it was well done around the sides of the steak and seemed a low-quality piece of meat. It was tough, gross." Another Yelper said, "They had to re-cook my steak three times and it still wasn't right." Yet another disgruntled customer said on Yelp, "I'm no expert in cooking steak but one thing I know is that Texas Roadhouse can do better than this with [a] much lower price."

Order: Chart House

Steak and lobster, Chart House
Steak and lobster, Chart House - charthouserestaurants / Instagram

When you step into a Chart House restaurant today, you would never guess that the chain came from modest beginnings. The first Chart House opened in a converted diner in Aspen, Colorado in 1961 and it had just a few tables. Now the chain has 24 elegant restaurants across the country, each situated in a spectacular setting with views of water, mountains, or city skylines. Since the early days, the focus has always been on fresh seafood and steaks.

Your meal at Chart House could start with fresh oysters or seared ahi tuna and then segue into a filet mignon, New York strip, or slow-roasted prime rib. Many diners give glowing reviews about the steaks. One Google reviewer said, "Each steak was a masterpiece of flavor, tenderly cooked to melt-in-the-mouth perfection." Another Google review stated, "The filet mignon was the best I've ever had. If you are expecting cheap food, this is probably not the place for you, but the best steak you'll ever have in your life is probably not gonna ever be cheap."

Order: Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen

Steak at Pappadeaux Seafood
Steak at Pappadeaux Seafood - pappadeaux / Instagram

Brothers Chris and Harris Pappas opened their first restaurant in 1976 and now there are over 90 locations spread across seven states. Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen is their Louisiana-inspired brand that specializes in Southern-style seafood like blackened catfish and étouffée dishes packed with crawfish and shrimp. There are a few steak dishes as well, including an aged ribeye, filet mignon, and filet mignon with a jumbo lump crab and cream sauce. According to diners, this is one seafood spot where the steak holds its own against any of the fish dishes.

"The steak is so good that you have to sit back and enjoy the flavor with every bite," said one diner in a Google review.  They went on to say that it was the best steak they ever had. Many diners echo that sentiment, with more than a few commenting on how the steak is tender, juicy, and full of flavor. One diner stated on Yelp, "I didn't even need steak sauce because it was so good without it!" The steak has even managed to impress the most discerning diners. As one Tripadvisor reviewer said, "The filet mignon my husband ordered was one of the best steaks he said he had ever had ... and that's coming from a Texan."

Skip: Landry's Seafood House

Steak and seafood, Landry's Seafood House
Steak and seafood, Landry's Seafood House - landrysseafoodhouse / Instagram

Landry's Seafood House has a lengthy history that dates back to 1947. The first restaurant was located in a family home in Lafayette, Louisiana, and it served up Gulf Coast cuisine like shrimp, crawfish, and oysters. Today it's part of Landry's Inc., which owns more than 400 restaurants worldwide. If you love Southern-style seafood dishes like Louisiana seafood gumbo, stuffed flounder, or blackened shrimp, this is the spot for you. However, if steak is more your style, you may want to look elsewhere.

For a seafood spot, Landry's sure has a lot of steak dishes on the menu. Options include the filet mignon, ribeye, porterhouse, and the Ribeye Valentino, which is a bone-in ribeye steak accompanied by crab, shrimp, and scallops. Unfortunately, the steak dishes do not fare well with customers. "Steak was tough as a leather boot," said one Google review. Other customers say that the steak lacks flavor and can be dry and chewy. One diner left a Google review saying the steak tasted like wet paper. Based on the reviews, this is one chain where the steak just doesn't stack up.


Steak topped with shrimp
Steak topped with shrimp - Grandriver/Getty Images

With so many seafood chains serving steak on the menu, it was no easy task narrowing down which steaks were worth ordering and which were better off going in the bin. Thankfully, customers have a lot to say when it comes to their dining experiences. We read through countless reviews on sites like Yelp, Tripadvisor, and Google to determine where you're likely to get a good steak from a seafood chain restaurant and where you should probably just stick to the seafood. We took into consideration the quality, flavor, and texture of the meat. We also considered how well the restaurant chains executed the steak in terms of proper searing and cooking temperature. Value for price also came into play. After all, steak is one of the most expensive things you can order at a restaurant, so you will want to make sure you're getting your money's worth.

Read the original article on Mashed