The Steak Out Steakhouse opens in Lakewood

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For those of you who have an affinity for the iconic Columbine Steak House, Westerkamps Steakhouse or Cowbobas, all of which turn out slabs of beef that don't require an expense account, here's more good news: We now have a quartet of meat-centric joints where you can chew on cow for less than a tenner, thanks to the addition of Steak Out Steakhouse, a new cattle corner in Lakewood, at 1395 South Sheridan Boulevard, where a 22-ounce porterhouse is $15.95, a nine-ounce sirloin goes for $9.75 and a fifteen-ounce T-bone is a mere $12.50.

The steakhouse, which opened last month, is owned by husband-and-wife team Joe and Bobbie-Jo Lucero -- and this is their first restaurant. "I used to do construction, and we owned a dispensary, but I really like cooking and creating different foods, and grilling is my passion, so we sold the dispensary and used the money to open a restaurant that does great, inexpensive steaks," says Joe.

And everything, he says, is made -- and butchered -- in-house. The couple hired Frank O'Brien, a former butcher at Albertson's and Whole Foods, to oversee the beef, and he slices his own steaks, which he glazes with a seasoned, liberally salted butter. He also house-grinds his own beef for the half-pound burgers, most of which is chuck, though he tosses in trim and scrap from other cuts, too. The skin-on fries are hand-cut, and all of the steak dinners include an unfussy iceberg salad, loaded baked potato and Texas toast -- and everything on the menu, which also includes sliders, hot wings, a deep-fried hot dog and Philly cheesesteaks topped with smoked bacon, jalapenos, cheese and onions, is less than $16.

"Business has been really good so far," says Joe. "We sold 35 Philly cheesesteaks -- they're incredible -- and 25 cheeseburgers on Friday of last week, and we're getting good word of mouth."

And they need it, because the bright and tidy space, which features cool artwork designed by Joe, who also designed the tables, is off the beaten path, tucked into a parking lot-facing strip mall behind a Little Caesars; the street visibility is nil. "We're trying to figure out what to do about signage, so more people know that we here," says Joe.

But judging from the trickle of carnivores coming in and out yesterday, momentum is building. "Every day is different," admits Joe, "but we're doing a good job, the steaks are unbeatable for the price, and did I mention how amazing the Philly cheesesteaks are?"

I didn't try a cheesesteak yesterday, but we did have a steak dinner and a burger, both of which warrant a return visit. There are snapshots of those, the space, the menu and Frank the butcher on the following page.

Steak Out Steakhouse is open Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday, from 11 to 10 p.m. and on Sunday, from noon to 9 p.m. For more info, call 303-936-0120.

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