A la Carte: A Chip off the Old Butcher Block
Feb 13, 1994

BREEDING tells, and the lineage of Majors, a straightforward neighborhood steakhouse in East Meadow, is obvious from the first taste of the creamy coarse-cut coleslaw to the final bite of intense, moist Mississippi mud pie. 

This cozy blue-collar restaurant, with its fireplace, red-and-white checkered tablecloths, lazy overhead fans and photographs of the Old West, is the offspring of the pricier Bryant & Cooper Steak House in Roslyn and Riverbay Seafood in Williston Park. 

In between the hefty bowl of coleslaw ($2.50) and the overkill of the mud pie, which is served with a foothill of real whipped cream ($2.75), are entrees like 24-ounce steaks for $10.95, grilled chicken breasts ($7.50), salmon ($9.95), overstuffed sandwiches and bulging burgers (both $3.95). A lobster special of the day, priced at $12.95, is the most expensive entree. Bowls of Pickles 

Majors offers a short simple menu supplemented by a handful of blackboard specials, bowls of new pickles, tomatoes and sauerkraut, king-size steak knives and bottles of ketchup and Bryant & Cooper homemade sauce on the tables. 

Those frequently refilled pickle bowls come in handy, for at peak periods the kitchen is hard pressed to keep the meal moving. Lags between courses are common. Additionally, our always-affable waiter was also absent minded, as when he served the desserts with soup spoons rather than forks. 

Although the meal came in dribs and drabs and the waiter was better at clearing the table than filling it, this low-priced alternative to expensive steakhouses always provides outstanding value and most often comes through with excellent food. 

Main courses are a cut above the appetizers. The succulent salmon was perfectly cooked. A large pink moist cheddar burger was just plain wonderful, and the charred steak was tender, tasty and perfectly done. Sauteed Onions and Coleslaw, Too 

A steak sandwich, a blackboard special ($4.95), more than held its own against the main courses. It was served on warm French bread with a nest of soft sauteed onions accompanied by coleslaw. 

Unfortunately, the home fries with the salmon and the steak were soggy and underdone. But a blanket of crisp garlic bread ($1.95) dotted with whole cloves was devoured in seconds. 

Appetizers consisted of a wedge of iceberg lettuce with two somewhat anemic tomato slices ($1.75) and an ordinary onion soup ($2.50) in need of seasoning. Both of the desserts, the mud pie and an equally memorable rich homemade cheesecake with strawberries ($2.75), were terrific. 

Majors, with its neon beer signs and cash-only policy, is not a copy of its more polished parent, nor could it be at these prices. But for penny-wise diners, it is a restaurant to remember. A recent multicourse meal for four at this frugal find at 284 East Meadow Avenue (794-6600) cost $62.13, plus tip.