A Brief History of Surf and Turf

Almost everyone loves surf and turf, from your 3-year-old niece to your aging grandmother. In addition to a general emphasis on beautiful presentation and lovely ingredients, surf and turf offers endless possibilities to the palate.

The name “surf and turf” is a relatively recent invention, appearing midcentury, but no one is quite sure where it came from. While some claim an East Coast origin, others cry West Coast. The name has slight variations around the world, including Australia’s “beef and reef.”

The classic combination is beef with seafood, specifically steak and lobster. Upscale and midscale restaurants usually offer it as the most expensive item on the menu, and done well it is absolutely divine. The seafood should be fresh, not frozen (though less finicky establishments will offer frozen lobster tail and prawns for those looking to save a buck). The meat should be of highest quality.

Although beef is traditional, technically anything with four cloven hooves can serve as the “turf” part of the equation. Lamb lovers and pork aficionados can find surf and turf to fit their tastes if they look hard enough. And while lobster tail is a very cache addition, shrimp, prawns and even fish may sometimes sub in for the “surf.”
While surf and turf’s reputation suffered for decades as a dish for lowbrow eaters, many upscale chefs have since resurrected it, and you can now find delicious dishes in coastal restaurants especially.

Although side dishes vary, many restaurants offer classics like garlic mashed potatoes and string beans as accompaniment. Others will do a nice side salad or another cooked veggie. Restaurants looking to dress things down a little often offer French fries with a side of ketchup or a fancy dip.

These days surf and turf is the “it” dinner for celebrating a big event. Although you can get a good entrée at a steakhouse, if you want the best surf and turf, head to a The Sea Fire Grill Restaurant. Their emphasis on a fresh catch and quality ingredients gives you the greatest chance of experiencing a delicious meal.

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