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Frank’s Steak House | Cambridge, Mass.

Frank’s Steak House | Cambridge, Mass.

Greater Boston's oldest steakhouse continues to thrive

Bill Ravanis acquired Frank’s Steak House in Cambridge, Mass., in 1974. The operation premiered way back in 1938, and is believed to be Greater Boston’s oldest steakhouse. Ravanis realized the value of Frank’s brand recognition and kept the original, well-established name. Today, Bill’s sons, George and Bill Jr., are at the helm at Frank’s.

Restaurant Inc. asked George Ravanis if he would share the secrets to their longevity. “My father insisted upon excellent food, great service and fair pricing," he says. "My brother and I have the same business philosophy. We also insist that a manager be on top of things at all times.”

George and Bill Ravanis are hands-on-deck skippers. “We strive to keep up with the times by remodeling every few years, and we adapt our menu to reflect current trends and customer preferences,” George says. “We’re a neighborhood place, and our regular customers know that they’ll get a fine meal and still leave with some change in their pockets.”

Prime rib is the specialty at Frank’s, which offers 10-, 16- and 22-ounce cuts. “I refer to our prime rib as the ‘Holy Grail of Prime Rib,’” George says. “You know your prime rib is excellent when your staff comes in to order it on their days off.”

“The Sizzler,” a 16-ounce, hand-cut boneless sirloin served in a cast-iron skillet, heralds its own arrival by sizzling all the way from kitchen to table. The classic rib-eye is 15 ounces; filet mignon (five ounces and nine ounces) is served with tarragon butter; and London broil is marinated and sliced flank steak, a favorite value choice.

At the top of the beef chain is the Tomahawk steak, a gargantuan, three-pound rib-eye with the characteristic frenched bone still attached.

“That steak eats like butter,” George says. The menu is also loaded with chicken, seafood, pasta, burger and sandwich options. Early-bird specials are featured to give students and retirees an affordable, yet great meal.

Frank’s Steak House has garnered lots of attention from the media. Boston magazine’s “Best of Boston” awards ranked Frank’s “Best Neighborhood Restaurant.” Food Network Canada featured Frank’s in its “You Gotta Eat Here” programming. The “Phantom Gourmet,” a local Boston food show, rated Frank’s in the top five for best steakhouse, best comfort food and best neighborhood restaurant. The operation’s enduring fame has even spread across the sea.

“On a recent trip to Rome with my wife,” says George Ravanis, “someone called out ‘Frank’s Steak House’ from across the dining room at a restaurant. That was surprising, and very gratifying.”

This is Boston, so flat screen televisions are a must to entice sports enthusiasts to leave the comfort of their couches for a good steak while viewing the Red Sox and Patriots. Outdoor seating provides a bird’s-eye view of comings and goings in the neighborhood. It seems that Cheers isn’t the only famous neighborhood joint in the Boston area.

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