For the Best Steak Around, ‘Taylor’s 2′ in Oakland City, Indiana is Worth the Drive [REVIEW]
If you're looking for a steak as big as your face, then hop in the car and make the 40 - 45 minute drive up to Oakland City!
Located on Indiana Highway 64, just over a mile and a half east of the intersection of Highway's 57 and 64, Taylor's 2 isn't much to look at from the outside. Covered in pale-yellow sheet metal siding on the outside, with a privacy fenced patio area featuring a pop-up camper in the corner that may or may not be someone's home, you could classify it as a "dive", but don't let that deter you from the food waiting for you inside.
Speaking of the inside, the best way I can describe it is that it looks like your grandparents basement if it were a bar. Years worth of various beer themed mirrors, signs, clocks, etc. hanging from the wood paneled walls, a concrete floor painted with that 1970's speckled sealant to make it look "pretty", along with tables and chairs that may be older than me.
But that's what gives Taylor's its charm. It's a blue collar tavern in the center of a blue collar town with its cast of regulars stopping by for a cold beer and conversation on the way home from a hard day's work at one of the area coal mines, or some other trade industry like carpentry or electrical. It's the place "where everybody knows your name", where they don't care about outside appearance, if you're good people looking for a good meal, you're more than welcome to stop by.
It had been some time since my wife and I made a trip to Taylor's. We were first introduced to it many years ago when my in-laws would invite us to head up there with them, and obviously the food left a lasting impression. When the thought of making a return trip last week popped in my wife's head, we realized it was "B.C." (Before Children), since we made the trip, meaning at least eight years, and hoped nothing had changed when we found ourselves with a rare date night after our two kids were invited to spend the night with friends.
Fortunately, not much had changed. While some signs and mirrors had surely been added to the walls, and the flat screen, LCD TV hanging on the back wall of the bar wasn't there eight or nine years ago, everything else seemed to be just as it was on our last visit, including the menu.
Featuring typical bar food like burgers, sandwiches, onion rings, fries, etc., Taylor's 2 is probably best know for three things, their inch-thick pork chops, their country ham, and the only reason I've ever stepped foot inside their establishment, their ribeye steaks.
Weighing in between 18 to 20 ounces according to the menu (that's just over a pound, in case you didn't know), and served with a small house salad, one piece of garlic toast, and a baked potato, the meal looks like its straight out of a Man vs. Food challenge, and is more than most people will be able to consume in one sitting. All for $18.95.
Easily measuring three-quarter to one inch thick (no joke), this massive chunk of beef is simply seasoned with salt and pepper, enhancing the flavor of the meat, not masking it. At the risk of over-using the term, each bite literally melts in your mouth. Quick side note, just looking at this picture and re-telling the experience has my mouth watering. True story.
I should note that roughly four ounces of this 18 to 20 ounce behemoth is fat, but even that is worth eating, and it's the reason the meat stays so tender and juicy. I ordered mine the way I believe steak should be ordered, medium-rare, and it came out exactly that way. Meaning it was medium rare all the way through, not like some restaurants where the ends are over done, but the middle technically classifies as medium rare. If heaven has a flavor, this is it.
If there's any one place that best exemplifies the old saying, "you can't judge a book by its cover", it's Taylor's 2. Is the outside cover a little torn and weathered? Yes, and maybe a few of the pages have fallen out over time only to be put back in place with a strip of scotch tape, but it's always a great read with an ending that puts a smile on your face.