Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Where Did You Eat Off Campus, Volume 3?

OK, even though it was just a few blocks off campus headed downtown, I can't say I ever remember eating at the Flaming Steer Restaurant on West End.

I do remember it had a big, tall lighted sign out front that looked a lot like...well, what else...a flaming steer. But I don't remember ever going inside to eat.

Did you ever go there? Have any fond memories or food nightmares to share from the experience? Please leave your comments and thoughts below.

The owners must have attracted some Vandy students to dine with them. After all, as you can see above, they advertised in THE COMMODORE Yearbook. Or maybe they just felt sorry for whatever student came around trying to sell them an ad. :)

I think the Flaming Steer may have been a little ahead of its time (before chain restaurants like Bonanza or other steakhouses made steak a popular and affordable menu item for any budget when you went out to eat).

I wonder if it was like Chambers Restaurant on the other side of campus, near the Oxford House and just across the street from the Peabody campus?

Now I do remember Chambers. Long before I came to Vanderbilt, my dad took me there for my first official steak dinner on my birthday when I turned 12. Anyway, it was quite a big deal for me at the time, although I remember the steak itself was more than a little tough(more like tasty shoe leather than a tender piece of meat).

But when you are taking another big step in your life towards becoming a man (and for me, having your first steak dinner with your dad was one of those),it was more the event itself and its symbolism that mattered, not the steak sauce or whether it was a ribeye or a t-bone (sorry, filet was still too expensive).

Today, Chambers has long since been gobbled up by the Vanderbilt Medical Center, while the Flaming Steer has also headed for the last roundup. In fact, its location on West End has housed a Mrs. Winner's Fried Chicken restaurant for several years now.

More on the places around Vanderbilt where we went to eat in some upcoming postings. We are now here everyday through Reunion Weekend, October 24-25, trying to get your memories refreshed and your mind in the mood for a great time as the Centennial Class returns to Vanderbilt for our 35th Class Reunion.

By the way, we are still looking for winners in the VU trivia contest. The questions are contained in the posting right below. Many of the answers can also be found in earlier postings on this site, including the name of the first Vandy dorm to go co-ed (to help someone who missed that question).


Steve said...


You mean to tell me in four years of the News Council we never drug you to The Flaming Steer?

To compare it to Bonanza was insulting to Hoss and Little Joe, but it did sustain life. The steaks were very similar to Chambers, but they cost a little less.

For steak, the best place I found in our four years was The House, also noted for those incredibly hot beans they served.

Every Tuesday I had a standing "date" Sophomore and Junior years with "Miss Kitty" at Lums. She was a grad student waiting tables back then. By tipping her the princely sum of 50 cents a pop, I was soon enjoying free cheesecake and drinks, and all the flirting I could handle for those two years.

Oh, the horror when she graduated and left me to have to pay full price our Senior year!

Another ptomaine palace of the era was The Burger Boy on Division. A grade B Krystal joint noted for having Scott Shannon of WMAK making a running joke imitating The Burger Boy on his radio show every night.

Scott Shannon is now announcer at the beginning of the Sean Hannity show every afternoon. And he doesn't imitate The Burger Boy anymore.

Does anybody remember Pat Sajek starting out doing the weekend weather on Chanel Four? He also was "Your Announcer" on all the late night movies for those years.

I once ran into him eating with Dan Miller (still at Chanel Four) at the House of Pizza on White Bridge Road. You want a WHOLE gondola!?!

Steve Womack

Anonymous said...

The voice who did the Burger Boy on Scott Shannon's show was Mike Donegan who is now the public address announcer for the Tennessee Titans.