Who Remembers…York Steakhouse?

Decisions, Decisions!

Here is another installment in our Who Remembers? series. You can browse previous articles by using the search bar on the right. These articles are strolls down memory lane. In some cases the buildings, but new businesses have replaced them. In other instances, the buildings or even the properties have been razed. Instead of a building, it may be a TV show, personality, or commercial that no one longer exists. Either way, it can’t stop us from taking the Memory Lane stroll!

As always we would rather this be a discussion. No one knows this area better than those who grew up here! Please, leave constructive criticism, feedback, and corrections. We’d love to hear your anecdotes. Please share!

Just mentioning the words York Steakhouse evokes not only memories, but I swear I can smell a mouth-watering sirloin being grilled. Like Sunbeam Bread, driving by the building and through the aroma stopped all conversation in its tracks. The chain’s North Dartmouth location was a special treat growing up. I always felt like I must have done something good to deserve a dinner there. There also wasn’t a lot of arm twisting when it came to convincing my mom to take the family there!

If you lived under a rock, you have never heard of the national chain owned by cereal makers General Mills and served steak and potatoes like nobody’s business. Started some time in the 1970s, York Steakhouse was incredibly popular until the majority were shut down by 1989 when General Mills sold, leaving only a handful of independently run and owned restaurants. They were positioned strategically within a strip mall or within eye-sight of a shopping mall – as was the case with the North Dartmouth location.

When you arrived the symbols, plaques on the walls with images of what was available, iron chandeliers, and the battlements made you feel like a king, queen, prince or princess. You would queue, stare at all the plaques – making it even more difficult to make a choice; “I’ll have the Sirloin Strip with…no, I’ll have the Sirloin Tips…um…I mean, I’ll have the Ribe-Eye…oh crud.”

After making the difficult choice, you got a tray and headed into the “cafeteria serving section” where you could pick things a-la-carte, like salad, utensils, dessert (flaming cherries Jubilee anyone?), butter, sour cream, soup and drinks. Then one would tell your order to the cashier, he/she would ring you up and give you a little plastic sign and you would head into the dining room – with salivary glands exploding. Do you remember the coding system of the signs? Look at the end of the article to see if you are right!

I’m unsure whether the case is either that I never ate a bad meal their or it was the entire experience that made everything taste better than it was. As of 2011, only one city in America has a York Steakhouse, so if you want to relive the experience, you’ll have to head to Columbus, Ohio near the Westland Mall.

Meal Options:

  1. – 8 oz. Sirloin Strip Steak, Baked Potato, Roll, Salad
  2. – Sirloin Tips on Skewer, Baked Potato, Roll, Salad
  3. – 8 oz. Chopped Sirloin, Baked Potato, Roll, Salad
  4. – 4 oz. Chopped Sirloin Sandwich, Steak Fries
  5. (Lunch Item Only) – 6 oz. Chopped Sirloin, Steak Fries, Roll, Salad
  6. (Lunch Item Only) – 4 oz. Rib-Eye Steak, Baked Potato, Roll, Salad
  7. – Chef’s Salad

Serving Sign Codes:

2 Red tags stacked=Very Rare
White and Red stacked=Med Rare
White and Brown Stacked=Med Well
2 Brown tags stacked=Very Well

Did you work at York Steakhouse? Do you recall the “kitchen french” that was used to call out the orders? Here are a few I uncovered during my research.

  • Tre Tre Cinya=Very Rare (Cinya is pronounced Sin-yaw)
  • Tre Cinya=Rare
  • Lay Tre Cinya=Medium Rare
  • Cinya=Medium
  • Lay Beonque=Medium Well (Beonque is pronounced Bee-on-kwee)
  • Beouque=Well
  • Tre Beonque=Very Well

I also found these interesting anecdotal codes:

“Check the ice” meant there was an attractive female, “CTI deux fois” meant two attractive girls back-to-back, and “Check the iced tea” was for attractive men.


Photo Guide
1. Ad showing items and prices from decades ago. Visit by Snoopy too!
2. “Everything a store should be!”
3. “Capitol Theatre” today
4. The castle like appearance that drew kids.
5. Vintage photo of a child world.
6. Creative toy display from the 1960s.
7. Holly Hobby!
8. Peter Panda on skates!

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