Somehow Tad's Steaks has managed to survive the passage of time. I can remember lining up for a steak as a kid with my dad, when Tad's was in the heart of Times Square on 42nd Street. Back then you didn't really want to walk on 42nd Street. But Tad's was a destination; the poor man's steakhouse, and it still is today.
I decided to stop in to see just how much Tad's had changed over the years. Surprisingly, very little. The restaurant still has the look for a 1950's diner where toursists and locals gather. People lining up with bright orange trays, picking steaks from signs, like you pick a burger from McDonald's. Here a full-course meal (T-Bone, boneless sirloin and barbecued ribs etc) rings in at under 20 bucks. The guy at the grill was friendly enough as he kept the line moving as frames danced around the edges of each steak with the aroma of charred beef wafting into the air.
I pulled up with my tray and ordered a sirloin. The steak, with perfect grill marks and a bit of gristle around the edges, was cooked medium rare with a large helping of caramelized onions on top. There was a large piece of garlic bread on one side of the plate and baked potato that literally collapsed when poked with a fork. The meal overall was still quite tasty.
Now, you're looking for anything remotely considered gourmet, Tad's is not be your place. Try Peter Lugar's. But if you're looking for a stick-to-your-ribs, meat-and-potato meal then hit up Tad's. It won't break the bank. It's also part of the fabric that is New York.