One-on-one with Jeff Ruby: The story behind Joe Burrow's favorite steak

Jeff Ruby shares the history of the relationship between his restaurants, the Bengals, and Joe Burrow
Steak Burrow
Joe Burrow
Posted at 7:57 AM, Jul 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-08 12:08:46-04

CINCINNATI — It’s more than your typical steakhouse.

"It became a celebrity hang out, it was all rock stars, jock stars, and pop stars,” Jeff Ruby said.

From world leaders to Hollywood's biggest names, Jeff Ruby’s was the place to be, however the biggest Cincinnati sports stars received a special place in the restaurant.

“Steak Collinsworth rolled off the tongue pretty cool too. The Collinsworth name sounded good too. He was a rookie. So he went on the menu. He’s been on the menu for 42 years,” Ruby said,

Jeff Ruby’s restaurants are definitely not sports bars, but he names dishes after athletes, recognizing the importance to keep a tie to the teams that Cincinnati residents love.

"Our guests want that, they like that. They recommend on twitter, they start tweeting and DMing me why don’t you name a steak after this one or after that one,” Ruby said.

The secret for a celebrity to get their name on Jeff Ruby's menu?

“A lot of them ask. They ask to be on the menu. I’m talking about major players. I’m talking about stars in their sports,” Ruby said.

Today’s biggest star in Cincinnati did not have to ask.

“Long before Joe Burrow was a Bengal, there was a Steak Burrow taste test in Columbus,” Ruby said.

Although almost the entire football world thought Joe Burrow was going to be the next Bengals quarterback, Ruby explains Steak Burrow found its spot on the menu for a different reason.

“When I saw the speech he gave, accepting the Heisman Trophy,” Ruby said.

“I’m up there for all those kids in Athens, Athens county who go home with not a lot of food on the table, hungry after school. You guys could be up here too,” Burrow said in his Heisman trophy acceptance speech in 2020.

“That moved me. That’s when I thought about, our foundation deals with similar things, childhood poverty in Cincinnati,” Ruby said.

The table was set, and the next step was connecting Steak Burrow to Joe Burrow.

“It’s an esoteric process, we get creative,” Ruby said.

The Heisman trophy speech inspired the name – it’s only fitting the meal be an ode to Burrow’s alma mater, Louisiana State University: Cajun style. A 14-ounce blackened strip with original creole crawfish sauce.

It’s one thing to name a steak after someone, it’s another to win them over entirely.

On the "Full Send Podcast," Burrow said that he regularly orders the "Steak Burrow."

A portion of profits go towards The Joe Burrow Hunger Relief Fund.