Food on the Move: TD’s
 Alibi V.28 No.33 • Aug 15-21, 2019 

Food on the Move

When Looking for Tail, TD’s Succeeds

TD’s Showclub manages a surprisingly good surf and turf

What’s not to enjoy in this picture?
What’s not to enjoy in this picture?
Eric Williams Photography
With this week being our Back to School issue, many students are finding alternative income streams to supplement the semester, and the age-old profession of nude dancing is arguably one of the most lucrative. In the logs of the life of Dan Pennington, one of the more bizarre occurrences of my high school years had me being close friends with an adult dancer. She was a very good friend who worked at one of the local clubs, but she also worked the phones and the built-in store for a bit of side cash. I was often invited to come have lunch with her while she worked, and my senior year was full of open blocks around lunch, so I obliged. The amount of times I ate lunch in a strip club while in high school was, honestly, shocking. I would show up with Chinese food or pizza or the next great discovery we had found to sit at the front counter and talk about comics with my friend while (typically) older men came in to peruse sex toys.

But I never ate there during club hours, and as far as I knew, there was never a kitchen on site. Well, for 11 years, I never gave any more thought to it, and never had much interest in going back. Until I saw the sign for $12 steak and lobster Friday nights at TD’s Eubank Showclub (2120 Eubank Blvd. NE). “There’s no way that can be good, right?” I remarked to a friend I was driving with. They shrugged and went back to mindlessly scrolling on their phone, but the seed was planted. I had to know: How comparable is a strip club dinner to a sit down restaurant?

In the interest of full disclosure, I did let them know we were coming a day ahead of time, namely to sort out issues with photography. It’s been a long time since I had last visited such a club, but I remember pretty clearly that walking in with a camera and a bunch of equipment to shoot with typically goes over badly. That said, I wanted this to be up-front and honest, so I’ll just treat it like I would any place else.

I really don’t know what I was expecting. Half of me was bracing for some of the most heinous food poisoning of my life. I was admittedly a little shocked when the food came out. The presentation of the plate was fairly professional. It was laid out exactly as it is in the picture, with a nice salad in the center. And so there I was, after a strip club photo session, standing over a Surf and Turf dinner and jumping right in.

Presentation is on point at TD’s.
Presentation is on point at TD’s.
Eric Williams Photography

You know what? It was good. Plain and simple, I really liked it. I openly acknowledge that fresh seafood in the middle of the desert is a difficult thing to pull off, and I wasn’t holding them to the standards of some place like Pappadeaux. The lobster wasn’t overdone, it had a perfect amount of freshly squeezed lemon juice on it to accentuate the delicate flavors you’re looking for. The side of melted butter just helped add that extra bit of flavor on the tongue that brought a smile to my face. It didn’t taste super-fishy, it was soft and not chewy. Talking with the head chef, Elijah, the lobsters are handpicked by him and his team, and they get steamed and hit with fresh lemon and paprika, just like any high-end place you’d order lobster from.

The steak was a medium-rare cook, and I could tell from the taste of it, because I physically couldn’t see the color inside due to the dark interior of the club. That alone was incredible. It wasn’t super chewy, and it had been properly marinated. According to Elijah, they marinate it for 24 hours with a Worcestershire marinade, adding onion and garlic to help give it a more rounded profile, then lightly salt-and-peppered for the extra seasoning. It solidly outclassed steaks I’ve had at some local national chains.

When I spoke with Elijah about how they managed a rather large menu in a small kitchen staffed by two people, he brought up the fact that he’s been a cook for 17 years, and it’s not just another job, but something he loves. Just because it’s made in a strip club didn’t mean that quality or care suffered. They prep everything fresh daily, toss all the old and have a lot of pride in the work they do. For lunch that day, they had already done over 50 tickets.

Just look at how nice that lobster looks!
Just look at how nice that lobster looks!
Eric Williams Photography
Is this the city’s best surf and turf dinner? No, though I doubt that point was ever up for debate. Is it a really solid dinner for $12, and better than some places that sell those dinners for two to three times the price? Yeah, honestly, it is. I was expecting a lot to happen from this, but really the biggest thing was that I was earnestly impressed by the quality. It’s not a date night spot, though it could be a fun change of pace for couples. But if you are going out for the night with friends, need a solid place to kick off your Friday night and want to eat something good, give it a shot. It definitely beats watching Netflix with a microwave pizza.

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2120 Eubank Blvd NE
(505) 291-8282
http://www.tdsalbuquerque.com/gcontent/

Hours: Mon-Sat: 11am-2am, Sun: 4pm-midnight