A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from March 22, 2009
Cube Steak

Entry in progress—B.P.
Wikipedia: Cube steak
Cube steak is a cut of beef, usually top round or top sirloin, tenderized by fierce pounding with a meat mallet, or use of an electric tenderizer. Many professional cooks insist that regular tenderizing mallets cause too much mashing to produce a proper cube steak, and insist on either using specialized cube steak machines, or manually applying a set of sharp pointed rods to pierce the meat in every direction. This is the most common cut of meat used for chicken fried steak.
Minute steak
In some parts of the United States, cube steak may be called a minute steak, because it can be cooked quickly.
Others distinguish minute steak as:
. minute steak is simply a cut, not necessarily tenderized;
. minute steak is thinner than cube steak (hence does not need tenderizing);
. minute steak is cut from sirloin or round, while cube steak cut from chuck or round.
Epicurious.com: Food Dictionary
cube steak
A flavorful cut of beef taken from the top or bottom ROUND and tenderized (or cubed) by running it through a butcher’s tenderizing machine once or twice. Cube steak would be too tough to eat without being tenderized.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Main Entry: cube steak
Function: noun
Date: 1930
: a thin slice of beef that has been cubed
8 March 1914, Daily Kennebec Journal (Kennebec, ME),  pg. 4, col. 1 ad:
Cube Steak, lb. 28c
3 January 1928, Fitchburg (MA) Sentinel, pg. 2, col. 2 ad:
After the theater, try a toasted cube steak sandwich at the Barbecue. It’s different.  Advt.
9 February 1928, Reno (NV) Evening Gazette, pg. 8, col. 7 ad:
Try our Special Cube Steak Sandwich. Monarch Cafe. Adv.
9 October 1928, Lowell (MA) Sun, pg. 5 ad:
Delicious CUBE STEAK
Cook one minute on each side, lb. ... 45c
(A & P supermarket—ed.)
Google News Archive
24 August 1933, Winthrop (MN) News, pg. 3, col. 5 ad:
Announcing to Our Customers
We are operating a Cube Steak machine and can fill your orders for
Come in, let us show it to you.
1 April 1934, New York (NY) Times, pg. RE10 classified ad:
SPECIALTY SALESMEN…to introduce fully patented genuine ‘Cube’ Steak machines to markets, restaurants, institutions; commission basis. Write Cube Steak Machine Co., P. O. Box 506, Milford, Conn.
22 September 1936, Logansport (IN) Pharos-Tribune, pg. 5, col. 1 ad:
14 March 1959, New York (NY) Times, pg. 18:
Food News: Meat Cuts
Lack of Standardization Prevalent—
Expert Drafts Chart to End Confusion

Flank steak (Braise): also called London Broil, but only top-qaulity flank can be broiled. Scored to cut the fibres, this is called minute or cube steak and can be pan-fried.
Bonless sirloin steak (Broil or pan-broil): Loin strip steak, top loin steak, New York steak, Kansas City steak, club steak, Delmonico steak, shell steak, strip steak, boneless top sirloin steak, boneless hotel steak, boneless hip steak, minute sirloin steak.
New York (NY) Times
Turning to Cube Steak, and Back to Childhood
Published: March 3, 2009
I AM in love with the cube steak.
The term “cube” can be a little murky. It doesn’t refer to the shape of the meat, which is usually beef but is sometimes made from pork, elk or other animals. Rather, it refers to both the shape of the dimples that checkerboard the surface of cube steak and the process that puts the dimples there.
Although pounding tough pieces of beef to make them more tender has a long history in the Southern and Western United States, it wasn’t until patents on mechanized cubing machines were handed out in the 1930s and 1940s that the cube steak became an inexpensive butcher shop staple.
The machines are usually stainless-steel cases with innards fashioned from rollers covered in dozens of teeth sharp enough to pierce flesh cleanly. There are top-feeding home machines with cranks that do the job, too.
As the steaks caught on, the term “cubing” entered the lexicon to describe other ways of dimpling a tough piece of meat to make it tender, whether the tool was a medieval looking mallet, a handheld device with thin blades or even the edge of a heavy plate.
As an added perk, the dimples provide more surface area for flour to cling to, which makes for crisper cutlets in applications like chicken-fried steaks.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Sunday, March 22, 2009 • Permalink

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