Berman's matchbook
(eBay and iStock)

Through the years, Berman’s had built a national reputation on steaks and chops.

The walls were paneled in heavy wood … The chairs and bar stools comfortable … the steaks and chops generous.

The crowds of people who came to Berman’s Chop House were big-time athletes, newspaper men and women, visiting celebrities and many salesmen … A sort of New York’s Toots Shor’s.

Through the years, Berman’s had built a national reputation on steaks and chops, which were about 85 percent of the business.

At one time, it had two coolers filled with about 10,000 pounds of aging U.S. prime beef … Its strip sirloins and tenderloins were cut after 14 to 18 days.

Berman’s steaks came in six convenient sizes … A large sirloin and a big tenderloin, a bigger sirloin and tenderloin, a club steak and a ground sirloin steak.

Its lamb chops averaged three ribs each and were almost as thick … It also featured thick cuts of roast prime ribs, trout, whitefish and frog legs … The cottage-fried potatoes were particularly good.

The kitchen at Berman’s was another point of interest … During the dinner hour, there were at least seven men in the tiny open kitchen … It was a lesson in efficiency to watch them work … They hardly had room to turn around, but they got everything done.

Plus the food … especially the steaks … a sort of floor show went on … Folks laughed at the fellow chopping cottage fries from an above site … as a cigarette dangled from his mouth with the long ash never falling on the dishes.

When Harry Berman originally owned it, the consideration was only that his restaurant was just another good steak house … But after being bought by Ben Kasle, whose family owned Kasle Steel, those words were changed considerably … Legend has it that Ben discovered the corners of the steaks were being cut and tossed away … He is said to have immediately brought in a large cutter/chopper and began saving those corners … which caused a dining sensation when placed on the menu as Chopped Sirloins … coupled with an ultra-array of very thin cottage-fried potatoes … Talk was of changing the name from Berman’s to Benny’s, but that was short-lived and Berman’s stayed in all its glory … Between its wonderful steaks, lamb chops, chopped sirloins and fantastic cottage fries, among a luscious array of food, it became a big favorite.

There never again was another Berman’s.

DID YOU KNOW DEPT. … That there still is a Ginopolis’ Bar-BQ even though the one on 12 Mile in Farmington Hills is closed? …It was opened by one of the two brothers … Peter is serving them at his Ginopolis’ in nearby Brighton.

OLDIE BUT GOODIES SHORTIES … Patient: “I have a ringing in my ears” … Doctor, “Don’t answer!” … Q: Why don’t some Jewish mothers drink? … A: Alcohol interferes with their suffering.

CONGRATS …… To Amy Wechsler on her birthday … To Jeanette Olson on her birthday … To Melissa Litvin on her birthday … To Jerry Olson on his 85th birthday … To Herb and Audrey Saperstein on their 64th anniversary.

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