Living just outside Chicago and with a good chunk of the community commuting into Chicago daily, most people living in the Region know how to appreciate a good steak. A good steak is thick, hearty, never cooked more than medium, and doesn’t need anything other than some salt and pepper. Being able to properly cook one is a fundamental of a good cook.
Normally, you’d have to travel into Chicago to find a good steak house and pay $50-100 a plate. For those in need, it’s a worthy adventure, but at best, a rare treat. Valparaiso is fortunate enough to have Kelsey’s Steakhouse, and it’s been a staple here for 30 years.
Kelsey's was started by the Blaney family 30 years ago this October, and was recently moved from where it sat next to Broadway Café on Morthland Drive to where it now sits next to Chase bank in front of Walmart. The dominating, larger than life cattle still sits out front, taunting you to try their 6-pound Challenge.
The 6-pound Challenge has only been accomplished by a few brave souls and requires the challenger to eat 96 ounces of steak, a salad, a baked potato and bread in 52 minutes.
Kelsey’s has more than just delicious Beef Tenderloin, a delightful Delmonico Ribeye and succulent Prime Rib. Their extensive menu includes Bosco Stix, which are cheese filled breadsticks brushed with homemade garlic butter and served with marinara. There’s also an extensive seafood menu with Fried Lake Perch, Grilled Garlic Shrimp, Alaskan Snow Crab, Bourbon Glazed Wild Salmon, and even Lobster Tail.
Last but certainly not least, they have a variety of sinful cakes and cheesecakes for dessert and an extensive wine list. A good steak sometimes just needs an excellent wine to pair it with for that truly decadent dinner experience.
Justin Oetinnger, who has worked for Peggy Hood for four years and is the General Floor Manager, originally hails from Chicago and fell in love with Valparaiso and Kelsey’s.
“I’ve been doing this for 20 years,” he said. “I’ve worked for corporate and family restaurants, but this place is my favorite. It really has that feel and tradition of clientele. It’s all the families that come here. It’s unique. There’s so much history and heritage and meaning to the town that we’re in.”
While checking over a sirloin covered in au jus that his cooks handed to the servers before they went out to a table, he couldn’t help but add, “I’m from Chicago but nothing has the feel that this place has.”
Peggy, Justin and the staff of Kelsey’s have spent years mastering their craft of cooking steak. A 30 year life span for any business, especially a restaurant, is a testament to the quality of the food and their service.
To learn more about Kelsey’s Steakhouse, click here!