The purchase of a state-of-the-art infrared broiler, which can reach 1,800 degrees in 90 seconds, has led restaurateur Arthur V. Sboro to beef up his menu.
The broiler is used to sizzle steaks and chops at his family-owned establishment at 836 Coffeen St., which unveiled a new name to reflect its meatier menu: Sboro’s Restaurant & Chop House. Mr. Sboro and his brother, Steven P., have co-owned the eatery for the past 21 years. Arthur manages Sboro’s, while Steven manages Art’s Jug, an Italian restaurant at 820 Huntington St.
The brothers decided that the 20th anniversary was an ideal occasion to make a big change. Arthur, 61, was inspired to expand Sboro’s menu after visiting a restaurant in Estero, Fla., two years ago while vacationing with his family.
Surprisingly, “the restaurant serves Italian food and sushi on its menu,” a combination Mr. Sboro said he hadn’t expected. “I told my brother we could merge our menu’s traditional dishes with a steak-and-chop theme. We did it to add to our customer base here.”
Featured on the new menu are a 28-ounce porterhouse, a 16-ounce New York strip steak, a 12-ounce sirloin, a porterhouse pork chop, a veal loin chop and chop-house chicken.
Diners also will notice a host of interior improvements: new paint, chairs, upholstery and lighting. The work was completed over the past month by Mr. Sboro’s wife, Heather L., who spent nights refurbishing the restaurant after business hours.
Mr. Sboro’s 25-year-old son, Arthur J., who earned a culinary degree from Jefferson Community College in 2009, recently was promoted to become a cook and host at Sboro’s. Last week, he demonstrated how the new South Bend broiler efficiently cooks slabs of meat.
“It sears the outside of the steak and keeps the juices in, and we can do a thicker, bigger steak,” the younger Mr. Sboro said. “It has enough heat to cook the top of the steak and bottom at the same time.”
And the result, he contended, rivals some of the top steakhouses in the country.
“This is a good opportunity for us to compete with chop houses here, and show customers we can do quality steaks and provide a family-restaurant experience,” he said. “They don’t have to go to Texas Roadhouse.”
Cook Mathieu D. Mitchell, who has worked at Sboro’s for eight years, lauded the way the broiler cooks steaks effortlessly. He has cooked up to 15 steaks at once on the broiler, finishing that job in about five minutes — about half the time it took on the old grill.
“It saves labor time, and the steaks are a lot juicier and keep the flavor that is sometimes lost on a regular charcoal grill when they cook too long,” the 31-year-old said.
The Sboro brothers launched Sboro’s in 1992, retrofitting the original homestead owned by their Italian grandmother, Marie Anzalone Sboro.
“I remember the old homestead was falling down at the time, and Fort Drum was expanding, so we decided to open a second location” to complement Art’s Jug, Mr. Sboro said. “It’s taken 20 years for the restaurant to evolve to this point, and it’s going to continue evolving for 20 more.”
Sboro’s Restaurant & Chop House is open from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.