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If you're a closet carnivore, join the crowd. Lurking inside
many an ostensibly healthy eater is a steak lover waiting to chow
down. That's why diners are flocking to the nation's
premier steakhouses in
Although steakophiles in Zagat Restaurant Surveys rave about a number of excellent chains, here are their recommendations for some outstanding independent steakhouses.
New York:Peter Lugar Steak House, (718) 387-7400. OK, it's in Brooklyn and in a seedy location. But any connoisseur will tell you it's worth the pilgrimage to this mecca of meat. Smith & Wollensky, (212) 753-1530; and Sparks, (212) 687-4855. These steak havens in midtown Manhattan feature steaks the size of your table.
Dallas:Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House, (214) 490-9000. Even in its new location, Del Frisco's still packs in crowds hungry for its incredible steaks.
Atlanta:Chops, (404) 262-2675; and Bones, (404) 237-2663. Both are clubby in feel and classic in their presentation of high-quality megasteaks.
Kansas City:Plaza III, (816) 753-0000. This restaurant is known for steaks as big as roasts and its awesome steak soup.
Cleveland:Hyde Park Grille, (216) 321-6444. In a town that takes its steaks seriously, this chophouse sweeps the field. People come from near and far for the spectacular red meat.
Caring for elderly parents is daunting enough without adding business ownership to the mix. But if you're the sibling who is closest to your parents-either emotionally or geographically-you may end up doing most of the work. How can you get your siblings to pull their weight?
Call an "I need help" meeting. Suggest three possible dates about a month away, so no one will have an excuse to duck out of it.
Outline key points you want to discuss. Bring the list to the meeting; it shows you've thought it through.
Be specific when describing problems. Use statistics to make points ("Mom called me six times in one day to ask how much money she had in the bank").
Get feedback. If your sibs aren't saying anything, ask them what they're thinking. Expect everything from sympathy to denial to defensiveness.
Add comic relief. Relay an anecdote that's funny but will also help others understand what you're up against.
When dividing up duties, ask everyone to consider several things: 1) their skills and preferences, 2) their time availability, and 3) their geographic distance. Siblings living far away still can call their parents regularly, provide money for caretaking or arrange for parents to come visit them.
At the end of the meeting, gain closure. Recap what's been decided, and agree to stay in touch at regular intervals.
First we read that alcohol is the root of all medical evil; then we're told a daily drink is good for your health. One week butter is bad; the next it's margarine that does you in. How do you sort out such conflicting medical assertions?
"The public has a right to be confused," says Dale Ogar, managing editor of the University of California Berkeley Wellness Letter. To separate the wheat from the chaff, Ogar urges a common-sense approach:
Don't rush to change your health habits with each new report, especially if it flies in the face of everything you know.
If the research was an animal study, be cautious about generalizing.
Beware of hype.
Consider the number of study participants and its length. Pay attention, too, to who funded the study (a factor that may bias it).
Watch for key words. "May" does not mean "will." "Contributes to" does not mean "causes."
Check out the following newsletters, which look at new studies with an experienced and skeptical eye:
Consumer Reports on Health, monthly 8-pager, $24 annually, (800) 234-2188.
Environmental Nutrition, monthly 8-pager, $30 annually, (800) 829-5384.
University of California Berkeley Wellness Letter, monthly 8-pager, $24 annually, (904) 445-6414.
University of California Berkeley Wellness Letter, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-7360.