Dads are tough to buy for. It seems like they don’t want anything, and you can’t even give them flowers as a safe standby. So we asked a few office dads what they like, and these are the gifts they came up with.
Dad likes to think of himself as a master griller, but chances are he can't quite match the meat cooked up at one of the city's best steakhouses. Until now. Sous-vide cooking is a game-changer when it comes to steaks. Just seal your meat in a Ziploc bag and submerge it in a pot of water heated to precise temperatures using a little wand from Anova. An hour later, you can have a perfect medium rib-eye that's been heated to exactly 133 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, throw on a pat of butter and sear it on the grill or in a cast-iron pan—neither Ruth nor Chris could do it any better.
Painted Hills Rib-Eye Steaks
The Meat Monger at Providore Fine Foods, $20/pound.
The scent of steaks on the grill is the epitome of summer. We recently blind-tasted rib-eyes from seven Portland butcher shops to find the best ones in town. The winner? Painted Hills, Oregon’s biggest name in natural beef—no antibiotics, no chemicals and no hormones. We found it to be fatty as hell and blooming with beef flavor, with fat marbled through the protein and a crescendo of umami that builds to an unctuous grace note that lingers in its beefiness. It’s also a gift to yourself, because maybe Dad will cook ’em up while you’re there.
Say Dad wants to try out a new recipe, or watch “the game” while making dinner? Instead of standing his iPad up against the wall or letting it fall on a few books, get him something he probably wouldn’t buy himself: a bamboo stand. This one is slick, and won’t set you back much.
French Press from Bodum
One of the most famous designs in the world of coffee, Bodum released its French press in 1974. Not only does it look slick on a counter, but its base is made of chrome-plated brass, which guarantees its longevity. (Dads always seem to like this.)
Heat Indicator Fry Pan from T-Fal
The aluminum signature pan has what T-Fal dubs its "Thermo-Spot," a patterned dot at the center of the pan that turns solid red when it reaches optimum preheating temp. It's also lightweight with a comfy soft-touch plastic handle and tall sides, which will keep your eggs from sliding and does a credible job of browning your hashes.
Spiegelau IPA Glasses
Amazon.com, $21.95 for 2
Dad's going to get thirsty from all this cooking! Germany's Spiegelau, one of the world's elite glassware makers, teamed up with Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head and Ken Grossman of Sierra Nevada to design this glass specifically for IPA. It has a rounded top with a wide mouth to concentrate the aromas of the hops and allow them to emerge forcefully from the glass while a narrow, ribbed bottom keeps the beer cool. It feels great in your hand and really does seem to make IPAs taste better.
Bull & Stash makes high-quality leather notebooks, and bills them as "the last notebook you'll ever need." This isn't an exaggeration: Once you fill it up, you can order refills of paper for $7, meaning your old notes are easier to save, and you're doing major earth-saving efforts, as well. Plus, dads love being minimal.
Depending how old your dad is, he might remember when these were cool the first time. Well, they're cool again, and chances are he threw them out—along with his youthful dreams once you were born. Luckily, adidas has its American headquarters here, so you can go pick up a new pair for your stylin' dad. He'll love wearing them, post-golf or post-hike.
For the active dad, this nylon duffel backpack is small enough to use as carry-on luggage, and big enough to pack for a weeklong trip. But the coolest part is that you can convert it into a backpack using the additional straps and a huge pocket at the base of the bag. Also, one of the colors is "whiskey."