Staring - I agree completely with Rich. To a canine, whether it is a dog, coyote, or wolf, a hard stare is a form of a challenge. This could be enough to scare your neighbor's wimp dog off but will harden the resolve of the combat vet stray. I've seen dogs be provoked to attack just from being stared at. Just as in any fight, a non-focused watchfulness is, IMO, the way to go.
Also, in addition to my previous comment about not running (unless you have a safe place *very* close) I would suggest not turning your back and keeping your eyes on the alpha dog at all times. Seems obvious but I just want to throw it out there.
As for the steak idea, hey, why not?
Seriously, though, if your walking home from the store with that grocery bag throwing down some food could get you some extra time to back off to a safe place.