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Old 03-03-2012, 10:46 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danbuter View Post
Why do steakhouses ask me to cut my steak right away?
It's an insurance thing. They want to make sure you are capable of handling sharp implements without hurting yourself.
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:21 PM   #42
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@ Claire: We have alot in common palate wise

Claire,

Blue rare steak, carpacchio & steak tartar ... Oh yes ... Alot in common palate wise ...

I had never experienced a questioning by a waiter or waitress as to how my steak or meat, was ... Normally, in Spain: the waiter or waitress stands away from the table --- and observes ... if not too busy with other tables ...

In Italia, it is very rare that I would order steak ... Carpacchio yes ... Pasta yes ... Pizza, yes ... the specialty of a specific zone in a province yes ...

Thanks for the interesting post and message.
Margi.
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:27 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Claire View Post
Funny how we all think differently. I've never had anyone ask me to cut into my steak at a restaurant, and never thought about it. But, I'm with Margi on blue steaks (the first time I heard that description for very rare I cracked up)(It was a French waiter in Hawaii, if I asked for my steak blue around here they'd ... well, they already think I'm a little crazy, this would erase all doubt). I want it seared on the outside, warm through, and that's it. Anyway, I'd prefer the waiter ask than to have to return the steak. You can put an undercooked steak back on the grill, but you cannot uncook a too-well-done steak. SO I never bother to return a steak that for me is over-done. By the time I get my meal, the rest of the table is done. If it is a place I plan on returning, then I make my displeasure known to owner, manager, or maitre d' (I've finally lived somewhere long enough that I can actually wait and do this at a different time so I don't cast a pall on our dinner party). If I'm just passing through, I don't bother. A waiter asking me to cut into it might actually give the restaurant time to grill me another steak (or put someone whose might be under-done back on) before the entire table is finishing their meal.

I rarely do a good steak at home simply because the quality of the steaks is better at restaurants, and since I don't do them often at home, I'm worse at judging the steak's done-ness than any restaurant!

I can't see finding a waiter's "Is everything OK?" as an insult. It sure as heck beats having a person at the table wanting another drink and having to crane your neck to find your waiter. If I didn't want the attention of a waiter, I'd eat at home. I like eating out, and want that attention.

Now, this is with the understanding that I'm not talking $100+/plate restaurants where you have a waiter dedicated to your table or maybe one other, with no turnover, and all the chefs are that, high end. There's no place like that in the entire tri-state area (and, yes, I've been to them).

And, Margi, I LOVE steak tartare and carpacio.
I don't find it insulting if I am asked this question, I just feel that it conveys uneasiness with back of the house.
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:31 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammster

And why I wouldn't order steak at Red Lobster.
If you have to ask me to do the chef's job, then I don't need to eat steak at your establishment.
Just last night we had steak at a fine dining place here in Idyllwild. Not a word was mentioned or a question asked about doneness of the steak. And, yes, I know Red Lobster isn't a fine dining place, but they should still employ people who can properly cook meat. It ain't that hard, really.
Believe it or not, I go to Coco's for their meat. They cook it right every time. Seriously, it ain't hard. Now, veggies there are another issue. Yeesh.
You're right- red lobster is considered casual dining, and at our location our grill masters do know how to properly cook meat. In a perfect world, every steak would be done correctly, but with the number of steaks that go out it just doesn't happen every time (our restaurant seats 300-400 people at a time, and we sometimes have to stop seating people to let the kitchen catch up because they can't fit anything else on the grill, and the orders are stacking up). I've worked there for about a year and have had to bring back three steaks. I don't think that constitutes "not knowing how to cook meat". However, I do my very best to make sure the customers are happy with everything before I walk away from the table, and that includes giving the opportunity to check your steak. In a perfect world, I would be back in exactly two minutes to make sure everyone is happy, and 9 times out of 10 I would be, but once in awhile it might be more like 5 minutes because I'm back making salads for another table or something. Your opinion isn't wrong, it is just your opinion after all, but from a servers point of view, if there is even a small chance something might be wrong, I want to find out so I can fix it right away. I just don't see how saying, "No thank you, I'd prefer to cut into my steak later," is such a huge inconvenience. Trying to please everyone when there is such a wide range of preferences and opinions is a really tough job, and in my opinion, being annoyed because a server asks if everything is tasting ok is a little over the top.
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:28 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Margi Cintrano View Post
I had never experienced a questioning by a waiter or waitress as to how my steak or meat, was ... Normally, in Spain: the waiter or waitress stands away from the table --- and observes ... if not too busy with other tables ...
Because they actually seem to have a genuine interest in the customer's experience. Not a personal interest, although it can become close to that after long mutual experience. But a professional interest beyond fishing for a tip. That kind of professional doesn't have to ask if everything is good. That kind probably shortstopped any questionable food before it got to the table, not that there's likely to be a problem in a place that employs good waiters. And they most certainly don't continually intrude. The waiter is NOT a member of the dining party.
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:44 PM   #46
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in my experience here near nyc, blue is not the same as rare. blue is effectively raw in the center, with maybe a tiny bit of rare just inside a barely cooked surface. the raw part should be no more than room temp. not warm.

black and blue is a well charred surface with a raw, cool center.
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:10 PM   #47
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I like the French term, saignante, it means bleeding. That's how I like my steak.
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:43 PM   #48
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i should add that i've never been asked to cut into a steak when it was served unless it was the second one they'd brought because of a problem with the first one.

however, almost all good waiters will ask if everything is ok, or better yet is everything to my liking, after they've seen you take a few bites of whatever you've ordered.
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:50 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom View Post
i should add that i've never been asked to cut into a steak when it was served unless it was the second one they'd brought because of a problem with the first one.

however, almost all good waiters will ask if everything is ok, or better yet is everything to my liking, after they've seen you take a few bites of whatever you've ordered.
In principle, I like the idea of the wait staff asking if everything is to my liking. But, in practice, they usually interrupt my conversation and don't listen to the answer.
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Old 03-03-2012, 03:40 PM   #50
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It's too bad that restaurants don't have a "call waiter" button similar to the airline "call stewardess" button.
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