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Old 03-02-2012, 09:03 AM   #1
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Why do steakhouses ask me to cut my steak right away?

Over the last year or so, every time I go into a steakhouse (multiple restaurants), the server asks me to cut into the steak right away. I know they want to make sure it's done, but it's really bad if you want your steak to taste good, as steak needs to sit for 10 minutes or so. I wish this would stop.

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Old 03-02-2012, 09:33 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danbuter View Post
Over the last year or so, every time I go into a steakhouse (multiple restaurants), the server asks me to cut into the steak right away. I know they want to make sure it's done, but it's really bad if you want your steak to taste good, as steak needs to sit for 10 minutes or so. I wish this would stop.

Do you ask for it to be very rare or very well done? If so, maybe they want to know if it's right so they don't have to deal with it later.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:36 AM   #3
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Medium rare. The ONLY way to eat steak.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:39 AM   #4
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I believe restaurants allow the steak to rest in the kitchen. You don't need to let it rest when it comes to your table. If the server wants you to cut into it right away, it's to check if the doneness is to your satisfaction. What this really means is they don't trust the person cooking the steaks and they've likely had plenty of steaks returned to the kitchen because they weren't the right doneness. I've never been asked to do this and likely would ask the server why if they did ask me to do it. Is this a Pennsylvania thing to ask customers to cut into a steak to verify doneness? You say multiple restaurants. Were they all the same chain?
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:42 AM   #5
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Medium rare. The ONLY way to eat steak.
I have to disagree (only slightly, and mostly in jest). Mid rare is borderline overdone in my book. Blue to rare works for me. Although I wouldn't turn away a mid rare steak.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:55 AM   #6
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Hoss's and Texas Roadhouse both ask. I think one or two other more general purpose restaurants ask, as well, though I can't name them right now (poor memory).
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:16 AM   #7
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Here's a very interesting essay for prospective waiters on steaks. It offers some good insights on the difference between waiting at a competent restaurant and a less than competent one.

Steak and meat temperatures « So You Want To Be A Waiter

Excerpt:

Should a waiter ask for the guest to cut into their steak to “make sure it’s cooked the way you like”? Opinion is divided on this. My thought is that you’re admitting that your kitchen might not be able to hit the desired temperature. Better to ask if “everything is cooked to your liking” at the first check-back (no later than 3 minutes after service). And don’t ask if the steaks are cooked that way – just ask “if everything” is cooked correctly. It’s best not to show concern about a specific product. However, as always, follow your house policies on this.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:45 AM   #8
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I usually only get asked to cut the steak right away when I have sent my overcooked steak back.

I am picky and like mine rarer than most people.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:12 AM   #9
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Thanks GLC, that was interesting.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammster View Post
I believe restaurants allow the steak to rest in the kitchen. You don't need to let it rest when it comes to your table. If the server wants you to cut into it right away, it's to check if the doneness is to your satisfaction. What this really means is they don't trust the person cooking the steaks and they've likely had plenty of steaks returned to the kitchen because they weren't the right doneness.
I don't see how any reasonable person could think otherwise.

I like the solution proposed later in the topic: the waiter should check back in 3 minutes and ask if "everything" is okay without specifically mentioning the check. Then they won't erode the customer's trust in kitchen competence.
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