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Old 02-14-2018, 09:14 PM   #1
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How to tell if restaurant food is pre-made...

I stumbled onto the YouTube video while doing a little YouTube surfing. It kind of confirms some of my suspicions...



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Old 02-14-2018, 09:26 PM   #2
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:08 PM   #3
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Well, yeah. Kind of a "duh, me stoopid" video.

That's why I hate to eat in chain restaurants. It's just a nicer fast food joint.

Or, why I rarely order things (except soup and salad which are obvioysly made ahead) that can be easily slopped out of a bin and nuked.
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:19 PM   #4
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Aw ha, yup... this is why I'm not real big on chain joints... oh wait a minute, we had linner at Olive Garden yesterday
Granted, we hadn't been there in like, what, maybe 10 years... don't like Applebees' or Chili's or Romano's Macaroni Grill.
Here in Cowboyville, we don't have that many chains anyways.
We've got Mom&Pop joints up here and you sit and wait for your food; it forces conversation, that is if you can get everyone to put down there devices...
I'd bet that they may use some frozen stuff, like that Friday Fish Fry that they love so much here... I don't care too much for fried fish, I prefer grilled
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom View Post
Well, yeah. Kind of a "duh, me stoopid" video.

That's why I hate to eat in chain restaurants. It's just a nicer fast food joint.

Or, why I rarely order things (except soup and salad which are obvioysly made ahead) that can be easily slopped out of a bin and nuked.
No surprise to me, either. But, If I walk into an Applebee's on a Saturday night, it will be packed. The video does shed some light on why I have never, ever, ever had a decent steak at Outback -- when I'm dragged there by "friends."

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Old 02-14-2018, 11:28 PM   #6
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Well, that's depressing.
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:38 PM   #7
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No surprise to me, either. But, If I walk into an Applebee's on a Saturday night, it will be packed. The video does shed some light on why I have never, ever, ever had a decent steak at Outback -- when I'm dragged there by "friends."

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HA!
We had an Outback here in cowboyville... they closed real quick!
HELLO!
This is COWboyville, they raise Beef here (and dang good stuff too) ... there are "... the five C's of Arizona: Copper, Cattle, Cotton, Citrus, and Climate.
I think they know their steak ... (as you would Casey ) ... not sure about those chains though
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Old 02-15-2018, 03:50 AM   #8
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And my SIL wonders why we won't go to the chain restaurants with them...

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...The video does shed some light on why I have never, ever, ever had a decent steak at Outback -- when I'm dragged there by "friends."
And yet we've had very good steaks when we've eaten at a Texas Roadhouse, pretty much the one chain we'll visit infrequently regular. If there is such a thing. Then again, they do have a cooler with raw steaks as you walk in, so they just might cook them from scratch.
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Old 02-15-2018, 06:52 AM   #9
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Pretty much figured that.
I have no problems with some of the chain restaurants, especially when traveling.
Might not be the best or freshest 'made at the moment' meal, but its nice to have some consistency when far away from home and dont feel like risking it. Also, when my kids were younger, and very finicky with what they eat, a familiar place on the road was the easiest way to deal with them.

That being said, being a vegetarian, we didn't have to worry about the meat/ or fish issues that the above video describes. Mostly pizza and pasta and saladwhich were fine.
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Old 02-15-2018, 06:57 AM   #10
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I try to never eat at a chain restaurant..I'll have a soup and a blt somewhere before going to one..
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Old 02-15-2018, 10:00 AM   #11
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And my SIL wonders why we won't go to the chain restaurants with them...


And yet we've had very good steaks when we've eaten at a Texas Roadhouse, pretty much the one chain we'll visit infrequently regular. If there is such a thing. Then again, they do have a cooler with raw steaks as you walk in, so they just might cook them from scratch.
I stand corrected.

We've also had good experiences in 2 Texas Roadhouses in 2 different states.

Also, I forgot about Carraba's. But they seem to be going downhill, imo


No matter where you go, you have to order things that you think have to be made to order. EVERTONE uses shortcuts in some way.
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Old 02-15-2018, 10:38 AM   #12
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We was eating at Texan Longhorn here in Sweden and we saw a guy walk into the kitchen with bags of the cheapest Lidl big fries ( think board walks fries), I knows these bags cost 1 dollar a kilo and well they arent good. I had I seen it before we order I had walked out because they charged us 8 dollar for their home made board walk fries... We just got our plates when he walked in to the kitchen with 20 bags of these..

6 months later that restaurant was closed.
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Old 02-15-2018, 11:57 AM   #13
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I cant remember the last time I ate in a sit-down chain restaurant. Maybe 6 years ago? Except Maggianos since its across the street from my office.


That video was pretty DUH ....
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Old 02-15-2018, 12:10 PM   #14
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Well, when everyone at the table orders medium rare steaks except for my wife who orders her's well done I tell the waiter to go ahead and nuke her's. Otherwise, we'd be done eating our's by the time my wife's steak arrives.
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Old 02-15-2018, 12:33 PM   #15
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I've never worked in a restaurant but it seems to me that quite a few things would have to be at least largely made in advance in order to be served in a reasonable amount of time. Any filled pasta, sauces like bolognese, baked potatoes, and any other item that either requires time consuming preparation or a long cooking time would have to be made in advance. The video cites risotto as an example of something that couldn't be served quickly if not made in advance, but I would be very surprised if a restaurant did not even start risotto until it was ordered.

Serving times at good restaurants usually don't go too much longer than 20 - 25 minutes, so that limits what can be made to order.
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Old 02-15-2018, 01:09 PM   #16
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I mostly make my decision on what I order depending on the restaurant. I would never order a steak at Applebee's. All I have to do is see their steak on TV to know that. But I have eaten various sandwiches and burgers there and that's just fine.

I'll order steak here at Bully's, because I know that Mark buys the meat in person on the hoof, and cuts each steak himself. He buys his pork chops from local hog raisers. Everything is cooked to order, you can watch him and his assistants in the kitchen. On the one day each month when they offer fish and chips, the fish is never cooked in the same fryer as the potatoes. The Wednesday special, all you can eat Rocky Mountain Oysters, are cut and hand breaded the same day.

They have a fairly limited dinner menu, but a good sandwich selection on the lunch menu, which can also be ordered for dinner. It makes a difference when food is cooked to order, even in a little country restaurant like Bully's, and like the video said, offering too many menu items is a virtual guarantee of getting pre-made meals.

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I've never worked in a restaurant but it seems to me that quite a few things would have to be at least largely made in advance in order to be served in a reasonable amount of time. Any filled pasta, sauces like bolognese, baked potatoes, and any other item that either requires time consuming preparation or a long cooking time would have to be made in advance. The video cites risotto as an example of something that couldn't be served quickly if not made in advance, but I would be very surprised if a restaurant did not even start risotto until it was ordered.

Serving times at good restaurants usually don't go too much longer than 20 - 25 minutes, so that limits what can be made to order.
Note that the usual serving times for a good eatery is about the same as the time limits for the 3 rounds of Chopped! (20-30-30 mins) I noticed this relationship some time ago, and the assumed reason for that is that they are testing mostly restaurant chefs, and that's the time they normally have available to make a dish when they are at work. To me it seems crazy short, but them I'm just a clumsy home cook.
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Old 02-15-2018, 04:17 PM   #17
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I've never worked in a restaurant but it seems to me that quite a few things would have to be at least largely made in advance in order to be served in a reasonable amount of time...
I guess that even the good restaurants do have a few dishes pre-made, albeit made fresh from scratch that morning. Usually one of the daily specials, although those can have a whole different connotation in a smaller or chain restaurant. This gives me a chance to tell one of my favorite Cleveland food stories...

The year Shaquille O'Neal played for the Cleveland Cavaliers (2009-10), he stopped into Michael Symon's Tremont restaurant "Lolita's" and asked for lasagna. Michael came out apologizing that it wasn't on that night's menu, and proceeded to offer suggestions. Shaq said "but I have a taste for lasagna". Michael then offered to make it from scratch, warning Shaq that it would take an hour or so to make. Shaq waited...and tweeted about being there and Michael taking good care of him. Granted he was a celebrity sports player, and Michael was already a celebrity chef, but it's still a sweet story - or would that be a saucy story...

Then again, neither have to be famous for a pleasant dining experience. We stopped at a little restaurant in NW CT. When I ordered some fish dinner off the menu, the chef/owner pops up at our table. "I'm sorry, I'm out of that fish. We get enough only for the day. Can I suggest....?" We talked flavor profiles and my likes and dislikes, and he produced the best meal I had had in ages. I felt so special.
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Old 02-15-2018, 05:11 PM   #18
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The video pretty well confirms my preference for the less sophisticated diners and single house restaurants I am happy to find again in Missouri..

I will admit that there are dishes in a few chains I enjoy for their sameness each time I order them..

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Old 02-15-2018, 05:17 PM   #19
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That reminds me of another policy of our little pub up the street. The Saturday dinner special is prime rib, and Mark roasts a set amount based on what he typically can sell. If there is a particularly heavy demand, he will run out. People know this and I've never seen anyone threaten to never darken his door again over it. Just how it is.

The other benefit is that when he doesn't sell all of the prime rib for dinner on Saturday, the next Wednesday (they are closed Sunday-Tuesday) it's available as a lunch special for either a regular prime rib sandwich with fries or open faced sandwich with potatoes and gravy and vegetable, for as long as the meat holds out.
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Old 02-15-2018, 05:25 PM   #20
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open faced sandwich with potatoes and gravy...
One of my favorite sandwiches of all time
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