Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #51  
Old 02-03-2020, 06:04 AM
Ruken is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: DC
Posts: 8,176
From D'Anconia's cite:
Quote:
Increasingly higher-end stores are selling prime meats, at a price to go with the designation
There are not enough eyerolls.

No it's not in my local Giant. It is in Whole Foods. Dry aged too. And if I cook choice, it's still going to beat the restaurant's prime, because it's cooked exactly the way I want.

But I only cook steaks a few times a year anway, so why not get the fancy stuff?
  #52  
Old 02-03-2020, 06:11 AM
puzzlegal's Avatar
puzzlegal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 5,562
Whereas steak is on my go-to "I'm lazy, and want something easy tonight" meal list.
  #53  
Old 02-03-2020, 09:34 AM
Balthisar is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Southeast Michigan, USA
Posts: 11,504
Steak, but it's a cost ratio, too. I make phenomenal steak (and buying excellent steak contributes towards that). And I'll usually split the steak with my wife. It's $8 to $15, plus my time, versus $30+ at a restaurant.

I also make awesome, Detroit style pizza, something I've studied for years. But it's a PITA to make, and I like the local chain, and it's cheap, so despite making just as good or better, I'll happy dine there.

I tend to avoid chicken, because I usually really do make superior chicken. Restaurants are always pushing boneless, skinless chicken breast, which is dry and tasteless.

I'll do pasta, because everyone's pasta and sauce is different, and I enjoy the variety. I can make excellent pasta sauces, too, but the variety at different places makes it attractive to me.

Meatloaf is similar, because everyone makes it differently that I do, and I like the variety.

Mac and cheese I tend to avoid. I know there must be some good ones, but it seems like the vast majority these days are Cheez Whiz based.
  #54  
Old 02-03-2020, 09:50 AM
Chefguy's Avatar
Chefguy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 43,611
When I'm eating out, it's usually because I don't feel like cooking, so I'm open to most things. I won't order biscuits and gravy because most breakfast joints seem bent on making Elmer's glue instead of something edible, and they'll usually fuck up hash browns, as well. I don't order steak, but that's because of markup. Just because I can make something I like better doesn't preclude me from ordering it when I'm out.
  #55  
Old 02-03-2020, 10:25 AM
bump is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 19,387
Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus View Post
Nothing. If I'm ordering something I or the wife can make better at home, it's because I'M NOT HOME AND/OR CAN'T BE ARSED TO COOK!
That's pretty much my answer as well. If we're eating out, it's more than likely because we don't want to do the cooking/cleanup and we probably don't feel like sandwiches or leftovers. Or it's some kind of occasion where the experience is the point, not necessarily the main dish itself.

That said, we make a pretty bad-ass pizza in a general sense. Better than most delivery ones, and up there with the frou-frou artisanal places if we put the effort in to finding the right topping combinations. Same with steak, biscuits, gravy, chili, green chile chicken enchiladas, and some kinds of barbecue (ribs, pulled pork and chicken; haven't got brisket nailed down yet).

I'm also a passable amateur bartender/mixologist, so most of the time if we order mixed drinks out, it's the off-beat special with strange ingredients, not the standards like Manhattans, Daiquiris or Martinis, as we can make them at home as well as most bartenders.

Last edited by bump; 02-03-2020 at 10:25 AM.
  #56  
Old 02-03-2020, 10:43 AM
DrCube is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Caseyville, IL
Posts: 7,649
Quote:
Originally Posted by D'Anconia View Post
Only 2% of U.S. beef is prime. It mostly goes to restaurants and hotels, not the Jewel.

https://www.thespruceeats.com/what-is-prime-beef-995266
I've never been to a restaurant that serves prime or dry aged beef. Not once.

So of course, if I'm ever at Delmonico's, I'll surely try their steak. But I can tell you that every steak I've ever had at Outback has been a disappointment. Same goes for Logan's, Texas Roadhouse, Colton's, and other "steakhouse" chains. To be honest, I think the best steak I ever had that I didn't cook myself was at Cracker Barrel. But that might have just been because my expectations weren't high.

I also tend to avoid pasta, more because I know how cheap it really is than because I can make it better at home (though I can). I'm more likely to order lasagna or ravioli because I know how much more effort those take than just spaghetti or penne, and because I rarely make them at home.
  #57  
Old 02-03-2020, 11:35 AM
SanVito is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Bristol, UK
Posts: 5,000
I won't order chicken or salmon, because those are my go-to midweek sources of protein. My exception to this rule is Indian, as you just can't recreate a great Indian at home (I do try).

I will rarely go out for a Sunday Roast (a British tradition) mainly because my roasts dinners are masterly.

I will only order pasta if I'm at a really great Italian, or in Italy. Generic restaurants tend to over cook it or mess with tried and tested recipes.

I will no longer order charred hispi cabbage because I'm just sick of that stuff. It's everywhere.
  #58  
Old 02-03-2020, 11:54 AM
Die Capacitrix's Avatar
Die Capacitrix is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 433
I don't order meatloaf in a restaurant. Probably not mac & cheese either.

And definitely no pie. Nothing worse than bad pie crust (looking at you, diner in PA).

What I do order? Chicken-fried streak with mashed potatoes and green beans. I've never made chicken-fried steak, and with the cost of beef here, I'm not trying it.

And I'll get gnocchi before I get pasta.
  #59  
Old 02-03-2020, 12:11 PM
JohnT's Avatar
JohnT is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 24,640
Quote:
Originally Posted by FairyChatMom View Post
When I go out to eat - think nice meal here, not something you just grab and go - there are certain items I won't even consider. It's not that I think I'm a great cook, but I don't see the sense in ordering something I can make as well, or even better, than a restaurant.

For example - meatloaf. It's a pretty basic item, and I can't imagine a spectacular meatloaf. Also mac-n-cheese. Yeah, you can put lobster in it, but that seems a waste of perfectly good lobster.

Even spaghetti - it's pasta with sauce. Nothing wrong with it, but it's so basic as not to be special enough to warrant ordering it at a restaurant.

Oddly enough, I'm OK ordering most breakfast foods, with the exception of cold cereal and milk - that doesn't belong in a restaurant. Seriously!

Am I alone in this? Are there things you would never consider paying someone else to prepare for you?
I couldn't think of anything until, yes, spaghetti. It's too easy to make at home without spending money on it away. I'm more likely to order things which are a chore and a half to make by myself, like lasagna or anything with stuffed shells.
  #60  
Old 02-03-2020, 12:22 PM
kayaker's Avatar
kayaker is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Rural Western PA
Posts: 34,245
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
When I'm eating out, it's usually because I don't feel like cooking, so I'm open to most things.
Yep, I'll happily order spaghetti, steak, chicken, whatever. Pretty much any meal I order out I could do a very good to great version of at home. Lately I have been avoiding restaurant french fries though, because my air fryer fries are so much better than deep fried.

As far as Prime vs Choice steaks, I had some beef recently that was not USDA labeled, but they were amazing. A farmer friend slaughters, ages, and butchers his own beef for his family. We were discussing meat one night and he sent a couple of his steaks home with me. Man, were they incredible.
  #61  
Old 02-03-2020, 12:51 PM
puzzlegal's Avatar
puzzlegal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 5,562
Quote:
Originally Posted by Die Capacitrix View Post
...And definitely no pie. Nothing worse than bad pie crust (looking at you, diner in PA)...
Oh, pie! Good point. I make an excellent fruit pie. (Apple, blueberry, cherry, apple-cranberry, blackberry, mixed fruits...) I don't buy commercial pie. They are too sweet, not tart enough, and mostly, they don't have enough fruit -- they fill the pie shell with goo instead of with fruit. It's just goo with bits of fruit floating in it. My pies are solid fruit with just enough sauce to hold them together (and sometimes not even that much, they sometimes do fall apart.) A fruit pie should be a celebration of the cooked fruit.
  #62  
Old 02-03-2020, 01:39 PM
QuickSilver's Avatar
QuickSilver is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 20,755
Seems like there's no lack of accomplished cooks in this thread and I'm happy to be among them. So I'll echo pretty much all the sentiments about avoiding ordering that which we make better ourselves, at home.

That said, there are a few exceptions to the rule:

- I've yet to taste a risotto better than mine, BUT, if the restaurant is serving it with freshly shaved truffles, we're getting the risotto
- Fresh made pastas, gnocchi, stuffed tortellini in interesting sauces, if the restaurant specializes in same
- We make pizza from scratch at home and it's spectacular, but we don't have a 900F wood burning brick oven so if we're in the mood for pizza, that's where we go
__________________
St. QuickSilver: Patron Saint of Thermometers.
  #63  
Old 02-03-2020, 02:58 PM
Chefguy's Avatar
Chefguy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 43,611
Quote:
Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
Oh, pie! Good point. I make an excellent fruit pie. (Apple, blueberry, cherry, apple-cranberry, blackberry, mixed fruits...) I don't buy commercial pie. They are too sweet, not tart enough, and mostly, they don't have enough fruit -- they fill the pie shell with goo instead of with fruit. It's just goo with bits of fruit floating in it. My pies are solid fruit with just enough sauce to hold them together (and sometimes not even that much, they sometimes do fall apart.) A fruit pie should be a celebration of the cooked fruit.
Yeah, most restaurants use canned fruit and a shit-ton of cornstarch to thicken it. That makes certain that the filling won't just run out when the pie is cut, but it does make a disgusting goo. Also, if the crust has that shine from being brushed with egg white, I won't order it. My mother ruined me for restaurant or bakery pie.
  #64  
Old 02-03-2020, 03:15 PM
jnglmassiv is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Chicago's Northside
Posts: 3,382
Hot dogs. I don't think I've bought one prepared since I learned the trick to perfect bun steaming at home. Drench a paper kitchen napkin and squeeze the water out. Flatten out the napkin and wrap the bun in it. Microwave for 15 seconds.

To the 'you can't buy the best beef at retail' discussion, I've heard it said that buyers for high end restaurants pay a premium to get first crack at cherry picking the best supplies. It's not just steaks/primals, they get the finest avocados, daintiest microgreens, most petit brussels sprouts, least blemished potatoes, etc. 'Prime' covers quite a large range of marbling and other metrics, from the 'barely made the grade' to the $25/ounce artisanal cut of beef.

It's also true that restaurant buyers select for things like uniform sizes. A relatively small 1.5 pound rack of baby back ribs or live Maine lobster may cost more to the restaurant than grocery wholesale price per pound. One reason is so everything cooks and plates predictably. Another is to keep portions reasonable & realistic. And no one wants to see a server bring out a rack of ribs to another table that's clearly smaller than what's on your own plate.
  #65  
Old 02-03-2020, 03:15 PM
Ruken is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: DC
Posts: 8,176
Pie-ling on the bandwagon:

I'm ok with canned fruit. And with starches. But I don't want a slice of cherry pie that has six cherries floating in congealed syrup. I want an inch-thick slab of barely-sweetened cherries.

But yes, pie. Most purchased pie is gross.
  #66  
Old 02-03-2020, 03:17 PM
Procrustus is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Pacific NW. ¥
Posts: 12,980
Personally, probably the only thing I can cook better than a (decent) restaurant is scrambled eggs. I’ll still order that if I’m in the mood.
  #67  
Old 02-03-2020, 03:20 PM
Ashtura is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,795
I make the best Ruben in the world, but I'll still order one at least once in a restaurant I've never had it before. Just to make sure that's still the case.
  #68  
Old 02-03-2020, 03:28 PM
eenerms is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Finally...Wisc...!
Posts: 3,082
Things I make better than restaurants:
Meatloaf, eggplant Parmesan, lasagna ( both veggie and meat) steaks, Mac and cheese, hamburgers.

I go out for the experience, waited on, no clean up. So I order stuff I wouldn’t make at home.
  #69  
Old 02-03-2020, 03:31 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness's Avatar
Left Hand of Dorkness is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: at the right hand of cool
Posts: 42,374
On the one hand, there's plenty of stuff that I make to my own tastes, and a restaurant isn't gonna meet my tastes so exactly.

On the other hand, if I'm eating out, I'm enjoying the not cooking.

But the big thing is, if I'm eating out, I kinda want to try something that I'm not great at making, either to get ideas, or so I can get a fix of something I can't otherwise get.

So things like spaghetti and grilled cheese aren't my go-to, not because I snub them with a thousand upturned noses, but because there's probably pizza or hamburgers on the menu, and those are more of a pain to make at home. (My homemade pizza and burgers are just fine--they're just time-consuming either to make or to clean up from.)
  #70  
Old 02-03-2020, 08:30 PM
Balthisar is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Southeast Michigan, USA
Posts: 11,504
Quote:
Originally Posted by SanVito View Post
Generic restaurants tend to over cook it or mess with tried and tested recipes.
Oh, you made me realize something: I travel for work, and sometimes restaurant choices aren't something I have the luxury of deliberating like I do when I'm at home. This, everything I said above applies to home/vacation spots, but not necessarily business travel, where I'll eat at generic restaurants.

At generic restaurants, especially on first visit, I tend to order patty melts. If they do that well, them I'm willing to give them a chance on other standards, and I love patty melts and they're not something I generally make at home. If they don't have patty melts, then I'm willing to order anything that's within my travel guidelines.
  #71  
Old 02-03-2020, 09:20 PM
puzzlegal's Avatar
puzzlegal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 5,562
Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
On the one hand, there's plenty of stuff that I make to my own tastes, and a restaurant isn't gonna meet my tastes so exactly...
There's stuff I don't eat out because I don't trust it. For instance, I don't like peppers. Hot, sweet, red, green. I can enjoy a raw green pepper, but once they ripen or get cooked, they develop this really nasty flavor...

So I never eat meatloaf, because the odds are too high that it has green pepper in it. I'm very cautious around anything with red sauce -- same reason. I ask about other dishes.

But that's not because "I like mine better", that's because I hate theirs. I suppose people with food allergies must make similar choices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Balthisar View Post
...I tend to order patty melts....
what's a patty melt?
  #72  
Old 02-03-2020, 09:24 PM
silenus's Avatar
silenus is online now
Isaiah 10:1-3
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 52,200
Basically a cheeseburger with onions on bread instead of a bun. Rye usually.
  #73  
Old 02-03-2020, 09:54 PM
pulykamell is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 49,350
And here's a recipe for a patty melt with nice visuals.

I think of it more as a rye grilled cheese with tons of onions and a hamburger patty in it, but same difference. For me, the bread definitely has to be rye (I mean, technically, it doesn't, but for my tastes, yes) -- it needs to be fried in a good bit of butter like you would a grilled cheese, and the onions have to be caramelized and there need to be lots of them. As for cheese, this is personal preference. Cheddar, swiss, American are all fine and usual. The melt is not decorated with any other condiments. At the table, though, I will put mustard on it, and eat with pickle spears on the side. They are delicious, but they will kill you.

Last edited by pulykamell; 02-03-2020 at 09:57 PM.
  #74  
Old 02-04-2020, 01:29 PM
Steven_Maven is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Chicago north suburbs
Posts: 111

Hot & Sour Soup


I’ve never had a Chinese restaurant beat my Hot & Sour Soup. A friend gave me a simple recipe years ago, and it’s great. I’ve shared it many times.

I’ve tweaked it a little over the years. The best thing about it is that everyone can personalize it: Adjust all quantities to taste; Shredded pork (or chicken) or not; Any kind of mushrooms (or mixed); Firm or soft tofu.

Here are the 2 most important details. Start with College Inn Chicken Soup. Just before serving, add a generous amount of Chinese sesame oil.
  #75  
Old 02-04-2020, 01:41 PM
Ukulele Ike is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 18,421
The NY Times app recipe for egg drop soup is astounding. And it lets me finally use the dried tiny shrimp I bought in Chinatown 20 years ago.
__________________
Uke
  #76  
Old 02-04-2020, 01:44 PM
Ukulele Ike is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 18,421
Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
And here's a recipe for a patty melt with nice visuals....They are delicious, but they will kill you.
Well, would you prefer a normal life with patty melts, or to live to 100 with NO patty melts?
__________________
Uke
  #77  
Old 02-04-2020, 02:24 PM
puzzlegal's Avatar
puzzlegal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 5,562
Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus View Post
Basically a cheeseburger with onions on bread instead of a bun. Rye usually.
thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
And here's a recipe for a patty melt with nice visuals.

I think of it more as a rye grilled cheese with tons of onions and a hamburger patty in it, but same difference. For me, the bread definitely has to be rye (I mean, technically, it doesn't, but for my tastes, yes) -- it needs to be fried in a good bit of butter like you would a grilled cheese, and the onions have to be caramelized and there need to be lots of them. As for cheese, this is personal preference. Cheddar, swiss, American are all fine and usual. The melt is not decorated with any other condiments. At the table, though, I will put mustard on it, and eat with pickle spears on the side. They are delicious, but they will kill you.
thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike View Post
The NY Times app recipe for egg drop soup is astounding. And it lets me finally use the dried tiny shrimp I bought in Chinatown 20 years ago.
Share?
  #78  
Old 02-04-2020, 10:45 PM
MarvinKitFox is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 363
Quote:
Originally Posted by FairyChatMom View Post
...
Even spaghetti - it's pasta with sauce. Nothing wrong with it, but it's so basic as not to be special enough ...
I kindly suggest that you never even consider travelling to Italy.

Stating that opinion there would be about as safe as going to England and loudly declaring that Tea is "just some dried weeds soaked in hot water"
  #79  
Old 02-05-2020, 05:05 AM
Melbourne is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,990
Steak, Lamb, Pork, Fish, Pasta, Bread, Rice, Pastry ---

There's nothing I can get at an American/International restaurant that is better than I can get at home. Indian, Malaysian, some kinds of Chinese I can't get better at home, but meat/pasta/pastry is not going to impress.

I will eat at a restaurant, but that's because I'm hungry. I have to go a long way up-scale before I can get something I'm actually pleased to be eating.

Except for pancakes. I can't get a decent pancake at home.
  #80  
Old 02-05-2020, 07:23 PM
Balthisar is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Southeast Michigan, USA
Posts: 11,504
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarvinKitFox View Post
I kindly suggest that you never even consider travelling to Italy.

Stating that opinion there would be about as safe as going to England and loudly declaring that Tea is "just some dried weeds soaked in hot water"
I'll give you Italy 'cos I agree, but tea? What does England do differently? I've lived in China five years where every little town has their crappy, "famous" tea, and have spent months in India where the actual tea part of the drink could be completely missing and not make a difference, 'cos milk and spices taste good.
  #81  
Old 02-06-2020, 07:09 AM
ftg's Avatar
ftg is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Not the PNW :-(
Posts: 21,656
I prefer "New Mexico" style stacked enchiladas with the sauce only on the lightly dipped tortillas.

The wrapped style drenched in a gallon of sauce is terrible. The tortillas turn to mush, you can't taste anything other than the sauce, etc.

I have the USAAF to indirectly thank for this. Got into them via someone who was stationed in NM during WWII.
  #82  
Old 02-06-2020, 10:00 AM
BubbaDog's Avatar
BubbaDog is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: KC MO or there abouts
Posts: 5,779
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruken View Post
From D'Anconia's cite:There are not enough eyerolls.

No it's not in my local Giant. It is in Whole Foods. Dry aged too. And if I cook choice, it's still going to beat the restaurant's prime, because it's cooked exactly the way I want.

But I only cook steaks a few times a year anway, so why not get the fancy stuff?
[Bolding Mine]

And it actually COULD be Prime even if its graded as choice.

I took a BBQ class offered by my local JuCo and taught by a butcher who specialized in offering high end meat for retail use. My recollection of his lecture on grading -

Most times beef is graded Top-Down based on the ORDERS that the grader is attempting to fill.

As an example, if the grader has 100 Prime, 200 Choice and 300 Select to grade then he will inspect and grade sides of beef according to the quality of meat UNTIL he grades 200 Prime. He may already have graded a number of select and choice as he workes down the line.
At the point he has met the Prime quota he will set down the Prime stamp and grade remaining prime sides with Choice.
As soon as choice is filled he will grade all remaining sides as select regardless of the quality (assumption is that all sides are above Standard grade).

This system can fool the retail shopper. Meat cannot be advertised as any grade other than it's wholesale grade. So somebody buying steaks on sale at his local Piggley Wiggley might just luck out and get himself a choice or prime cut. He might mistakenly believe that the Select grade beef from PW is always going to be fantastic not knowing that it was luck not quality he experienced.
  #83  
Old 02-06-2020, 10:35 AM
Jackmannii's Avatar
Jackmannii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: the extreme center
Posts: 33,024
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruken View Post
But yes, pie. Most purchased pie is gross.
My major problem with restaurant ''pie'' is that it's seldom that.

Usually it's semi-pie ingredients mixed with something else, or a kind of cobbler concoction that only slightly resembles real pie.

Good luck finding actual apple (or other) pie on a restaurant menu.
  #84  
Old 02-06-2020, 10:49 AM
FairyChatMom's Avatar
FairyChatMom is online now
I'm nice, dammit!
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Southern Merrylande
Posts: 43,054
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarvinKitFox View Post
I kindly suggest that you never even consider travelling to Italy.
I have been to Italy, and Sicily, and I most certainly had all kinds of pasta there. But where I live, apart from Olive Garden <shudder> the only other sorta Italian place is a very mediocre family-owned joint where I once saw roaches marching across the salad bar - I'll never know how good their spaghetti might be.
  #85  
Old 02-06-2020, 11:11 AM
Grrr!'s Avatar
Grrr! is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 16,917
Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbaDog View Post
[Bolding Mine]

And it actually COULD be Prime even if its graded as choice.

I took a BBQ class offered by my local JuCo and taught by a butcher who specialized in offering high end meat for retail use. My recollection of his lecture on grading -

Most times beef is graded Top-Down based on the ORDERS that the grader is attempting to fill.

As an example, if the grader has 100 Prime, 200 Choice and 300 Select to grade then he will inspect and grade sides of beef according to the quality of meat UNTIL he grades 200 Prime. He may already have graded a number of select and choice as he workes down the line.
At the point he has met the Prime quota he will set down the Prime stamp and grade remaining prime sides with Choice.
As soon as choice is filled he will grade all remaining sides as select regardless of the quality (assumption is that all sides are above Standard grade).

This system can fool the retail shopper. Meat cannot be advertised as any grade other than it's wholesale grade. So somebody buying steaks on sale at his local Piggley Wiggley might just luck out and get himself a choice or prime cut. He might mistakenly believe that the Select grade beef from PW is always going to be fantastic not knowing that it was luck not quality he experienced.
That's interesting. A few weeks ago I bought a choice steak from Kroger. After cooking it and taking a bite, I immediately thought this was actually a prime steak that got mislabeled (And I should know, my son and I eat prime steaks every friday. lol).

I was wondering how that happened especially since this Kroger doesn't even sell prime cuts.
__________________
"What kind of a man desecrates a defenseless textbook?"
  #86  
Old 02-06-2020, 11:19 AM
Jasmine's Avatar
Jasmine is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 2,613
My Eggplant Parmigiana is to die for! Restaurant versions are invariably disappointing. An exception is the Eggplant Parmigiana appetizer they have at Balagio's Restaurant in Homewood. It's the best I've ever eaten out.
__________________
"The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance -- it is the illusion of knowledge."
--Daniel J Boorstin
  #87  
Old 02-06-2020, 11:33 AM
zoid's Avatar
zoid is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Chicago Il
Posts: 10,480
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasmine View Post
My Eggplant Parmigiana is to die for! Restaurant versions are invariably disappointing. An exception is the Eggplant Parmigiana appetizer they have at Balagio's Restaurant in Homewood. It's the best I've ever eaten out.
Recipe and/or instructions please?
  #88  
Old 02-06-2020, 11:39 AM
bump is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 19,387
I thought of one that I rarely order out... but not for the reason you might think.

Asparagus is something I rarely order out. Not because I'm any great shakes at preparing it, but because we grow our own, and freshly harvested asparagus is so much different than the stuff you get at stores and restaurants, that anything except spears I picked within the last day (usually within the last 15 minutes) is invariably disappointing.
  #89  
Old 02-06-2020, 11:42 AM
bump is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 19,387
Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbaDog View Post
[Bolding Mine]

And it actually COULD be Prime even if its graded as choice.

I took a BBQ class offered by my local JuCo and taught by a butcher who specialized in offering high end meat for retail use. My recollection of his lecture on grading -

Most times beef is graded Top-Down based on the ORDERS that the grader is attempting to fill.

As an example, if the grader has 100 Prime, 200 Choice and 300 Select to grade then he will inspect and grade sides of beef according to the quality of meat UNTIL he grades 200 Prime. He may already have graded a number of select and choice as he workes down the line.
At the point he has met the Prime quota he will set down the Prime stamp and grade remaining prime sides with Choice.
As soon as choice is filled he will grade all remaining sides as select regardless of the quality (assumption is that all sides are above Standard grade).

This system can fool the retail shopper. Meat cannot be advertised as any grade other than it's wholesale grade. So somebody buying steaks on sale at his local Piggley Wiggley might just luck out and get himself a choice or prime cut. He might mistakenly believe that the Select grade beef from PW is always going to be fantastic not knowing that it was luck not quality he experienced.
Doesn't that occasionally work the other way too>? If he's got 100 prime, 200 choice and 300 select to fill, he's going to find that, even if in an impartial judging they might come out 90 prime, 190 choice and 310 select? In other words, he might grade some sides as prime that are really choice, and some as choice that should probably be select?
  #90  
Old 02-06-2020, 11:50 AM
JohnT's Avatar
JohnT is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 24,640
Fuck, guys, don't read this thread before lunch is all I'm sayin'.

:google 'patty melt near me':

Last edited by JohnT; 02-06-2020 at 11:50 AM.
  #91  
Old 02-06-2020, 12:04 PM
madmonk28 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 12,847
I don't think there is any food I won't order out because I can do it better, but I'm very picky about a couple of things: a) barbecue, because I kick ass at smoking and make killer sauces, but there area couple of places I trust; and b) cocktails, I make great cocktails and if I have any doubt about the bar's ability, I just have a beer.
  #92  
Old 02-06-2020, 05:43 PM
TruCelt's Avatar
TruCelt is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Near Washington, DC
Posts: 11,833
Baked beans. I have yet to like anybody's baked beans but my own. The standard American recipe is just not to my taste at all. I do them over night with thick tomato sauce spiced with my own ras-al-hanout. Sweet and beans should never go together!! (Unless you are making Chinese buns.)

Most Mexican food, but that's really just my weirdness. I am one of those cilantro/soap people, and I also don't much like cumin. A small amount of cumin, if it's toasted properly before use, is quite good. But that's not how most restaurants use it. I also can'teat jalapenos or any stronger peppers. So really, it would just be ridiculous to go to a Mexican restaurant and try to order with those three restrictions. They'd end up bringing me a bowl of rice with melted cheese on top.

Beef. Not because I cook it well but because it has to be well done, and most restaurant cooks are true @$$holes about that. They give me lousy cuts with the outside burnt and often the inside is still pink because they "refuse to ruin it." I'll just make my own, thanks.

Soup, except pho, and only at certain places. Nobody else does soup right.
  #93  
Old 02-06-2020, 05:59 PM
Spud's Avatar
Spud is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Central Indiana
Posts: 4,112
There is a butcher shop maybe two miles from my house where I can get Prime, Dry or Wet Aged, custom cut to any thickness I want and trimmed to my specifications. I have a wood pellet fired grill and a selection of several woods to choose from. I have a Weber propane grill that can get blistering hot to sear the steaks after cooking over the wood. I can make a damn good steak.

BUT... that would never stop me from ordering a steak in a restaurant. I love steak so why not get it if it sounds good? The bonus is I don't have to go to the butcher shop, the grocery, figure out the timing for my baked potato and my wife's sweet potato, pick out and prepare another side dish, fire up two grills, pick out a bottle or two of wine, figure out how to coordinate cooking times for my steak and my wife's salmon, prepare a salad, make a trip to the really good bakery to pick out a dessert, clean up, etc.

Don't get me wrong... there are times that I really love doing all of those things (other than the clean up), but after a busy day it is nice to go to a nice place and all I have to do is park and pull out my credit card at the end.

Last edited by Spud; 02-06-2020 at 06:00 PM.
  #94  
Old 02-06-2020, 11:10 PM
Projammer's Avatar
Projammer is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: SW Arkansas
Posts: 6,829
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
how are all you people making steaks at home that taste better than restaurant steaks?
Sous vide. Salt, pepper, fresh garlic. Rosemary maybe.
  #95  
Old 02-07-2020, 12:13 PM
pullin is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: N Texas
Posts: 3,252
Quote:
Originally Posted by madmonk28 View Post
I don't think there is any food I won't order out because I can do it better, but I'm very picky about a couple of things: a) barbecue, because I kick ass at smoking...
This mostly covers my ordering out rules. Brisket? Mine matches the best I've ever had at a restaurant, and is far better than most. Smoked chicken? No restaurant has managed a bird better than mine. Ribs? Sigh.. I'm getting there, but have to admit I'm still beat by at least two in Texas: Cooper's in Llano, and Hard-8 in Stephenville.

I'm trying again today, btw. Smoker's been going since 10am, and the ribs went on about an hour ago. New rub, so will try them tonight. Of course, I'll need to visit the above restaurants soon for comparison. All in the interest of making the best ribs of course. It's tough, continually sampling and testing but I persevere somehow.
  #96  
Old 02-07-2020, 12:59 PM
puzzlegal's Avatar
puzzlegal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 5,562
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melbourne View Post
...Except for pancakes. I can't get a decent pancake at home.
That's funny, because I never eat pancakes out. I'm not a huge pancake fan, and it's just not worth eating mediocre pancakes. But my husband loves pancakes, and makes really superb pancakes. So I often eat his.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
My major problem with restaurant ''pie'' is that it's seldom that.

Usually it's semi-pie ingredients mixed with something else, or a kind of cobbler concoction that only slightly resembles real pie.

Good luck finding actual apple (or other) pie on a restaurant menu.
I'm curious what, in your opinion, makes it not pie?

I generally consider it pie if it has two crusts, possibly even if it just has a bottom crust and is otherwise pie-like. Commercial pie is often icky, in my experience, but I consider it pie. Just bad pie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bump View Post
...freshly harvested asparagus is so much different than the stuff you get at stores and restaurants, that anything except spears I picked within the last day (usually within the last 15 minutes) is invariably disappointing.
Mmmm. I used to grow asparagus. Yeah, I often just picked it and ate it raw in the garden, standing next to the plant. That's SO much better than store-bought asparagus. I like the store bought stuff too, though.
  #97  
Old 02-10-2020, 03:22 PM
Doyle's Avatar
Doyle is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 903
Red Beans and Rice. Doesn't mean I won't order it, but chances are mine is much better. Same for Crawfish Étouffée.
  #98  
Old 02-10-2020, 05:59 PM
carnut is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: State of Hockey
Posts: 5,264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
how are all you people making steaks at home that taste better than restaurant steaks?
In my case, it's because I use grass fed and finished beef, which is way better IMO thank most restaurant beef.

Otherwise there are certain breakfast combos I won't order unless I don't have much choice (hotel breakfast bar stuff). I tend to order seafood at higher-end restaurants because we don't have much of that in the midwest that I can trust myself to not blow the cooking of it.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:30 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017