I like my steaks in medium rare to medium range. If i order it medium and comes out medium rare i don’t care.
But i don’t have high expectations when i go to Chili’s/Sizzler/TGIfridays type places that they are gonna cook it right, in fact a large percentage of times you end up getting something in the medium well category. I just shrug and eat it.
But if I’m a USDA Prime Steak house, i can get quite particular about my steak. I kinda feel like a jerk sending food back, but i’m like if i’m paying 75 dollars for a steak, it better be cooked the way i ordered it.
I am in exactly in the same boat. If I order medium and it comes out medium-well, I’m tolerant of it and won’t complain. However if I order medium-rare (my real preference) and it comes out fully rare, I DO care. I hate sending back food for any reason other than its inedible, but I have sent very rare steaks back a couple of times to re-fire. I really will only order a medium-rare steak in a good quality steak place and I generally mention I’d rather they cheat to the medium side of medium-rare.
Anywhere else (like say ordering steak and eggs at a breakfast place) I just order medium and hope for the best. That way if they undercook I’m still usually happy.
On the rare occasion that I would pay restaurant prices for a steak, it had better be exactly like I want it, or back it goes.
It’s vastly more common to order a steak medium well and have it come out bright red oozing serum, rather than the opposite scenario. It’s probably due to the “chef” disbelieving that anyone could prefer medium well, or wanting to err on the rare side, which can be fixed.
I can’t recall ever sending a steak back for that reason, though I have returned ultra-rare venison and wild boar for more cooking. Piggies in the wild could have trichinosis, and you don’t know where that deer’s been.
I’ll generally order medium. If it’s well done or rare I’ll send it back. That assumes I’m at the kind of restaurant that should get the steak done right, I doubt I’d order a steak otherwise. How far toward well or rare will make me send it back is going to be situational.
I sent a steak back once at a Ruby Tuesday. I’m supposed to be on a low-sodium diet, so I asked for no salt or seasonings to be added, medium rare. I tasted a lot of salt in the first bite. I told the waiter- he checked with the cook who told him he didn’t salt it, he just used the house steak seasoning. I asked to see the seasoning, and the shaker bottle’s ingredient list had salt as the first ingredient. I then showed the guy that the steak was well done instead of medium rare. I got a new steak.
I had a couple of instances where the server misheard medium rare as medium well. No biggie since the steaks were good, I didn’t complain. The weirdest time was at a restaurant that was really having difficulties that day. We waited about fifteen minutes after we were seated to order and the food took another half hour to arrive. My steak had been cooked on one side as if the cook was going for well done, found out he was mistaken, and flipped it for about thirty seconds hoping it would approximate medium rare. It didn’t. We were a group of eleven or so, and the manager voided the whole bill due to the lousy service. I imagine there were a few job openings there the next week.
I have from time to time sent a steak back for being too rare - first, because I just don’t like it that undercooked, and second, because it can be unhealthy. But I try to be polite about it.
My typical order is “black and blue” and I generally send some time emphasizing that I really mean it’s not possible to undercook the steak in my eyes. But I will accept anything that is red on the inside, because I feel bad about sending it back knowing that they have to cook another steak.
I’ve never gotten an overcooked steak at a high end steak house and I don’t generally order steak at most downscale restaurants (on the assumption they don’t have the cuts or the grill to cook a really rare steak), so I don’t send back many steaks. But it has happened.
I’ve never sent one back. I always order medium rare, but I’m not super-picky about it. If I’m at a pricey restaurant, they generally cook them correctly. If I’m having steak and eggs at a greasy spoon diner, I’m okay with anything that isn’t raw or burned to a crisp.
Yes. You deserve to get what you pay for. I will send back anything that isn’t how I ordered it in almost any restaurant. I don’t make high-maintenance orders (“poached eggs with the yolks runny but not too runny”) but steak orders are pretty much an industry standard. I do tolerate minor variances, but getting a medium steak when you order medium-rare is not acceptable. Then again, I never order steak in a place that doesn’t specialize in steak, because I know the quality and preparation won’t be what I want anyway.
That said I have only sent a steak back once; it was much too rare. I could probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve sent orders back in the last 40 years.
I’d have to go along with the idea that it depends what you’re paying. If I’m in a four star restaurant and it’s way off, I want it done right. I’m paying for a quality meal. If it’s a $7 sirloin that came with my steak and eggs in a greasy spoon, it’s not worth bothering them.
I’ve never sent any food back. Generally, I like nearly anything. Very easy to please.
I do remember a chain named “Good Pizza.” They lied. That was the only really loathesome food I think I’ve ever had in a restaurant. And, wth, I ate it.
I never, ever send food back. First off, I assume that restaurants will not be in a hurry to make troublesome customers, and in general very rarely is management actually eager to please. I get steaks rarely, but when I usually order medium unless it’s a cut that needs to be rare, and eat however it comes.
I read a book once in which a character complained not only that the restaurant’s food sucked, but that the portions were too small.
It’s a classic old joke about Army chow: “This is garbage! I wouldn’t feed this to a pig! And the portions are so small!”
I’ve never sent food back, but my sister sent a steak back once that was just too rare.
However, there’s one restaurant that we order from (used to go to) that seriously undercooks their beef, so, we always order burgers or steak medium, and they come out nicely medium rare.
In my experience, High end Steakhouses have 900 degree ovens and trained staff who have it down to a science. And generally cook the steak to the appropriate temp. The few times its been wrong its been undercooked.
Your basic mid range restaurant is hit or miss. Cook it on the same grill with everything else. Usually get it right, but less so than the High end places.
Order a medium-rare steak at Denny’s. Well good luck. Why are you ordering steak at Denny’s.
In my experience as someone who worked for 10 years as a cook, most people who send a steak back do it because they do not properly understand the terms for ordering a steak; they order it medium when in fact they prefer medium-well. It’s why steakhouses will explain on their menu exactly what the doneness terms mean and why they use digital thermometers in the kitchen.
I do like those pictures some place have at the bottom of the menu:
Rare: mostly red
Medium Rare: pink with some red
Medium Well: Slightly pink
Well Done: Order the chicken
Thread moved from IMHO to Cafe Society.