Does The "OUTBACK" Precook Its Entrees?

No offence intended Dudley. My wife and I saw some of the advertising for Fosters while we were in the States - very funny. Sterotyped but funny. It just strikes Australians as funny that everyone else in the world seems to think Fosters is the Australian beer, when in reality I think you’d have a hard time finding a bottleo that even sells it.

I don’t mind an occasional beer :dubious: , but I do have fairly restricted tastes. The aforementioned XXXX (yes that is it’s name, pronounced Fourex.) which is primarily a Queensland beer, is my beer of choice, and I don’t generally venture very far from that.

I had a hell of a time finding a decent beer the two times I have been in the US. One I did find which I enjoyed though, was Samuel Adams. Which itself seemed to be hard to get. I think I only found one place that sold it in Hawaii.

Last time I looked at a can of Foster’s it was made in Canada, or at least canned there. Everytime I see someone with a Foster’s I say “Fosters. Canadian for Australian for beer.” I don’t mind the beer itself, plus the oilcan is kinda cool.

Blech. Foster’s is crap in any country. There are some superior Aussie beers, but Foster’s isn’t one of them. Might as well be drinking any other mass-produced Canadian piss water.

No, I suppose it would be a surprise if even one single ingredient was “typical outback” Australian, or indeed Australian at all.

Wouldn’t a frozen steak be pretty dry? That’s what Alton Brown tells me. I ask because IME my Outback steaks are usually pretty good, and plenty juicy. It’s probably my favorite of all the major chain restaurants, although that isn’t saying much.

What is Australian cuisine, anyway?

The Wikipedia entry pretty much has it right: we shook off the appalling British-based “cooking” as our country became more multicultural with the post WWII waves of immigration from Italy, Greece, eastern Europe, Lebanon, and later Vietnam and Thailand. The defining characteristic is its variety, really, you can’t actually say there is a typical or national dish. European-Asian fusion dishes are very common in good restaurants.

But the above mostly applies to the big cities and to some extent the suburbs and larger country towns. Unfortunately food in the outback is almost universally dire, just typical American-style roadhouse/diner food of steak, chips, hamburgers, fried chicken and so on. But you won’t find stuff like in the menu listed above; we don’t have the usual 5 salad dressings that appear to be common to every restaurant in the US, for instance, and prawns (“shrimp”) are usually eaten as is, barbecued, or perhaps in a marinara sauce. I can’t recall seeing crab cakes here, but every Thai restaurant (and there are a lot!) will have fishcakes with a sweet chili dipping sauce.

I’ll bite. What is the correct number of salad dressing? Even better, what are the few that would be served in a decent restaurant?

Askance, they are talking about the Outback Steakhouse, not the Australian Outback.

I’m sure (s)he knows that. It’s just that in the previous post, Team of Scientists asked:

Yeah, where the fark are you guys getting your steaks anyway? Everyone bags on Applebees, Outback, Olive Garden, etc. Where the hell are you guys eating? I mean, is EVERYBODY that’s complaining here dropping $100 for a meal for two at a local steakhouse or something?

Basically sounds like American food, then. You have tons of ethnic restaurants and very high quality chefs working in American cities who make pretty much all the stuff you are describing. Just replace the “outback” with “Anywhere, USA” and that’s pretty much the same fare as you get in America outside of a city. Although I think there’s always a good time and place for a greasy spoon diner, some of them are actually not bad, the secret is just in finding which one (which is usually hard to do when you’re just pulling off the interstate to grab some quick food and keep going.)

To be honest I think Outback Steakhouse just tries to hit on some “appealing” aspects of American popular conceptions concerning Australia. I don’t believe it is their goal at this point to really promote “Australian cuisine” (if said cuisine can really be said to be materially different from the myriad of random stuff that gets made in America.)

I think Morton’s is a good steakhouse chain. Some of the best meals are going to come from very expensive restaurants that realistically most people won’t eat at all thet ime. At the same time, a lot of local restaurants all across America will range in quality from “superb” to “crap.” Some local “nice” restaurants I’ve been to have inferior food to a place like Applebee’s, and I imagine these restaurants have probably gone out of business since I last visited them.

I have no problem with chains like Applebee’s, Ruby Tuesday and et cetera. There are a good number of restaurants I know of which are cheaper than the chain restaurants and have better food. There are some which are way more expensive but worth it. Then there’s even the option of just making your own steak if that’s what you are in the mood for–the advantage to this method is once you’re good at you’ll probably enjoy your steaks more than anyone else’s since you can perfectly customize it to your personal tastes.

The advantage of the big chain places is they tend to be strategically located off interstate exits and such, they tend to be relatively consistent from location to location, they’re relatively cheap and relatively fast. It’s sort of like the difference between having a turkey sandwich for dinner or cooking a full meal, sometimes easy + cheap + fast is what is called for, and that is where chains like Applebee’s comes in, in my opinion.

Replace Australia with Germany and Fosters with Jägermeister, and you have one of my favorite pet theories. :stuck_out_tongue:

Home. I can make two 8-ounce steaks for $8 that trounce anything you’d get in a chain steakhouse, and really aren’t too far off anything you’d get for $30 per steak in a nice steakhouse. All it takes is a damn good charcoal grill, a hair dryer, a good dry rub, and some practice.

We just went to Outback yesterday, and I have to say the salad was crisp and chilled to perfection, the potato was fluffy and drenched in butter and the steaks were juicy and tender. It was a really good meal, follwed by a really lousy cheesecake and bitter coffee. But the failure of the dessert was not bad enough to negate the good vibe of the dining experience, and I’m really looking forward to my leftovers at lunch. Either Bellevue, Washington is an exception to the rule, or the rule itself is off. All I know is we’ll definately go back, since I can’t cook a steak that well to save my life. I can turn any good cut of beef into a hocky puck in a heartbeat, so I avoid even trying any more.

Hair dryer?!?!?!?
Are you styling your steak?

For firing up the coals I’m assuming.

Yes – there are some differences, but the big picture is much the same. Some of the differences between American and Australian restaurant cuisine:
(1) There are more regional differences within the US than within Australia.
(2) The US has a lot more Tex-Mex and Mexican restaurants – the real Hispanic restaurants iin Australia are more likely to be Spanish :slight_smile: or Chilean.
(3) Australia has a lot more southeast Asian: Indonesian, Malaysian, Phillipino, etc.
(4) Since the big Australian cities, and many of the towns, are on the coast, there’s a lot more fresh seafood in Australia – though you pay a lot for the best of it, because a lot of it get exported to places like Japan.
(5) The “Chinatowns” (which of course are no longer limited to ethnic Chinese) are relatively more important in the big Australian cities, and have often multiplied out into into the suburbs where there has been a lot of Asian immigration.

The Outback Steakhouse’s Australianness is limited to a few words & phrases on its menu. In Australia it would be indistinguishable from what’s called a “Texas steakhouse” there (except that a Texas steakhouse in Australia would be serving Australian wines and beers, of course).

I’d agree. The hotter you can get your fire, the better. Problem with home-cooked steaks is that it is very hard for an individual to get Prime-grade meat. Restaurants get first cut at all the prime, and don’t leave much behind, even at a good butcher. Select is often available, and is really good, but a decent steakhouse’s dry aged prime cuts are worth the occasional trip.

I think you mean choice. IIRC, it goes:
Prime
Choice
Select
Standard
Commercial
Utility
Cutter
Canner

(I admit, I had to look everything below “select” up on Wiki.) You’re not going to find anything less than Select being sold in stores, though. And depending on the cut, select can be a good way to save a few bucks, or not worth it. For instance, tenderloin and ribeye select cuts are almost as good as choice (though still a ways off from prime,) and worth it. But I don’t think I’d get as select sirloin cut, since that’s the toughest of the cuts normally used for steaks. And I shudder at the thought of eating a select round steak (of course, the fact that some people eat round steaks at all is shudder-worthy.)

The better grades of steak are distinguished mostly because they have more “marbling” (fat)-which keeps the meat from drying out. Of course, the fat isn’t good for you-so you have to choose. However, you CAN cook very lean steak-without drying it out. You have to sear the meat at high temperature, and ALWAYS keep it rare inside-otherwise, it will dry out and be tough. You can ruin “KOBE” beef ($70.00/lb.) by overcooking it. That is why a mass-market chain like “OUTBACK” has to be careful-they use cheaper meat, and overcooking really makes it bad.
Look-I understand that you can’t provide gourmet food for $20.00-but at least the meat should be cooked right.
I understand Kobe beef tastes best when fried in vert small strips-can anyone confirm this?