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3 Predictions about the Future of the Steak Industry

People are always predicting the next trend in food, fashion and technology. Being a steakhouse, we can’t help thinking about what comes next in the world of steak. Here are three predictions for the future of the steak industry.

1. Steak isn’t going anywhere

Cuisine is one of those areas where new fads are always coming and going. For example, in recent years we’ve seen an explosion in the number of raw or gluten free restaurants. There are any number of fusion cuisines being invented on any given day, and there are even more outlandish trends such as dining in the pitch black. Some of these trends stick around and others fade away – but steak? This is one dining experience that definitely isn’t going anywhere. It’s simple too unique and too good to be phased out. There are too many people out there who consider a steak dinner to be the apex of a great meal – and for good reason. Hopefully the average quality of steak will increase, and steakhouses will work more and more with ethical suppliers. There are certainly improvements to be made, but the steakhouse is here to stay.

2. Quality will improve

What makes a great steakhouse experience? Is it the atmosphere, the service, the sides, the beverages? All of these things are important, no doubt – but the quality of the steak itself is perhaps the single most important factor. We think that the quality of steak will continue to improve as years and decades pass. Why? Because more and more steakhouses are choosing to work with high-end suppliers in order to get access to the most sought-after cuts of beef. More suppliers are raising their cattle ethically and carefully, since the demand for higher quality beef is on the rise. As this trend continues, the overall quality of steakhouses will increase – at least steakhouses that take pride in the quality of steak they prepare and serve.

3. Innovations won’t matter

You may have opened this article expecting some wild and whacky predictions about new types of steak, or new methods for preparing it. But as far as we’re concerned, the methodology behind preparing an ideal steak is very well understood. Professional operations start with very high quality meat, using a minimal amount of spices and preparation. Often times, rock salt is the only thing that’s used. Then the meat is broiled at extremely high heat, and finished with a sear on both sides. It sounds simple enough, but executing correctly is another thing altogether. Either way, we don’t think there are going to be any big innovations in the way a perfect steak is prepared. It’s always going to be a matter of experience and knowledge, couples with the very best ingredients out there.

Some things never change

Here’s another prediction: There will always be a spectrum of quality when it comes to steakhouses. When the right skills are paired with the right tools and ingredients, the quality goes through the roof. When corners are cut in any of these areas, quality suffers. Rest assured that there will continue to be “great” and “not-so-great” steakhouses out there. Finding the best places will always be a matter of doing your homework and maybe getting lucky!

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How Do Most Americans Prefer Their Steak?

When you go to a steakhouse with a group of people, there’s always that moment when the server makes their rounds taking orders, and asking that inevitable question: How would you like your steak cooked?

There really aren’t that many answers to this question: Rare, medium-rare, medium, medium-well, and well done. But it seems like people have a lot of opinions on the matter – especially steak chefs and steak aficionados. In fact, if you took a nationwide poll on the correct “doneness” of steak, most chefs and steak lovers will say that no steak – especially not a high-end cut of beef – should be cooked beyond medium. The general “professional” consensus tends to be that overcooking a great steak is basically a waste.

According to data collected from a popular chain of American steakhouses, the most common way to order a steak in this country is medium (around 38%). The next most popular order is medium-well (26%), with medium-rare close behind at just below 23%. Around 12% of customers ordered their beef well done. Finally, around 3% of that steakhouse’s customers ordered a rare steak.

This obviously isn’t perfect data, and the numbers could be very different at boutique or high-end steakhouses. But it’s interesting to note that according to this study, the majority of all steakhouse customers order on the medium or medium-well side.

On the other hand, you have a general idea amongst steak chefs that medium-rare is actually a more ideal preparation for a really good steak. That pink tenderness in the center, along with a perfect sear on the outside of the steak, is a commonly-held recipe for greatness.

Given that many people have an aversion to undercooked meat, it makes sense that a majority of people would go with a “middle-of-the road” order. You want the steak to have that tenderness and juiciness – and you definitely want to avoid that dry toughness that comes from an overcooked steak. By the same token, you’re concerned about eating undercooked meat and don’t want to subject yourself to any unexpected health risks.

The good thing to know is that if you’re in a reputable steakhouse with a highly professional staff, you’re going to be able to trust the people in the kitchen to handle your order correctly. You’re also going to be able to trust the quality of the meat and the sanitation standards, so that you can focus completely on the succulent steak in front you.

Find the right steakhouse

Finding the right doneness for your steak is important if you want to enjoy your dining experience to the fullest. There’s no feeling like walking away from a steak dinner and not being able to stop thinking about how tender, juicy, and satisfying that steak was. But that experience isn’t possible unless you find a really good steakhouse with talented professionals in the kitchen. It’s also important to know that a steakhouse uses the best possible sources and can tell you about them. The more passionate they are about steak, the higher your chances of having a memorable experience.

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What’s the Difference Between a Chef and a Cook?

If you think about the number of people out there who are being paid to prepare food, it is truly astronomical. Everywhere you look, there is some kind of restaurant or eatery or food truck or Café or fast food counter where people are lined up to eat. There are obviously many casual settings in which people don’t really have the highest expectations in terms of food quality and service atmosphere. But there are also those experiences demand more up kitchen staff in particular.

Your favorite steakhouse, for example. If you’re the kind of person who enjoys a good steakhouse, and perhaps has visited many steakhouses in many different cities, you know that when the Steakhouse has a good reputation, customers at the expectation that that reputation Will hold up.

The thing is, if you ever had a truly great steakhouse experience, you know just how great the food, service, and the ambience can be. You know how high the bar is set in terms of in amazing steak dinner or lunch. It’s not like you’re lining up at a fast food stall for quick bite. You’re expecting something more, and we need experience that level of professionalism and skill, you hold the other steakhouses to the same standard.

It’s no exaggeration to say that the chef who is working in the kitchen plays a big part in bringing about that truly qualitative steakhouse experience. It’s also no exaggeration to say that a mediocre or unskilled chef can effectively ruin an otherwise perfect steakhouse outing. What are the people working in steakhouses really chefs, or are they cooks? What’s the difference?

Usually a chef is somebody who is been through some formal training, while a cook is a much more casual term the could pertain to anybody who started working in the kitchen with very minimal training. Beyond this, however, definitions become quite subjective. The chef at your local steakhouse may not have actually been to any formal culinary training, but it may have acquired years’s steakhouse experience that results in the kind of mastery that reaches a higher professional standard. On the other hand, in untrained steakhouse chef could produce disappointing results. Many a steakhouse reputation has been damaged because management did not take the proper steps to put a trained chef in the kitchen.

A fine steakhouse is one of those rare dining experiences that deservedly sets high expectations for the preparation of stake and sides, atmosphere, service, comfort, craft beverages, and overall ambiance. But everything really emanates from the quality that’s coming out of the kitchen. If a seasoned steakhouse chef is really on point, and turning out high quality work, there should be a dining room full of very happy diners. And that’s why the most reputable steakhouses continue to draw crowds – they consistently turn out better results due to trained chefs who not only know how to prepare great food, but know how to prepare perfect cuts of high quality steak as well. Don’t be afraid to ask about your steakhouse chef’s level of experience!

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What to Look For When Reading Steakhouse Reviews

You probably already know the importance of reading reviews online — whether you’re looking at products, services, vacations, hotels, or anything else. The opinions of other clients and customers out there in the world have become enormously important to the choices we make, no matter what industry or sector of business you care to mention.

Those experiences we really want to savor particularly fall into this category. A recreational opportunity like parasailing, a ski weekend, or even a trip to the local steakhouse. It’s important to choose well. In some ways, these choices are just as important as the more logical and practical ones, since you’re talking about enjoying the best moments of your life.

But what do you actually look for when you read steakhouse reviews? What are the things you should pay most attention to, and what are the red flags? Here are four things to keep in mind.

1. The steak

This is obviously a big one. You could have the perfect steakhouse experience from the moment you walk in the door to the moment you leave — but if the steak itself isn’t of the highest quality, and isn’t prepared by a skilled steakhouse chef, you’re going to be left with dashed expectations.

2. The service

Service is another important thing to look for in user reviews. Who wants to make the effort to show up at a steakhouse, only to be met with rude or curt servers who don’t seem interested in shaping your experience in the best way possible? Service can make all the difference between a mediocre visit and a truly excellent one. You want service that is friendly but not too “over the top.” You want servers to be knowledgeable and helpful, but not pushy.

3. The value

When the bill arrives, how do you feel about it? This is actually a very important question to ask, and when you’re reading other people’s reviews of steakhouses (whether in your area or while traveling), you want to get a sense of the overall value. Visiting a good steakhouse may not be the cheapest meal you eat all week, but does it have to give you “sticker shock” when it’s time to pay the tab? Great steakhouses know how to walk the line and deliver the highest quality at a price that’s fair.

4. The atmosphere

Even if all the other elements are in place, people still don’t have a great time at a steakhouse unless the ambiance is right. A comfortable, low-lit atmosphere with classic lines and plush furniture is always a winner, when done right. Other places might have a more modern and contemporary look. Either way, atmosphere matter.

Which steakhouse will you review next?

The great thing about using reviews to choose your next steakhouse experience is that after you leave the steakhouse, you have an opportunity to be a part of the conversation and contribute your own review. And if you find a the right place, you might end up writing several reviews as you keep coming back for more.

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5 Reasons to Have a Steak Dinner This January

A steak dinner is something you don’t really need a reason to indulge in — the experience itself is reason enough. Still, there are moments when a steak dinner is particularly appreciated. In the cold of winter, for example, there are a lot of great arguments for grabbing your keys and heading out for a steak dinner. It may be tempting to call for pizza, but if you make the effort to get to a steakhouse this January, you might be very happy you did. Here are 5 reasons why.

1. It’s cold outside

What better way to get out of the January cold and warm up than a trip to your local steakhouse? The atmosphere is comfortable, there’s a good selection of steaks and sides all expertly prepared, a full beverage list, good conversation, and excellent service. That’s assuming, of course, that you go to a reputable steakhouse with all of its ducks in a row. By the time you walk out, you should be feeling the warmth from your fingers to your toes.

2. Spring is just around the corner

It may feel like the winter is dragging on forever, but the fact is, birds will be singing and flowers will be blooming in no time. What better way to celebrate than to stave off the winter chill with an expertly prepared steak dinner?

3. It’s a good way to get out of the house

Often times during the winter, you end up spending more time at home and in the office. When temperatures get really cold, it becomes even more convenient to spend all your time in the same places. Sometimes you just need to get out of the house and be around people — the steakhouse is a great place to do that. Combine good people with excellent steak and sides, plus a comprehensive beverage selection, and you’ll be very happy you made the trip.

4. That steakhouse is really good

It’s one thing to head out for a steak at a mediocre local place. The experience is familiar and the food might even be good. But when you talk about a really great steakhouse, it’s a completely different experience. You taste the difference in every bite — but especially the steak. You’ll get beef that’s been carefully sourced and impeccably prepared to bring you all the flavor you could ask for.

5. It’s a new year!

Speaking of celebrations, the new year doesn’t have to be something we only celebrate on January 1st! A visit to the steakhouse during the first month of the year gives you a feeling of new beginnings and doing things right — especially if your steak chef really knows how to do it right.

Where are the best steakhouses?

If you’re going to take the trouble to head out for a steak dinner this January, you’ll want to find a place that’s really worth going to. There’s nothing worse than having your expectations dashed by a sub-par experience. A little research online should reveal where most of the other patrons in your area are having the best steakhouse experiences!

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3 Things You Didn’t Know About Steak

Steak is one of the most popular products in the world today, and has been for some time. And yet, there are a lot of things most people don’t know about steak. Here are three facts you might not have known.

1. Quality is everything

When you’ve got a really great piece of steak in front of you, where it came from or why it’s so good might be the last thing on your mind. What matters is enjoying it. But the untold story of steak is that quality really is a spectrum — and when you’re enjoying a cut of beef that’s high on the quality spectrum, the experience is completely different. You can have a lower-quality steak prepared by the most talented and trained steak chef in the world, and the experience still won’t measure up to that of a high quality steak prepared at home on an ordinary grill. There’s a reason why so many steakhouses and hotels buy up the finest quality steak before it can reach the grocery store shelves. They know it makes the biggest difference in terms of their customers’ experience and overall enjoyment!

2. Steak chefs don’t use a lot of marinade

The idea of using fancy and elaborate marinades for your steak is something you can read about on countless blogs and web sites — but is it really the best way to prepare steak? If you ask a hundred steak chefs this question, probably ninety of them will say that marinades are not the best way to prepare a choice cut of beef. The beauty of a high quality steak is that it contains all the flavor and tenderness it needs. Patting down the steak with rock salt and garlic is often the only measure used by professional steak chefs. Why? Because it’s a minimalist approach that brings out the steak’s natural flavor. Too much fancy marinade merely covers up the natural awesomeness of high quality beef.

3. Like wine, steak can be aged to perfection

The idea of aging beef doesn’t make sense to a lot of people — but in cold conditions with strict environmental controls, aging a cut of beef for days, weeks or even years can bring out levels of flavor you didn’t even think possible. Next time you visit a high quality steakhouse, ask if they have any aged steaks on the menu, and why you should considered these steaks. It’s worth mentioning that aged steaks should only be accepted from the most trusted and reputable steakhouses and sources. But yes — steak can be aged to perfection!

Does your local steakhouse do it right?

A lot of steak lovers fall into the habit of visiting the same steakhouse again and again. Usually, this is because they’ve found something great and don’t see the need to move around too much. Finding a steakhouse that does things right is a beautiful thing. It means that anytime you want that world class steak experience, you don’t have to rely on guesswork. Enjoy!

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What’s the Best Steakhouse in the World?

People are always trying to find the best of everything. The best products, the best movies, the best services, the best insurance, and so on down the line. It’s only natural to be curious about the best of something, even if you can’t realistically afford it. The most expensive, however, isn’t always the best. For example, if you want the most expensive car in the world right now, you might buy a McLaren P1 LM, with a price tag over three million dollars. But is that really a practical and high-value car that you’re going to want to put miles on, drive through the winter, and kick snow off the tires? Probably not. If you’re attending a glamorous opera in Rome, you might take it out for a spin. Other than that, you’ll probably leave it in the garage and occasionally uncover it to show friends.

What about the best steakhouse in the world?

This is one area where you’re going to find a lot of different opinions. There was a recent article in Bloomberg about the best steakhouses around the world, with several of the top choices on North American soil. Tokyo is another prime place for great steak, with its supply of Wagyu beef and its great attention to detail.

But when we drill down into what makes these steakhouses great, the quality of the beef only takes us so far. Yes, it’s necessary to have the finest quality cuts of beef on the menu if you want to be considered among the best steakhouses around — there’s no doubt about this. Even if you have an expert chef and the best kitchen facilities in the world, a mediocre cut of meet is still not going to make for an excellent experience. You need that high quality product.

However, if we look at it from the “flip” side, having a high quality cut of beef prepared by a clueless chef with a substandard kitchen is not going to get you on the list of best steakhouses either. It’s really necessary to have all of these ingredients in order to make a steakhouse the best it can possibly be.

Atmosphere and service are also very important. In all of the steakhouses listed as the best in the world, you’ll see comments about the comfortable design and atmosphere of the place. Great steakhouses pay attention to detail — not only in terms of the food and drinks, but in terms of the overall experience. If your waiters don’t seem to know much about steak and seem unable to answer your questions (or simply don’t provide a very good level of service), that’s going to affect the experience even if your plate is expertly prepared.

The best steakhouse in the world is certainly a subjective opinion. For many people, it’s a steakhouse not far from where they live, where the quality of the meat, the friendliness of the atmosphere, and the overall cost-value ratio is excellent. Whatever your personal list of best steakhouses may be, consider all the different aspects of the experience before deciding which steakhouse is really your personal best.

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Steak and Sides: What Makes a Great Combination?

The steak experience isn’t just about steak. Don’t get us wrong — it’s mostly about steak. Without the expertly prepared cut of quality beef, served exactly how you like it, the steak dinner ceases to exist. But there are a number of other things that round out the experience. Atmosphere is one. A good steakhouse has an atmosphere of comfort and class, with plenty of attention paid to the furniture and lighting. Service is another important thing. We all know what it’s like to experience bad service at a restaurant, and we know what it’s like when the service is good.

There’s also the question of the value. Are you getting what you pay for, or paying too much for what you get? There’s nothing like walking away from a great meal and feeling like it was worth every penny. On the other hand, people often leave a steakhouse feeling like they paid way too much for a mediocre experience.

What else defines the steakhouse experience? Sides. It’s certainly possible to enjoy a quality steak on its own, but without an array of succulent side dishes to choose from, you’re not going to feel like the meal is complete.

Shellfish

Steak and seafood — shrimp, in particular — can be a knockout combination. Lobster is another great choice. When you want a meal that’s truly celebratory and indulgent, steak and lobster is always in the conversation. The mild and succulent flavor profiles of these types of shellfish is a perfect compliment to a nicely prepared steak, and can leave you feeling profoundly satisfied with your meal. On the other hand, if the ingredients aren’t the best quality (or if the plate isn’t prepared well), it only feels like a pale imitation of something great.

Potatoes

This is a big one. Steak and potatoes is an age-old tradition, and steakhouse chefs are always finding new ways to get creative with potatoes. The baked potato is a perennial favorite, although it’s easy to get this simple dish wrong, and many steakhouses often do get it wrong. Twice baked potatoes are another great thing to see next to steak on a plate. Don’t forget the mashed or whipped potatoes — and if they’re prepared by a gourmet team using special flourishes, you’ll love them even more.

Veggies

Veggie dishes with steak are one of those things that absolutely has to be done right. If not, it won’t be very tasty at all. The texture of cooked vegetable dishes is one of the most difficult things to get right. If you’ve ever had soggy or overcooked vegetables on a plate next to a piece of steak, you know it’s enough to make you want to throw your napkin on the table and walk out. But when the vegetable dishes are super fresh, creatively spiced, and prepared to a crisp perfection — it makes your steak taste that much better.

What sides does your steakhouse offer?

There are many other creative sides to explore, depending on what local steakhouse you visit. Lobster mac-n-cheese is a great example — or mushroom medleys, or beer-battered onion rings. If you find a steakhouse that takes its work seriously, you should be able to order anything off the menu and expect a thoughtful, perfect preparation that accents your steak and keeps you coming back for more.

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5 Arguments in Favor of Steak

You probably don’t need any information, evidence, or convincing arguments to go out and have a steak dinner. It’s one of those things most of us would do a lot more if we could. But just in case you need a little extra motivation, here are 5 compelling arguments in favor of steak.

1. There’s no other meat like it

Have you ever heard anybody say they were going out for a celebratory chicken dinner? How about a pork loin, or filet of sea bass? There’s simply no getting around the fact that steak is the king of the hill when it comes to opulence, flavor, succulence, and celebratory activities. There’s a certain feeling you get before, during and after a really great steak dinner that you just don’t get with any other cuisine. Steak is in a league of its own.

2. The best quality steak is carefully and humanely raised

More and more people these days are concerned about where meat comes from, and whether the animals were ethically raised. This is, of course, a good thing. Aside from respect for animals and the environment, ethically raised meats are often healthier in very real ways. Steak runs a very broad spectrum of quality, but the high-end cuts of beef almost always come from clean, ethical sources.

3. It rarely disappoints

When it comes to steak dinners, there is always the occasional “dud.” This is far more likely to be your experience when you visit a steakhouse of questionable repute. But if you take your time to locate a quality establishment in your area (whether you’re at home or traveling in another city), you’ll almost always be able to find a steakhouse that takes its work seriously. To steer clear of disappointment, pay attention to customer reviews. A glance at the menu can also tell you a lot, depending on what information is given about the different steaks on offer.

4. It’s perfect for celebratory occasions

We already mentioned this one, but it deserves mentioning again. What celebration isn’t made better by a steak dinner with all the fixings? Weddings, anniversaries, bachelorette and bachelor parties, graduations, birthdays — the list goes on. Heading out for a celebratory steak is a perennial tradition, and it’s going to be around for a long time.

5. The possibilities are endless

One of the very best things about steak is that there’s always something new to learn. There’s always a new cut of beef to try, from a new and different source. In that respect, steak is a lot like sushi and other specialty cuisines. There are so many different cuts of beef, and no two steaks are exactly alike. The quality of the meat and the skill of the chef are integral parts of the experience.

The best argument in favor of steak…

If you’re looking for reasons to go out and have a steak dinner, the best argument is in the experience itself. If you haven’t been out to a quality steakhouse lately, and really tasted all it has to offer, you might want to step up and refresh your memory. This is one of those meals that has the power to stay with you…and keep you coming back for more!

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Is It Unhealthy to Eat Overcooked Steak?

How do you like your steak cooked? This is a question most of us like hearing. It probably means we’re sitting comfortably in the pleasant atmosphere of a steakhouse, enjoying conversation with friends and getting ready for a great meal. Everyone has their own answer to that question. There are a lot of “medium” folks who don’t like it overcooked or undercooked at all. There are plenty of people who order “medium rare” who prefer a little more pink in the middle. And there are those who err on the side of “well done,” either because they enjoy the taste or because they’re concerned for their health.

Nobody’s wrong and nobody’s right — or are they? If you were able to survey all the steakhouse chefs in the world and ask how they feel steak should really be cooked and eaten, you’d certain hear a few different opinions. But you’d see a prevalence of chefs who feel that overcooking a steak — especially a really high quality cut of beef — is just about the worst thing you can do to it.

But let’s be honest, most of these chefs really aren’t addressing health concerns when they say this. A chef wants to bring out the flavor, tenderness, juiciness, and overall succulence of a great steak. Overcooking leads to a drier, less tender, less juicy, less succulent cut of beef. That’s what they’ll tell you, anyway. And they’re probably right.

But there may be other reasons why overcooking steak (or other types of foods, for that matter) is actually not good from a health standpoint. Growing evidence in nutritional journals and various sources online argue that cooking meat too long result in a less nutritious food product.

This is very much true for other types of food — including vegetables, starches, gains and so on. Any of these foods will rapidly lose nutrients beyond a certain point of cooking, and the same is generally true with the amino acids, proteins, and healthy fats locked in that raw piece of beef in the cooler.

That’s not to say that nobody should order a steak well done. Some people honestly do like it this way. But if it’s true that you’re losing some of the steak’s nutritious goodness by cooking it that way, you might be compelled to stick with medium or lower, and preserve more of the nutrients in the meat.

The next time you sit down to order a steak, you might want to think twice before you order your meat well done. Overcooking meat is still a contentious topic amongst the people who study these things, but there is plenty of compelling evidence that cooking steak too long actually does start to sap its nutrients — not to mention its flavor and overall goodness.

If you have any questions about how to order different cuts of beef, and what the effect will be for different types of preparation, you should feel free to ask your waiter. Any staff member at a quality steakhouse should be able to answer these questions for you, and help you make a great order.