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What are the 3 Most Popular Types of Steak?

What kind of steak did you order on your most recent visit to a steakhouse? Do you remember the cut, the source, the preparation? Do you remember how it looked on your plate, and how that first succulent bite tasted?

If it was a really good steakhouse, the answer to these questions is probably yes. If it was a mediocre steak from a mediocre establishment, or a steak from a restaurant that doesn’t specialize in steak, you might not remember much about the experience.

But if we had to guess what type (cut) of steak you ordered that evening, it was probably one of the following:

1. New York Strip

We mentioned this one first because it’s less expensive and more widely available – you tend to see a lot of New York Strips in markets, and at restaurants. It’s a solid steak, to be sure, but it’s a little too chewy for some people, and it doesn’t have a great deal of marbling (fat content) inside. If it did, the price would be higher. But a high quality New York Strip, expertly sourced and prepared, is nothing to shake a stick at.

2. Filet Mignon

This cut is usually at the top of people’s lists – and for good reason. It’s a very tender muscle that does not perform a lot of exercise in a cow’s life. The result is a very smooth and buttery piece of steak, and if prepared right, your steak knife should easily cut through it. The taste is incredible, but some steak aficionados think that the lack of fat in this cut of beef creates a very mild flavor.

3. Rib-eye

This is, of course, another treasured cut of beef. It doesn’t always come with the rib bone in place – sometimes that bone has been removed. Unlike filet mignon, ribeye is quite fatty, both on its edges and inside (this is called marbling). The result is a vibrant and succulent flavor. These cuts are generally not as buttery and soft as the filet mignon – but they’re still tender, and the chewiness adds to the experience of the flavor.

Your next steakhouse experience…

Whether you’re new to being a steak aficionado or you’ve been at it a long time (or maybe you’ve just had your first high class steak dinner, and are curious about having more), it’s interesting to know what the popular cuts actually are. Far more important, however, is the quality of the source. Good steakhouses are very particular about where they source beef, fish, and anything else on the menu – but especially the beef. It should be from a highly reputable source, and it’s always nice to see some local farms on the menu as well. Once you get really good steak into the hands of a fully equipped and experienced steakhouse chef, you’ll be able to fully enjoy the merits of each different cut.

Choose your next steak carefully, and ask where it comes from! Your waiter should be able to give you specific information that enhances your knowledge and enjoyment of steak. Enjoy!

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3 Great Steakhouse Desserts

When you book a table at a new steakhouse ­– someplace you’ve never been before – you’re not entirely worried about the décor. You’re not thinking about whether the chairs will be the most comfortable you’ve ever sat in, or whether they’ll have your preferred brand of beer or wine. There are a thousand details involved in a steakhouse visit, but they all pale in comparison to one simple question: How is the steak?

Because let’s face it – if the steak falls flat, the entire experience will fall flat too Everything else can be done exactly right, but if you’re not enjoying that cut of beef on your plate, it’s simply not going to rank up there among your best steakhouse experiences. In fact, you’re probably going to log on to social media within 24 hours and let the world know about your experience.

That said, a great steak on its own – when the other aspects of the experience are sub-standard – is not the greatest thing either. That’s why the best steakhouses take extra care to deliver a complete experience. It may revolve around steak, but it definitely includes atmosphere, service, sides, and of course dessert.

Speaking of dessert, what are some standout desserts being served at reputable steakhouses? A good dessert is the figurative cherry on top of a fantastic steak dinner, so it’s worth taking a closer look at this underrated area of the steakhouse experience.

1. Cannoli tacos

Imagine a lightly fried flour tortilla filled with a perfectly mixed blend of ricotta cheese, cinnamon and powdered sugar, orange peel, vanilla, and whipping cream. This (or some variation of it) is the cannoli taco – and it’s a giant hit with steakhouse aficionados. It’s the kind of dessert you may need to share with a friend or two, especially after a succulent steak dinner. But there’s no better way to round off your steakhouse experience!

2. Lemon and/or butter cakes

There are many different takes on lemon and butter cake in steakhouses around the country – but one thing is for sure: When they’re done right, these cakes are a positively sublime way to follow up a steak dinner. Especially when they have just the right amount of crispiness on the outside and softness on the inside.

3. Ice cream sundaes

There is no shortage of ice cream sundaes out there, but so many of them fall short of the highest expectations. Not so when you visit a high-class steakhouse with a variation of the ice cream sundae on the menu. It’s truly the little things that matter, from the quality of the ice cream to the flavorings and toppings.

Is your steakhouse serving delectable desserts?

Obviously you don’t want to choose a steakhouse based solely on the dessert menu – but fortunately, most of the steakhouses with really good dessert menus are also serving really great steaks. People often skip dessert because they’ve eaten too much, or because they don’t want the extra calories. But sharing one of these light (or not-so-light) desserts after a steak dinner can truly be the icing on the cake.

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How Well-Trained are Steakhouse Chefs?

The media is always talking about Michelin star restaurants, up-and-coming chefs, and of course those culinary TV shows where young professionals are put through the paces. People love to watch and read about the high stakes game of professional culinary arts. It’s a competitive field, and some people are willing to do whatever it takes to reach the top.

But do chefs in the real world really go through that kind of training? Are they really all that well trained, or does the media tend to sensationalize it?

Let’s take your average steakhouse, for example. There are an awful lot of steakhouses out there, and many of them could be described as average. What kind of training do these chefs have? Can even be described as “chefs,” or are they more like “cooks”?

These are interesting questions for anybody who is fascinated by the restaurant business. They also have a direct bearing on the quality of the food that comes of the kitchen.

There are certainly exceptions, but if you took a detailed survey of the chefs in “average” steakhouses, you’d probably find more experience than formal training. Make no mistake – experience is valuable in the kitchen, especially when you’re putting together orders for dozens of tables at the same time, and trying to make sure all the plates come out on time and on point.

That being said, formal training is a characteristic that virtually every high-level chef possesses, whether that training was undertaken at a culinary school or as a formal apprentice to a master chef.

When you start looking at the higher-level steakhouses – the ones that earn great review scores, and maintain sterling reputations in their communities – you’ll probably find that a lot of those chefs have formal training in the culinary arts. You might not even have to ask in order to confirm this fact – the evidence will be right in front of you, both in the execution of the steak and sides you order, and in the presentation.

Let’s be honest – when you go to a steakhouse, you probably aren’t overly concerned about presentation. What you want is a high quality steak, prepared to absolute perfection, with an array of irresistible side dishes. You want craft beverages, a comfortable and inviting atmosphere, and a warm style of service. Those stuffy, uncomfortable, overly formal restaurants aren’t exactly what you have in mind when you go to a steakhouse – you want to relax and enjoy yourself!

If you’re wondering about who is in the kitchen, and what kind of training they have, it never hurts to ask your waiter. In many cases, the steakhouse chef will come right out and introduce him or herself to you, and answer your questions in person. At the very least, the waiter should be able to tell you about the qualifications of the chef, if that interests you.

What interests most people, however, is the quality of the meal. That’s why the highest rated steakhouses often maintain their high ratings on popular social channels, and always keep their customers coming back for more.

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Have You Discovered the Best Steakhouse in Your Area?

If you live in a major commercial center like New York City, you’re bound to run up against a good steakhouse sooner or later – whether or not you really love steak. But this is not only true for the big apple: Steak is truly everywhere. It has become a part of the American tradition, and steakhouses are popping up (and disappearing) all the time.

Those steakhouses that stick around tend to do so for one of two reasons. Either there isn’t any decent competition in the area, or the steakhouse is exceptional, and has therefore been able to continue and thrive when other steakhouses folded and failed.

But have you discovered the best steakhouse in your area? This may not be something you’ve thought about – or you may assume you’ve found the best in your area. But it’s always worth asking yourself again, because the best steakhouses are usually miles above the competition.

What sets them apart?

The quality of the beef is obviously a big part of the answer to that question. When ultra-premium beef is purchased from reputable sources and transported quickly and safely, the freshness and quality are unbelievable in and of themselves. Throw in an expert steakhouse chef’s methods of preparation and a number of hearty sides; now you have a truly exceptional meal on the table.

It’s all about the details when it comes to serving a meal like this – but all roads lead back to the source of the beef, and the quality of the beef, an everything else about the beef. That’s the fundamental building block of a great steakhouse experience, and if your steakhouse isn’t sourcing a curated and high quality selection of exquisite cuts of steak, then it doesn’t matter how fancy the atmosphere or how good the cocktails. Not even a really good bunch of side dishes can make up for a steak that just doesn’t make the grade.

The best steakhouse in your area understands this very well. They’ll obviously source the best steaks around, and will strive to give their customers a unique and curated selection, just as a sommelier does with wine. Not only that, the good steakhouses want you to know about their steaks. The menu should make it clear where the beef came from, and should tell you something about the level of quality.

Beyond the steak, creative yet timeless side dishes are indispensable. A good bar that mixes quality cocktails, a carefully chosen wine and beer list, and plenty of family friendly options are also important details.

Finally, a word about service. The best steakhouse in your area, whatever it happens to be, will not skimp on service. This is a hugely important aspect of the dining experience. To be served a great steak by a rude waiter may be more pleasant than being served a bad steak by a friendly water, but there’s not reason to have on or the other. The service rendered by the waitstaff should always be consummate to the quality of the steak on offer.

Good luck finding the next great steakhouse in your area!

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3 Things to Look for on Your Steakhouse Menu

When you get to a steakhouse, what’s the most exciting moment before the food arrives? For many patrons, it’s the moment you pick up the menu. All the possibilities are there – all the different cuts of high-quality steak from different reputable sources. The list of sides, soups and salads is also important. These are going to surround your steak and decide the overall flavor of the meal.

In terms of excitement, the menu certainly can’t compete with the moment of sinking your teeth into that very first bite of steak, after the waiter sets it down in front of you. Still, perusing the menu is one of the best things about the steakhouse experience, especially if you’re in a joint that really knows its stuff, and has a reputation to build and uphold.

So here’s the question: Can you tell a really good steakhouse just by looking at the menu? If you’ve never been to that particular establishment before, would opening the menu be enough to determine whether or not your visit it going to be worthwhile?

Probably not, to be honest. There are plenty of steakhouses out there with fancy-looking menus, but that doesn’t mean the food on the table is going to live up to the hype.

There are, however, a few things that might tip you off as to the overall quality and pedigree of the steakhouse in question. Such as:

Information about the beef

Where does it come from and how was it raised? These are important things to know, but they are also very basic. Not knowing these things about your steak is like going to a wine shop that knows nothing about the differences between the wines it sells. It’s one thing to order a “sirloin steak” at a sports bar, and the quality of what you get will probably be tantamount to the tight-lipped description. But if you’re in a real steakhouse, you’ll definitely see information about the various cuts of beef on offer. Furthermore, the waitstaff will be able to answer questions and tell you about the different cuts.

Not too many choices

If the menu is five or ten pages long, you’re probably not in a real steakhouse. The best steakhouses are often specialists – they may offer some non-steak items on the menu, but the selection won’t be excessive. The chefs are too busy preparing high-quality steaks and sides, and that’s what they’re good at. A huge menu usually means you’re in a pub or sports bar – which isn’t a bad thing at all, but it’s not a steakhouse.

Prime, Choice or Select

American beef will be graded one of these three, with Prime being the best and Select being the lowest quality. A lot of steakhouses don’t tell you which of these three ratings your steak is, because they’re selling you one of the interior grades. Choice and even Select can be very good if expertly prepared, but the finest quality American steaks are graded Prime. Whether or not you plan on ordering that particular steak, it’s good to know.

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Do People Remember the Best Steak They’ve Ever Had?

We all know that some things in life are more memorable than others. A significant life event like a wedding or graduation is much more likely to stick in your memory than an evening watching sports at the pub with your friends. That’s not to say that all of these ordinary “forgettable” experience are not valuable, but it usually takes something a little more than that to really be unforgettable.

Meals are a great example. We all eat meals every day, two or three on average, and the vast majority of these are quickly forgotten. If you were asked what you had for dinner every night last week, and you were able to answer accurately, you’d be in a very small percentage of people. Eating can be an important and special event ­– but very often, it’s just a necessity that’s taken care of and quickly forgotten.

Where does steak fit into this picture? The truth is, it’s like any other meal. You’re just as likely to forget a steak dinner as you are to forget a frozen entrée that you heated up in the microwave and ate in front of the television. That’s assuming, however, that the steak you had was of mediocre quality, or was not very skillfully prepared. Because when steak works, it really works. A high quality steak from a reputable source that has been expertly prepared by a steakhouse chef, for example, is something you’re probably going to remember.

Unfortunately, those meals that are really bad also tend to stick in our memories – sometimes even more so than the good ones. It might be that the beef came from a low-quality source. It might be that it wasn’t handled properly during transit. It might be that the chef didn’t really know what he or she was doing when the steak was prepared. Or it might be a combination of these things. The point is, when a steak is mediocre, it tends to be forgotten – but when a steak is either exceptional or not good at all, it’s much easier to remember that experience. It’s also easier to remember the establishment where you had that good or bad experience. That’s why people who have a fantastic steakhouse experience tend to go back for a second visit soon, whereas if the experience is clearly negative, they’ll usually never return to that particular steakhouse.

So when was the last time you had an exceptional steak? Do you remember where it was?

The memory of the best steak you ever had will probably fade and become less detailed as the days pass, even if you try to hold that memory for a long time. You’ll remember where you had the steak, and the establishment will stick in your memory as a place that’s really worth visiting ­– but from time to time, we all need a reminder of what it was actually like to sink our teeth into that tender, succulent steak; with that perfect sear on the outside and that butter-soft inside.

That’s why it pays to find a steakhouse that delivers exceptional quality, time and time again.

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5 Things to Look for in a Steakhouse

Steak is often seen as an indulgence, or something you have only once in awhile, on a special occasion, and so forth. But the word “steak aficionado” is there for a reason, and there are a lot of folks out there who eat steak a lot more than “once in awhile.”

Either way, when you have steak, you want to make it count. What’s the point of ordering a steak at a place that’s going to serve low-quality beef that’s been frozen a long time? When you have a steak, you want it fresh, grilled to perfection, and from a reputable source.

Here are five things to look for in a steakhouse:

1. A smaller menu

We don’t mean that every steakhouse menu should be a single card with one or two options – it’s nice to be able to choose your steak from many options and pair it with sides and appetizers of your choice. But often times, when you see a “steakhouse” with an expansive menu offering every kind of cuisine, it means you’re not really in a dedicated steakhouse. The best steakhouses use quality ingredients and design their menus carefully, to reflect the style and creativity of that particular steakhouse.

2. A knowledgeable waiter

The waitstaff at high quality steakhouse really have tried everything on the menu. This is usually a mandatory part of their staff training; to try small portions of everything, and have the chef explain what it is they’re tasting. That’s how they’re able to pass that information onto. That doesn’t mean you can’t visit a great steakhouse with a clueless waiter, but it’s often not the best sign when your waiter doesn’t know much about what’s on the menu.

3. A comfortable atmosphere

There are actually a lot of good steakhouses out there without any TVs. This makes for a dimmer, calmer, and more conversation ambiance overall. Again, there are also many great steakhouses with plenty of TVs. But in either case, the atmosphere should be stylish and comfortable. Traditional steakhouses with dim lighting and posh furniture are always classic; but contemporary designs with neutral colors and brighter lighting can also work very well. You’ll know a comfortable and stylish steakhouse when you see it; and the proof will be in what’s on the table.

4. High quality steaks

This one is obvious. It is possible for a steakhouse to be too “over the top” and descriptive about their steaks, but some vital information is nice. Really good steakhouses will tell you where the meat comes from – and if the menu doesn’t tell you how it was fed and raised, the waiter will be able to fill in the blanks with true information.

5. A good value

Some steakhouses deserve to charge a thousand dollars for a meal, with the effort and attention they put in. But the real art is in bringing an incredible experience down into the realm of a great overall value. That value is determined by all of the factors listed here – but there’s really nothing better than a steakhouse experience that satisfies on all levels and doesn’t break the bank.

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5 Common Complaints Against Steakhouses

Do you remember the last steakhouse review you wrote? Maybe you’ve never actually written one – or maybe you’re a steak aficionado who contributes regularly to mainstream review sites, like Google and Yelp. Either way, there are a lot of great reviews out there – but also a lot of bad ones. Thousands of people have mediocre (or downright negative) steakhouse experiences every week.

So what are all those unhappy customers complaining about? Here are five common complaints against steakhouses:

1. The steak wasn’t cooked right

This is probably the single most common complaint against steakhouses, and for good reason – people often have a good idea of how they like their steak prepared, whether it’s medium-rare or well-done. And if the steakhouse can’t deliver a steak that’s prepared just right, the customer will probably not come away with a positive impression of the place. Cooking each steak to perfection is what steakhouse chefs are trained to do. It may be difficult to get every steak perfect, every single night – but that’s what makes a true professional!

2. The food took too long

Nobody likes to be rushed through their dining experience – especially not at a steakhouse. But the other end of the spectrum is not very pleasant either. Waiting and waiting for your food to arrive is annoying at best, and you may even have a show or ball game to attend. The less-professional steakhouses out there often oversell and overbook themselves, without having enough hands on deck in the kitchen to meet the demand. The result is that people wait.

3. The service was bad

There are many shades of bad service at a steakhouse. Sometimes the waiter seems disinterested, or sometimes they’re too intrusive. Sometimes they don’t provide the best recommendations, or don’t make an effort to fix the problem when something isn’t right. Whatever the reasons for bad steakhouse service, you can count on a negative review when this happens. And negative reviews are something that steakhouses will have to live with permanently. That’s why high standards of service – every single night – are an absolute must!

4. The menu was overpriced

This is another perennial complaint. Generally speaking, people don’t mind paying a premium at a steakhouse – provided the experience is worth every penny. If a steakhouse is going to charge premium prices for their steak and sides, they had better be ready and willing to provide a premium steakhouse experience for every table in the house! If not, their reputation will diminish over time.

5. The interior was shabby

It may not be the most important detail, but atmosphere does count for something. When the interior of the steakhouse feels shabby and poorly maintained, it reflects negative on the overall experience of dining there – even if the food is beyond expectations.

How to avoid a negative steakhouse experience

When you go to a new local steakhouse, you never know what kind of experience you’re going to get – that’s part of the fun. But it’s nice to know that you can count on the fundamentals: excellent steak, a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere, and impeccable service.

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How to Write a Review of Your Steakhouse Experience

When it comes to choosing a location for your next steak dinner, online reviews are your best friend. And when you walk out the door after your meal, you get to contribute to that collection of reviews and tell the world about your own experience. But if you really want it to have an impact, think carefully about your steakhouse review before you write it. Here are some tips:

1. Be as honest as possible

A lot of people actually hold back with the write steakhouse reviews – usually because they don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings. It’s the same reason AirBnb customers have a hard time criticizing their hosts – they’re aware that people are trying to run a business, and they don’t want to make it more difficult for them. But the reality is that people need an honest assessment of your experience. If a steakhouse isn’t delivering where it counts, or striving to make it right, people need to know there are better options out there. Most people don’t visit the steakhouse all that often. When they go, they want to make it count.

2. Don’t be too emotional

If you want your review to have an impact on those who read it, avoid getting too “sloppy” or emotional. Everybody knows that a person’s mood can have a big impact on their dining experience. Plus, sometimes things just don’t go well, for whatever reason. If your steakhouse reviews is particular unforgiving ­– or particularly over the moon with enthusiasm – people are statistically less likely to take it seriously. That doesn’t mean you should hide your true impressions about the steakhouse, or “dumb down” what you want to say. Instead, try to write honestly about the nature of your experience. If there were pros and cons, describe them as objectively as possible. If the experience was really bad, explain why. And if it was one of your best steakhouse experiences ever, tell the world you’ll be going back.

3. Keep it fairly short

The length of your steakhouse review is a balancing act. You don’t want it to be so short that it looks like you didn’t put any effort into it. On the other hand, you don’t want it to be so long that people feel like they’re reading a novel. Think about your overall impressions of the experience and try to condense them into a one or two concentrated paragraphs. These are the types of reviews that tend of have the most impact.

Saying what you want to say

Online reviews are a wonderful thing for any aficionado steak, because they give you an instant impression as to whether or not a given steakhouse really has the goods. But wading through badly written reviews just makes it more difficult to determine the quality of a steakhouse. Whether you want to say something good or bad about a steakhouse – or a combination of the two – it will have far more impact if you take some time to write a thoughtful review. Remember – you’re adding to the permanent reputation of this steakhouse. Make it count!

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Why Do So Many Steakhouses Fail?

Have you ever driven by a new steakhouse in your city and thought to yourself, I should really give that place a try – only to drive by a few weeks later and find a seafood or Chinese restaurant in its place? Maybe it’s not even a restaurant anymore – maybe it’s a yoga studio or a dog grooming center. The point is, steakhouses are popping up and disappearing all over the place. Why is this?

Well, the first answer is that the restaurant business in general is a tough place to make it. Many people open restaurants without a realistic sense of what it’s going to take. As operations get underway, staff and owners quickly feel overwhelmed if they don’t have plenty of skill and experience from previous restaurants.

Now consider the fact that a steakhouse is particularly difficult to open and maintain at a high professional level. Why? People demand more when it comes to steak. This isn’t like ordering a burger at your local fast food joint – steakhouses are for people who take their beef seriously. And if someone opens a steakhouse without sufficient preparation, they’ll quickly find themselves looking for another line of work. Here are four of the main reasons why so many steakhouses fail.

1. They don’t source the highest quality beef

This is probably the number one reason why steakhouses fail – the steak itself just isn’t good enough. When you bite into a high quality piece of beef that’s been expertly prepared, you remember it. When the steak is mediocre (or worse), all you remember is that you’re not coming back to this joint!

2. They get too fancy with the menu

Some establishments get too “cute” with the menu, and they end up losing sight of what really matters in terms of a great steakhouse experience. Those places that have been around a long time, and enjoyed good levels of success in the community, usually keep things simple and focus on what they’re really good at.

3. They don’t hire a skilled chef

The untold secret of many failed steakhouses is that they tried to get away with inexperienced chefs. In many cases, they hire a chef who has literally no experience preparing steak, and expect that person to learn from online tutorials and books. No amount of instructional content can measure up to the professional training and hands-on experience of a top quality steakhouse chef.

4. They put too much emphasis (or not enough) on ambiance

We’ve all been to restaurants where it seems like they tried a little too hard to make the ambiance “cool” and inviting. And yet somehow, the place lacks warmth and character. On the other hand, some steakhouses go for a bare bones approach with the décor, and the effect backfires. Creating just the right atmosphere is a difficult thing to do – almost as difficult as creating just the right menu.

What are the signs of success?

A steakhouse that’s been around for a long time isn’t necessarily going to deliver a superior steak – but the chances are higher. Longevity is one of the signs of success when it comes to steakhouses. More importantly, look at what people have been saying about that steakhouse recently. Have they kept up with the times? Are they sourcing beef from local, sustainable, reputable sources? Do they keep skilled and trained chefs in the kitchen, and do they maintain excellence in service and atmosphere? If so, you can probably count on your experience being up there with the best.