As you find you seat at your favorite steakhouse and open the menu, you see a plethora of steaks listed — each of them begging to be ordered. Maybe you’ve already tried all the steaks on the menu and can’t decide which to choose tonight (For example: Is the New York Strip really better than the sirloin?)
Perhaps knowing more about the background of the steak will help you narrow your decision. Whatever the case may be, your waiter should be ready to answer all of your steak-related questions. Here are 3 questions that you should ask your waiter if you’re having trouble deciding on a steak, or if you are visiting for the first time and are curious about what a new steakhouse has to offer.
1. Where does the steak come from?
Fine steakhouses boast in having the best grade of meats anywhere, and they will be happy to tell you where they get these fine cuts. Waiters, especially those at the high quality steakhouses, will be very knowledgeable about the meat’s origins and be able to go into much more detail than what you see written on the menu. Steakhouses take pride in their fine and superior selection of meats, and also age the cuts differently to give them different flavors.
2. What’s the most popular steak on the menu?
Each steakhouse will have its own most commonly ordered steak. Which steak this turns out to be will say something about a particular establishment. Many would say that the filet is the most popular steak on the menu because of its tenderness; however, it also tends to cost the most. Sirloin is also very popular at steakhouses because its heartiness and flavor makes it well worth the price. Sirloin usually comes in 6, 8, and 11 ounces.
3. What does the chef recommend?
The most popular steak on the menu may be different from the chef’s personal choice. The chef will be able to offer recommendations based on what he or she has found to have the most to offer you as the guest. The chef will also be able to recommend how “done” the particular steak that you choose is best served; what conditions and aging processes create the best steak; what the animal was fed while it was being raised. These elements all play important roles in determining the selection that the chef him/herself would recommend to their valued guests.
Steakhouses should take pride in their staff, and should be eager to help you to get the most out of your experience. Both waiters and the chefs are vital parts to this process, and you should always feel free to draw on their knowledge to help make your meal the best it can be. Asking your waiter questions like these will not only help you narrow down your menu decision, but will allow you to enjoy your dining experience that much more and appreciate the process that has gone into selecting and preparing various cuts of beefs.