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Old 09-04-2007, 02:54 AM   #1
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Default Prime Rib Blues

The other night I ate at a nice restaurant that I have eaten at a number of times before. I have been there many times in the past and have never been disappointed.

My wife ordered a steak and, as usual, it was very good. Everything else we ordered was good. The exception was the prime rib. It wasn't that it was really bad or anything. It just wasn't normal Wisconsin supper club prime rib. To get to the point, it appears that they are serving some sort of a pre-cooked product that seems to come packaged by the individual serving. Traditionally around these parts prime rib tends to be a Saturday special. Restaurants buy special ovens made by Alto-Shaam to slow cook rib roasts. When you order prime rib, they slice off a nice slab and plate it up with its own juices.

Mine obviously was not that. The first tip-off was the appearance. It looked like it was cut from a slab of stone or something. It was perfectly flat with razor sharp edges. It had very little fat. It was uniform in color. "Real" prime rib is darker around the outside edges and pinker in the middle. There were no juices. It was served in some sort of dark brown liquid.

I suppose I know why they do this. That way they don't have to worry about guessing how much of it they will sell on a given night. Rib roasts are expensive. If they make too much, they have some very expensive leftovers to cut up and make into soup or something. If they don't make enough they have a lot of disappointed customers.

That doesn't make it right, though. The product I was served was simply not the real thing. Unforturnately, I think a lot of restaurants are doing this now. The problem is figuring out which ones to avoid. Prime rib is normally a pretty expensive menu item. Unless you can see it brought to someone else's table before you order, it seems pretty risky these days to order it.

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Old 09-04-2007, 03:00 AM   #2
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you could always just ask before you order I suppose

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Old 09-04-2007, 03:06 AM   #3
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We have an Austrian who has a Bierstube and all of his food is processed or pre-cooked garbage.

Spaetzle, one usually gets half a plate-full, was less than I could fit into the palm of my hand and not even have a second layer. Pitiful. I refuse to eat there again.

There's another German restaurant that I drive almost 50 miles to get there that is excellent!

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Old 09-04-2007, 11:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
We have an Austrian who has a Bierstube and all of his food is processed or pre-cooked garbage.

Spaetzle, one usually gets half a plate-full, was less than I could fit into the palm of my hand and not even have a second layer. Pitiful. I refuse to eat there again.

There's another German restaurant that I drive almost 50 miles to get there that is excellent!

Good Lord, and Spaetzle is so cheap to make!
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Old 09-04-2007, 11:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McCall St. Brewer
I suppose I know why they do this. That way they don't have to worry about guessing how much of it they will sell on a given night. Rib roasts are expensive. If they make too much, they have some very expensive leftovers to cut up and make into soup or something. If they don't make enough they have a lot of disappointed customers.
Welcome to America's restaurant trend. Couple this with things like preshredded lettuce, etc. and you begin to realize the restaurant industry (for the most part) has become just another step in the convenience chain of things. When my brother and I were running the restaurant way back, people were always amazed at his sauces. The key was we made pretty much everything we could from scratch.

After struggling to establish ourselves (we had a lot of regulars and everyone raved about the food), my brother came to the conclusion "They want lots of it and they want it cheap". To a large degree, the customer doesn't know what superior food tastes like. In your case, I personally would have addressed it right then and there. Especially given the fact that this is a recent trend. I'd ask if they have a new guy doing the ordering, etc. Sometimes things can be salvaged.



I would really be peeved, given the price of buying a serving of Prime Rib Roast out.
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Old 09-05-2007, 12:16 AM   #6
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This is a very unfortunate trend. SWMBO loves pasta with alfredo sauce. Yet, the difference between the made from scratch sauce at some restaurants and the disgusting stuff from a jar that others serve is astounding. And it's not even easy to determine from menus which is which. Almost every restaurant claims their's is home-made even when it's not.

We are blessed in our area to still have quite a few non-chain pizza places. Our kids, however, act as if they would be poisoned if we try to serve them "Italian" pizza. (They can't seem to understand that pizza is Italian). They want Papa John's or Pizza Hut. We try to tell them that the stuff from those places is garbage laced with chemical preservatives, yet the guys with the white lab coats that the huge companies that own the chains can afford to hire have somehow found the key to kids' tastebuds.

Did you ever notice that when you go to McDonald's nowadays you never seem to smell anything cooking? I mean, at breakfast, frying eggs and bacon and pancakes creates distinctive smells. So does frying burgers. You can still see them making the fries, but I wonder what else they actually still cook there?

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Old 09-05-2007, 12:16 PM   #7
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Ugh tell me about it. Our solution has literally become: Go to the store buy some steaks (etc) and cook it for a *night out*, lol. I have been disappointed so many times by eating out, we rarely do it anymore.

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Old 10-05-2007, 10:45 AM   #8
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I always ask how long the prime rib has been cooking prior to ordering. You don't want one at the end of the day, it'll be overcooked. Then if the waiter looks at you like wtf are you talking about, you'll know at least 1 of 2 things, the waiter doesn't know **** about what he's serving and/or they don't make it themselves.

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Old 10-06-2007, 03:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebisch01
Ugh tell me about it. Our solution has literally become: Go to the store buy some steaks (etc) and cook it for a *night out*, lol. I have been disappointed so many times by eating out, we rarely do it anymore.
I know what you mean. Nothing like cooking tenderloin filets on the charcoal grill and eating it in your own living room. You don't have to spend money on expensive drinks, or worry about driving home, either
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Old 10-06-2007, 07:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScubaSteve
I know what you mean. Nothing like cooking tenderloin filets on the charcoal grill and eating it in your own living room. You don't have to spend money on expensive drinks, or worry about driving home, either
Same here.
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