You would think that no order can’t be served at a steakhouse. Like any restaurant, a steakhouse endeavours to deliver a great dining experience for its patrons. However, you can bet there are certain steakhouse mores you may be breaking without realising it.
It can stem from something as simple as the nature of your order.
See what you should never order at a steakhouse, so you know how to conduct yourself the next time you wish to grab a steak meal!
What if somebody wants theirs well-done? Unlike Hank Hill, a steakhouse can’t ask patrons politely yet firmly to leave. After all, they need to make money at the end of the day! However, several steakhouse cooks find well-done steak orders to be borderline offensive. Why is that? Well, when you cook a steak until it’s well-done, you can expect it to ruin the quality of the cut. High-end steakhouses typically will carry expensive cuts of meat. So, seeing a well-done steak order from a patron is like seeing money thrown out the window, wasted, from a cook’s perspective since they’re the ones who typically conduct inventory orders. It’s not necessarily bad to order steak well-done if that’s your preference, but you can expect the order to be frowned upon at a steakhouse.
You may get away with dipping your steak into steak sauce. After all, it’s a sauce specially made for steaks! However, a condiment like ketchup is a definite no-no.
You certainly will be allowed to ask for and receive ketchup to dip your steak. But, like ordering a steak well-done, it’s like a cardinal sin against enjoying a steak properly. Do you know why folks are not recommended to pair white and rose wines for wines? There is a reason for that: they’re too sweet. For example, you will end up overpowering the subtle flavours of your steak if it has a sweet glaze over it with a glass of rose wine.
The same can be said of having ketchup as a dipping sauce for your steak. Ketchup is a rather overpowering condiment since it’s pretty sweet, with sugar making up 25% of a single ketchup bottle. In which case, you’re mainly tasting the ketchup more than the steak since you won’t be able to pick up on nuanced notes of your steak. It essentially feels wasteful to cheapen a luxurious steak made with care and using the best of cuts.
Depending on the cook, dipping your steak in ketchup can seem rather offensive. It might seem small, but from a cook’s perspective, it indirectly questions their cooking skills. How so? Well, it gives cooks the impression that the steak isn’t cooked well, and you need to add ketchup to cover up the bad taste. Naturally, if this is your preference, that’s okay. However, you need to be aware of why it’s typically not thought of kindly at steakhouses.
Ordering the wrong cut can affect how you enjoy a steak. Steak cuts come from various areas of a cow that can dictate how much flavour and natural tenderness it has. If you know what each cut entails, you may end up with one you don’t enjoy. For instance, you may prefer a more tender steak but unwittingly order a tougher steak like sirloin, which wouldn’t be as satisfying. So, it’s important to at least come into a steakhouse with knowledge of what each cut offers. You want to avoid an embarrassing scenario of you complaining to staff about the texture being wrong when it’s how it’s meant to be cooked.
A steakhouse is a rather niche place to go to eat. If you love to eat steak, you naturally want to find the best by going to a place specialising in it, like a steakhouse. So, what’s the point of ordering anything other than that? Well, people still try to order off-menu stuff regardless.
When this occurs, it can be a bit of a headache for those working there. Subtly, it signals to the staff at a steakhouse that you may be a picky eater that will be high maintenance. Essentially, assuming you might be an entitled diner if you don’t get your way.
However, not everyone is like that. People working there would understand if you had dietary restrictions and would gladly cater to them. The issue is more for those who choose to go off-menu for no real rhyme or reason since it creates unnecessary work for the cooking staff. It leaves them in a frenzy, trying their best to make an off-menu dish they aren’t accustomed to making. It’s just being mindful and respectful of the cook’s specialty. What not to order at a steakhouse stems mainly from being conscious of the work cooks put into high-quality steaks. They’re not a means to complain about patrons but rather as insight into what makes an optimal steakhouse experience for you.