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 Steak preparation advice

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Soong

  • Total Posts: 5
  • Joined: 3/15/2005
  • Location: Miami, FL
Steak preparation advice Tue, 03/15/05 1:16 PM (permalink)
hello everyone,

I have been reading through these threads about all these mouth watering steak recipes and cooking techniques and i am very impressed by everyones knowledge of steak, here is my situation. My parents have been in the restaurant business (chinese restaurant) for over 20 years. We have been very successful in the past but have recently switched to a buffet format. after the switch we lost alot of our regular customers and are slowly losing more and more customers. I came up with the idea of offering a selection of steaks to try and draw in a different crowd. So now i have to prepare a steak for my parents to try and see if they like it. i am not sure if you guys are aware of the kind of pans we use but they are cast iron woks over a gas fire and we also have a heated table top (not sure what they are called) like the japanese use to cook on the tables. what do you think is best to use to cook steak? we plan on using a variety of steaks like ribeye, tbone, and ny strip. How would you reccommend we prep and season? i was thinking of a little marinade with soysauce and OJ then coat the pan with butter or oil and pan fry it with salt and ground pepper, remove steak and let it sit on a plate under some aluminum foil for a few minutes. then addiding some red wine, mushrooms,chopped garlic and black pepper sauce to the pan, let it reduce a little and then pour over the steak. what do you think? any other good chinese style steaks? sauces? any help would be greatly appreciated. if you live in the miami area let me know and maybe i can arrange a tasting for people on this board. thanks for everything in advance.
 
#1
    Stephen Rushmore Jr.

    RE: Steak preparation advice Tue, 03/15/05 1:21 PM (permalink)
    Soong, you have an interesting request, but what makes you think that bringing steaks will draw in a different crowd? Have you asked some of your more loyal customers why they are leaving or don't come back as often? Listen to the customer, that is the one simple rule everyone forgets.
     
    #2
      Michael Hoffman

      • Total Posts: 17826
      • Joined: 7/1/2000
      • Location: Gahanna, OH
      RE: Steak preparation advice Tue, 03/15/05 1:31 PM (permalink)
      I have to agree with Stephen. Have you considered the possibility that your lost customers do not care for buffet-style eating? I know that I would stop patronizing a restaurant that had switched to such a format.
       
      #3
        sugarlander

        • Total Posts: 254
        • Joined: 5/3/2004
        • Location: Houston, TX
        RE: Steak preparation advice Tue, 03/15/05 1:54 PM (permalink)
        I once went to a restaurant that had regular dinner service on most days and one day a week they had a lovely very small buffet of their best dishes. The buffet items were brought out on platters, nearly cooked to order. Probably your regular customers would return if you continued at least some menu service.
         
        #4
          EdSails

          • Total Posts: 3572
          • Joined: 5/9/2003
          • Location: Mission Viejo, CA
          RE: Steak preparation advice Tue, 03/15/05 2:21 PM (permalink)
          Soong,
          You might check out some of the comments on the Chinese Buffet thread here. I agree with sugarlander----it sounds like your loyal customers want freshly prepared food rather than buffet food that's been sitting on a steam table. As Stephen said----lsten to your customers. Good luck!
           
          #5
            efuery

            • Total Posts: 630
            • Joined: 12/23/2003
            • Location: Danbury, CT
            RE: Steak preparation advice Tue, 03/15/05 2:23 PM (permalink)
            Soong,
            I think you're ideas for steak sound delicious.

            When I prepare steaks at home I have always prefered simplicity (I think that is mostly because the price of beef is so high these days I am afraid to ruin a good piece of meat with an experiment). I typically rub with salt, pepper, garlic and onion then grill or, if cooking indoors, broil. I usually eat it with worcestershire sauce or Thai hot sauce. I have also enjoyed steaks rubbed with "Montreal Seasoning" which is spice mix you can pick up in any grocery store. The stores here carry McCormick brand.

            I would think you could cook a pretty good steak in one those broiler things that most chinese resaurants cook their ribs in.

            As for losing customers to the buffet - I think you answered you own question. The problem is the buffet itself. People associate buffets with mediocre to low quality food. It's a quality Vs. quantity thing.

            Is there any chance you could do both - Have separate dining rooms for buffet and regular sit-down dining. Perhaps you could offer the buffet with your original menu avaiable for take out for your non-buffet eating regulars? Maybe limit the buffet to weekends? Just a few ideas.
             
            #6
              Soong

              • Total Posts: 5
              • Joined: 3/15/2005
              • Location: Miami, FL
              RE: Steak preparation advice Tue, 03/15/05 2:28 PM (permalink)
              thanks for all your comments. i have definitely taken that into consideration. maybe i should have been more clear but that is what we are trying to do, offering the buffet for those who want it and a menu for those who want to order. we want to add steak to the menu just to offer something different, our customers are mainly hispanic so we want to offer something they feel more comfortable with. any other suggestions? anything is appreciated. thanks.
               
              #7
                Soong

                • Total Posts: 5
                • Joined: 3/15/2005
                • Location: Miami, FL
                RE: Steak preparation advice Tue, 03/15/05 2:30 PM (permalink)
                My restaurant has 4 seperate rooms so im trying to seperate one for buffet and 3 for dine-in.
                 
                #8
                  efuery

                  • Total Posts: 630
                  • Joined: 12/23/2003
                  • Location: Danbury, CT
                  RE: Steak preparation advice Tue, 03/15/05 3:51 PM (permalink)
                  Have you tried anything with fish? I have noticed that most of the chinese places in my neck of the woods (CT) only really offer shellfish (shrimp and scallops mainly) with the standard vegetable mixtures. I rarely see actual fish, like tuna or mahi mahi, on the menu (other than sushi). Being in FL you should have plenty of fresh seafood avaiable. Since you have a lot of latino customers Maybe experiment with asain/latin fusion (mu shu fish tacos??). Here is a link to a menu for an asian/latin fusion place in the midwest. Maybe it will give you some ideas.
                  http://www.chinolatino.com/menu/index.htm

                  Another thing people up here seem to like is the made to order hibachi type service offered at many buffets. typically there is an array of meats and vegatebles on display at a grill area at the back of the buffet lines. People pick out what meats, veggies and seasonings they want and they chef cooks it right in front of them. I have seen people at the buffet only eat stuff from the grill and forego all of the buffet offerings.

                  But like Stephen said, talk to your customers. They are the one's you will ultimately have to please.
                   
                  #9
                    Soong

                    • Total Posts: 5
                    • Joined: 3/15/2005
                    • Location: Miami, FL
                    RE: Steak preparation advice Tue, 03/15/05 4:21 PM (permalink)
                    thanks for the help efuery i really appreciate the menu for ideas... we currently offer the hibachi option and the only reason i think it hasnt taken off yet is poor marketing (my parents dont really speak english very well or understand marketing, they just believe in being kind and working hard amazing that they survived for 20 years really) i am trying to re-do the whole system making the hibatchi a main feature, offering menus when customers come in so they know they have that option providing daily specials and offering a decent selection of steaks and noodle soups a la carte. any other suggestions? from anyone? thanks again.
                     
                    #10
                      EdSails

                      • Total Posts: 3572
                      • Joined: 5/9/2003
                      • Location: Mission Viejo, CA
                      RE: Steak preparation advice Tue, 03/15/05 5:14 PM (permalink)
                      The grill (Mongolian BBQ) is very popular out here in CA and from what I've read here very popular in other areas. You're on the right track with that.
                       
                      #11
                        mistertawny

                        • Total Posts: 49
                        • Joined: 9/17/2004
                        • Location: Oswego, KS
                        RE: Steak preparation advice Wed, 03/16/05 1:43 PM (permalink)
                        The poster before me suggested a mongolian style barbeque, but you could vary it with Japanese, Mexican and American touches.

                        Using your heavy griddle, not a pan use thinly sliced sirloin (very lean) marinated in either lime and olive oil with a dash of chili and garlic (fajitas), or the same beef prepared by marinating in teriyaki and both served with appropriate vegetables. Saves prep time and gives a great presentation. Of course the neat spin would be to mix them for a unique Chinaixcan cuisine. A little experimentation should yeaild a great result.

                        For more American tastes I would recommend either a strip or rib eye cut approx. 1 to 1.5" thick and weighing in at between 8 to 12 ounces (large and small). Let it marinate in a solution of either orange juice or other citrus for about an hour. Then just bag and put in the fridge until called for. It'll be tender and juicy every time. For a side topping, very easy to make and impeccable if served from a griddle make up a batch of garlic butter and serve a large pat on the steak.
                         
                        #12
                          efuery

                          • Total Posts: 630
                          • Joined: 12/23/2003
                          • Location: Danbury, CT
                          RE: Steak preparation advice Wed, 03/16/05 2:42 PM (permalink)
                          Soong,
                          I think it would be helpful if when seating customers you explain to them how the grill process works or have instructions on the tables. I will admit to never having used the grill at our local buffet because I just don't know what to do. Do you just point at stuff?
                           
                          #13
                            Soong

                            • Total Posts: 5
                            • Joined: 3/15/2005
                            • Location: Miami, FL
                            RE: Steak preparation advice Wed, 03/16/05 7:10 PM (permalink)
                            thanks for the suggestions mistertawny i will try them out and see how they work. for our mongolian bbq they hand pick what they want and give them to the chef for him to prepare, but the waitressess dont mention it or tell them to begin with so thats could be a start.
                             
                            #14
                              Stephen Rushmore Jr.

                              RE: Steak preparation advice Mon, 04/11/05 10:28 AM (permalink)
                              I just moved this to the new forum we created.
                               
                              #15
                                lleechef

                                • Total Posts: 6228
                                • Joined: 3/22/2003
                                • Location: Gahanna, OH
                                RE: Steak preparation advice Mon, 04/11/05 12:41 PM (permalink)
                                Thank you for the new forum!
                                 
                                #16
                                  jojobeans

                                  • Total Posts: 137
                                  • Joined: 4/6/2005
                                  • Location: New Port Richey, FL
                                  RE: Steak preparation advice Mon, 04/11/05 3:11 PM (permalink)
                                  My 2 cents. My own opinion it that cooking of steak in a frying pan is a travesty and would not even entertain the thought of eating anywhere that desecrated a steak in such a manor.
                                   
                                  #17
                                    UncleVic

                                    • Total Posts: 6025
                                    • Joined: 10/14/2003
                                    • Location: West Palm Beach, FL
                                    • Roadfood Insider
                                    RE: Steak preparation advice Tue, 04/12/05 9:48 AM (permalink)
                                    Thanks Stephen! I like this new forum area! Great idea!!
                                     
                                    #18
                                      UncleVic

                                      • Total Posts: 6025
                                      • Joined: 10/14/2003
                                      • Location: West Palm Beach, FL
                                      • Roadfood Insider
                                      RE: Steak preparation advice Tue, 04/12/05 9:52 AM (permalink)
                                      Soong.. I'm not sure if this will help you or not.. Check out some recipes here: http://www.mibeef.org/

                                       
                                      #19
                                        crmos8

                                        • Total Posts: 6
                                        • Joined: 4/8/2005
                                        • Location: erie, PA
                                        RE: Steak preparation advice Tue, 04/12/05 5:35 PM (permalink)
                                        Have to add my 2 cents...........First I like the new forum!!
                                        As for the Mongolian grill, I also think it's the way to go. In this town (Erie, PA), we have an almost overwhelming choice of Chinese restaurants, but the one with the most business is the one with the Mongolian grill. They were an instant hit and their business hasn't declined at all in the almost 3 years they've been open. People want grilled items these days!!
                                         
                                        #20
                                          MilwFoodlovers

                                          • Total Posts: 3090
                                          • Joined: 3/31/2001
                                          • Location: Milwaukee, WI
                                          RE: Steak preparation advice Tue, 04/12/05 10:44 PM (permalink)
                                          I mentioned on another forum that we have an Asian food buffet restaurant that also for $3-$4 more each will give you cooked to order bulgogi, Vietnamese lemongrass pork and chicken, small steaks flavored similar to yours. These are all cooked on an open grill in the same room, giving diners their veggies, noodles, rice, etc. along with medicore steam table buffet items if thats what you want.
                                          They have a fine assortment of hot sauces and I can get a pretty good meal for a reasonable price. My last time in, they announced that one day a week they will have a Mexican chef in doing his country's dishes. That will be an unusual set of choices.
                                          The bad Chinese buffets that offer all you can eat shrimp and crab legs seem to attract a heavily Latin clientele for what that's worth.
                                          Good luck.
                                           
                                          #21
                                            angielynnscott

                                            • Total Posts: 35
                                            • Joined: 1/21/2005
                                            • Location: north kansas city, MO
                                            RE: Steak preparation advice Fri, 05/20/05 12:13 PM (permalink)
                                            This is a proven receipe in my restaurant.
                                            Use choice hand-cut, rib-eye or kc strip
                                            Create steak rub with a balance of cracked black pepper, lawerys sensoned salt, and garlic powder. Heavly pat on steak. Bring cast iron skillet with coat of peanut oil to smoking temp. cook steak to desired temp. the outer layer will be crusted. The inside will be tender. Butter steak, cover with plate, and let rest five min.
                                             
                                            #22
                                              UncleVic

                                              • Total Posts: 6025
                                              • Joined: 10/14/2003
                                              • Location: West Palm Beach, FL
                                              • Roadfood Insider
                                              RE: Steak preparation advice Sat, 05/21/05 2:31 AM (permalink)
                                              quote:
                                              Originally posted by angielynnscott

                                              This is a proven receipe in my restaurant.
                                              Use choice hand-cut, rib-eye or kc strip
                                              Create steak rub with a balance of cracked black pepper, lawerys sensoned salt, and garlic powder. Heavly pat on steak. Bring cast iron skillet with coat of peanut oil to smoking temp. cook steak to desired temp. the outer layer will be crusted. The inside will be tender. Butter steak, cover with plate, and let rest five min.


                                              Welcome to the forums here Angie!
                                              Thanks for getting my appetite going at 2:30 in the morning also... ARGHHH...

                                               
                                              #23
                                                1chef

                                                • Total Posts: 7
                                                • Joined: 12/17/2004
                                                • Location: austin, TX
                                                RE: Steak preparation advice Sun, 05/29/05 10:59 AM (permalink)
                                                1. Steaks don't hold for sh1t on a buffet line.
                                                2. Is the regular menu still available along with the buffet?
                                                3. You can make a great steak on an iron skillet, the French and Italians have done it for years. Smokin hot pan, oil and season the meat. Sear both sides and throw in in the oven.
                                                4. Most quality steaks don't have a very good profit margin.
                                                Hope this helps.
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  BchBar

                                                  • Total Posts: 8
                                                  • Joined: 2/9/2003
                                                  • Location: , NY
                                                  RE: Steak preparation advice Fri, 06/17/05 10:27 AM (permalink)
                                                  Soong:

                                                  If you're using good steak then make it simple. Use simple kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. Make sure it's room temp and then put it under your broiler or get a grill pan heated and use that to create grill marks on the steak. The real key, besides good meat, is to make sure your brioler cook knows how much the steak will continue to cook after it is removed from the broiler or pan. Different temps. will create more or less carry over cooking and that can spell the difference between a steak delivered as promised and one too well done. If you want a signature type result try an herb butter after grilling.
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    PaulBPool

                                                    • Total Posts: 278
                                                    • Joined: 2/20/2002
                                                    • Location: East Meadow, NY
                                                    RE: Steak preparation advice Fri, 06/17/05 11:29 AM (permalink)
                                                    Just another voice in the chorus, I won't go to a chinese buffet (or, mostl likely, any other buffet). My experience with them has been mediocre quality, which they try to make up for by making them "all you care to eat". I'd much rather pay for good food and good service at a sit down, or in the case of chinese, good take out.
                                                     
                                                    #26
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