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 This kills me!

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jellybear

  • Total Posts: 1135
  • Joined: 10/15/2003
  • Location: surf city, NC
This kills me! Fri, 05/6/05 8:19 AM (permalink)
I make fresh hand pattied burgers at my place and every now and then some one will send one back saying that Its got some pink in it!If this keeps up I am going to switch over to frozen patties,mainly for convience and space .And there are some good frozen pattied burgers out there.Whats your thought?Should I flat them out more or go with the frozen ones?
 
#1
    wheregreggeats.com

    RE: This kills me! Fri, 05/6/05 9:06 AM (permalink)
    “Every now and then” shouldn’t be impetus for compromise on your part.

    I used to eat breakfast at a place (Lowell’s in Pike’s Market) who did an awesome home fry. They switched to frozen hash browns because “every now an then” people returned the home fries for having little burned spots. I’ve never been back.

    Are your customers not sophisticated enough to know how to order their burgers? Why don't you ask? Don't become BK. Don't frozen burgers have pink if not cooked through?
     
    #2
      Adjudicator

      • Total Posts: 5057
      • Joined: 5/20/2003
      • Location: Tallahassee, FL
      RE: This kills me! Fri, 05/6/05 9:09 AM (permalink)
      quote:
      Originally posted by jellybear

      I make fresh hand pattied burgers at my place and every now and then some one will send one back saying that Its got some pink in it!If this keeps up I am going to switch over to frozen patties,mainly for convience and space .And there are some good frozen pattied burgers out there.Whats your thought?Should I flat them out more or go with the frozen ones?


      I would stay with the fresh pattied & flatten out more. Customers will get perception of a "bigger" burger. I have also seen places where burgers are pre-cooked to a medium (before lunch/dinner rush, etc.) & then finished off when an actual order comes in. Are you cookng on a flat grill?
       
      #3
        nvb

        • Total Posts: 468
        • Joined: 12/5/2004
        • Location: dfhbgmhmy, MN
        RE: This kills me! Fri, 05/6/05 9:18 AM (permalink)
        I use my own recipe from fresh and my customers love them. I get comments that they can tell they are not the frozen patties, so my advice to you is to stick with what you're doing. I hate complaints, but I can still roll with one every now and then.
         
        #4
          dreamzpainter

          • Total Posts: 1609
          • Joined: 2/6/2005
          • Location: jacksonville, FL
          RE: This kills me! Fri, 05/6/05 1:27 PM (permalink)
          Personally I prefer my burgers and steaks a little pink in the middle. No matter how good a frozen patty is, and there are good ones such as "Bubba Burgers" they don't compare to hand formed fresh meat. There are always going to be customers who complain, just smile and drop the return back on the grill. You can't please everyone but if you can please at least 90% at least 90% of the time your in good shape. Some people complain just to get a discount or to get a reaction and there are some there's just no pleasing!!
           
          #5
            UncleVic

            • Total Posts: 6025
            • Joined: 10/14/2003
            • Location: West Palm Beach, FL
            • Roadfood Insider
            RE: This kills me! Fri, 05/6/05 5:54 PM (permalink)
            If you dont mind that extra labor in portioning and forming them, I'd definatly stay with the fresh ones. Just another selling point for you! And as for the complaints... I'd just kindly explain to the customer "we cook them medium well to retain the juicyness, but if you request well done, we'd be glad to oblidge!"... This way when someone orders well done, you'll know to do the knife test to check for pink.



             
            #6
              trolasater

              • Total Posts: 71
              • Joined: 5/14/2004
              • Location: Raleigh, NC
              RE: This kills me! Fri, 05/6/05 7:10 PM (permalink)
              I once ran a flame grill during lunch at a local restaurant and we would have problems with well done items. Thin cut ribeye for a steak sandwich turns to shoe leather if broiled to well doneness. Likewise, a juicy hamburger becomes a cinder burger. I finally tried broiling a few burgers and steak pieces medium on the grill, and cooking the middle in the microwave. This works fine. No red, but not cremated.
               
              #7
                Scallion1

                • Total Posts: 418
                • Joined: 7/20/2004
                • Location: Yonkers, NY
                RE: This kills me! Fri, 05/6/05 7:21 PM (permalink)
                I have no problem with fast-food patties cooked all the way through. But a good burger, in one of my favorite joints? Medium-rare at most. I know all about the pathogens. But I've been eating my burgers rare or medium rare all my life, and can't imagine any other way.

                I've seen horrible things happen to food that gets sent back for not being cooked well enough. Can you say deep-fryer? And when I was running upmarket kitchens, I felt no compunction about telling the waiters to tell the customers that, for example, well-done tuna steaks don't exist in our restaurant. There's no way I'm taking sushi-grade tuna and cooking it all the way through. Ditto for prime beef. I respect other people's opinions and desires, I just don't feel compelled to humor them when I'm cooking.

                Of course, I'm also the guy who likes steak tartare, carpaccio, clams and oysters on the half-shell, etc. Back in my heavy partying days, I frequently made myself a big order of steak tartare for breakfast, raw eggs, anchovies, shot of Cognac and all. I won't eat raw chicken, but I can tell you for an absolute fact that raw beef is one of the easiest things in the world to digest.

                 
                #8
                  lleechef

                  • Total Posts: 6228
                  • Joined: 3/22/2003
                  • Location: Gahanna, OH
                  RE: This kills me! Sat, 05/7/05 3:04 AM (permalink)
                  DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT go to a frozen burger. "Every now and again" does NOT warrant totally changing your burger from fresh hand pattied to frozen! Your wait staff should be asking for a temp on the burger anyway and if a MW goes out totally pink it's the kitchen's fault. One rule in the restaurant business: You can add on, but you CANNOT take away. You can't replace your hand pattied burger with a frozen prototype and expect your customers to say, "Gosh, that was just plain YUMMY." Doesn't happen.
                  I served a 10-oz. hand packed CAB (Certified Black Angus) burger for lunch at my last restaurant in the Boston area (one of 30 lunch items on the menu). We were primarily a fine dining restaurant with emphasis on dinner. While we won many awards for excellence for our lamb, our veal, our CAB aged steaks, our fine fish dishes, our innovative cuisine, our wines.....one year the Boston Globe awarded us with "Best Burger". Go figure. Keep it basic. Keep it fresh. Whether it's a burger, a hot dog or a filet mignon.....doesn't matter.......make the BEST damned burger or hot dog or filet!
                   
                  #9
                    cowboy bob 2

                    • Total Posts: 101
                    • Joined: 8/31/2004
                    • Location: Lancaster, PA
                    RE: This kills me! Sun, 05/8/05 9:16 PM (permalink)
                    I had my first complaint about a burger not being done on the Inside just last week. He called me on the phone. I was flustered and didn't know what to say. So I said nothing and thanke him for bringing it to my attention. He came back the next day for another one which I comped him. This time when I cooked it I stabbed it with a probe to 180 degrees inside. He came back and all was forgiven. So now I stab all burgere and an occasional Hot Dog. I learn every day from my customers. But I keep getting requests for Slaw on a dog. Is it topped cold or what?
                    Cowboy Bob 2
                     
                    #10
                      Theedge

                      • Total Posts: 1196
                      • Joined: 11/16/2003
                      RE: This kills me! Sun, 05/8/05 9:56 PM (permalink)
                      Gives it to us raw and wrigglies!!! A bit pink, people watch to much news.
                       
                      #11
                        UncleVic

                        • Total Posts: 6025
                        • Joined: 10/14/2003
                        • Location: West Palm Beach, FL
                        • Roadfood Insider
                        RE: This kills me! Sun, 05/8/05 10:00 PM (permalink)
                        quote:
                        Originally posted by cowboy bob 2

                        I had my first complaint about a burger not being done on the Inside just last week. He called me on the phone. I was flustered and didn't know what to say. So I said nothing and thanke him for bringing it to my attention. He came back the next day for another one which I comped him. This time when I cooked it I stabbed it with a probe to 180 degrees inside. He came back and all was forgiven. So now I stab all burgere and an occasional Hot Dog. I learn every day from my customers. But I keep getting requests for Slaw on a dog. Is it topped cold or what?
                        Cowboy Bob 2


                        Oh ya... Cold slaw! I've never heard of them until I came to this site. I've made them at home and they are awesome! Guess them folks down South do have something over the North after all!!!
                         
                        #12
                          The Travelin Man

                          • Total Posts: 3698
                          • Joined: 3/25/2003
                          • Location: Central FL
                          RE: This kills me! Sun, 05/8/05 10:11 PM (permalink)
                          quote:
                          Originally posted by Scallion1

                          I respect other people's opinions and desires, I just don't feel compelled to humor them when I'm cooking.


                          Perhaps you should "feel compelled to humor them" when "they" are paying the check.
                           
                          #13
                            Scallion1

                            • Total Posts: 418
                            • Joined: 7/20/2004
                            • Location: Yonkers, NY
                            RE: This kills me! Mon, 05/9/05 12:11 AM (permalink)
                            quote:
                            Originally posted by stevekoe

                            quote:
                            Originally posted by Scallion1

                            I respect other people's opinions and desires, I just don't feel compelled to humor them when I'm cooking.


                            Perhaps you should "feel compelled to humor them" when "they" are paying the check.

                            Not at all. The servers tell them that certain items will not be served more than medium. If they don't like it, they can make other choices.

                             
                            #14
                              dreamzpainter

                              • Total Posts: 1609
                              • Joined: 2/6/2005
                              • Location: jacksonville, FL
                              RE: This kills me! Mon, 05/9/05 1:14 AM (permalink)
                              cold slaw on warm dogs!! slaw served around here is creamy and a lil tangy..
                               
                              #15
                                jellybear

                                • Total Posts: 1135
                                • Joined: 10/15/2003
                                • Location: surf city, NC
                                RE: This kills me! Mon, 05/9/05 7:55 AM (permalink)
                                The messier the better,Pile it on!What slaw and chilli that hits the plate use your fries to scoop it up.Thats good eating.
                                 
                                #16
                                  hefried

                                  • Total Posts: 367
                                  • Joined: 7/13/2004
                                  • Location: pdx, OR
                                  RE: This kills me! Mon, 05/9/05 11:16 AM (permalink)
                                  perhaps you should just mention on your menu that your burgers are hand formed and sometimes vary in shape/and size (that'll explain the "pink,... maybe.....)... and if they ( customers) want it fulllllllllllllllllly ( gross, anyway) cooked (or, whatver.... well done), to ask for it????? id be GLAD to see on a restaurant menus that the burgers are made there... MUCH BETTER
                                   
                                  #17
                                    UncleVic

                                    • Total Posts: 6025
                                    • Joined: 10/14/2003
                                    • Location: West Palm Beach, FL
                                    • Roadfood Insider
                                    RE: This kills me! Mon, 05/9/05 7:19 PM (permalink)
                                    quote:
                                    Originally posted by trolasater

                                    I once ran a flame grill during lunch at a local restaurant and we would have problems with well done items. Thin cut ribeye for a steak sandwich turns to shoe leather if broiled to well doneness. Likewise, a juicy hamburger becomes a cinder burger. I finally tried broiling a few burgers and steak pieces medium on the grill, and cooking the middle in the microwave. This works fine. No red, but not cremated.


                                    Another way to cheat is start on the flat grill.. If they're thick hand formed ones, I'll quickly brown them, toss a pot lid over top and some cold water splashed under the lid.. Creates a nice steam that help cooks it top and bottom at the same time... Then finish it off on the charbroiler... But for the most part, I've always used 1/3lb burgers and never had a problem on the char... Could be you where running your heat too high also...

                                     
                                    #18
                                      jellybear

                                      • Total Posts: 1135
                                      • Joined: 10/15/2003
                                      • Location: surf city, NC
                                      RE: This kills me! Tue, 05/10/05 8:42 AM (permalink)
                                      I do just that!I will start making them flater but I am still considering patties because of convience and less handling,havent made up my mind yet.
                                       
                                      #19
                                        -Tricky-

                                        • Total Posts: 305
                                        • Joined: 9/4/2004
                                        • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
                                        RE: This kills me! Tue, 05/10/05 9:41 AM (permalink)
                                        quote:
                                        Originally posted by jellybear

                                        I do just that!I will start making them flater but I am still considering patties because of convience and less handling,havent made up my mind yet.


                                        No! Please don't choose convenience over quality!
                                         
                                        #20
                                          carlton pierre

                                          • Total Posts: 2500
                                          • Joined: 7/12/2004
                                          • Location: Knoxville, TN
                                          RE: This kills me! Sat, 05/14/05 11:00 AM (permalink)
                                          As a customer, I prefer a hamburg made by hand anytime!!!
                                           
                                          #21
                                            kareno

                                            • Total Posts: 13
                                            • Joined: 5/12/2005
                                            • Location: Douglassville, PA
                                            RE: This kills me! Sun, 05/15/05 8:28 AM (permalink)
                                            quote:
                                            Originally posted by jellybear

                                            I do just that!I will start making them flater but I am still considering patties because of convience and less handling,havent made up my mind yet.


                                            Do you feature "Home made hamburgers" on your menu? I sure would, and I'd add something "Prepared medium, but we will oblidge other choices, just won't be responsible for it"
                                             
                                            #22
                                              jellybear

                                              • Total Posts: 1135
                                              • Joined: 10/15/2003
                                              • Location: surf city, NC
                                              RE: This kills me! Sun, 05/15/05 9:30 AM (permalink)
                                              I still make them by hand but after I char grill them I put them in a pan of beef broth to keep them hot and juicy.So far its been a sucess,I had five little old ladies that just loved them.
                                               
                                              #23
                                                Hogbody

                                                • Total Posts: 29
                                                • Joined: 4/10/2005
                                                • Location: ~*~Snoqualmie Valley, WA
                                                RE: This kills me! Sun, 05/15/05 7:19 PM (permalink)
                                                Greetings..Now I am talking from experience long ago... (Jack in the Box~E-Coli era) In the Seattle area where this originated, I was and had been managing a restaurant for quite sometime. Our burgers and burger dip sandwiches were so popular, I believe due to being fresh and hand pattied. After the E-Coli scare we had health inspectors breathing down our backs and cooked our burgers crispy...yuk..we were so paranoid. Our customers flipped out! We came up with the notion that we would start asking our customers how they would like it cooked...Rare ~ Med.Rare ~ Med. ~ Well Done...etc.. On EVERY Hamburger related item. (we always cooked the kids burgers crispy) Most wanted well done due to the scare but on the flip side there were those that wanted it just warm and rare. I believe we got away with this because the restaurant was at a golf course and most of the customers were regulars. You might try asking your customers how they would like it cooked...just as you would if they were ordering a steak or eggs...trust me, they love your hand pattied creations :)
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  bassrocker4u2

                                                  • Total Posts: 534
                                                  • Joined: 11/12/2003
                                                  • Location: new holland, PA
                                                  RE: This kills me! Wed, 05/18/05 8:52 AM (permalink)
                                                  ok, i will tell you my secret, maybe it will help. i am not sure what your cooking method is. if using a broiler, simply use a tooth pick or other similar object to prick the middle of the meat several times. this will allow the heat on get into the center. if using a flat grill, cover the meat. when you flip it, use the corner of your spat to make slices in the middle of meat, and add juice from the grill into the slice. this will help cook the middle, and add back flavor. if you use frozen, i suggest cattlemans. they are preety awesome. ask your salesman and just try one.
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    Scallion1

                                                    • Total Posts: 418
                                                    • Joined: 7/20/2004
                                                    • Location: Yonkers, NY
                                                    RE: This kills me! Thu, 05/19/05 5:20 AM (permalink)
                                                    Poke holes with a toothpick? Cut slits with a spatula and take liquid ("juice"? more like rendered grease) from the grill and put it in them?

                                                    I can't convey how totally unappetising I find your "secret" method.

                                                    And Adjudicator, that sounds like a guaranteed prescription for food poisoning. Take ground beef, raise it to, let's say, 120 F, and leave it sitting around?

                                                    Here's my advice: if you're serving a clientele that likes their burgers well done (shiver) flatten out the burgers and cover them, a la Uncle Vic. There's a very successful chain called Jackson hole that covers their burgers with some kind of stainless cup, almost looks like an upside-down icecream sundae thing. The burger, I'll admit, comes out juicy, and without a hint of pink inside. Of course, if you want steamed ground beef, that's your choice. But these places do big business in a number of locations here in NY.
                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      bassrocker4u2

                                                      • Total Posts: 534
                                                      • Joined: 11/12/2003
                                                      • Location: new holland, PA
                                                      RE: This kills me! Sun, 05/22/05 9:44 AM (permalink)
                                                      if i wanted a flat burger i would eat at 'krystals' or 'white castle' or 'wendys'
                                                      you may criticize everyone's comments, but it dont make you master. my idea is awesome, and i use it everyday. i have never ever had a customer unhappy with my burger. anyone else reading this, try it, and then comment.
                                                       
                                                      #27
                                                        SouthHillbilly

                                                        • Total Posts: 295
                                                        • Joined: 1/15/2005
                                                        • Location: Alum Creek, WV
                                                        RE: This kills me! Sun, 05/22/05 11:14 AM (permalink)
                                                        I had no idea that chefs felt so much like they "own" the food. I thought it was called the "food SERVICE" industry. That means as a customer, you are to give me "service." If I want my steak, burger, tuna or whatever well done, you should be prepared to give it to me that way. I'm not asking you to create some monsterous dish out of three other dishes. What you SHOULD be doing is protecting me from getting any kind of illness from the food you prepare. that means making sure my ground beef is thoroughly cooked, that you employees are clean AND disease free, that your food is fresh and handled in a safe manner.
                                                        Wow, some prima donnas here. . . but then, it's a difficult show to balance being a culinary artist and a member of the food service industry. . . only the best achieve that well.
                                                         
                                                        #28
                                                          Scallion1

                                                          • Total Posts: 418
                                                          • Joined: 7/20/2004
                                                          • Location: Yonkers, NY
                                                          RE: This kills me! Sun, 05/22/05 1:38 PM (permalink)
                                                          Funny thing: we DO own the food, until we sell it to you. And it's our choice how and to whom we want to sell it. I take pride in my food and my skills. I don't have "tricks" like poking it with toothpicks or pouring griddle grease on it to make it well done, because I think THAT'S unhealthy and unpalatable.

                                                          I DO protect you in issues of food safety by training my employees and by buying from reputable purveyors (my meat comes from a firm I've been dealing with for 20 years, which is regularly inspected by the USDA, and I hope your kitchens at home are as clean as their plant is). There's no need for ground beef to be cooked well done if it's properly fabricated.

                                                          I regularly, and cheerfully, accomodate customers who ask for changes in food preparation. But there are some things that I find distasteful. If I made ravioli with handmade pasta and filled it with artisanal ricotta and quail eggs, and you asked me to hold the sage butter sauce and put some good ol' ketchup on it, you wouldn't get it. My business, my food, my choice. Take it or leave it. I'm not allowed to, or would I ever, discriminate against customers because of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, handicapped status or age. That's a given, that's the Constitution, that's why I live in this country. But on an ad hoc, or ad hominem, basis, I'm free to do as I please. That's ALSO my right.

                                                          You think it's foolish from a business sense, that's YOUR right. Take your business where you get the product and service you desire.

                                                          There's a word for people who voluntarily give up their freedom and let others tell them what to do for them in exchange for money. It's "whore".

                                                          It's a simple as that.

                                                           
                                                          #29
                                                            Scallion1

                                                            • Total Posts: 418
                                                            • Joined: 7/20/2004
                                                            • Location: Yonkers, NY
                                                            RE: This kills me! Sun, 05/22/05 1:47 PM (permalink)
                                                            I should have reconsidered the previous post before sending. I do get touchy when people tell me what I should be doing, which is why I've been self-employed for years. I'm not backing down from my beliefs, but I don't mean to be rude. If I saw one of my employees mouthing off to a customer like that, or being impolite in any way, they'd be gone in a wink.

                                                            So, lest I be misunderstood: I'm NOT calling names here, nor do I wish to insult ANY fellow posters. I'm merely defending my right to run my business, and prepare my food, in accordance with the law of the land and the basic principles of food safety. Beyond that it's up to me as long as I'm willing to take the consequences. And in my kitchen, the phrase "well done" is only used to complement someone for good work, never to order meat or fish.

                                                            Peace.

                                                             
                                                            #30
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