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I’ve Seen it All

Turtle

Administrator
Staff member
Owner/Operator
Ah the Porterhouse Steak. NY Strip on one side and a tenderloin filet on the other. Throw in some shrimp and that's a good day.
 

Turtle

Administrator
Staff member
Owner/Operator
I’m skeptical that I’d be happy paying $25 for a Truckstop steak.
$25 for a steak . No problem
$25 for a Truckstop steak ? I don’t think so.
Well, first it's $25 for a steak and for all-you-can-eat shrimp. And a choice of a side (like a baked potato), garlic toast, soup & salad bar, and a beverage.

Second, they don't have special Truckstop Cattle Farms where they grow Truckstop Steaks. TA/Petro uses the same USDA Choice steaks that you'd find at most grocery stores that all come from the same suppliers that supply industrial-farmed meat. Of course, it's warehoused (in Nashville and Phoenix), shipped and stocked vacuum-packed & frozen, and I don't really like frozen steaks because I can tell the difference and it's a big difference, but it's still USDA Choice meat.

Most chain restaurants use pre-portioned, frozen steaks, BTW. Not a fan. But if it's cheap, which frozen steaks usually are, then it's a little more palatable. Casual chain restaurants, like TA/Petro, Denny's, Applebee's, Friday's, etc., I'm not likely to order a steak. If I want a steak dinner, I'll go to Outback, Longhorn, Lone Star, Texas Roadhouse, etc.

But $25 for a frozen steak and a crap-ton of shrimp, I'd do that.
 
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BigStickJr

Veteran Expediter
Retired Expediter
Mr T, can I call you Mr T ?
Informative as usual.

I seldom eat Truckstop steaks.
My father used to say IT ONLY COSTS 10% MORE TO GO FIRST CLASS.

I’ll pay a little more and increase the chances I’ll be happy.
 
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Turtle

Administrator
Staff member
Owner/Operator
I spent a lotta years in all aspects of the restaurant industry, so I know how it works behind the curtain. I trained as a chef in a French kitchen, managed fast food chains, manager, Executive Chef, and Chef de Cuisine in high end steak and other restaurants, and know what it's like obtaining ingredients for the day's menu from various suppliers and direct from farmers.

Many people don't mind eating a steak (or other meat) that's been frozen. Some can't taste the difference (unless they do a side-by-side taste test, then they can), and that's fine. But to me there's a world of difference. When you freeze something, the water molecules crystallize and expand, sending little ice shards through the cell walls of every cell, ripping everything to shreds at the cellular level. When you thaw that and cook it, it tastes different. Many people can't taste the difference or it's not enough of a difference to matter to them. But I think for the most part, when people turn their nose up to "truckstop steaks" it's not because it's inferior meat, but because it's frozen, even if they don't know why it's not as good as other places. But I digress.

$25 for a frozen Porterhouse and a boatload of shrimp (I can disappear some shrimps, lemme tell ya), I'd do that. That's a good deal.

Incidentally, my grandfather always told me, "You'll never be disappointed with the best." So, kind of in the same ballpark on that one. And he's mostly been right on that.

As for Ruth's Chris and places like it, an $80 steak is worth every penny if you can appreciate dry aged beef. If you can't, like if you can't tell the difference between a fresh and a frozen steak, then there's no way you should spend that much on a steak. Same with Wagu or Kobe beef.
 
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DollarSign

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
Also you've got to understand this, the guys out here may not get a chance to go home for Father's Day and they wife and kids gave them a gift card and that's there Father's Day meal. Just something to think about! ;)
 

BigStickJr

Veteran Expediter
Retired Expediter
I guess I still have a bad taste in my mouth for Truckstop steaks from when FJ was serving soggy steaks.
I don’t know if I can appreciate dry aged beef, but I know I can appreciate the $80 I didn’t spend on it.
And my my Truckstop Steak disdain may be influenced by poor prep or the general ambiance of some truckstops.

A good point. Father’s Day is next Sunday. Plan accordingly.
 

Turtle

Administrator
Staff member
Owner/Operator
One little trick to make an omelette pop is to add a teaspoon or two of dry pancake mix to the eggs when you beat them up. It adds a touch of body and just a hint of vanilla that causes the other flavors to jump out at you.

Another one is to add to the eggs a finely chopped anchovy or a little dab of anchovy paste. You get that whole umami thing going on that dramatically enhances the flavors.
 

Tennesseahawk

Veteran Expediter
I spent a lotta years in all aspects of the restaurant industry, so I know how it works behind the curtain. I trained as a chef in a French kitchen, managed fast food chains, manager, Executive Chef, and Chef de Cuisine in high end steak and other restaurants, and know what it's like obtaining ingredients for the day's menu from various suppliers and direct from farmers.

Many people don't mind eating a steak (or other meat) that's been frozen. Some can't taste the difference (unless they do a side-by-side taste test, then they can), and that's fine. But to me there's a world of difference. When you freeze something, the water molecules crystallize and expand, sending little ice shards through the cell walls of every cell, ripping everything to shreds at the cellular level. When you thaw that and cook it, it tastes different. Many people can't taste the difference or it's not enough of a difference to matter to them. But I think for the most part, when people turn their nose up to "truckstop steaks" it's not because it's inferior meat, but because it's frozen, even if they don't know why it's not as good as other places. But I digress.

$25 for a frozen Porterhouse and a boatload of shrimp (I can disappear some shrimps, lemme tell ya), I'd do that. That's a good deal.

Incidentally, my grandfather always told me, "You'll never be disappointed with the best." So, kind of in the same ballpark on that one. And he's mostly been right on that.

As for Ruth's Chris and places like it, an $80 steak is worth every penny if you can appreciate dry aged beef. If you can't, like if you can't tell the difference between a fresh and a frozen steak, then there's no way you should spend that much on a steak. Same with Wagu or Kobe beef.
I've always been a fan of Certified Angus from Meijer. My wife has told me that some of my steaks rival high-end restaurants (not to brag), because of how I prepare it. I now use reverse searing; and that puts out some of the juiciest steak you will ever eat. One thing I will say about my family tho... I can screw up the steak to medium or undercook it to purple, and it's still enjoyed.

It's been awhile, so I'll share some tips for reverse searing...

Bring steaks to room temp. I like to put my spices on beforehand, so they have a chance to marinade. Worcestershire sauce (doused), freshly cracked salt and pepper. I used to put garlic powder on, but I save garlic for the end. It's better!
Oven to 275. Place on a rack over a cookie sheet. Can't let those juices go to waste. Cook time depends on the thickness of the steaks. Mine go in for 21 min for a 1/2"-3/4" steak. Check for temp according to your taste (look it up, bub). I like anywhere from 115-120 - medium rare towards rare. Medium rare is around 125. Anything more is blasphemy in my house! Ok, so I do screw it up sometimes.
When to your liking, remove from oven and let rest for 15 min. Don't skimp on this. Resting is important.
Here's what I do to prepare for the sear. Slice garlic into thin slices. Butter, ready and waiting, SIR! Iron frying pan ftw! Tablespoon (not plastic, please).
Heat around as high as your burner can go (Don't forget the handle sleeve or oven mitt). Let it get hot, and put a thin to fair amount of olive oil in the pan. Let it heat until it just starts smoking. Ready timer for 1 minute. Enter steaks (Gordon Ramsay always says lay the steaks away from you) and garlic for ONE MINUTE. Ding! Flip! ONE MINUTE! Add a few scoops of butter, and give it a couple of seconds to melt. Tilt pan and spoon butter and garlic onto steak for ONE MINUTE. DONE! Get em out of there! Don't forget to turn off heat, or your coughing will remind you. We have to open windows regardless. Butter and steak juice on top of steak.

Now what this method does is goes against traditional searing, where the chef sears the steak, then puts it in the oven. That creates the bullseye affect in the meat, where the middle is red/pink, and the outer edges fade to well done. Reverse searing makes a very uniform temperature. You're cooking the steak once, in the oven. The hot iron pan sears it quickly, making it crispy as all heck (the good crispy), and seals in the juices.

As a side note, I find the garlic compliments the butter, which in turn compliments the steak juices. I love crispy garlic pieces with a bite of the steak (more for me, since no one else in my family does), along with sauteed onions and mushrooms. Heavuuuuuuun!!!
 

C&J

Active Expediter
Fleet Owner
US Marines
Ah the Porterhouse Steak. NY Strip on one side and a tenderloin filet on the other. Throw in some shrimp and that's a good day.
You and my husband have the same tastes!!!
On the other side of the spectrum, other than John, are there any Ruth Chris fans here ?

I don’t think I could enjoy an $80 steak either.
Regardless of who was paying.

I LOVE an $80 steak dinner.....when my husband is paying from his account, when we meet up on the road.... :p
Hmmmmmm,, maybe that's why we don't meet up too often????? :dash2:
 
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Moot

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
A strange aside.
I had an omelette in DeForest Wi where the flavors just popped in my mouth. It would have been in the early 80s but I remember that meal like it was yesterday.
Was that at the old Skelly at exit 132? That was a great truck stop restaurant.
 

BigStickJr

Veteran Expediter
Retired Expediter
Canada just legalized pot.
30 grams .
Countrywide.
Within 12 weeks.
They’re in a hurry I guess.
 
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