Guest blog post by Max Seibold, Customer Services Account Manager
I made my first trip to the Midwest recently. One night, I went to dinner at a restaurant with four friends. We were all on our best behavior.
I glanced at the menu and ordered a rock steak. How different could it be from something I would get in Southwestern Oklahoma? Yet, the waitress never asked how I wanted it cooked. That should have been my first clue.
When my dinner arrived, the piece of beef was served on a hot black stone. The meat sizzled somewhat like a Mexican fajita platter, but not quite as loud.
The beef was red and shaped like a pyramid. This meal does not look to be the right shape or color of beef back in Southwestern Oklahoma.
I know I have not seen much of the world, and I certainly had never been inside a Midwestern restaurant before. So I’m thinking to myself, ‘Don’t say anything about this foreign looking piece of meat. Just go with it.’
I cut a sliver off the edge and tasted it. Not only was the inside of the meat more red than the outside, it was actually cold to the taste. That should have been my final and most concerning clue.
At home, at any Oklahoma restaurant, if we had encountered this kind of meal, some would have immediately sent it back. But no, not me.
I sliced off more small pieces, and ate them. Still thinking I could not say anything or call attention to my meal, for fear of showing off my inexperience.
After I had forced down about a third or more of my dinner, I mentioned how the bottom of the steak was actually cooking pretty well on the hot stone. At this point, someone suggested that I turn the meat so it might heat up on the other sides, as well. Well that made perfect sense. So I turned it a couple of times and, finally, the meat started to taste better. We finished our meals and returned to the hotel.
Back in my room, I found a menu from the very restaurant that we just visited. It pays to read a menu listing, fully, instead of spotting an item and ordering without a second thought.
To my amazement the menu was quite clear. The rock steak is a “cook at your table” meal on a hot, black Finnish firestone. My piece of beef was red inside and out because it was raw…uncooked!
I had just consumed a raw, uncooked piece of meat. Now I’m thinking: I’m going to get E. coli! I’m going to get seriously sick.
Fortunately, that did not happen. After dodging that culinary bullet, I’m left thinking: how stupid. Why didn’t I read the menu? Why did I not ask the waitress for guidance? The reason is I was afraid to show my cluelessness and, by doing so, I ruined a perfectly great piece of beef.
Ha-ha. Now I’ve got to go back sometime and really enjoy the “rock steak,” cooked the way it was intended.