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  #21  
Old 13 March 2007, 03:25 PM
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You think frozen mashed potato is bad? Come to the UK and try Roadchef's dehydrated frozen scrambled egg. That stuff made me feel ill just cooking it, I don't understand how the customers managed it.
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  #22  
Old 13 March 2007, 03:44 PM
StewPot
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ana Ng View Post
I've noticed as much all the times I've been unfortunate enough to eat there. The food certainly tastes frozen and microwaved a lot of the time.

Give me Chipotle any day of the week over any of the chains. I could subsist on their guacamole and cilantro rice for days. I'm sure of it.
Ah, but Chipotle IS a chain... albeit a mighty appetizing one. Now I'm getting hungry.

Stew"Mmmmm.... barbacoa"Pot
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  #23  
Old 13 March 2007, 04:11 PM
matches
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spam & Cookies-mmm View Post
Nope, it's true. My uncle is an Applebee's manager, and told me that the foods come pre-packaged, and all they have to do is heat them up. Including the steaks with "grill marks" on them.

This explains the frozen mashed potatoes I once had.
Then how do they make the steaks extra rare?

That's how I always order them, that's how they usually come. I would think that microwaved food couldn't do variance like rare, medium and well.

Likewise, I am not sure the economics makes sense to grill everything, freeze it, and send it out to be microwaved later. Ususally items like that are not solid meat, and are always cooked well done (to avoid contaminiation).
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  #24  
Old 13 March 2007, 04:15 PM
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Ana Ng Ana Ng is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StewPot View Post
Ah, but Chipotle IS a chain... albeit a mighty appetizing one. Now I'm getting hungry.

Stew"Mmmmm.... barbacoa"Pot
I know, I don't know what possessed me to say that. I do lovelovelove Chipotle though, and IIRC, everything is made daily in-house.

Quote:
Originally Posted by matches View Post
Then how do they make the steaks extra rare?
Could they just be pre-marked? I don't know, just a question. Are the grill marks the same every time?
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  #25  
Old 13 March 2007, 04:25 PM
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snopes, this looks like one for the main site...
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  #26  
Old 13 March 2007, 05:32 PM
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Here's an article on Slate.com about restaurants using Sysco pre-cooked food instead of fresh.
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  #27  
Old 13 March 2007, 05:44 PM
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Hmm...interesting. Thanks for that article, ThistleS. The "smart chicken" scares me too.
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  #28  
Old 13 March 2007, 05:56 PM
matches
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ana Ng View Post
Could they just be pre-marked? I don't know, just a question. Are the grill marks the same every time?
The grill marks are manufactured, they are painted on the burger or the steak or the whatever at the processing plant. (I doubt it's actually paint, just a smoke flavoring black food coloring). This is done because grilling actually doesn't leave black marks on your food, unless you have a very very unclean grill. Burger King does the same things, but their patties are raw when they go into the broiler.

It is possible they have pre marked boxes, but that again seems to defeat the economy of the plan, and accidental overcooking or undercooking in a microwave is common so I would doubt the steaks and burgers are cooked that way.

I am sure it is all pre packaged, weighed, grill marked, etc. But I would wager they cook it as you would any steak on a grill. The chicken may be precooked, but I'd have no way to know one way or the other there.

In general microwaving is a really poor way to prepare food for a resturant. Even at McDonalds and burger king it's just used to reheat the cooked food, not to cook it itself.

essentially, if you could buy a microwavable steak, I would think you would be able to in the grocery store. However, (as with TGIFriday's) you can buy prepackaged food similar to what you would buy at the resturant, for cooking in your microwave, but it doesn't taste the same .
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  #29  
Old 13 March 2007, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matches View Post
Tgrilling actually doesn't leave black marks on your food, unless you have a very very unclean grill.
This is not true. If you're using an actual grill (as opposed to a griddle, which is frequently and incorrectly called a grill) then some of the meat will come into contact with hot metal while parts will not. The higher conductivity of the metal will cause the meat to burn slightly where contact is made, thus the black grill marks.

Of course it can be caused by a dirty grill, too ... but that isn't normally the case.
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  #30  
Old 13 March 2007, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matches View Post
The grill marks are manufactured, they are painted on the burger or the steak or the whatever at the processing plant. (I doubt it's actually paint, just a smoke flavoring black food coloring). This is done because grilling actually doesn't leave black marks on your food, unless you have a very very unclean grill. Burger King does the same things, but their patties are raw when they go into the broiler.
You're half right. Burger King's patties are not only raw, but frozen solid. The grill marks are real, from the moving grate that carries the patties through the gas-fired broiler machine. Having done broiler duty for the better part of three years in high school and college, I'm fairly intimate with details of BK food prep.
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  #31  
Old 13 March 2007, 06:55 PM
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Agh! AGH!
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  #32  
Old 13 March 2007, 07:36 PM
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Ana! You've scarred me for life! I will never even get NEAR Applebees again! Not that I went there more than a handful of times in my life anyway, but still, EEK!!
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  #33  
Old 13 March 2007, 07:47 PM
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Sorry! >sheepish<

I didn't mean to be a scaremonger, I was trying to convey how lost for words I was!
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  #34  
Old 13 March 2007, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ana Ng View Post
AAAAIIIEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!
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  #35  
Old 13 March 2007, 07:48 PM
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I agree - ew, Ana, that was icky. And right before I ate lunch, too.

Good thing I brought it from home!
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  #36  
Old 13 March 2007, 07:48 PM
matches
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chillas View Post
This is not true. If you're using an actual grill (as opposed to a griddle, which is frequently and incorrectly called a grill) then some of the meat will come into contact with hot metal while parts will not. The higher conductivity of the metal will cause the meat to burn slightly where contact is made, thus the black grill marks.

Of course it can be caused by a dirty grill, too ... but that isn't normally the case.
This would only occur if the metal were so significantly hotter than the flames beneath as to sear the meat (essentially what you are calling a griddle does this). I have cooked over an open flame numerous times, the charing that may appear on the meat is usually the result of various items that have stuck to the grate prior to the cooking, heating and then sticking to the new meat. Even in these situations you do not get the very uniform grill marks usually seen on the meat in resturants. Those are applied at the factory.
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  #37  
Old 13 March 2007, 07:52 PM
matches
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musicgeek View Post
You're half right. Burger King's patties are not only raw, but frozen solid. The grill marks are real, from the moving grate that carries the patties through the gas-fired broiler machine. Having done broiler duty for the better part of three years in high school and college, I'm fairly intimate with details of BK food prep.
It's been a while since I've been behind the counter at BK so I can't say if they are still marked pre broiler. I would doubt however that the broiler is causing the marks however, for the same reasons I've listed above. It is possible the broiler could be designed to specifically cause these grill marks to occur, but I will defer to your wisdom on this, since as I said it has been a ver long time since I worked at BK.

That being said however, grill marks are easy to fake, so simply having grill marks on your meat is not evidence that it was grilled, which I belive is what the impetus of the discussion was.

Last edited by matches; 13 March 2007 at 08:02 PM.
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  #38  
Old 13 March 2007, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ana Ng View Post
I've been to that Applebee's. Not in a long time, but...I've been there! Ew ew ew!
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  #39  
Old 13 March 2007, 09:35 PM
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There's this great little Thai place in Philly and you can watch them prepare everything right when you order it. They still take less time to serve me than Applebee's. That's just not right. The grill takes a bit more time then the wok, and it's still faster. Me and my family have foresworn Applebees forever.
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  #40  
Old 13 March 2007, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ana Ng View Post
Sorry! >sheepish<

I didn't mean to be a scaremonger, I was trying to convey how lost for words I was!
I thank you Ana, for now I know to steer clear of that "restaurant"!

The leg was so LONG!
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