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  #61  
Old 08 April 2007, 07:09 PM
KristieAnna
 
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i used to work work at applebee's up until last fall. they do have prepackaged food but they do cook their steaks fresh. so i guess it just depends on the meal you order. you may get both fresh and prepackaged food in your meal.
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  #62  
Old 08 April 2007, 07:40 PM
bjohn13
 
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Originally Posted by matches View Post
I would argue the black marks in BBQ are as I had previously stated not seared flesh, but simply dirt on the grill. Various sauces will stick, and will burn and will put black marks on your meat.

Likewise the grill marks in resturants are invariably perfectly uniform, which when you do see grill marks they usually are not.

I can say with the absolute certainty of someone who has cooked thousands of steaks, hamburgers, and chicken breasts over a cast-iron flame broiler over the course of a cooking career that lasted 10 years that a perfectly clean cast-iron flame broiler brought up to proper temperature does, in fact, leave broil marks on a piece of meat. Making them perfectly uniform while cooking the meat precisely to order is an art.
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  #63  
Old 08 April 2007, 07:57 PM
bjohn13
 
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In response to the OP, I find such allegations preposterous. Yes, a lot of items are prepackaged and microwaved, but anyone who has ever tasted microwaved beef knows that using that procedure for all foods would be impossible.

There are also a lot of health issues involved when it comes to recooking ground meats like hamburger or sausage and heavy bacteria-laden meat like chicken or pork. Most precooked meats like this tend to be very salty because they have almost no hold time whatsoever once thawed otherwise.

I think this just comes down to the perceptions of what restaurants were like in different times. It has been nearly a decade since I've worked in a restaurant, and my dad worked in one 40 years ago. The idea of using instant mashed potatoes is utterly preposterous to him, but there are very few restaurants left that still make real ones. I just stopped trying to tell him that the local buffet does NOT have a team of people in back peeling potatoes all day long. To me, instant potatoes, premade soups and sauces, and the like are the norm. I've just learned to appreciate a good home made soup or sauce while accepting that a premade sauce can still taste good.

The fact is, I can't always tell.

I'm pretty sure, though, that I would be able to tell if the steak I had at Applebee's last night was microwaved. The grille marks on the bottom weren't uniform either, so I'm pretty sure they were real.
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  #64  
Old 09 April 2007, 12:59 PM
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Funny that this thread got bumped back up. LizzyBean and I spent a great deal of the weekend doing nothing but watching FoodTV, and we both commented on the number of times that the cooks of TV were using apparently dirty grills.
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  #65  
Old 09 April 2007, 01:52 PM
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Reporter Applebee's riblets

For those who have work experience at Applebee's--I once ordered the Riblets. What I got was this meat slathered in BBQ sauce, but the bones beneath the meat were square and a bit concave, not rib bones by any means. I tried to guess what part of what animal they came from, but finally just swore off the place entirely.

One thought was that they were tailbones of something. Any information on this ?

Ali "solyent green is people" Infree
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  #66  
Old 15 April 2007, 05:49 PM
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I've never had a problem with anything I've eaten at Applebee's, but the few times I have gone, I've just ordered salad because it was lunch during the workday and it's faster to get.

My stepdad was at our local Season's Pizza and ordered wings several months ago. He swears he saw the cook take out a bag of Tyson's chicken wings and microwave them, then took them out and sprinkled some seasoning on them.
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  #67  
Old 20 April 2007, 04:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali Infree View Post
For those who have work experience at Applebee's--I once ordered the Riblets. What I got was this meat slathered in BBQ sauce, but the bones beneath the meat were square and a bit concave, not rib bones by any means. I tried to guess what part of what animal they came from, but finally just swore off the place entirely.
Too bad - what they are is darn tasty! They are in fact parts of rib bones (you can figure out what part exactly by buying full racks of ribs and prepping them yourself), or you can read this article:

What the heck is a riblet, anyway?
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  #68  
Old 26 April 2007, 01:27 AM
Ezri
 
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This might have been mentioned but I was at Applebees a few months ago and I ordered a burger (This was the first and last time I will ever eat at one) and I told them to make sure the burger was well done and the server said that all of their burgers are always cooked to well done. And do I need to mention the fact that the texture and taste was so bad I literally got nauseous? I won't eat there again. Hearng that their food is microwaved, it makes more sense.

Also I worked at a resturant called Ruby Tuesday's, it's not a huge chain but it is a chain. I was in the kitchen a lot and I saw just about everything made to order. It takes a longer time to get your food cooked to order but it's worth it and their food has never made me sick.
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  #69  
Old 27 April 2007, 01:10 PM
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I worked as a prep cook at an Elias Brother's (more commonly known as Big Boy) restaurant for about three years. Just about anything you order comes in frozen and is cooked on a steam griddle. There are a few exceptions, like the fruit, lunchmeat, etc.

One of the things I thought was weird was that all of their soups, side item vegetables, and mashed potatoes come in a big (2-gallon) plastic bag. We just toss them in a big pot of hot water (nicknamed The Vat) for about half an hour.

Now that I think about it, I don't remember ever changing the water in The Vat...
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  #70  
Old 27 April 2007, 01:27 PM
Doug4.7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chillas View Post
we both commented on the number of times that the cooks of TV were using apparently dirty grills.
Ah, a dirty grill isn't an issue when it's hot.....
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  #71  
Old 27 April 2007, 03:23 PM
Rehcsif
 
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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.
Right. Put in my time at BK in 1990-1991. The thing about BK burgers is that the broiler cooks both sides of the meat at once (as opposed to having to flip the burgers). Therefore, only one side contacts the grate, and only one side gets the "sear marks". We were always instructed to put that side up, so the customer would see them.

-Tim
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  #72  
Old 27 April 2007, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightcaste View Post
One of the things I thought was weird was that all of their soups, side item vegetables, and mashed potatoes come in a big (2-gallon) plastic bag. We just toss them in a big pot of hot water (nicknamed The Vat) for about half an hour.

Now that I think about it, I don't remember ever changing the water in The Vat...
If they are in sealed bags and never come into contact with the water, and the water is being frequently boiled to kill off any bacteria, why would you have to change it very often?
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  #73  
Old 28 April 2007, 06:32 PM
Rehcsif
 
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Originally Posted by Rehcsif View Post
Right. Put in my time at BK in 1990-1991. The thing about BK burgers is that the broiler cooks both sides of the meat at once (as opposed to having to flip the burgers). Therefore, only one side contacts the grate, and only one side gets the "sear marks". We were always instructed to put that side up, so the customer would see them.
I should also note that I worked there when the original "BK Broiler" chicken sandwich was rolled out, and if I recall correctly, there were "pre-printed" grill marks on one side of it. Employees were instructed to place that side up, so when the customer saw the meat, there would be 'real' grill marks on the one side (the bottom, which actually touched the broiler chain) and the 'fake' ones on top). BK's gone through several versions of the grilled chicken since then, so I"m not sure that's true anymore.

-Tim
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  #74  
Old 28 April 2007, 07:44 PM
bjohn13
 
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Originally Posted by geminilee View Post
If they are in sealed bags and never come into contact with the water, and the water is being frequently boiled to kill off any bacteria, why would you have to change it very often?
There are things more harmful than bacteria in city water. While these substances may not be harmful straight out of the tap, these substances becomes less and less diluted as the water evaporates and fresh water is added. The end result, if such a vat was left for a couple of weeks without being changed, is a situation where the water could quite possibly become poisonous (or at the very least, it could make someone sick). And the contents of these sealed bags does come in contact with the outside of the bag when said bag is being emptied (add with that the fact that there is no guarantee that the bag is, in fact, fully and properly sealed in the first place).

I used to work in a local restaurant that had one of these steam jackets to heat up soups, and we changed the water once a day while topping off the level periodically over the course of the day. Left alone, the vat was hot enough to evaporate itself dry between 2 and 3 times a day. So, in essense, we were using tap water at the end of the day that was diluted with impurities about 2-3 times as much as the tap water that originally came out of the faucet. It ended up being quite cloudy and rusty smelling, and there is no way in heck I would eat anything that came into contact with it.
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  #75  
Old 01 May 2007, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Aud 1 View Post
The better to you get you to drink and buy "appetizers", my dear.
The last time (and will continue to be the last time) we ate at Applebee's, we had to wait longer for our drinks than our food! Does it really take over 20 minutes to open a bottle of beer? We ended up with plates of food, no drinks, and no silverware to eat with.

Quote:
Also I worked at a resturant called Ruby Tuesday's, it's not a huge chain but it is a chain. I was in the kitchen a lot and I saw just about everything made to order. It takes a longer time to get your food cooked to order but it's worth it and their food has never made me sick.
Ruby Tuesday's is crossed off our list too - I had the sirloin steak there a couple of times and it was average, then the third time I had their steak it tasted exactly like liver. Now, I don't mind the taste of liver if I am actually eating liver, but when it's that taste in a steak - something is seriously wrong! On the upside, we're not tempted to eat out a whole lot (except for our favorite Damon's, where we go every week).
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  #76  
Old 01 May 2007, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehcsif View Post
I should also note that I worked there when the original "BK Broiler" chicken sandwich was rolled out, and if I recall correctly, there were "pre-printed" grill marks on one side of it. Employees were instructed to place that side up, so when the customer saw the meat, there would be 'real' grill marks on the one side (the bottom, which actually touched the broiler chain) and the 'fake' ones on top). BK's gone through several versions of the grilled chicken since then, so I"m not sure that's true anymore.

-Tim
I HATED those "BK Broilers!" The thick glaze always stuck to the grill grates and we'd have to try to rip the stuck chicken off before it went through a second time.
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  #77  
Old 02 May 2007, 06:03 PM
heyyo875
 
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My husband was a cook for Applebees for several years during college. While a few items do come frozen (such as the shrimp and fries) much of it is made to order. The steaks and chicken also come frozen (raw, just pre cut and cleaned), but there is no microwaving involved. It is still cooked on a stove top grill. Think about it, if it was all just microwaved, why would they ask how you'd like your steak prepared?
They also make their own dressings daily as well as soup and mashed potatoes.
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  #78  
Old 02 May 2007, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by heyyo875 View Post
Think about it, if it was all just microwaved, why would they ask how you'd like your steak prepared?
Because they could have steaks pre-cooked to rare, medium, and well done, and then just microwave them to heat them up? At least that is what I would imagine, I don't really know enough about cooking beef to know if that's possible.

Also the steak could be the only thing they don't microwave.

How long ago did your husband work there?
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  #79  
Old 02 May 2007, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by ThistleS View Post
Because they could have steaks pre-cooked to rare, medium, and well done, and then just microwave them to heat them up? At least that is what I would imagine, I don't really know enough about cooking beef to know if that's possible.
If you can make this work, you're a better micro-cook than I!

Remember back in the eighties, when microwaves first became the must-have home kitchen appliance? We had recipes for cakes, steaks, anything you can think of-- the promise was that we could prep whole meals from a raw state in the microwave. The reality was that microwaves did terrible jobs of baking and browning, and that even reheating certain foods (like steak) substantially changes the texture.
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  #80  
Old 02 May 2007, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by musicgeek View Post
If you can make this work, you're a better micro-cook than I!

Remember back in the eighties, when microwaves first became the must-have home kitchen appliance? We had recipes for cakes, steaks, anything you can think of-- the promise was that we could prep whole meals from a raw state in the microwave. The reality was that microwaves did terrible jobs of baking and browning, and that even reheating certain foods (like steak) substantially changes the texture.
That's true, they do change the texture pretty perceptibly.
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