Steakhouse drama

Joined Apr 3, 2008
We went out for lunch yesterday with several colleagues at a Lonestar steakhouse. I've been before and have enjoyed the meal. Yesterday I felt quite certain that the ribeye I ordered was not a ribeye but perhaps chuck instead. A ribeye has a certain shape and this steak did not look it. It was also not tender. I was with company so I didn't want to make a fuss and I didn't take a picture either. But does this happen? Do chain restaurants dole out cheaper cuts of meat in place of more expensive cuts like ribeye?
Joined Dec 18, 2010
I would hope no reputable place would do that intentionally because it is a disreputable practice. Did the just trim the cap off and serve a low grade tough piece o meat, perhaps?

I was reading Yelp about a steak place that seems to make mistakes often enough that several Yelpers wondered if it was intentional.
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Joined Oct 31, 2012
I can appreciate your not wanting to disrupt the meal and upset your dining companion but I think I would have. It may be that the cook was new and used the wrong steak. While it is certainly possible for the chain or the unit to be substituting on purpose, I am more inclined to think it was a mistake on the cooks part. 

     This reminds me of my surprise  in learning that American, French and English all have distinctly different ways of cutting a side of beef. Probably other cultures as well. That may play a part in it. 

In any case, if at all possible I'd go back to the restaurant and inquire but in a more "I'd like to learn something" tone than an "I'd like to complain" tone. They should be made aware of the situation.  
Joined Aug 7, 2008
 Do chain restaurants dole out cheaper cuts of meat in place of more expensive cuts like ribeye?
I don't think I've ever seen any restaurant swap out lesser cuts of beef as a SOP. If that happens it's far more likely (IMO) to happen in an independent restaurant and not a chain. Most chains are forced to get product from the franchise which limits quality variation. That's pretty much a core value of any chain. In many cases that product is still stored and delivered by main stream food purveyors like Sysco so product swaps/shortages/errors can happen but should be exceedingly rare.

In recent months since the laws requiring origin labels for beef have expired I've seen some of the worst quality meat imaginable. I've seen several choice strip loins recently that were so thin they looked like briskets. Just terrible quality here so it's possible these changes are impacting vendors.

Now if you were asking if swaps like this are common with seafood that would be a horse of a different color.
Joined May 14, 2014
Hmm... the only thing I can think of is if the name wasn't exactly "ribeye".... if it was rib-something else they could do what they want.
Joined Mar 21, 2008
The rib end of a chuck roll has 2-3 steaks that can be cut that sort of resemble a rib-eye, similar flavor, but not as tender... Anytime I get a chuck roll for smoking I take a few steaks off that end because they are okay eating.
Joined Nov 5, 2007
Nice! I've never done that much, just a few 3 - 5 pound hunks, treating like brisket. Definitely good for BBQ sammies.


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