Last week I was dining out with some co-workers and ordered the short ribs. I was last to order; the two before me both ordered fillets and had been asked how they would like them cooked. When she got to me she asked the same question. I was a little surprised and responded "braised" (I believe that this was also the full name on the menu -- "braised short ribs".) She paused and said "no, I mean do you want them rare, medium, or well-done?" I gave her my quick understanding of what I thought braised meant, and jokingly told her "I guess really well done." She looked concerned. This went on for about a minute before I got concerned myself that I would find myself with a plate of something totally unexpected, so I politely changed my order to the salmon.
So my question is this: Was I confused? Is there a beef short rib preparation that would require this question (assuming the menu didn't describe them as braised)? Or was it the waitress who needed a review session with the chef?