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Meat: Money=Rare?

dixieday | May 18, 200310:41 AM

Why is it that, the more expensive and fancy the restaurant, the more likely the meat/fish will be really undercooked? It seems like a point of pride to serve salmon that's still jelly inside, and squab that's quivering and purple. On a recent trip back to SF in March, I had to send squab back twice (once at Manresa and once at 5th Floor) because it was, to my taste, revoltingly raw--absolutely purple. (It didn't make much difference, alas--at Manresa, the plate came back virtually the same, at 5th Floor nicely re-plated but only the tiniest bit more cooked.) Red-pink is perfectly OK; I know that these kinds of birds have flesh on the dark side. But deep purple and barely warm means raw to me. Same with salmon--I'm fine with seared tuna, but salmon treated the same way seems flabby and slimy to me. Inevitably, if it's a high-end place, unless I specifically ask for "cooked through", I get salmon jelly. It seems like a point of pride--that people with money/class "should" prefer their meat quaking raw. I know that chefs supposedly feel massive scorn for the well-done steak folks, but what's with this huge reluctance to cook anything even barely medium-rare?

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