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Have you ever sent steak back because it had too much gristle?

At a steakhouse, you order a steak, it's cooked just right, but it has too much gristle.

Curious as to what Chowhounds have done, or think is ok to do in such situations.

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  1. I rarely order steak when out, but this very situation occured last weekend when I was on vacation & out with friends. One of our group ordered a rare steak. It came, and was rare, but was full of gristle. He did tell the waitress & the manager came over, had another steak cooked, & removed it from the bill. The 2nd steak was much better. I see no problem with doing this, as the first one was basically inedible except for a few bites.

    1. Absolutely. That's basically the only other reason for me to send steak back. It's either not cooked as ordered, or it's a crappy piece of meat. That goes back.

        1. Yes, but this has only ever happened to me at a mid-grade restaurant (above the level of a Ponderosa or Outback, but well below a Ruth's Chris or Flemings. To their credit, they were very good about brining me a new steak AND taking it off the bill. It was a local place when I was in college and did much more business with steak sandwiches than steaks.

          3 Replies
            1. re: mymomisthebestcook

              Are you joking, or have you have had a charmed life? Gristle is cartilage, it resembles, and tastes like, a white rubber band if you wind up with a chunk that avoided detection as you cut your bite (or trimmed badly for a stew or whatnot). Have you ever had a bit of rubbery 'meat' that you just could not chew through? Working your way around it, wondering what the protocol is, in polite company, to get that thing out of your mouth without attracting any attention or offending anyone? That's gristle.

              Damn gristle.

            2. re: Fydeaux

              "Yes, but this has only ever happened to me at a mid-grade restaurant (above the level of a Ponderosa or Outback, but well below a Ruth's Chris or Flemings."
              ~~~~~~
              it happens at high-end places too - i've had to send back really gristly steaks at Fleming's and Mastro's. the most bizarre part is that i only ever order filet mignon, and the chances of getting a gristly steak with such a lean cut are *extremely* low.

              1. re: scubadoo97

                It wasn't me, but my companion ordered a NY Strip.