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The Medium Rare Rant


Time for an unjustifiably general rant against the people of an entire region of the United States:

The Midwest of the United States appears utterly incapable of properly cooking a steak. To be specific, the terms “rare” and “medium rare” have no meaning in the Midwest. As far as I can tell, both “rare” and “medium rare” are interpreted as “medium,” while “medium” is interpreted as “well done.” The blame for this problem lies with the people of those states of the Midwest; I do not hold the restauranteers responsible. After hearing 531 complaints about underdone steaks after some idiot ordered “medium rare” when he meant “well done,” I’d stop trying, too. Last year at the Precinct, one of the best steakhouses in Cincinnati, the wife (seven months pregnant at the time) ordered a medium rare steak. The steak came back at what can charitably be termed medium well. Upon complaint, the waiter (apparently believing that pregnant women randomly go insane, and that dealing with crazy people was above his paygrade) summoned the manager, who immediately and with all sincerity promised to take the steak back to the kitchen in order to COOK IT LONGER. It didn’t even enter the manager’s imagination that someone might want a steak that was actually medium rare; no one, apparently, had ever expressed unhappiness about an OVERDONE steak. The wife politely declined the manager’s offer, and proceeded to eat as much of the charcoal as she could choke down.

I mention this today because the “rare side of medium rare” steak that I ordered at a Michigan steakhouse came back the medium side of medium well. Our server confirmed the extraordinarily unusual nature of my complaint; no one, it appears, ever complains about a steak that is overdone. I observed that an underdone steak could be fixed, while an overdone one could not, but this logic gained no apparent traction. It’s a ridiculous situation; you can get medium rare in Seattle, in New York, in Washington, and even (depending on where you go) in Lexington, but you can’t get it anywhere in the state of Ohio.

Midwesterners need to stop being idiots.


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