Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Reformed Meat – Yes, You Are Eating It

Have you ever noticed how perfectly and uniformly formed the chicken is in the Chicken Tacos at Chilis? How the chicken in the chicken sandwiches at Olive Garden Feel in your mouth? I think there are a lot of preformed meats on our menus at some of the larger chain restaurants:

(from Bottom Line Secrets)

Meat Additive May Make You Sick

Meat glue, also called transglutaminase (nothing to do with so-called pink slime), binds together bits of meat into what looks like a prime cut. But: When not handled properly, meat glue can seal in E. coli and other bacteria present on raw meat. Self-defense: Check package labels—glued meats must include the words “formed” or “reformed.” Glued meats are commonly used in high-volume restaurants and banquet facilities. To be safe, eat meat cooked well-done.
Source: Suzanne Havala Hobbs, DrPH, RD, is a clinical associate professor in the departments of health policy and management and nutrition in the Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

September 29, 2012 Posted by | Cooking, Cultural, Food, Living Conditions, Restaurant | 2 Comments

The Macaroni Grill in Pensacola, FL

For the most part, AdventureMan and I stay away from national chains. One time in the last couple of years we tried Olive Garden, and, like many of the chains, they had gone to using “pre-formed” meats – how do you think they got all those dishes to look so uniform?

But Macaroni Grill is – or was, it’s all unclear now – a part of the Outback Chain, and Outback will always have a place in my heart because of their open-handed support when I worked for an educational foundation, raising money for scholarships. They were a joy to work with, and so generous to our scholarship recipients.

So we decided to give the Macaroni Grill a try. Here is what the entry at the Cordova Mall looks like.

00MacaroniGrillExterior

I had the Caesar Salad, which was very good, fresh, great dressing:

00MacaroniGrillCeasarSalad

I also had the Chicken Marsala, which had three chicken cutlets, real chicken, not pre-formed, not identical, with angel hair pasta. The Marsala sauce had barely a hint of Marsala, but it was pretty good. I’d prefer a little more Marsala taste. It was plentiful, and I had enough left over for dinner, too.

00MacaroniGrillChickenMarsala

AdventureMan had the lasagna, which he said was really good! His portion was so huge, he also had enough for dinner and I don’t think he was able to finish it, there was so much.

00MacaroniGrillLasagna

Service was prompt and efficient. We asked the server if all the food was prepared here, or prepared elsewhere and sent semi-prepared, and she said, with great pride, that all the food was prepared daily, on-site. You could see into the open kitchen, and chefs and assistants were back there busily preparing meals – all a good sign.

We probably won’t go back, just because there are two or three other Italian places in town we like better, but it is a perfectly decent restaurant with above average food, very clean, good service and convenient if you are at the Cordova Mall.

July 31, 2014 Posted by | Cooking, Eating Out, Food, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Quality of Life Issues, Restaurant, Shopping | 1 Comment