Why You Shouldn't Get Tenderloin From A Steakhouse

When you go out to a steakhouse, be it a big chain steakhouse or a local grill, you're probably heading there because you want one thing and one thing only — steak. Sure, free buckets of peanuts and endless bread rolls are pretty tempting on their own, but there is nothing like cutting into a huge piece of fresh steak hot off the plate. With that seared dark crust swimming in a mixture of savory herb butter and so tender it practically melts in your mouth the moment it touches your lips, a well-prepared steak is truly the epitome of good eating.

While many Americans may disagree on how a steak should be cooked, such as the popular well-done or medium-rare (via YouGov), everyone can agree that the cut of steak is a crucial choice. While some people flock to the pricey, but very tender, filet mignon and others pick the hearty, flavorful rib-eye, there's a good variety of cuts you can choose when you order your steak. There is, however, a certain cut of steak that may sound tempting at first, but could leave you pretty unsatisfied with what should have been a hearty steak dinner. In fact, some even view it as an overrated cut of meat to begin with.

The leanness of tenderloin hurts the flavor

The beef tenderloin is a pretty lean cut of meat. This means that it has relatively little fat compared to other cuts like Delmonico steak or New York Strip (via SFGate). While it may be lean on fat, it's certainly not lean on one's wallet. Beef tenderloin is an expensive cut, costing up to $20-$30 a pound (via Serious Eats). Yet despite the praise and price, this particular cut of steak may not be the best choice to get when you're ordering a steak.

Since the tenderloin lacks in fat, this means it's not much to look at in terms of marbling — the term for those little specks and streaks of white fat you see in raw meat. If a steak has a high amount of "marbling" or fat, it will have a very bold flavor when cooked. In comparison, a steak with little marbling won't have as much flavor or taste to it. What the tenderloin has in tenderness, it lacks in flavor. The tenderloin could even dry out when overcooked, removing what precious flavor was left in the steak to begin with. If you have ever seen a tenderloin steak with bacon wrapped around, it's likely done to help give the steak a bit more flavor and moisture.

The next time you're at a steakhouse, maybe try to order the strip steak or Porterhouse for a more flavorful dinner.