Why I’ll Never Buy a Whole Foods Steak Again


Recently, I found myself driving from the Jersey Shore to a backyard poolside cookout in South Jersey. I needed to pick up quality steaks for my friend’s grill — I was doing the buying, and he was doing the cooking — and as I was left with few options (this being South Jersey), I diverted to the Whole Foods in Marlton. A Whole Foods steak must be a good steak, I assumed.

There, past shelves filled with sacks of quinoa and tins of sustainable tuna, I found the meat department and its piles of bloody Whole Foods steaks and roasts, manned by facial-haired 20-and-30-somethings that looked like they all drank Pabst and played in some band together after hours.

With four adults and four children to feed, I ordered two bone-in rib-eyes and two t-bones (though one looked more like a porterhouse) for the grownups, and eight ultra-thin-cut bone-in pork chops for the kids.

I didn’t pay much attention to the prices until I arrived in front of the cashier, who announced how much money I owed her: a whopping $96 (and change) for the four steaks and eight tiny chops.

Now, I don’t mind spending big bucks on great food, but in this case, the food turned out not to be great by any stretch of the imagination.

I realize that a lot of what you’re paying for at Whole Foods is the ethical treatment of the animal that you wind up shoving down your throat, chased with a big old swig of Bordeaux, but the food should also taste expensive, right?

We seasoned the steaks with salt, pepper and garlic and grilled them over hardwood coals until they were nice and crispy on the outside and still bleeding a bit on the inside — somewhere around medium for the rib-eyes and a little less for the t-bones.

All of the steaks were surprisingly devoid of flavor, and they weren’t very tender. Oh, they were beautiful to look at, but eating them was a different story altogether. And the bland pork chops were more reminiscent of chicken (and boneless, skinless chicken breasts, at that) than the salty wonderfulness of anything that once went “oink.”

I’ve had Acme’s far-less-expensive Lancaster Brand steaks on more than a few occasions, and though I can’t speak for what they’re feeding those steer or how they’re killing them when their time has come to pass, the end result is far superior to the expensive stuff that Whole Foods is using to rip off its customers. I’ll never buy a Whole Foods steak again.

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  • Anonymous

    This same thing has happened to me with Whole Foods meats. Never again. I’ll stick with the 100% Angus beef from Shop Rite. It’s delicious and I can still afford to eat for the rest of the week after buying it.

    • stacker

      When it comes to meat, the organic/grass-fed beef is generally considered inferior to conventional beef (that’s why top steakhouses still sell you that nice prime stuff taken from cows that eat who knows what!). Conventional beef has become such a science that the industry’s more or less perfected the art of raising well-marbled, robustly tasty, and fairly priced cows.

      And if you’re into the whole sustainability, fair-animal treatment deal, you can get that beef for much cheaper at Reading and even some butchers in the Italian Market (it tastes better that Whole Foods product too in my opinion). Whole foods beef is like their seafood, horribly overpriced and generally mediocre tasting (and don’t get me started on the BS that is sustainable seafood certification). I gotta say though, Whole Foods posts their meat pricesI believe, that $90+ bill shouldn’t have been that much of a shocker.

  • Joe

    Expensive? Yes. But if you don’t love yourself enough to care for what you put into your body then stick to Acme.

    • Tara S

      You can care what you put into your body but for their prices, you expect quality and, with food, that also means taste. I care what I eat and I’ll spend extra for good quality, but if it doesn’t taste good, it’s not enjoyable so what’s the point of spending the extra money?

    • phlhui

      Or if you’re science illiterate, devote yourself to non-GMO/organic.

  • Sherry Truxell

    If it is a Saturday go to Melonis in Turnersville. Best meat ever.

    • vfiorillo

      ’twas a Sunday

  • Abby

    A) Grassfed steaks tend to be leaner and tougher. Whole foods sells a lot of grass-fed right next to the traditional meats and I pretty much never go for the grass-fed unless it’s going to be slow-cooked. I believe grassfed steaks need to age more to be as enjoyable as the traditional steaks.

    B) Maybe the steaks at Acme are a bit less sketch than the other meats, but last time I tried to buy meat at the Acme I couldn’t find a package of ground turkey that didn’t have “natural flavors added”. WTF? It’s meat. It doesn’t need any natural flavour added. I was totally grossed out.

    C) I’ve bought plenty of good steaks at Whole Foods (non-grassfed) that were delicious, didn’t entirely break the bank and also didn’t taste like sad animal. The NY Strip is the way to go.

    D) Go boneless at Whole Foods if you’re pinching pennies. Their pricing on bone-in meats is higher than it should be so you often end up paying more for the same amount of meat because the bone adds weight. Granted, steaks usually taste better when they’re grilled on the bone, but hey it’s your wallet.

    That is all. Amateurs…

    • topgirlcuisine

      Spot on Abby! Also enjoyed the amateurs comment :)

      • amishsteve

        Wow! Not much of a meat snob are you my friend?

    • carnivore

      Abby, thank you for bringing the rational facts here. It’s scary that they weren’t known and/or conveyed in this mindless post. . .

    • JA

      Although bone-in steaks are supposed to be flavorful…they’re ALSO supposed to be less expensive – because less work goes into cutting the meat.

      • Abby

        Yes, they are SUPPOSED to be. And at Whole foods they are slightly less expensive, but not to the proportion they should be to actually get value from buying bone-in. I have compared lots of pork chops and chicken breasts at Whole Foods and I always spend less buying boneless there to get the same number of chops/breasts.

        FWIW, all of the comments about going to real butchers are great, but if you work late hours during the week it can be tough to make it to the smaller shops. Whole Foods does just fine for me when I’m short on time although I do love going to Esposito’s or the Halal place on 23rd when I have time.

    • Chali

      Hahaha I thought I was the only one that noticed the “Natural flavors added” . . . Good job by you Abby.

    • Jubilee

      I’ll join the ranks and also thank you, Abby, for a well-informed post.

      Can’t sympathize with the price because if you didn’t look that’s your fault, and can’t sympathize with a person who bought his meat without knowing such basics as difference between grass-fed and not.

      Not like Whole Foods is brand new–everyone knows they’re pricy. You don’t go to Albertsons and expect Food-4-Less prices, dude.

  • Nick

    Whole Foods is a joke. There food is never impressive. Can’t hold a candle to Wegman’s. Much better quality, and prices. For the Price you spent, you could have bought amazing dry aged steaks.

    • Al

      I agree the best deal out there is a club pack (4 or more) of thick ribeyes. I usually average $7-8 for a good quality steak that averages 16 oz.

    • Doug

      I agree about Wegmans being better for less but that doesn’t make Whole Foods a joke.

      Also you could buy the best kobe beef steak out there, if you don’t prep the meat, cook at the correct temp for a short time you will prob not like what you cooked.

      A common mistake is putting salt on the meat AND marinating the steak before you cook it. Salt on meat even diluted with marinade will dry the steak out and make it tough.Salting seconds before it hits the grill is best. Hope this helps.

    • Chelsea

      Love Wegmans, but the last time I got shellfish from them it was really awful and kind of expensive!

  • Evan

    This is the most retarded thing I have ever read. So you saw the price per pound, ordered the meat, and are mad at whole foods because they charged you what if costs? If you cant afford it, dont shop there. Dont bitch about it here. They fairly posted the prices – your the idiot for buying it.

    And tasteless? Just because you dont know how to cook and season a steak is not their fault. If you wanted to buy pre-marinated steak or steak that had artificial flavor, just buy that. The steak wasnt tender because you cooked it poorly – it wasnt wholefood’s fault.

    Honestly, i am very disappointed in Foobooz for posting this. The article sounds like it was written by a bratty 17 year old. I dont shop at whole foods, i dont fluff whole foods, i think they are what they are and if you want to shop there, fine. But to blast them on here because you overcooked and under-seasoned your meat and then got mad because u spent too much on it – shame on you.

    • Foobuddy

      Internet troll on the loose!

      • arepo

        Strange reply to Evan — a troll on the loose?

        Yet how shocking that each and every poster totally ignored the blatant bigotry and prejudice of the original poster (“I found the meat department and its piles of bloody Whole Foods steaks
        and roasts, manned by facial-haired 20-and-30-somethings that looked
        like they all drank Pabst and played in some band together after hours.”)

        What a disgraceful thing to say. Change that sentence to downgrade your particular religious preference and maybe you’d be more likely to hear an uproar.

        I immediately got a picture of that person and it wasn’t pretty.
        Anything that came after it was not gospel to me.
        Sad that not one person ever even considered the classless comments by that poster.
        So … who’s the troll?

    • heytherehotherehithere

      …. – you’re* the idiot for buying it.

  • funnyjello

    why didn’t you look at the price on the marker before ordering? Or ask the guy how much it would be when he we preparing? Or look at the price sticker on the packaging when they handed it to you? Or when it was sitting in your basket?

    That seems a bit strange to ignore all those touch points to do a quickie price check before reaching the cashier….

    I can’t speak for the taste of the meat since everyone’s palate is different.

  • cleevus

    i feel the need to state for the record that Victor is a self professed cheap fuck. and has been forever.

  • Matt

    Thanks for the TMZ style reporting

  • Rand

    Never buy meats at Whole Foods! For that requirement only one place to procure meats and that is WEGMAN’S!

  • maria

    i had the same experience about 6 years back. never again. blech, ick, yuck.

  • NJacana

    Who cares when non-vegans eat cows? Serves you right. Go kill a squirrel and learn how to cook it, and leave those cows alone.

  • Morgan

    Is this Yelp?

  • swimfishie

    Thanks for the head’s up!!

  • Michael Turner

    Learn to use your smart phone and look up BUTCHER.. you know were you buy actual meats.. there are plenty in the SJ area.. Edlands being one of the best ones in the tri state area IMO.

  • Kat


    You live in “The Garden State” and it’s August, why on earth are you buying food in a supermarket and making some CEO rich? We buy nearly all our food directly from the farmers, and the prices are reasonable, when you consider the wonderful freshness and quality, we’ve gotten free-range, grass-fed meats, poultry and dairy – some of which is organic or the farm is in the process of getting organic certification. The peaches, nectarines and berries have been delicious this summer, not to mention the corn and tomatoes! Look up the farm markets near you, and plan ahead for your next get-together.

  • Chelsea

    There’s plenty of good options in South Jersey. The Shop Rite in Cinnaminson has an amazing butcher and great quality and is about 5 min from the Tac Pal Bridge. Then there’s a butcher shop on the way to the Shore and a really, really good one in Pennsauken. And of course the 2 Wegmans. Look on Yelp, there’s SO many options. “This being South Jersey” makes you look pretty uneducated about the Delaware Valley (aka your company’s target market)

  • DCCollins

    I don’t know where you live, but it took me living on a more fixed food budget (after my hubby got fired last year) to scout out the stores with good meat and good meat prices. Redner’s in Oxford, PA has 5 packages of meat (must be labeled) for $20. Heard Acme had a similar deal. We also shop in Zingo’s in Wilmington, DE and out in Dutchway in Gap, Pa. I travel a little, but it’s two times a month. My husband is a part time cashier at a store down the road, so he gets little things I need, but I do not like their meat-they buy cheap cuts. All the above have been good.

  • Peter

    2 places to buy great steaks:
    Peter luger in Brooklyn and they ship.
    Don pedro meat market Castor ave NE Philly

    As for Whole Foods it.s a Supermarket some stuff is good some ok.

  • Wario Batali

    Wait a second. You write for a food publication, but you lack to knowledge that grass fed beef has less marbling and thus needs to be cooked less then conventional grain feed beef ? That is embarrassing !

  • Jay

    The same thing happened to me once- quickly shopped there once in a hurry and bought a bunch of things, including a pack of three boneless chicken breasts, labeled organic. Wasn’t paying attention, when I got home I looked at the pack and I’d paid $18!!!! FOr three boneless organic chicken breasts! And they were nothing to write home about. Really very average size and taste. Needless to say, never again.

  • Bubick

    One word: Wegman’s

    • barrygster

      Wegman’s meat selection is terrible.

      • http://lewbryson.blogspot.com LewBryson


      • Bubick

        Really? What were you looking for but couldn’t find? I always get great stuff there, and their sirloins are always the thickest cuts and bestest tasting I’ve had…

        • barrygster

          Never looked at steaks but they had barely any cuts of pork and were unable to butcher to order.

          • stacker

            ya they’re pork program is lacking at least at the Cherry Hill Wegman’s, I asked for some pork steaks and it was a no go, wouldn’t cut me any either. I’d say, when it comes to beef, it’s the best selection and prices I’ve seen in a supermarket. It’s not a proper butcher but they’re as close as a chain market is gonna get.

          • barrygster

            I’ve found many items–including produce and meat–at ShopRite in South Philly that Wegman’s either doesnt have, doesnt keep in stock well, or has inferior quality. Their private label products are nothing special their prices are higher across the board. Still trying to figure out why it inspires such adulation.

  • Lindsay Ehlers Cox

    Hormone- and antibiotic-free always. Organic and grass-fed when possible. Taste and quality are the focus. Small local business. Personal Gourmet Foods: http://www.gourmetphilly.com.

  • shoelessjoe

    deleting foobooz from my favorites now. this is an embarassing article. thats like buying a free range/heritage turkey and not being able to figure out why it didn’t come out moist when you cooked it the same way as the salt-water-filled butterball from acme. i’ve remained a reader despite the ridiculous amount of real estate given to a select few businesses. and i don’t always love whole foods either. but seriously? with this graphic? people should buy mass-farmed hormone & antibiotic filled crap from acme instead? that’s your recommendation? i’m done.

  • no

    I have a very simple rule I use when doing any kind of shopping: If the price isn’t clearly listed, I don’t buy. It means the store must be embarrassed at what they are charging and are trying to trick me. I just walk out and give my money to somebody else.

    So, if the prices weren’t marked, shame on you, you done got tricked. If the prices were marked, shame on you for being an idiot and not bothering to look.

    • Dan

      This is why I won’t go to Memphis Taproom. They don’t list their prices and then you get surprised that a place in the middle of nowhere charges twice as much as CC places for some beers.

  • Wilson

    Wow! You’re a snot about being in South Jersey and yet you shop at Acme? That’s quite an accomplishment. There are about a million reasons NOT to shop at Whole Foods. They are certainly not known for their beef. Maybe if you’d given your friend’s party a little more thought you could have shopped at a more reliable butcher. I guess being superior must take up too many brain cells to also allow you to be prepared. I agree with Evan – shame on you and shame on Foobooz for printing your dopey dribble.

  • EaglePete

    Well, for one, we as consumers can rarely tell if the beef is completely grass fed. Sometimes they are grass fed when young, then use a grain finisher. Grass fed beef is less fat, so ya, it can be not as tasty as your local supermarket beef. I once bought a half cow of some strange breed grass fed cow. The steaks were horrible, barely edible and tough even with the good cuts. I also didnt over cook them, it didnt matter. So there is something to be said for taste. Either way I think that can be the case for everywhere you shop, meaning you can always get a bad cut, even at Whole Foods. I find there steaks amazing, and have had my fair share of awful steaks from the supermarket, also have had some of the best tasting steaks from the supermarket. If you care about the quality of the meat, than it does matter where you shop. The price thing is just silly to mention, if you didnt know it was expensive than thats on you. Its not called Whole Paycheck for nothing.

    • EaglePete

      their, oops, fast typing

  • Amanda

    If you consider the humane treatment of animals a “rip off” then honestly, your an ass hole

    • stacker

      I reckon if you cared about the humane treatment of animals, you’d likely not be eating ANY beef (or any other animal for that matter).

      • Roake

        You can eat meat AND care how animals are treated and slaughtered. Do your research. It’s hardly a contradiction.

  • JB

    Next time go to “Japanese Premium Beef” in the West Village. You will never eat anything else.

  • amishsteve

    Quetta Halal Butcher near Rittenhouse Sq. in Phila. Fantastic, organic
    and about $7.00 per lb. for a bone in Rib Eye! Check it out! Owner
    goes down to the Lancaster livestock auction twice a week to purchase
    his beef. You can taste the freshness.


  • rk

    that’s not how you prepare a good pork chop. no shit it tasted like chicken. There’s not much fat on pork chops, so it’ll be dry and bland because the fat is where the flavor is. You need to marinate or brine a pork chop.

    As for the steaks, whole foods has different options. did you get grain-finished or 100% grass fed? or did you not even notice?

    • barrygster

      “the bland pork chops were more reminiscent of chicken (and boneless, skinless chicken breasts, at that) than the salty wonderfulness of anything that once went ‘oink.'”

      Does Victor think that pork tastes like bacon or ham without any processing?

      • rk

        i think he does.

  • ThrowawayJay

    Best bet is to bookmark the Eatwild dot com website and search for your locale. It lists all the farms in your state that supply grass-fed/pastured/organic meats to local butchers. An example would be the ‘Hough Family Farm’ (Southampton, NJ) who supply’s meat to butchers such as ‘Bringhurst Meats’ in Berlin (on the shore route). ‘Meloni’s Butcher Block’ in Washington Township also has some tasty offerings. When the butchers are closed, you don’t have a choice but to go to a Wegmans or WholeFoods. Just remember, that grass-fed meat in the USA is often grain-finished the last 3 months (due to winter conditions). Whereas beef from say New Zealand or Uruguay is 100% grass-fed. I think Wegman’s grass-fed offerings (from Uruguay) is delicious. No way am I eating any natural flavors added meats from ShopRite, Acme, etc.

  • David Katz

    First of all, I’m not really picking up on where the writer is being critical of South Jersey? And just so some of you know, the beef at a small local butcher shop is pretty much 80-90% the SAME beef that an ACME or Shop Rite, or a Superfresh carries. I understand the perception of buying the meat from a small, family owned, cared for cutesy place is somehow of better quality than the supermarket…but not the case. I’m not saying NONE of them carry better quality beef than supermarkets, but if you don’t see a branded beef program label in a butcher shop like Meyer, Niman Ranch, Creekstone Farms, Harris Ranch, it is probably commodity beef. Just like the supermarket. Next time you are in your local butcher shop that you love and trust, ask them where exactly the beef comes from? I’ll bet dimes to donuts it comes from either an IBP, Cargill, Swift, or a National box. ALL COMMODITY BEEF. Just like the SUPERMARKET.
    If they were selling a branded program, believe me they would have that Meyer or Creekstone,or whatever label front and center. They’d want you to know what it is to help make the sale. But they say things like, “our beef is the best you’ll find,” or “our beef is better than ACME’s.” Our beef? Really? I don’t know what the writer bought at Whole Foods in the way of grass fed or grain fed beef, but you sure can tell the difference by looking. He said he charred them over coals quickly and left the inside of the ribeye medium (perfect ribeye temp) and the T-bone’s medium rare (perfect T-bone temp) so why accuse him of cooking them wrong? The price issue is on him, whatever with that. I guess he could have paid closer attention, but Whole Foods has been known to carry some decent grain fed beef. They’ll have some branded stuff in there, but as for the grass fed shit, who cares. You know what you are getting if you waste your money on that flavorless crap. Lots of theories out there on beef and where it comes from…it’s funny.

    • ThrowawayJay
    • rk

      also funny is the fact that your post (thanks for pointing to the real difference: commodity beef vs. small ranch) also proves the original post is wrong. Acme and whole foods are both buying commodity beef. Ain’t no real difference, except maybe whole foods is getting a particular subset of commodity beef.

      he was wrong on the pork chops, tho. grilling those without a marinade or sauce is just plain wrong.

      • David Katz

        Well I don’t care about the pork chop saga as I didn’t comment on that. I also didn’t post a comment on this topic in efforts to completely stick up for the writer’s whole post. I was commenting because I noticed some people were making the point that small indy butcher shops have different (or better) beef than large markets so I shed light on that myth. Couldn’t really tell if your thanking me for explaining the difference was sarcastic or not, but whatever. And Whole Foods does indeed buy some branded beef (non commodity) like Creekstone for example and some others. They don’t ONLY buy commodity beef. FYI. They have some legit stuff in there sometimes. That was my other point. Funny eh?

        • rk

          Sorry if i was unclear. I was serious in thanking you for correcting the biggest mistake in the comments. And for pointing out how to get good beef from both small and large stores by looking for the branded meats.

          The pork chop thing is my personal annoyance, as my wife doesn’t like pork chops but I think it’s just because too many people don’t make them right.

  • yeahyeahyeah

    Wahh wahh, who doesn’t look at the price per pound of something they’re dishing out the cash for? If you want some red dye #40 bathed ground beef go right on ahead and go to shop rite or Acme, just be mindful that all that flavor is due to a long soak in e-coli infested meat-pools.

  • ICDogg

    I’ve had steaks from Acme recently and they were very tough and chewy. Not quality at all.

    Oddly enough one of the best steaks I got recently was from Target.

  • Joso

    A few things,
    first ,”facial-haired 20-and-30-somethings that looked like they all drank Pabst and played in some band together after hours.” Why would it matter what these guys behind the counter looked like.? Most of the chefs you wax poetic about on this site fill the same description, yet that seems to be ok.
    Second, don’t complain about prices at the register when prices are clearly posted at the butcher counter.
    Third, any food writer worth their wait in gold would know that grass fed beef is far less superior to grain fed.
    This is the worst piece of food writing I’ve ever read. Fiorillo is trying to hard to be Ozersky.

    • Grammar


  • Susieq

    We did a blind taste test on the Whole foods 21 dry aged the 28 dry aged and Waygu style beef… I preferred the Waygu most preferred the dry aged 28 day beef.
    It isn’t cheap but it is really good!

  • Ronald McDonald

    Sucker. Next time just buy 90 Cheeseburgers off the dollar menu at McDonalds! They even do all of the cooking for you! Sometimes they are even located INSIDE of the Walmarts so you can take the White Castle angle if you’ve got a last minute conundrum. You freaking idiot.

  • F. T. R.

    I went into this store to see what Victor’s big fuss was about. I have had meat from Whole Foods many times, and have not been disappointed. This post-article trip was no exception.

    I thought that this article stank of personal bias when I read it, and that Mr. Fiorillo possibly has some personal reason to promote ACME and bash Whole Foods. It definitely seems his major malfunction was the pricing, and (as another commenter pointed out) he had plenty of opportunities to check the price before getting to the cashier. He also could have asked the counter staff for recommendations as to how to prepare the meat properly. I have done so myself in the past.

    I also doubt Mr. Fiorillo knows much about cooking. I investigated the “ultra thin pork chops” he mentioned. I believe he’s referring to Whole Foods’ “quick fry pork chops”. At a half inch or less in thickness, any dunderhead could tell you that these are for frying, not grilling. Even the name of the product says so.

    Whole Foods’ prices ARE notoriously on the higher side, but who doesn’t know that going in? I’m disappointed in this jackass’s ill-informed and unprofessional article which comes across as a personal vendetta, and equally disappointed that Foobooz ran this piece.

    This is the last time I will ever read an entry by Victor Fiorillo. He clearly has no talent, sense, or objectivity.

  • Plugz

    So then at the party, you collected $10 from each person and went to McDonald’s to buy some burgers and pocketed $20 for yourself because you are a shrewd douche of a man. That move, my friends, is called the “The Victor Douchebag” http://philadelphia.foobooz.com/2012/01/13/its-not-bribery-its-palm-greasing/

  • raoul

    Go to the Italian market in the city, better prices and better quality meats!

  • Kim

    This post is seriously such an embarrassment. You don’t grill ultra thin pork chops. There is a major difference between grass fed meat and the “who knows what they eat” types of meat. Basically, what you didn’t like is how beef is supposed to taste. This isn’t a Whole Foods fail, its your preferences. Learn the difference.

  • Bujit

    Porterhouse steaks are T-bones.

  • Terry

    Your an embarrassment to meat eaters.

    • Terry

      I just had an amazing new york strip from there

  • Merne Asplund

    What an embarrassing, awful article. It was probably paid for by a competitor of Whole Foods the way it reads.

    Victor, obviously you know nothing about steak. I imagine from your description (and the fact that you probably ate grass-fed, not grain-fed beef) that there was little or no marbling. So yes, it is not going to have the salty, fatty goodness going on…as a matter of fact, you should probably pan fry that in a pad of butter so you can infuse some flavor.

    And judging by your comments of the butchers, you don’t go to a meat counter often, huh? Or take a look at 90% of chefs. They all have beards and drink pabst I’m pretty sure.

  • Anna

    While I’ve never had much problem with Whole Foods, I also don’t have one near me. I order my grass-fed or just humane meat from a farmer I found online at homegrowncow.com I can get 1/4 for the cost of a couple meals worth at WF, so it works for me. Also, I know my money is going straight to the farmer and not to this national chain (even though it’s meant to have a corp conscience). And I can also order pork and chicken, so I always have some choice in the freezer.

  • thedoctorvictorious

    First of all, Whole Foods is expensive; that being said, flavor in a steak is derived of two things: fat content, usually in the form of marbling, and how the steak is seasoned. Since I know that the steaks at WF are usually pretty well marbled one can on conclude that you under-seasoned your meat. In order to form a good crust and allow the Maillard reaction to happen you must season your meat liberally. Most home cooks don’t do this enough and thus a lack of flavor and color on the steak.
    Oh and T-bones are Porterhouses.