I like my steak cooked mostly through, but very pink, perhaps a touch of red toward the center. That stage is about 144 degrees on a meat thermometer. I blogged last year about how I used to ask for my steak cooked to that temperature in restaurants. Overall, Bites commenters felt that my specification was just slightly helpful, since it comes across as slightly pretentious and because the professionals cooking the meat can judge without a thermometer.
Lunch of spicy pasta with steak at Mere Bulles in Brentwood. The waiter asked how the steak should be cooked and I fidgeted around with degrees, then gave up. "They probably aren't using a thermometer in the kitchen." He shook his head. So I asked for "the rare side of medium rare." You can see how it turned out. More rare than I enjoy. Sure I ate some, but I left a lot of meat.
So what should I be asking for?