Every restaurant has its own specialties—dishes that they do really well and are known for. And while there are some obvious things you should not order from certain restaurants—such as a cheese burger in a Chinese restaurant or a lobster roll in a fast food chain—there are things that you should never order from any restaurant, ever, for outrageous mark-ups, germ minefields, food poisoning and many more reason. Here’s a few of them:
- Tap Water
Bottled water may be a bit more expensive, but water left sitting out at room temperature can be a breeding ground for bacteria. And if you ordered water served directly from the tap, you never know how clean the tap (and pipes) are.
- Meat With Bone In
Small cuts of meat with the bones in, like chicken breasts or bone-in pork, take more time to cook thoroughly because the outsides easily char. Therefore, this translates to crispy on the outside and raw on the inside. Unlike undercooked beef, such as a steak tartare or a rare beef patty—undercooked chicked and pork are dangerous and can cause food-borne illnesses. Not to mention that bone-in means lesser meat.
- Free Bar Snacks
Since these pretzels, nuts and other munchies are free of charge, bars and restaurants often do not set out fresh serving for each order, It is like eating out of a stranger’s hand. At closing time, many of these free snacks are dumped back into containers, to be re-served to customers the next day.
- Iceberg Lettuce
Iceberg wedge salad is one of the F&B industry’s major rip-offs. Take into consideration that iceberg lettuce is 98 percent water, and it is priced at least 20 times its worth. Plus, germs and bacteria can hide in the lettuce’s crack, edges and corners. Even if restaurants wash their greens, these lettuces are often served soggy, which is a red flag—natural water content mixed with room temperature mayo-based dressing is a recipe for a food disaster.
- Saucy Recipes
For restaurants to avoid running out of ingredients, they purposely purchase more ingredients than they need. At the end of the day, excess ingredients that have not yet expired can be used for tomorrow’s specials, disguised in sauce. Be careful with meats that have been braised, cut and disguised in stews, pastas or soup dishes.
While some of these dishes sound alluring, they are included in this list for a reason. Some menu items just ridiculously priced while others carry a higher risk of food-borne illnesses. Order smarter the next time you dine out by keeping these not-to-order foods in mind.