There are a million and one online lists of chefs gleefully telling you about their favourite meals, and this is all good and well. But have you ever stopped to think what a chef would tell you to avoid when eating out? It’s a serious question, and one that we’re happy to help you tackle.
Take a look at 8 meals that professional chefs recommend you avoid, and why…
The Special Of The Day
You might be fooled into thinking that there is something special about the so-called special of the day, but that isn’t the case. According to Alberto Morreale, owner of San Diego based Farmer’s Bottega, the special of the day is probably the least special thing on the menu. Why? Because chances are it’s on the verge of expiring, and the establishment is trying to sell it off as quick as possible.
Most chefs agree that chicken is something to avoid at the majority of restaurants. Ryan Ososky, chef at The Church Key, confirms this. He says that chicken is often drastically overcooked, overpriced, and prepared with little originality. He recommends you simply stick to chicken only when you’re cooking it yourself.
Another widely agreed upon dish that should be avoided at all costs is oysters. Unless of course you are at a coastal restaurant. Mark Nichols, owner of JC’s Catering, declares that he refuses to eat oysters if he is more than 100 miles from the ocean. He points out that bad oysters can easily kill you, and that’s not worth the risk!
Big Chain Restaurants
If you like your ingredients fresh, then you might want to look beyond a big chain restaurant. Nichols expanded his stance on oysters to all fresh ingredients, explaining that most chain establishments order in their stock only on a bi-weekly basis. This means that even fresh produce can spend days frozen before being used.
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Most agree that it is a nice touch when a restaurant gives you bread before your meal. A pleasant touch, and a good way to make you feel welcome… Or is it? The vast majority of chefs refuse to eat this bread, namely because there is a chance that it is not fresh out of the oven, but perhaps simply recycled from another table, reheated and then given to you.
Although a staple of most pubs across the world, it turns out that chicken wings are another menu item that chefs will turn their nose up at. One chef that preferred to remain anonymous explained that he had worked in a kitchen that made wings on a regular basis, and was put off them for life. His description of fat congealed on storage bins and deep fryers filled with lumpy oil are enough to put anyone off wings.
Kayson Chong, chef at The Venue, avoids ordering house salads when eating out. The explanation being that he finds them bland, unoriginal and unsatisfying. In his opinion, eating out should be a new and interesting experience, and not involve a salad that can be ordered at a thousand different venues. He says that every establishment should have an interesting salad to try out, perhaps even an original one created by the chef.
Beer On Tap
The worst for last, we have an unnamed bartender that posted his what-to-avoid thoughts on Reddit. According to this source, they will never again drink any beer that has come from a tap. Why? Perhaps you best stop reading now if you ever want to enjoy beer from a tap again.
The post claimed that they learned how infrequently the fountains are cleaned, and upon opening one up to clean it, found that the inside had a mildew infestation. According to the post, the unnamed source said that they would put money on most fountains, in most pubs, likewise having mildew infestations. Hey, we told you to stop reading if you ever wanted to enjoy beer on tap again. At least maybe ask the bartender when the last time the fountain was cleaned.