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May 5, 2008 11:31 AM

when are you most likely to get a good or bad meal in a typical restaurant??

does the day of the week matter?? time of day?? is this a factor: how busy is the kitchen??

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  1. Bad in terms of service or food?

    1 Reply
    1. I think the chance of getting bad meals is greater late at night. The cooks are tired and want to go home. The head chef has probably left for the night. I ate at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco years ago and opted for the multi-course meal, which turned out to be like 15 or 16 courses as they gave us four amuse-bouches. We got into SF very late so we had a ridiculously late reservation. The four courses after the amuses were really outstanding. The amuses were wonderful as well. But then the quality started dropping -- meats weren't being cooked properly, vegetables started to become either overcooked or undercooked, etc. If they were able to keep up the quality of the meal, I would put it as surpassing Per Se and probably would say that would have been the best meal I've ever had in the States. But it was funny how it dramatically changed after the fourth course. It was still good, but there were some clunkers.

      1. I never eat out on Monday, as the kitchen n is usually staffed by new hires, or eat fish until Thursday and Friday, as it is unlikely to be fresh.

        1. Bourdain recommends Tues - Thursday as the staff is rested and not as swamped as on the weekend and they'll have had the chance to re-stock the perishables.

          makes sense to me.

          1. never sundays. no deliveries that day.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Halie

              I have never worked in the food service industry or been a chef, but my experience as a diner is also that Sunday evenings are the worst time. All premade food (eg soups, bread, appetizers) has been made since thursday or friday and is at the end of its prime.... nothing has been delivered fresh that day or possibly even on saturday.... and everyone is getting tired of working all weekend.