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Getting over a bad meal - what do you do, how do yuo recover?

ML8000 Jan 5, 2009 08:40 PM

There's few things worse for a CH/foodie/glutton then a bad meal. There's many causes like expectations, poor quality, ill-prepared, off-palette for you, etc. -- by restaurants, yourself, others.

The symptoms and/or outcome of course are individual. I usually feel a combo of lack of satisfaction, lack of appetite/spoiled appetite, disgust and irritable. Usually I have find a way to "recover" but sometimes I don't, thus my question:

How do you "recover" or satisfy (for lack of a better word) yourself, or regain your appetite, after a bad meal. Any particular type of food? Any things to avoid? Any tricks or ideas of balance? Example: a burger often does it but you risk getting sick if your appetite isn't there...and sometimes you just don't want that much food.

Somehow I think in the post-holiday, after-gorge, the question possibly has more applications. So there's the question. Have at it.

  1. ipsedixit Jan 5, 2009 09:08 PM

    I go and workout.

    1. b
      beevod Jan 6, 2009 07:20 AM

      If the experience is sufficiently devastating, I spend at least five sessions with my psychotherapist.

      1. k
        Kagey Jan 6, 2009 08:14 AM

        I try to forget about it and move on. There are many more meals to be had.

        1. c
          chow_gal Jan 6, 2009 08:57 AM

          I get over it, and myself and try to re-focus my energies on something like, oh, remaining employed, paying my rent, being a good friend to loved ones. Those sort of non-food things.

          3 Replies
          1. re: chow_gal
            DGresh Jan 6, 2009 10:36 AM

            yeah really- Is the original post serious? I mean, a bad meal is not the end of the world.

            1. re: DGresh
              ML8000 Jan 6, 2009 10:47 AM

              It's a serious post. You're right it's not the end of the world...and I've seen the end of the world so to speak. I just had a really crappy meal last night, disappointed but mostly was hungry with a spoiled appetite. Thought about a burger but the thought grossed me out. Any way, I did get over it. Thanks for asking however.

            2. re: chow_gal
              ccbweb Jan 7, 2009 05:19 PM

              It's a whole website about food. Simply by posting here everyone is at least allowing that food matters on some level. To decry that someone else would ask a question about it or have some feelings about it is entirely disingenuous. The OP asked about one's appetite if one has eaten something bad or at least less than good. He or she wasn't suggesting that that it was the worst thing going.

            3. s
              swsidejim Jan 6, 2009 10:47 AM

              I try not to dwell on it, although I do consider it a waste of a meal for the year. And seeing as I get only 730 meals a year(I only eat lunch and dinner), it is sometimes hard to move on quickly, and not feel cheated out of one of my meals for the year.

              What I avoid? : all chains whenever humanly possible, I many times will skip a "meal" at a chain rather than eat.

              How do I regain my appetite? : a few cold beers, and I am typically hungry again.

              6 Replies
              1. re: swsidejim
                ML8000 Jan 6, 2009 10:52 AM

                I agree about not dwelling on it. Perhaps this was the first bad meal I've had in 8-10 years.

                I was going to get into how to avoid a bad meal in the first place.I'm there about avoiding chains. I've never been to a TGIFs, PF Changs, Olive Garden, etc.

                Related, how to order is also good...esp if you're traveling and you're avoiding chains. I also take bigger risks with lunch when trying a place I'm unsure of. That gives the chance to have a decent dinner and recover.

                Didn't think about beer. I had a 7-up last night and carbonation cleansed the palette, which was a good start.

                1. re: ML8000
                  swsidejim Jan 6, 2009 10:55 AM

                  I think anything with carbonation gets the digestion going, and gets me to feel less full pretty quickly.

                  1. re: ML8000
                    mjhals Jan 6, 2009 11:07 AM

                    I think the OP has a point, I'll admit to getting kind of pouty when I defer to non-chowhounder friends in selecting a meal and it sucks. Yes, yes, I know I should be grateful for my health, the company of good friends, steady employment to enjoy the meal, etc., etc. I just want all of those things AND a good meal.

                    I'm still bitter about a recent meal at Cheesecake Factory (acquiesced to due to a visiting friend from Germany that HAD to eat there), and found myself fantasizing about transplanting the whole crew to the local Vietnamese place right next door. In fact, to "recover" from the experience I did in fact go next door, ordered some Bun Tom, and had that to look forward to the next day for lunch. That pretty much cured me.

                    1. re: mjhals
                      susancinsf Jan 6, 2009 11:15 AM

                      that's how I recover: have to go out and eat a good meal as soon as I am hungry and ready to eat again!

                      1. re: mjhals
                        nkeane Jan 7, 2009 04:47 PM

                        I feel ya on the CF front. I get drug there about 3 times a year. still havent ever eaten there. I sit and quietly drink. then hit a taco truck or roti cart on the way home(all the while wincing at the thought of actually eating 3000calories of fettacini alfredo at TGI mcFunsters!)

                      2. re: ML8000
                        Cachetes Jan 6, 2009 11:14 AM

                        Your follow-up made me think that I am usually likely to go home and hit the olives or some other flavor-packed item. I eat something that jolts the tastebuds a bit.

                        I have had the sensation after a few days of poor eating (I travel a lot for work, so sometimes will have a few days where I really don't have a good sit down meal) that I really need a satisfying, flavorful, filling and balanced meal to set things right in my head.

                    2. Kajikit Jan 7, 2009 09:21 AM

                      If it was bad enough that I didn't eat it, I'll stop for dessert on the way home and buy something that I KNOW I'll enjoy... or else I'll just go home and make a sandwich!

                      1. Karl S Jan 7, 2009 12:42 PM

                        I don't continue to eat it. Bad-tasting calories are more than mere waste to me. They are unhealthy.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Karl S
                          BamiaWruz Jan 7, 2009 05:40 PM

                          Same here

                        2. alixium Jan 7, 2009 06:41 PM

                          actually, what does irritate me most is when I pay for a restaurant meal that is not to my satisfaction. That irritates me so that I am likely to feel crabby afterwards. The idea of buying a satisfying dessert afterwards is good, but still leaves me crabby because it emphasizes how expensive the evening has been (for not much culinary pleasure)
                          however, when eating a bad meal at home, it is not so bad because it is usually a learning experience one way or the other (i.e. thoroughly filling the bread mold with batter is a bad idea.. ;) )

                          1. c
                            cimui Jan 7, 2009 08:11 PM

                            i pout, think venemous thoughts about writing a mean chowhound review, drink my wine, steal some of my SO's food, and then use the bad meal as an excuse to pick up a shake shack burger on the way home. :)

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