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May 30, 2012 12:31 PM

food you are leary of ordering

Out because you are very uuhmm..picky etc about theay it is prepared? I rarely order scrambled eggs because i like them " my way" and rather than look like a jwrk for sending back eggs..i just avoid ordering unless i know how they do it
Ribs..same way
Fess up choosy hounders...

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  1. Bacon. I like crispy bacon, with just a teensy bit of chew to it. Most places serve it way too underdone for my tastes, especially on sandwiches. If I'm ordering it as a breakfast side and I say "crispy bacon, please" then it ends up being cooked to the point that it's totally burnt. I know I'm extremely picky about it, so rather than frustrate the staff or myself, I just skip it. Which means I don't ever get to enjoy bacon burgers, unless I make them at home.

    20 Replies
      1. re: mizzdee

        Speaking of breakfast items, home fries. They are always underdone these days, forget about actually squishing them, and I am always disappointed. I basically never eat breakfast out for this reason, why bother?

        1. re: coll

          "forget about actually squishing them"


          1. re: sandylc

            Some methods of home fries, involve smashing cubed potatoes on the grill to get a better crispy fried surface.

            1. re: Quine

              Most places around here used to always finish it off with a steak press, so it was nice and crispy and burnt. No biggie, I have a steak press I bought just for that purpose so all is well. We;re talking potato cubes or fat slices here, not hash browns.

              1. re: Quine

                I think what you call home fries are what we call fried potatoes and what some others call hash browns (silly people - don't they know that hash browns are shredded?)

                My fried potatoes are raw cubes between 1/4- and 1/2-inch in size. Are these your home fries?

                Now we can wait for the fallout from the hash brown remark! :-)

                1. re: sandylc

                  I've seen them called the same thing, but around here home fries are cubes only; then I started realizing some people think shredded.....which to me is more like latkes. Not something you can get in your local diner! I've learned the two are different in other parts of the country, and that's fine, until I forget.

                  1. re: coll

                    I don't like when home fries are close to raw and then not well fried.

                    1. re: smartie

                      The reason the home fries are close to raw is because they are starting with cubed, raw potatoes. That never works well. The potatoes need to be cooked first and then fried. The interior will be cooked and the exterior will be crispy.

                      1. re: John E.

                        I strongly disagree. I have been frying potatoes from a raw state for many, many years with great, fully-cooked results! I'll invite you and wife over for some, John....

                        1. re: sandylc

                          I've been eating my brother's diced, raw fried potatoes for years at our deer camp. I know it's an extra step, but I have found they really are better having already been cooked before frying. Just how small is your dice?

                          1. re: John E.

                            Hm-mm...I'd say between 1/4 and 1/2 inch.

                    2. re: sandylc

                      To me:

                      Fried potatoes: raw cubes or slices of potato fried in shallow oil or oil/butter combo until soft inside and brown/crisp on the outside

                      Hash browns: raw shredded potatoes cooked in a patty until the insides are creamy and the outside is brown and crunchy

                      Home fries: I have no clue

                      1. re: sandylc

                        Home fries to me are what you are calling fried potatoes, with or without onions. And O'Briens add onions and peppers. And hash browns are shredded. And some places in the south serve cannonballs which are thick sliced potatoes fried in the pan until they are about halfway cooked and just blonde

                2. re: coll

                  Ha! Once I ordered hash browns 'extra crispy', and you could see where they picked up a wad with their hand, squished it together, and threw it in the deep fryer.

                  1. re: coll

                    Fully agree. Too many places (mostly chains) are using frozen potato pieces (breakfast potatoes?) as "home fries" which are really disgusting.

                3. re: Ditdah

                  Now I'm just the opposite. I never order bacon in restaurants because while I like it "cooked", I don't like it crispy, so I only enjoy bacon at home where I cook it the way I like it. The few times I've had bacon in a restaurant, it's about one step down from incinerated.

                  1. re: Ditdah

                    For the bacon and hash brown folks who say they don't order because it is undercooked/overcooked - don't you order it the way you want it? I always order hashbrowns well-done and crispy. It is no surprise to me when they arrive cooked just that way.

                    1. re: FrankJBN

                      Sorry, I can't agree with you on this point, FrankJBN.

                      I used to try and specify my bacon and hashbrown orders according to how I liked it. Ordering crispy bacon at many places equals burnt bacon. Ordering crispy, not burnt, doesn't make a lot of difference, either. I then switched to ordering them firm, not floppy, not burnt, but that was a total crapshoot.

                      Similarly with hashbrowns, I would order them well done and crispy, which usually came out close to burnt with none of the soft potato-goodness inside. I would then go with crispy outside, soft interior, which often didn't mean anything to the server/cook.

                      In my experience, at all but the fanciest of breakfast joints, you can order bacon or hashbrowns and specify how you want it done, but it isn't going to be to your liking. I think the best course of action is to 1.) either not order them, or 2.) just order the bacon or hashbrowns and let them do it they way they always do.

                      I'm a lot less picky than I used to be and do not hesitate to order bacon or hashbrowns at any breakfast place, but I have found that most breakfast places - diners and the like - do not excel at cooking items "to order."

                  2. Pasta, believe it or not. Pasta must be cooked in salted water and served al dente. I can't trust a restaurant to do that so I rarely order pasta out

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: ctfoodguy

                      Very understandable
                      It isnt cheap out..and why pay for mush?

                      1. re: ctfoodguy

                        Amen! I stopped eating pasta for the most part, but I will only get it, if the dish is special. I refuse to have a tagliatelle bolognese for $15 that I can make at home for that price....and have it for five meals. People who always get pasta baffle me. Plus most places can't even top some better jar sauces. I believe most Italian restaurants have stopped trying. Definitely needs to be enjoyed at home.

                        1. re: jhopp217

                          Plus you can modify that jarred sauce to your liking in 5-10 minutes. Adding more black pepper, olives, mushrooms, what have you. So definitely pays to not eat pasta out unless it's a side they are giving away

                          1. re: zzDan

                            While I agree with the spirit of your post, I can not agree with the content. NO jarred sauce EVER crosses the threshold of my kitchen!

                        2. re: ctfoodguy

                          Agreed. I rarely order pasta when I'm out but I also can't be bothered to make it at home from scratch. I have two go-to places for very good pasta and just stick with those. Other than that, I'll only order pasta when I'm prepared for a mediocre or less-than mediocre dish -- sometimes I will succumb to this if I'm not the chooser of the restaurant and nothing else on the menu is any better.

                          1. re: ctfoodguy

                            +1 Pasta is probably my fav starch but won't order it out.

                          2. Seafood, unless a place has an EXCEPTIONAL reputation for seafood I avoid it like the plague.

                            13 Replies
                              1. re: mizzdee

                                Yeah, tiny portions and colossal prices

                              2. re: twyst

                                As someone who almost only gets seafood when going to nicer places, I will stress...nicer places. Unless I know the place has a good seafood rep.

                                  1. re: twyst

                                    Thumbs up on this one. I take it one better; I won't order most seafoods in a landlocked state.

                                    1. re: pinehurst

                                      Well, trout in Wyoming could be an exception!

                                      1. re: coll

                                        I would say walleye in Minnesota would also be an exception (even though most walleye served in Minnesota restaurants is from Canadian waters).

                                      2. re: pinehurst

                                        i agree. i am from boston, and the worst seafood i have ever eaten was from pennsylvania.

                                        pennsylvania has also produced the best whoopie pies i've ever eaten, so i'm not meaning to offend!

                                        1. re: pinehurst

                                          I dont take it that far, at least with sushi, because its all frozen anyway. All sushi served in the US has to be previously frozen to be legal to serve. (except tuna)\\

                                          Thats the reason some of the countries best sushi bars are in places like Chicago and Austin.

                                          1. re: twyst

                                            Let's not forget about the seafood available in Vegas. Some of the best seafood in the country.

                                          2. re: pinehurst

                                            I've thought about this one before.....isn't fish from lakes/rivers more accurately called "lakefood" and "riverfood"?

                                            1. re: sandylc

                                              Look at a restaurant menu sometime. The freshwater fish are located under the seafood part of the menu.

                                              People go 'sea' kayaking on Lake Superior too even though it is not a sea.

                                              1. re: John E.

                                                "Look at a restaurant menu sometime"

                                                Gee, never seen one of those....

                                                I really was just joking.....!?

                                        2. Crab cakes and lobster rolls come to mind. Unless the place is known for them, I don't bother.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: LeoLioness

                                            I second crab cakes. Being from MD so few places do it right. If I've tastes or sometimes even seen someone else's I can get it but otherwise I pass.

                                            1. re: melpy

                                              Yes. I never order crab cakes outside of Maryland. To do so is to invite bitter disappointment.

                                            2. re: LeoLioness

                                              Crab cakes are one I almost never purchase. 99.9% of places just serve breading with a little crab.

                                              I prefer to make it exactly how I like it at home and avoid the frustration of paying for crumbs.

                                            3. Do martinis count? I can never get one properly stirred or made with decent (Noilly Pratt) vermouth. It's always just gin that had maybe been introduced to some cheap vermouth once, shaken beyond recognition and served in a glass the size of a punchbowl.

                                              Also, +1 for crabcakes. I'm from Maryland and the best ones are always made at home.