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The Single Most Overrated Dish

IMO, its the kebab. Any kind of kebab. They sound great in theory. What's not to love about your favorite meats and vegetables grilled together in loving propinquity? Alas, once the kebab leaves the realm of my mind and my plate, and passes my lips, its allure vanishes. Oh, the first several bites are nice, but soon thereafter eating kebabs becomes an exercise in tedium.

Well, that's my nomination. What's yours?

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  1. I am nominating crabcakes. At best, crab with filler. At worst, undercooked in the middle, underseasoned, plain old boring. I've had far more at the bottom of the scale than the top. Total waste of good crab.

    36 Replies
    1. re: tcamp

      If you're eating crab with filler, you're not getting the "at best" part you mention.

      LoL

      1. re: JayL

        You may be right, but I've tried. Everyone else is raving and me, meh. Now I just steer clear.

        1. re: tcamp

          The best are those made with zero filler at all. They aren't easy to find so I completely understand your stance.

          A few restaurants will make them with no bread crumbs at all...they are hard to cook w/o the extra binder, but it's possible.

          But we all have individual tastes...and that's a good thing.

          1. re: JayL

            No bread crumbs, but I do use saltines which just melt into the cake. i'm lucky to get lump and jumbo lump from the Chesapeake, so I'm spoiled!

            1. re: monavano

              In North Carolina we're lucky in that we ship most of our crab harvest (the largest fishery in the state) north to the Chesapeake Bay states so that you all can enjoy it! LoL

              1. re: JayL

                The largest fishery in NC is crab? That's fascinating. I woulda thought it was bass or a freshwater fish. I've never had (knowingly) NC crab, but then again I usually either catch my own or get 'em from someone I know.

                I tried to look it up, but can't find any information. Help?

                1. re: MGZ

                  I know I've seen Costco's lump crab that is packaged in NC. No idea what that means as far as to where it came from in the first place.

                  1. re: MGZ

                    MGZ, here are some quotes from the web, with links:

                    "The majority of whole blue crabs sold in Maryland restaurants are shipped in from North Carolina, Louisiana, Florida and Texas, while recipes requiring crabmeat are imported from overseas."
                    http://www.redorbit.com/education/ref...

                    Blue Crab is "North Carolina’s (N.C.’s) most valuable commercial fishery and ranks first in pounds harvested."
                    http://www.ncfisheries.net/stocks/blu...

                    Some websites indicate that North Carolina is the state with the largest blue crab harvest in the USA. But it looks like Maryland is again the nation's top producer: "The rebound in blue crab populations in the Chesapeake Bay was evidenced by the fact that Maryland regained its spot as the top producing state, with about 25% of the harvest."
                    http://www.fishchoice.com/For-BUYERS/... (updated April 2013)

                    1. re: drongo

                      Thanks.

                      1. re: drongo

                        That's interesting about Carolina. I watch Deadliest Catch and the blue crab hunt seems brutal, as in tough to find. Of course, that's a television show.

                        1. re: KrumTx

                          The blue crab in Carolina (and Chesapeake Bay) has nothing to do with the blue crab on Deadliest Catch. In Alaska they are fishing for blue colored King crab.

                          1. re: 512window

                            I had no idea. Thanks. Who knew? (besides everybody but me)

                            1. re: KrumTx

                              You're from Krum, Texas. What the hell would you know about blue crab? ;)

                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                Ha! Apparently not much. Must be my degree from Texas Tech. (Aren't you in Lubbock?)

                                1. re: KrumTx

                                  I'm working on my doctorate in crabiculture. The playa lakes and Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos are just teeming with 'em.

                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                    Y'know, I found that I just wasn't getting the best possible crab education in Texas. But here in Phoenix, I've joined a wonderful program for General Decapod Crustacean Studies. Very enriching.

                                    1. re: alliegator

                                      Lotsa sand crabs out that way, I gather.

                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                        Well, they are mighty tasty, and the amount of meat on those suckers is off the charts. But I prefer to gamble with my car, jewelry, and life and head down to Puerto Penasco for all my crabbing needs.

                                2. re: Perilagu Khan

                                  Lots, probably. I once got crabs in Ardmore, which is just up the road and I was there only overnight. Didn't check the colour.

                                3. re: KrumTx

                                  Sig and Edgar?

                                  Hey, who says television isn't educational?

                            2. re: drongo

                              But........MD and DE and VA do their part........most of the "Ipswich-type" clams you get in NE come from those shores!

                              1. re: drongo

                                In MD this year they are saying the crab population is way down from the past. Part of the blame they are putting on Sandy for shifting silt over the grasses where the crabs breed and the babies grow. They are also blaming fish which they say they are finding with baby crabs in their stomachs. I live in DE so this is kind of local news.
                                We don't eat a lot of crabs, but when the harvest is down the price per bushel goes way up.

                            3. re: JayL

                              Actually, as I said, I buy crab that was plucked from the Bay, not from NC.

                              1. re: JayL

                                I have no idea why that makes YOU lucky.

                        2. re: JayL

                          The right way to make a crab cake is with a binder, but it shouldn't overwhelm the crab. It isn't "filler" because it isn't there merely to stretch the crab but to give the cake the proper consistency.

                          But granted, it isn't the best way to have crab. I'll take a Crab Louis.

                          1. re: GH1618

                            Crab Norfolk isn't bad either. I don't know if they have a different name for it, but I love it on Smithfield ham. Thin slice of ham, big pile of crabmeat, butter. With cold beer.

                            1. re: GH1618

                              The best crab I ever had (blue crab, that is) was something along these lines at a friend's place in Annapolis:

                              http://www.oldbay.com/Recipes/Crab/Ma...

                              I've been around great crab cakes (according to my dining companions) - I just don't love crabs in that preparation.

                          2. re: tcamp

                            You know, this reminds me. I had a 12 course tasting menu dinner at Tru in Chicago a few years back. At that time it was ranked as one of the world's best restaurants. There were only 2 things I ate that night that I didn't like. 1 was the amuse bouche, no clue what was in it other than caviar, but the whole thing was not good. The second was the crab cake.

                            1. re: tcamp

                              Oh but real crab-filled cakes are so damn tasty.

                              1. re: tcamp

                                SO often demands crab cakes because he loves them so much. I love crabs as well. Crab cakes are OK, but I love steamed hard shell crabs and the whole picking eating adventure. Well, I shelled out an arm and a leg for lump crab which was quite expensive given I'm in Maryland and whipped up some crab cakes with very minimal filler such that they had to handled with kid gloves and very fragile. SO loved them, to me they were just OK, but nothing I'd ever request to eat. If you offered me a bushel of steamed crab though I'd be right there bib on and ready to go!

                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                  I do something completely different with my crab cakes; I put lots of crisp vegetables in them. And I bind them with an extra-thick béchamel. Not traditional, probably illegal (ha), but I like them much better than the ones that are 99.9% crab.

                                2. re: tcamp

                                  memories of crab cakes as a kid in and around NYC and suburbs was the classic "french" method of using scallops as a binder (pureed in food processor with cream) and bread as a filler, lightly seasoned, with variations adding some finely diced bell pepper (a chef trick in seafood to mask any "unpleasant fishyness") and maybe a small sprinkle of parsley for color. Flat top in butter or deep fried to order or sitting endlessly on a steam table as the 70's wore on...

                                  1. re: Gastronomos

                                    You had me until the diced bell pepper. That's a flat out no for me in crab cakes

                                    1. re: Firegoat

                                      It's a must for me.

                                      1. re: sandylc

                                        Me too. Especially _red_ bell pepper.

                                        1. re: The Professor

                                          I dont' know what it is about them. I've tried them. I've tried to like them. They just trigger a gag reflex in me and ruin everything they touch. I'm the same way about some olives. No idea why.

                                3. I might get flamed for this one, but the burger is it for me. Ground meat, a bunch of other stuff on top, bun. I'm just not in love with it.

                                  Good topic!

                                  34 Replies
                                  1. re: alliegator

                                    I think the burger is so darn ubiquitous that it's not given the proper attention to detail, like the right mix of cuts, fresh seasonal toppings to include a good tomato, or no tomato at all, and a proper bun, griddled with butter.

                                    1. re: alliegator

                                      I love burgers.

                                      It's such a versatile dish. The toppings can be as traditional, heavy, sparse, or eclectic as you wish. The meat can be from any cut or any blend of cuts (the possibilities go into infinity really). It doesn't even have to be all beef...or beef at all! The grind can be varied for textural differences. Cooking methods alone can change the taste...grilled, cooked on a flat grill to give that crisp exterior, briefly placed in a smoker before or after cooking, I've even seen them slid into a fryer and cooked through. Flavors change between thick burgers and thin burgers.

                                      Then you come to that bun you mention. How many types of bread can you sandwich your perfect burger between? Holy Cow! You name it, you can make a burger out of it. There are regular buns, fancy buns, bready buns, tasty buns, or just plain 'ol sliced bread. You can serve the bun as-is, or you can steam it or toast it...you can cook it on a grill or a flat griddle for different flavors. The bun can be seasoned before cooking or cooked plain.

                                      Such a versatile food to be considered overrated.

                                      1. re: JayL

                                        Like lamb and bison burgers. So good!

                                      2. re: alliegator

                                        See I don't like a bunch of other stuff on top. Maybe cheese and bacon, that's it. But I'm happy with a big ole meat patty and nothing else, assuming it's good meat. I don't like all those fancy burgers with all kinds of toppings and sauces.

                                        1. re: juliejulez

                                          When I was a kid, if you wanted even lettuce and tomato on your burger, you had to order it California style and that raised the price to 35 cents. We ate them unadorned.

                                          1. re: grampart

                                            That's the way it should be. I end up paying for a bunch of toppings I don't even want now.

                                            1. re: juliejulez

                                              I like Salisbury steak, but putting a bun around it ruins it.

                                              1. re: RobertLaughlin

                                                I don't think a hamburger and salisbury steak are the same. Salisbury steak has stuff mixed in with the meat... I compare them more to meatballs, just flattened.

                                                1. re: juliejulez

                                                  They are both OK t me but I much prefer a hamburger. I too see them as different and don't really get the point of Salisbury steak. Although tasty I guess I'd rather just put the gravy on a steak.

                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                    I think salisbury steak, like meatballs, are better when reheated when compared to burgers, hence their popularity in frozen dinners. But that's the only reason I could think of to eat salisbury steak instead of a hamburger.

                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                      If you were old, like me, you'd know the best thing about Salisbury steak is the memory of it in a frozen Swanson dinner, eaten with a once-a-week bottled Coca-Cola while watching Donny & Marie. Be glad you were born after those times:)

                                                      1. re: KrumTx

                                                        With mashed potatoes and corn. We loved when my parents went out for dinner because that's what we'd get.

                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                          Did the Salisbury steak have the brownie or was that the fried chicken? I just remember putting my fork into the brownie for a piece and the whole dang thing would come out, rounded sides and all.

                                                          1. re: KrumTx

                                                            I think the brownies came w/ the fried chicken, or another dinner because it was always a tough decision between salisbury steak, which was my favorite and not having brownies or the other w/ brownies. I haven't had one in 40 years about and am now wondering if I'd find it edible. I used to love them.

                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                              Maybe the salisbury steak came with the apples?

                                                              1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                Good memory. I think you're right because I hated the apples and wanted the brownies, come to think of it. Tough decisions when you're 7 or 8.

                                                                1. re: chowser

                                                                  Haha, I always loved the apples. Which sucked because I always wanted the fried chicken. Yeah, if only our problems could still be that simple!!

                                                              2. re: chowser

                                                                Children!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                When I got my first TV dinners of Salisbury Steak and Fried Chicken, there WAS NO SUCH THING as a brownie in it!...........And Donnie and Marie!!!!!!!!!! My Gawd......let's go back to Syd Caesar

                                                                1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                  Syd Caeser? Is that Julius Caeser's brother?

                                                                  1. re: Bkeats

                                                                    Yeah, and Ernie Kovacs was just silly man with a mustache!

                                                                    1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                      ...and damned funny, too.

                                                                      1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                        Hipper even than Lord Buckley, he was a man ahead of his time.

                                                                         
                                                                        1. re: grampart

                                                                          And most of it was "live".you flub, you try and make the most of a flub

                                                                          1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                            And old Ernie had a very hot wife! EEFUM!!!!!

                                                                            1. re: grampart

                                                                              And sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.......unless Edie adams was doing the commercial!

                                                                      2. re: Bkeats

                                                                        More like Julius Caesar's SISTER!
                                                                        ...now SID Caesar was funny!

                                                                        1. re: Bkeats

                                                                          More like Julius Caesar's SISTER!
                                                                          ...now SID Caesar was a funny guy!

                                                                    2. re: KrumTx

                                                                      The chocolate flavored sponge! I was all about the whipped potatoes.

                                                                  2. re: KrumTx

                                                                    . . . . on a folding TV tray in the family room. :D

                                                                    1. re: thimes

                                                                      With the Quasar in the corner and Ted Baxter intoning the evening news.

                                                                    2. re: KrumTx

                                                                      Would you say you are a little more country or a little more rock 'n roll? :-)

                                                                  3. re: juliejulez

                                                                    Hamburgers can have things mixed in with the beef. And it isn't always a bad thing. The best burger I've ever had was around 10% pork. And other burgers I've had around the country were made with some panade and seasonings.

                                                                    Those are still hamburgers. And damned good ones, too.

                                                                    1. re: The Professor

                                                                      Yes but at least for me, I don't want to see my hamburger with egg and breadcrumbs in it. That just makes it a flat meatball.

                                                                      My own personal ground hamburgers have bacon ground up in them, so a mix of meats is not the issue... it's adding in non-meat ingredients. Don't even get me started on adding in stuff like onions....

                                                              3. re: grampart

                                                                When I saw and had my first California burger in 1964, it was as if I had died and gone to heaven! Lettuce (the dreaded iceberg that I love), tomato and thousand island dressing. OMG!
                                                                THEN I found my first REAL supermarket, after living in Chicago, NYC and New Orleans, my blink rate totally halted!
                                                                California!
                                                                Then, that same year I found my first Japanese lunch with
                                                                bronze leaf lettuce salad and tempura'd shrimp and veggies!
                                                                Hail CA!

                                                          2. A kabob is interesting to me, what's not so much are long swords of chicken, cow and lamb. Just puts me off with the though of it.

                                                            1. If that is all the kebab is to you. then you are perhaps eating sub standard kebab... if it is grilled over open coals, marinated with interesting flavors, and the variety of things that can be turned into kebab (lamb, pork, beef, chicken, fish, shellfish, vegetables, ground meat etc) it really has a lot to offer. Perhaps the dried out meat served with rice pilaf is where it has landed in the american lexicon of pseudo ethnic foods, but when done right it really is a thing of beauty.

                                                              7 Replies
                                                              1. re: cwdonald

                                                                I agree with the suckage of the kebab but I swear that my head is about to explode over somebody maligning my beloved hamburgers.

                                                                1. re: cwdonald

                                                                  I think it's also useful to distinguish between shish kebab (often meh) and the hyperdeliciousness that is something like a lula kebab.

                                                                  1. re: Savour

                                                                    The lone kebab I'd readily try again is a tandoori sea bass kebab I had many years ago. It was sublime. I've never since tasted its equal.

                                                                    1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                      I agree with the kebab, at least the homemade kind I've been subjected to. My husband always suggests them as a "easy," "time-saving" way to feed a crowd. There's way too much slicing, marinating and skewering to make it "easy." We usually disagree about how to skewer, too. I like to make them all-meat or all-fish, then the veg on separate skewers. Because generally, I find all the ingredients cook to their optimal point at different times.

                                                                      Generally what I get at other people's picnics or dinners have overdone meat and veg burned on the outside yet raw closer in. And everyone else seems to love them that way.

                                                                      1. re: lsmutko

                                                                        I think it's the idea of the kebab that is so appealing to people. And the ideal tends to override the reality. Did for me for the longest.

                                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                          And we were discussing what to cook over the Memorial Day weekend away and one of the friends we're going with said, "Kabobs, so we can keep this easy."

                                                                          Oh well.

                                                                  2. re: cwdonald

                                                                    I've had all sorts of kebabs, containing all my favorite things, marinated in many a way, and they just don't melt my butter. I've tried to like them, but have resigned myself to hating them instead. That's more honest.

                                                                  3. I think it's more of an execution issue rather than a single dish that doesn't work. A great kebab is, well, great! A great crabcake is more than sublime.

                                                                    Perhaps your question might be what dishes are most ruined by too many people?

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Terrie H.

                                                                      Hear hear. A kebab isn't a "single" dish, there are as many variants as there are people who prepare them. Ditto all the other dishes mentioned here. It's hard to condemn an entire category of food simply because the examples you had weren't to your liking.

                                                                    2. Mac 'n Cheese. Never had one I thought was anything special.

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                                        I had one that seemed sublime once, but it was after a day of skiing and a lot of whiskey, so that might explain why I've never been able to replicate my enjoyment.

                                                                        1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                                                          I'm good with most any food after skiing and whiskey.

                                                                        2. re: MGZ

                                                                          +1, That would be my choice.

                                                                        3. Red velvet cake. Everyone goes nuts for red velvet cake, but I'd rather eat an actual chocolate cake, or a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, or really, almost any other type of cake.

                                                                          Also, cake pops. But I think we've covered those.

                                                                          16 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Savour

                                                                            Cake in general. Blah. Too sweet, too much, just, ick. I'd much rather have a pie, crisp, cobbler, crumble, cookie, or really almost anything over cake. Ugh.

                                                                            1. re: Savour

                                                                              Along these same lines - macaroons and donuts.

                                                                              1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                Good donuts are hard to find. There is a proliferation of bad donuts. But, one the rare occasion I've had a good donut....mmmmm.

                                                                                1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                  NOOOOO!!! Macaroons and donuts are amazing! But I'll agree they have to be done well, bad ones of either are very meh.

                                                                                  1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                    Just curious if you're referencing macarons--the little French cake-like treats.
                                                                                    Because I don't recall reading or hearing of macaroons being highly touted.

                                                                                  2. re: Savour

                                                                                    I cannot ditto this enough. I also REALLY do not understand the recent craze for making red velvet "flavored" things. Red velvet HAS NO DISTINCTIVE FLAVOR. It tastes like a crappy white cake with a shitload of food coloring. What, then, is the red velvet flavor in red velvet pancakes, doughnuts, etc.? Do people LIKE the flavor of food coloring??? Ugh.

                                                                                    1. re: Savour

                                                                                      Actually, real red velvet cake is actually a chocolate cake. My aunt makes one to die for but I've had the ones you are describing.

                                                                                      1. re: BlueHerons

                                                                                        But there is only a tiny bit of cocoa in EVERY recipe I've ever seen - hardly chocolate cake!

                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                          Exactly. From what I understand, real red velvet cake is a buttermilk cake, with just a small amount of cocoa. I have no problem with buttermilk cake (though it's generally too sweet for my taste), but I think the addition of cocoa actually muddles the flavor. Add food coloring on top and you've just got a mess on your hands.

                                                                                      2. re: Savour

                                                                                        Yes! My husband, a trained baker, as well as myself (not formally trained, but not bad in the kitchen) don't get it! Give me chocolate cake, or even plain yellow cake, instead!

                                                                                        1. re: Savour

                                                                                          I don't get it either and wish I knew the difference between it and chocolate cake with red-food coloring which it seems someone elaborated on below. It doesn't even taste like good chocolate cake to me.

                                                                                          1. re: Savour

                                                                                            +1

                                                                                            1. re: Savour

                                                                                              I feel like the cupcake "boom" has spurred the love of red velvet to the masses. I've seen co-workers drool over red velvet cupcakes. I don't see the fuss either.

                                                                                              1. re: Savour

                                                                                                The mysterious thing to me about this craze for red velvet cake is that there is no such thing as red velvet flavor. It is just sweetness with a tiny bit of chocolate. Does all that redness cause people to discern a specific flavor?

                                                                                                1. re: kittyfood

                                                                                                  I like red velvet. But I'm just crazy for cream cheese frosting, and I like the hint of chocolate in there.

                                                                                                  But it's mostly the frosting.

                                                                                                2. re: Savour

                                                                                                  I second your vote on red velvet cake. Yuck! Doesn't have enough chocolate to taste like chocolate, not enough vanilla to taste like vanilla, and no other flavor to cover up the chemical taste from all that food coloring. And calling it "chemical" is being kind, when you think that red color really comes from ground up cockroaches (or is it the chemical equivalent of that nowadays?), I don't know how anybody eats it without gagging.

                                                                                                3. Anything based on raw meat or fish. Sashimi, steak tartare, kitfo, carpaccio, etc. I have no medical aversion to raw meats so this is a purely culinary thing. Raw animal muscle is underflavored and usually has an unpleasant rubbery texture. There's a reason we invented cooking; it develops flavors and makes food taste better.

                                                                                                  17 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                                                    Ack! You've nominated some of my most favorite things to eat. Oh well, to each his own.

                                                                                                    What I would add is anything cooked in a slow cooker/crock pot. Ease of execution does not make up for mushy over cooked grey greasy food. Sure you can do things to avoid any of those adjectives, but then you're probably starting in another pan and adding stuff to the crock pot for the final cooking and if you're doing that, what's the point of the crock pot?

                                                                                                    1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                      Saves money, saves or frees up space and it doesn't bother me to set it and forget it all day (and night for stock), unlike an oven.
                                                                                                      My browning dishes are long since cleaned and the kitchen pretty much immaculate by the time dinner is ready, and believe me, that's a huge bonus when I don't feel like cleaning up a mess later in the day (and believe me, I can turn out a mess!).

                                                                                                      1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                        Yeah, I'd say 90+% of the dishes/recipes fro crockpot are worst than anything I've read in this list (although cake pops are pretty close) but I chalk it up to user error. If I have time mid-morning to prep/cook and put everything in the crock pot; and don't plan to be home until after 7, it's the perfect vehicle for making dinner. And, that's more common than not on a week night. Rice cooker, crock pot--dinner when we walk in the door.

                                                                                                        1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                          Slow cookers are great for soups and stews, at least at my house.

                                                                                                          1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                            I've recently gotten a slow cooker. I find that it's very easy to produce over cooked, soupy, muddy tasting mush (which includes about 95% of available recipes). Producing food I want to eat is harder.

                                                                                                            I find the big issue is cooking time. I bought it so that I can do slow cooked meals when we're at work during the day - soups, stews, curries, potroast, etc. But with modern slow cookers, I find anything more than about 6-7 hours on low overcooks meat into dryness and vegetables into mush. So I've been experimenting with a timer on the power outlet.

                                                                                                            1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                                                                                              I've found that nowadays with newer slow cookers, you have to really search for one that has a true "low" temp, even one you can control.
                                                                                                              I gave one away that was barely used because it cooked too high. The one I have now is perfect, and just because slow cooking is known for being easy, it doesn't mean you can get great results without some sort of learning curve.
                                                                                                              eta: find one with a warm setting too.

                                                                                                              1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                                                                                                Tastesgoodwhatisit,
                                                                                                                I just got a crock pot a few months ago myself and totally agree with you. Could you point me toward the timer/power outlet product you use and give me your thoughts on it? Thanks!

                                                                                                              2. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                                ack. I put a chuck roast in the slow cooker once a week, just seasoned with salt & pepper and worchestershire.

                                                                                                              3. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                                                                <There's a reason we invented cooking; it develops flavors and makes food taste better.>

                                                                                                                I think the real reason is to prevent us from dying.

                                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                  Delay, not prevent...:)

                                                                                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                    Good point.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                      Seriously? I was going to start cooking all my food in hopes that I'd live forever.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                        Hmmm...I think cooking is supposed to render food more digestible and make it easier to absorb its nutrients. However, I know I have made meals that have hastened rather than delayed my death.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Kalivs

                                                                                                                          <However, I know I have made meals that have hastened rather than delayed my death.>

                                                                                                                          Cooking foods have many effects on human consumption. Yes, the cooked food will produce different smell and taste. The cooked foods are likely to be more easily digested -- which some has credited cooking lead to increase of brain size (another story).

                                                                                                                          When I wrote that cooking prevent/delay death, I was referring to killing bacteria or parasites. Prior to the practice of cooking, eating raw foods can be potential dangerous and harmful. That is before the time of fire, before the time of refrigerator, when human ancestors were scavengers.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                            Sorry, I wasn't referring to anything bad about the food, just my lack of cooking skills! With practice, I have gotten better

                                                                                                                    2. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                                                                      Try tartar steak sometime, RMJ. It's not rubbery, and the customary relishes leave it anything but bland.

                                                                                                                      1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                                                                        >>>Raw animal muscle is underflavored and usually has an unpleasant rubbery texture

                                                                                                                        Good quality meat or seafood has the purest of flavors, if your palate demands highly spiced or seasoned foods that is something you trained yourself for, you crave "extra" flavors not the flavor of the item you are eating. And rubbery texture????? Again good quality will never have rubbery texture.

                                                                                                                      2. I'll nominate the Cook's Illustrated Eye Round Roast......it's a terrible cut of meat devoid of any beef flavor and there are much better cuts to slow roast meat for similar costs.

                                                                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: fourunder

                                                                                                                          good to know as I have thought of trying this many times. In general eye round reminds me of every dry roast my mom cooked for us as kids (bless her heart!), and i was surprised to see that this cut could possibly be redeemable.

                                                                                                                          1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                            While it's not my favorite cut of beef by any stretch, eye of round cooked according to the CI method makes excellent roast beef for slicing and eating cold. I make one weekly and slice it thinly for my husband to take to work in sandwiches/wraps - it is far superior to any roast beef I can buy in the deli.

                                                                                                                            1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                              That's why I would buy it again... for cold cuts, because it's not easy to find really good, rare to med. rare beef in the deli.

                                                                                                                              1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                As I noted elsewhere here in this thread to (joonjoon) and the reason for my position is......you can cook other cuts and make much better roast beef or steak/sliced steak.....especially with Shoulder Clod and Top Butt Sirloin for much more beefy flavor and tenderness and for often less money....and without having to add as much salt as the CI method recommends.

                                                                                                                                1. re: fourunder

                                                                                                                                  I actually haven't been able to find a cut suitable for slicing that I can get as inexpensively as eye of round, but I'm sure that varies depending on location. It's also very lean - which isn't a desirable thing in terms of flavor, I know - but when my DH is trying to watch his fat intake, it's perfect.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                    The only important decision is what is best for our own families....your husband is a lucky guy he has someone watching over him.

                                                                                                                            2. re: monavano

                                                                                                                              Well, it's essential for boliche, and we must have boliche.

                                                                                                                            3. re: fourunder

                                                                                                                              What cut would you say is better for the money?

                                                                                                                              1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                                Whether *On Sale* at the local supermarket, or wholesale, I can purchase the following cuts of beef @ $4/lb. or under.

                                                                                                                                Hanger
                                                                                                                                Flat Iron/Top Blade
                                                                                                                                Whole Top Butt Sirloin
                                                                                                                                Tri-Tip
                                                                                                                                Flap Chuck
                                                                                                                                Cross Rib/Shoulder

                                                                                                                                Closer to $3/lb. on sale @ any Major supermarket

                                                                                                                                Chuck Roast
                                                                                                                                Cross Rib/Shoulder Roast

                                                                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/880991

                                                                                                                                Top Butt Sirloin and Shoulder Roast are both very tender with little chew.

                                                                                                                                Chuck Roast has more beefy flavor, but there is a possibility not as tender and more chew depending on the piece of meat you select and muscles within that piece of meat. The best chance for tender meat is from the front of the primal cut. The following three threads are of the same roasts and explain the position from the Chuck Section.....

                                                                                                                                *This roast is from the fourth through eighth inches from the front end of the Chuck section, as explained by the butcher who prepared it. The first through third inches are part of another roast I had cut and put in the freezer for another day.*

                                                                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7572...

                                                                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7572...

                                                                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8147...

                                                                                                                              2. re: fourunder

                                                                                                                                Just CI's or all eye round? I've yet to have a good eye round.

                                                                                                                                1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                  All Eye Round terrible....but many believe the CI method miraculously makes it exquisite and a fine meal. I am here to tell you it does not.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: fourunder

                                                                                                                                    25 years ago an eye of round was delicious. Back when beef was beef.

                                                                                                                              3. Hash browns/most breakfast potatoes. I know you were once crispy, I can see by the lovely browned bits.. why oh why are you now a soggy mushy mess.

                                                                                                                                18 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: DuchessNukem

                                                                                                                                  These seem to be prepared poorly 90% of the time, but if you can get that glorious 10% when they're perfectly seasoned, crisp on the outside with a nice soft interior, they're amazing.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                                                                                                                    Amazing, when perfectly seasoned, crispy on the outside with a nice soft interior - YES! and so not overrated in my book when perfect.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                                                                                                                      Hashbrown-making is a lost art.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                        Waffle House has the best, IMHO. I've probably only had them 3 or 4 times, but with the ham, onions and cheese, you can't go wrong.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                          Do they actually use potatoes? And are they brown and crisp?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                            I assume they're real, and like grampart said, ordered well done, they're perfectly brown and crispy. I'm not really a fan of soggy anything.
                                                                                                                                            Now I'm hungry for them :)

                                                                                                                                          2. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                            In these parts, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a Waffle House and I eat at one or another a couple times a month. Smothered and covered with my over-easy eggs placed right on top, they are very good, but be sure to order them well-done if you want that nice crispy exterior.

                                                                                                                                          3. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                            I made some over the weekend using duck fat and chopped Vidalia onion. They were quite delicious!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                              The local diner always gets it right for me.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: hyacinthgirl

                                                                                                                                              Yeah, I love them when they're perfect too... but you're right about how rarely that happens. So sad.

                                                                                                                                            3. re: DuchessNukem

                                                                                                                                              I never would have thought of this, but now that you've said it, I agree. I like breakfast food. I like pan-fried things. I love potatoes. But hash browns are just mushy and blergh. Why?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Rilke

                                                                                                                                                If hash browns are mushy and blergh, they are very poorly made. A well-made hash brown is crunchy and brown on the outside and still has some toothsomeness on the inside. Could be you have to be kind of old like me to know this.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                  Another version of poorly done is when they look pretty good on the outside and are underdone, kinda raw, and almost crunchy on the inside.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                    True! Perfect HBs are possible, but difficult.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                    I suppose I've never had them done right then. Sigh.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rilke

                                                                                                                                                      I actually prefer home fries and that's usually what I make at home, but sometimes I make the Swiss version of hash browns called Rosti potatoes. Very similar and very good. Here's a photo.

                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                        I keep trying to discover a difference between rosti and hash browns, but I fail every time!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                          Rosti...LOVE!

                                                                                                                                                2. Swordfish. It's usually overcooked, but even when cooked correctly it's not real flavorful with an unpleasant texture.

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: CoachJ

                                                                                                                                                    I love our individual tastes, I love swordfish and cook it to just done and find it very flavorful with a great texture :) To each his own which is what makes the world so great.

                                                                                                                                                  2. Sushi

                                                                                                                                                    Most customers cannot tell the difference between nigiri sushi except by color. The rice is always a mystery. I swear one looked like Uncle Ben's bound with corn starch.

                                                                                                                                                    We have some good places in town. But the vast majority are only surviving riding on their coat tails and the low prices for suspect fish.

                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                                                                                                      I agree, I'd rather just eat a fish filet - raw or cooked. If I have sushi it's a roll or so and for lunch. I gave up on it for dinner, never full or satisfied and after a few pieces I'm over it.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                                                                                                        Just FYI - sushi is just vinegared rice. When you add toppings or use it as a filler you are creating a different dish. When Americans think of sushi rolls what they really are talking about is maki. A clump of sushi rice topped with something is called nigiri. A bowl of sushi with toppings scattered over it is chirashi-zushi.

                                                                                                                                                      2. Filet Mignon.

                                                                                                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                                                          +1 on Filet Mignon. The fancy name doesn't make it taste better. It's mushy and flavorless. Give me a good hangar steak any day.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                            I won't say it is mushy, but it is not very favorful.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                                                            I'm right with you on the filet mignon.

                                                                                                                                                            I tried to like it but finally gave up on it years ago. Even the ones I was urged to try in a couple of fine and very famous steakhouses were just expensive disappointments.

                                                                                                                                                            If I'm going to have beef, give me a flatiron, hanger, or even a properly made chuck steak any day.

                                                                                                                                                            For that matter, even a good hamburger is far more satisfying than _any_ filet mignon I've ever tried.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                                              Subset.....Beef Wellington. Looks good. No Flavor unless a good sauce.but then it's tasteless texture to mop up the sauce.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                                                                                                                Frankly, any version of tenderloin as it's usually prepared. The first filets I had were prepared by a very old-fashioned meat guy who bought the tenderloins whole and hung them in the walk-in until he decided they were ready, and then he cut them into steaks, wrapped bacon around their edges and flat-grilled them. Those were delicious, and nicely beefy. But hardly any restaurant does that, and no home cooks of my acquaintance. No holiday party in Nashville is complete without a ham and a tenderloin on the buffet, and I certainly ate more than my share, but while it was nice enough it never even whispered "Beef" to me.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                                                                                  "..... but while it was nice enough it never even whispered "Beef" to me."

                                                                                                                                                                  That "whisper" is especially hard to hear over the screaming of the bacon.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                                                                                    "[I]t never even whispered "Beef" to me."

                                                                                                                                                                    Nice turn of phrase, Will. I hereby reserve the right to use it sometime.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                      Will is just a great storyteller, isn't he. True stories, great writing.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                                                                I don't get this either. It might be tender, but it really lacks flavor. I tried to introduce my good friend to ribeyes and his response was "filet is so much better, the ribeye has no flavor." That's when I ended the conversation...

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                                                                  +1 here too on Filet Mignon

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                                                                    I'd say beefsteak in general. OK I love one once in a while but I've lost count of the number of times I've been in a good restaurant and passed on the steak and opted for liver or some other kind of offal - yummy!

                                                                                                                                                                  2. I'll probably get flamed, but for me it's prime rib...

                                                                                                                                                                    I love a good grilled rib steak, bone-in but for me, most prime rib dinners are just the epitome of boring.

                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: RWCFoodie

                                                                                                                                                                      I'd go with that. It's not that it's terrible, it's that it's not as good as other cuts of beef, or a nice steak, and it's at a premium price.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: RWCFoodie

                                                                                                                                                                        That's what came to mind first for me, too. I don't know how many times I've made prime rib/SRR, but every time I really look forward to it, and without fail, every time I was really disappointed.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ricepad

                                                                                                                                                                          I'm starting to feel that way too. Unless, I get an end cut. It's like a whole different piece of meat. It's funny, because I prefer all my steak cooked rare/medium rare.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ricepad

                                                                                                                                                                            What is /SRR ?

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: VenusCafe

                                                                                                                                                                              Standing Rib Roast

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Plain fudge or brownie just a big, one note chocolate bomb. No texture or anything to break up the richness.

                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: gbersh

                                                                                                                                                                            That's what makes it awesome!

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Foie gras.
                                                                                                                                                                            Over rich, over priced and over exposed.

                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Paprikaboy

                                                                                                                                                                              Not if eaten in the Dordogne region of France....I think of it as goose butter!!!

                                                                                                                                                                            2. This is not a dish, but I vote for pomegranates. They're a pain in the bum and, while a great countertop dye, not for me.

                                                                                                                                                                              11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                                                                                My thoughts exactly!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree, though I would say that pomegranate molasses has a place. Pomegranate seeds--no.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                                                                                    I love the seeds - when pomegranates come in season, I pig out on them. I've gotten pretty good at disassembling one, though, and I enjoy the fiddliness of eating the seeds.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                                                                                      "They're a pain in the bum...."

                                                                                                                                                                                      Mebbe yer peeling (eating?) them wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Heh.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm looking thru' the list and my old nemesis pops up! They are hard to peel, they stain, they have no flavor, they are not sweet, they make a mess - 5 'no's' don't make a 'yes'. Bleah!
                                                                                                                                                                                        Since my blood pressure rises each time I attempt to dissect a pom, I'd say they are NOT good for the health, either.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ginger71

                                                                                                                                                                                          Ha, without my glasses, I thought you said, "dissect a PORN" - !!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                            That could cause one's blood pressure to rise.

                                                                                                                                                                                            **among other things**

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                              There would be readers on board with that....?

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                                                                                          Awww no, my 2nd-favorite fruit ;)
                                                                                                                                                                                          But yes, quite pain to eat. If I just want the seeds as a mix-in, I use that pomegranate removal tool where you bang the cr*p out of them. Also very therapeutic!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Nudibranch

                                                                                                                                                                                            Pomegranate seeds - essential for chiles en nogada. When done well, that's as good as eating gets.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                              By your standards, I don't know how "done well" this was, but it sure was good.

                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Mine is anything with tenderloin or chicken breasts. Including kebabs.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Kebab is a great call. So often dry. So rarely awesome. Underdone onions. Scalding expoding tomatoes. Why attempt to cook them all at the same time?

                                                                                                                                                                                          Someone isn't eating the right crabcakes. Bad crabcakes are terrible. Good ones are exquisite.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Red velvet cake is another good call. I'd take a lame choc cake over RV.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: almostheavencook

                                                                                                                                                                                            #2 father-in-law had his problems, but he knew how to do kebabs so well that his Armenian Brotherhood put him in charge of those for their annual fund-raiser. He insisted on lamb leg, though I much prefer shoulder, but his secret was marinating the cubed meat overnight in oil, lemon juice and garlic. The meat is therefore pretty much "cooked" by the time the kebabs are assembled, so you simply roast the kebabs until the vegetables are done. If you LIKE burnt onions and blackened tomatoes you can do that, but it's no longer mandatory.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Chicken Marbella: weird concoction of ingredients.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                                              I have to agree on this iconic dish of the 80's (?). After making it once, future iterations were given modifications to make more appealing.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. oysters on the half shell. Every year I try them. Every year I hear how they're so fresh, right out of the gulf...they taste like the sea. Every year I am disgusted at the taste and texture of them. Oh well, maybe next January I'll finally figure out what the big whoop is.

                                                                                                                                                                                              19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: planojim

                                                                                                                                                                                                Oysters are something that I WISH I liked. Just not going to happen.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Same with salmon. What a beautiful fish that is ubiquitous, by and large good for you and not $$, but it's lost on me. Furthermore, lox, same, same.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: planojim

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, boy, I *do* love them but wish I didn't. Not normally a germophobe, I worry about the safety of oysters. But crave them nonetheless.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: planojim

                                                                                                                                                                                                    They are a disgusting mass of wet hairball when raw.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Very disappointing to get one (panko breaded and fried) in an otherwise beautiful presentation of Bento box in Hawaii.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Took a bite, the raw oyster squished out and I was grabbing every napkin around to get rid of it. Of course the chefs were watching to see if I liked it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: planojim

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I forgot to add oysters to my underwhelming raw foods list. They taste like jello made with seawater.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      They are, however, a whole different thing when cooked. Whether roasted Chinese-style with black bean sauce or broiled with spinach and cheese for Oysters Rockefeller. I do like a good cooked oyster.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I wasn't aware that Oysters Rockefeller has cheese in it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Grated parmesan, I think.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Not that I'm aware of. But, hey, what do I know? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ty...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Or this:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/as...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think we can eliminate the green food coloring :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  wowee

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm with you C. Oysters Rockefeller never ever had cheese in it. I did a quick search on line and found a recipe from 1957 that did, but the other ingredients were off too. None of the others had cheese

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I loooooove BBQ oysters. There are a few street art/wine festivals in the Bay Area in the summer and I love going to them just for the BBQ oysters at the food section. 3 big ones on a paper plate with a lemon wedge = heaven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            And lest you think they have BBQ sauce--nooo. They are BBQ only in the sense they are cooked on a grate outdoors. Butter, garlic and parsley only. A heaping amount of sauce on top after they are plated makes me very happy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alwayshungrygal

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Living in Minnesota, I've never really had much of an opportunity to just 'run into' oysters. I remember my uncle had a plate of raw oysters for a family event when I was little and my father would not eat them and he eats anything so that may have influenced me. I am interested in your BBQ oyters. I have seen such preparation on various food TV shows, buy I am not quite sure what the sauce should be. Is it just hot sauce such as Tabasco?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                No, truly, just butter, garlic and parsley, so far as I can see. It really is that simple. I have eaten raw oysters and those tend to slither down but the BBQ ones linger a bit more and of course are cooked, so chewable tho still tender. They might have a bottle of Tabasco on the side if you care to indulge but I've never noticed and if I did, I would pass.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                But now that I think about it....many, many years ago (circa 1972) a group of college friends used to go to a large regional park for the day and one friend used to bring clams, if I recall correctly. Could have been oysters, but probably not. I'm pretty sure he just put plain BBQ sauce on the grilled clams. Very tasty!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alwayshungrygal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think I've seen them cooked like this on a few TV shows, maybe in North Carolina. I think I will seek out some 'fresh' oysters (or as fresh as they can be in Minnesota) and grill them on the shell with butter, garlic, and parsley.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I used to get prairie oysters all the time in South Dakota and they were really fresh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If you want to use a barbecue sauce, I suggest a Lexington style, vinegar based sauce (e.g. http://www.food.com/recipe/lexington-... ), It will impart a barbecue flavor to grilled oysters without being gloppy and overwhelming.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm familiar with that style of BBQ sauce and is my go to for homemade sauce for pulled pork. I am having a little trouble convincing my Minnesota relatives that is the way to go. They seem fixated on the sweet tomato based BBQ sauce from Kansas City.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't know how often they've made barbecue oysters, but unless you mix a lot of water in with the bottled sauce, there's no point to having the oyster under it. The bivalve is just overwhelmed by the sauce. If you make 'em serve some of each side by side, you'll see.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. < Oh, the first several bites are nice, but soon thereafter eating kebabs becomes an exercise in tedium.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't understand why the first several bites are nice and then they become tedium. Is it because the taste get old? But that should happen to any preparation method.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            For me, I think filet mignon as a dish is overrated for me. Some sushi dishes are overrated for me -- especially those spicy tuna, spicy whatever. Chinese Xiao Long Bao is overrated for me. I like them just fine, but I am not crazy about them like others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Of course, overrating really is about "my preference" vs "other preference". If 90% of the people love a dish, and I only like it, then basically the dish is overrated from my perspective because I don't value it like others do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ok, wine is also overrated for me. Again, I don't dislike wine. It is just that I don't like wine as much as many out there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Come to think of it, Mac and Cheese is also overrated for me. I love Mac and Cheese, but I am not nearly as crazy about it as others do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                              "I don't understand why the first several bites are nice and then they become tedium. Is it because the taste get old? But that should happen to any preparation method."

                                                                                                                                                                                                              It doesn't happen to any preparation method; it happens to kebabs. That's why they're overrated. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                <it happens to kebabs>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Do you mean like the meat and vegetables on the kbabs get cool down and taste bad like French fries taste bad after they are cooled down? Or do you mean the taste get dull after awhile like bubblegum? The first bubble gum is pretty cool, but by the time you chew on the fifth and sixth, they get annoying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The bubblegum analogy is closer. And I confess that it's a strange thing. Logically, steak, which I love, should dwindle in my affections the more I eat it, but this does not happen. The last bite of a great steak is as tremendous to me as the first bite. But with kebabs, the first several bites are very good, but then my mind says, "Hey, Khan! Kebabs are really pretty dull!" Then I find myself begrudgingly agreeing with my mind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    < Logically, steak, which I love, should dwindle in my affections the more I eat it, but this does not happen. >

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for the explanation. Certain foods tend to "grow old" faster than others. Soft drinks do that to me too. The first few sips of ice cold Coke are great, but the pleasure goes down hill after a cup/can of Coke. Coke refill usually tastes disgusting to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Put it first way. I would pay to drink the first can of Coke, but I would pay you to NOT drink the second can.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ha, I feel the same about soda. It can be so refreshing at first, but once those bubbles start to fade, yuck.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yuk. Too salty and too sugery. Makes me thirsty and makes my teeth ache.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      While I would join the ranks of defending the kebab - the "bugglegum analogy" is the perfect way to describe my thoughts on mac and cheese. The anticipation of the dish and the first bite of the dish are a wash of excitment - then every bite after that feels like a waste of calories that just aren't doing much for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Many people don't like wine or are indifferent to it. More wine for me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I detest sweet soft drinks. Love plain bubbly water, especially one with a high mineral content like Gerolsteiner or Borsec.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Cupcakes. Sheesh, what is it with these things. Just a little cake, which I'm not crazy about in the first place, but now I see these things going for crazy prices in stores that only sell cupcakes! I don't get it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    What about cookies? There are stands which only sell cookies (or mostly cookies).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Are they particularly expensive? I think those cupcake places sell them for $5 a pop (and they're not that big).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Agree with cupcakes because of the prices that are being charged nowadays.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think most purchased baked goods are overrated. I do have to confess to liking Crumbs cupcakes (because I have a REALLY sweet tooth!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Hi, PK:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This has been asked (and answered 661 times) before: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/650836

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So far, my vote's for filet mignon or turducken.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Aloha,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Kaleo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Steak...any cut, any preparation, any type.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Pizza. I know it has it's fanatics and I sometimes will make it at home or eat it at a local place which is really the only pizza to me even worth eating if I'm going to eat it, but I really never understood the fascination.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Having lived in Baltimore for several years, I can understand how you can say that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Having grown up in Jersey, I can't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Totally get that!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yea, I've never grown up in a pizza hub although my parents do live in New Jersey but moved there after I went to college. In Baltimore, the pizza pickings are slim.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The only pizza my New Haven born father will eat in MD is Vito's in Owings Mills and Bertucci's if he asks for it well done besides a few fine dining flatbread foofoo types which he doesn't consider pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Most overrated. That would have to be Pad Thai. Thai food can be so interesting, but lousy Pad Thai is too common—the Chop Suey of Thai cuisine I suppose.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                On the other hand a lamb kebab with lots of salty, crisped-up fat can be great. And think of all that wasted red, watery, gooey flesh and fat in an expensive overly thick beef steak that could have been otherwise nicely browned up as kebabs. Wasted real-estate there that could have been more profitably sub-divided onto skewers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: VitalForce

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree on this one. Thai is by far my favorite cuisine, but pad Thai is so easy to do poorly that I just avoid it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. French fries. I like French fries but 90% of the time I'd prefer something else, anything else. Grilled brussel sprouts, for example.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sweet potato fries. Worse than french fries.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Panna cotta. Pointless.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ice cream. I'd had this thousands of times and there's no way you'll ever impress me, even if you have three Michelin stars, even if you put soy sauce or saffron or ginger or szechuan peppercorns or basil or whatever you like in it. I don't need it with my cake or pie or tart. It's a waste of calories.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Burrata. This was enjoyable the first 100 times. Now every restaurant seems to think they're something special because they have a burrata appetizer. It's nothing special.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Chicken, especially breasts. So boring.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tiramisu. It's amazing that this stupid dessert even exists. I think it's just that the name sounds appealing.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Any dish with truffle oil. Gag me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Shrimp cocktail. One day, everyone will wake up and realize that cocktail sauce sucks.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mithai (Indian sweets) Perhaps the worst taste to calorie ratio out there.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Any sweet pickle. Especially sweet cucumber pickles. Ick.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Lasagna.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Any casserole.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pad thai. Almost always horrible; at best mediocre. Lasagna for thai people.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Soda. There is no such thing as a good soda.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tuna tartar. See burrata.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  California roll. America. Sigh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: aventinus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I love french fries but really only crave the piping hot local take out store crinkle fries. Every other fry I'd just rather eat a baked potato.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree with ice cream - it's OK but I really don't need it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Agreed on the fries.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Not on the ice cream ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Don't agree on the ice cream either! But...I don't want some fancy frou-frou ice cream with lavender, lemon and saffron either. Bring me a nice deep dark 'thick" chocolate with some peanut butter and other goodies in it, and I'm a happy camper!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. 1. Soft shell crabs. I love lobster, so I'm not opposed to seafood that requires labor, but these crabs seem like a lot of work for hardly any food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: taos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      uhh, did you mean blue crabs? soft shell crabs you eat whole. couldn't be simpler, and they're delicious!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: taos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Huh? Soft-shells are labor-free crabs----just eat the whole thing. Agree on cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mwhitmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It takes about thirty seconds to clean a soft shell. After that, you eat the whole thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Edit - replied to the wrong post, but I'm sure you'll figure that out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: taos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Agree on cake. Growing up, I got pies (with candles) for my birthdays.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: KrumTx

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Me too! Not when I was a kid, but for the past 30 years anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. +1 on whoever said cupcakes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sorry as much as I like cake icing, a small bit of cake with at least that much by volume of crisco-based icing does not appeal to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Chocolate. I'm allergic to it. It used to be that the USA had baked goods for sale that were something OTHER than chocolate. Ginger cake anyone? Fruit pies? Yellow cake with white icing? No. Every desert tray is filled with mediocre chocolate dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Pretentious restaurants. And, please, do not send a waiter around with a 15 inch pepper mill. I always want to ask him if he's over compensating.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: conate

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I am with you on chocolate everything desserts. There are so many simple and delicious non-chocolate desserts that are overlooked because everyone think they need to offer chocolate for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. When you order chicken. Maybe there's a couple of exceptions. But for most of it. Forget about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. CTM or chicken tikka masala. Usually under seasoned sauce with dry chicken that's been cooked to death. I have had some really good ones,. But, in general, I find it to be a lackluster dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. On every "specials" menu: meatloaf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, it was one of my favorite homemade meals, reminds me of home. Nobody could beat my mom's version. But it has become ubiquitous, and often not done very well at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Bacon. Don't get me wrong, it will never stop being delicious, but does it have to be in everything? Chocolate, vodka, donuts, cupcakes....Band Aids that look like it, socks that say the word...my Dad got me gummy bacon and bacon scented soap and mints for Christmas a few years ago...chapstick too....it's everywhere! Is it so wrong that I prefer it in a sandwich or with my eggs and thats about it? (Okay, and those bacon wrapped blue cheese stuffed dates that have been on a few menus).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree, I love bacon don't get me wrong but why is it everywhere and it doesn't make everythin better if you just throw some on top.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I recently had a bacon-maple cheesecake. And you know what? Bacon should NOT be on everything!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bacon mints??? That's sounds nasty!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I agree, people are going overboard with bacon. It's good for breakfast, good on a burger, and club sandwich. baked into cupcakes and distilled into vodka??? No thanks!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. BBQ.....any type. Pulled pork, ribs, chicken. I just don't get it. The smoke ring, the wood chips, special smokers...none of it's flavors is has impressed me....ever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: liza219

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I understand that. It's OK once in a while, but the flavor of smoke isn't that appealing to me; it's.....cloying, or something. And the smoke smell clings to you for days, it seems. I think it's better as a challenge and a hobby/sport than as a food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Falafel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Everyone always tells me how much they love them - I order them now and again - and I've never met a falafel that I like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Over rated for sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: thimes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I find it is very hit or miss. I love it when it is a hit though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: thimes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Falafel definitely falls into my category of "more often bad than good". As I live in a part of the world full of falafel places - I have a (very small) list of places where I know the falafel, pita, and toppings will be fresh. But if I was in an unknown part of town and someone suggested a random falafel place - I'd probably ask if there were other options.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Too many bad experiences with cold, soggy, and/or unseasoned falafel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cresyd

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Right on brother!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A falalfel sandwich is easy to make badly and who knows the difference, right?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Every part of the falafel has to be good for the thing to be enjoyable.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              There is is more to good pita than just fresh. Good luck!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              There is more to good falafel balls than their just being not cold , soggy or unseasoned.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Every part of it is problematic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I agree with cupcakes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cupcakes are great for kid's birthday parties.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Paying $2.50-$6 (!) for ONE cupcake at a store is ridiculous. Having a television show based on a cupcake store ("The Cupcake Girls") is ridiculous.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And being a stay at home mom who can bake a cupcake does not make you a pastry chef. My son's toddler group is becoming a bore due to this craze.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Beef olives aka rouladen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Meatloaf. And that goes for ANYTHING that you can make easily at home, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So that includes about anything you'd see on a typical diner's special of the day. B.O.R.I.N.G.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I don't expect to learn new words or phrases at Chowhound, but today I did -- "loving propinquity". I like it! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  About overrated dishes... I agree with some of the suggestions above -- kebabs, filet mignon. To add something new -- Philly cheesesteak. Blah. (I live not far north of Philadelphia, and have been to Pat's and Geno's and other temples of the art, so it's not that I haven't had the real thing.) Having written this, of course, I shall have to stay away from the misnamed city of brotherly love to avoid the risk of retribution.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: drongo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The cheesesteaks I've eaten have been almost exclusively mediocre-to-good. I really don't get the rhapsodizing either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: drongo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      >> "loving propinquity". I like it! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Propinquity explains why people are more likely to marry those they meet at work or in their neighborhood. The "propinquity effect" is the tendency for people to form romantic relationships with those whom they encounter often. In light of this, one might very well ask, “What’s love got to do with it?”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: drongo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Might as well add the pork sandwich at diNic's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Booooooorrrrrinnnnggggg.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: drongo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Went to Philadelphia recently. I said I wanted to try a cheesesteak, never had one before. The beef was okay--needed gravy :-) but the bread was awesome. It's different from anything I've ever had before. (I'm from the South). I'd like to find that bread again, or even how to make it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: luvcubs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            yep. even here in NY where we can find some awesome bread, that bread there is a rare treat for us!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: luvcubs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              OK, now I want to know what's different about Philly bread. Anyone?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I suppose it's one of those things like authentic San Fran Sourdough. I'm no expert..but 90% of the places use Amorosos Rolls ( a brand). Must be something they do

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  FriedClams got it... It must be the Amorosos Rolls..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  They just have a texture that's different from French bread, Italian bread, any sub rolls I've ever tried. It didn't get soggy, it didn't fall apart, it was just plain fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've tried to find recipes online for it, but have not found any.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Manicotta ,Baked Ziti,Lasagna etc they are all the same and boring . I'm Italian American and have had my share so Please ! Please ! no more . Young brides often host or bring these globs to a get together .Do I really have to eat anymore?????

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Crabcakes ~~ especially with Old Bay ( I love king crab legs, but crabcakes are a no thank you)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Lobster
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Caviar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Cheesecake ~~ any and all
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Salmon ~~ any and all
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Chipotle ~~ o.m.g. get over it all ready
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                and yes, Filet Mignon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: laliz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm sure with you on the Old Bay. Stale, nasty stuff. Makes food taste like you seasoned it with the dust from the coffee table.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Foie Gras & Low Country Boil - yuck, yuck & yuck.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: laliz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree with you on the salmon. And most of the crab cakes I've eaten have been blah (though a small percentage has been divine, so I won't condemn them entirely).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    When you say "Chipotle" do you mean the chain restaurant or the smoke-dried chile?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: laliz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I never order salmon at a restaurant but love it at gome

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: laliz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm with you part way on the salmon but, love it smoked or cured.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. LOL... make sure you put a pillow in front of your face first then.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think it's been a good thread. Amusing. And no over-the-top flame bait (that I've noticed, anyway).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Pulled pork and cupcakes...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: petek

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I hate the word "pulled" in reference to meat. Why not just call it shredded? That's what people called it for years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Good question.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I would prefer "forked!" "forked meat!" Come get "Forked!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Or even good old shredded.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have literally seen a man pull the pig apart after it was cooked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alwayshungrygal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  One would hope it's slightly more difficult when it's still alive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LOL, yes, of course! But if more than one person tried...never mind, not a good visual.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Chicken breasts. I have never preferred them since I was a child, and yet it seems that everyone else likes chicken breasts as their favorite part of the chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The chicken breasts in a bucket of fried chicken are usually dried out and spongy at the same time. They are easy to overcook in most applications.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I prefer the chicken thigh to the chicken breast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                They definitely aren't my favorite part of the chicken, but they are quite versatile and we use them a lot. It's possible to make a chicken breast which isn't dreaded but yes, of course, I prefer other cuts by far. I definitely prefer the thigh to the breast. I have even stopped buying fried chicken breast as unless they are just made I get that too dry sensation way too often to make it worth it. However, I use them a lot at home as I buy mostly boneless poultry and hate dealing with the boneless chicken thighs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm the opposite. I hardly ever buy chicken breasts. I usually buy just regular chicken thighs. If I want boneless chicken I bone out the thighs and save the bones for the stockpot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    While I prefer thighs over breasts for many applications (dishes that cook longer come to mind, like curries), a well-cooked chicken breast, i.e. nicely browned on the outside and juicy on the inside, is a thing of beauty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I prefer breasts over thighs for things like piccata, or chicken paprikash... a quick sear and then smothered in a nice mushroom & wine sauce? Heaven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That said, I almost *never* would order any chicken dish at a restaurant. What's the point?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yea, I never order chicken at a restaurant that I can remember and do agree that they are great when prepared well with other quality ingredients which is why I still use them. Chicken paprikash is actually on my dishes-to-make list.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I generally agree with you and lingua about ordering chicken in a restaurant, but only so long as that doesn't include orderin' wings in a bar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Well, durr.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yeah. Amen to that one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Indian chefs are masters of the yardbird. Rarely do I order anything but chicken (65, vindaloo, jalfreezi, tikka masala, methi, xacutti, etc.) in an Indian restaurant. But for other restaurants, I think I agree with you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I understand the criticism of breasts (on a chicken, that is), but IMO, a dried out fried chicken breast is the result of poorly fried chicken. And, believe me, poorly fried chicken is common!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Personally, though, I just don't like the texture of dark meat. Too stringy and there's always the risk of hawing into cartilage. When I bite breast (chicken breast, that is), I know I'm gonna be cleavin' pure meat, and that's a real help to my peace of mind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Growing up I never went for the white meat on the roast chicken my mother prepared every other Sunday. Same with turkey. I think the problem back then was cooking the whole bird until the dark parts were done and, by then, the white meat got dry. Copious amounts of gravy seemed to solve that problem for everyone else, but I was perfectly happy to have the legs and thighs to myself.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        These days, we use skinless, boneless breasts quite often.By giving them a quick sear and finishing in the oven, they are always tender and juicy. More recently, I've prepared them sous vide. No sear afterward. I cover them with a sauce to mask the slightly "anemic" appearance and everyone loves them.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        On those "whole bird occasions", I return to my treasured dark meat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I never seem to remember to write down my chicken breast successes. I think when I pound them to about 3/8 to 1/2 inch or so I sear a few minute per side and then bake at 375F for 15-20 minutes. What's your general technique?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pretty much the same. I pound the fat part a bit to kind of even out the thickness, do the sear, and into the oven at 325-350 for about 20 minutes. Sometimes, I do the flour, egg, Panko thing and, after browning, oven cook them on a rack over a sheet pan for 15 minutes at 325. I think the pan browning in the "cutlet" style takes a little longer so I reduce the oven time and temp to compensate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          >there's always the risk of hawing into cartilage<

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The bane of chicken salad eating in childhood. I didn't eat dark meat for decades after leaving home because of cartilage, and then I discovered how much more I liked it in chicken paprikash.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yep. Breasts suck. I'm solid with the inverse, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ha! That in a Freudian world would lead to lots of therapy. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Only two or three years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4. Anything with goat cheese. It's been elevated to become associated with fancy haute cuisine but really, goat cheese is just bad on pretty much anything it touches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bunson

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I get that you don't like it, but smearing it completely?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Goat cheese is loved by so many, me included.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bunson

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              For some of us, it is goat (or ewe's) mik cheese or no cheese at all. Not everyone can tolerate cow's milk products. As for it being associated with "fine-dining" (in English-speaking countries), that was just a marketing ploy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. It isn't a single dish, but neither is chicken breast mentioned below. Now, don't get me wrong for mentioning this, but Thai and everything Asian is SOOO overrated STILL right now. It's been for a while and we hoped it was over, but, alas, it isn't. EVERYTHING now is STILL in vogue to be "Asian" flavoured. I've had enough already. 10 years or so ago we had a discussion on these boards about Asian food being bland. Jim Leff proclaimed it himself. Now it's bland, sweet and super spicy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Still, if it's good, it's good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If it's bland AND sweet AND super spicy, what is being hidden? Lack of flavor? Please, I know, the Asian sense of "subtle" flavours - we don't have the palete for... sure, we have no taste buds...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Salads, mainly of the lettuce variety (chicken and pasta salads are OK). I just don't get the appeal, especially of the "main dish" salads. I'm not a rabbit. I'll eat a side salad made with baby spinach but that's about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I love salad but it must be at least room temperature and I usually make them at home when I can use warm meat and a warm vinaigrette as I really don't like ice cold salads. Also, I can't get down with the mixed greens - that's rabbit territory for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "I really don't like ice cold salads."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I told you that you were clearly a pure bred 'hound.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Uh oh, I'm not sure if I should feel better or worse about this preference...:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yeah I just can't get into it. Definitely not cold ones either. A spinach salad with warm bacon vinaigrette is doable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We have a salad almost every night.The tomato must not be cold, but the cucumber should. The lettuce, onion, radish, sliced mushrooms......it doesn't really matter. By the time the salad is served, the chill is off anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          See, I don't like tomatoes by themselves either :) I guess I'm too picky of a eater for salads.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. So NICE to find like-minded people posting to this question!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I thought I was the only one out here who avoided crab cakes - or graciously picked at it when served one at a gathering. I've never been able to discern the taste of crab; all I taste is fried oil and a burned outside and soggy undercooked inside. Moreover, serving crab cakes at a dinner party sequesters the hostess in the kitchen right before serving time and the dish tends to come out in batches, meaning guests are served piecemeal. Hosts take note and DITCH this dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. The problem with kebobs is often the way they are cooked. I think to cook them properly the meat and vegetables need to be cooked on different skewers because the cooking times are different.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. A great kebab only has meat, IMNSHO. The veggies go in the salad...or in the Bloody Mary.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. My man makes the most delicious, mouthwatering lamb sheesh kebabs -- leg of lamb in large cubes (2" by 2" at least), marinated for at least 24 hours in olive oil, fresh garlic, fresh onion, mint, rosemary, thyme, sage, and oregano.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Those go on big, serious metal skewers and are grilled to a perfect med-rare. We hardly ever have any leftovers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sometimes he'll throw green peppers and onions on the skewer, too, and I actually really like the charred veggies with the tender, juicy lamb.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Must. Have. Again. Very soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This sounds awesome! How long do you grill?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              By touch, so it depends.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. It seems like everybody loves a good, juicy steak. I guess I've had one at some point that was mouth-watering, but most of the time, I would rather pass for something else on the menu. Right up there with many people's very special meals- lobster. Again, I can't imagine all that work and cracking and digging and... just for a little bit of lobster? No thanks- over rated. We had a wonderful vacation in Maine a few years ago, and when we got back home, friends rolled their eyes when my wife and I didn't have a single "lobster dinner" story to tell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            22 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Florida Hound

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have to agree with steak. I'll eat one occasionally in the hopes that I might enjoy it as much as my husband does, but I never do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If you find a church lobster supper, you'll be getting a cold plate of food, but the lobster will be ready to eat, so no messy shell to break through.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Florida Hound

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Lobster is good, but I also think it's overrated. I don't even really enjoy the butter part of it that most seem to like. I'll eat it, we actually had lobster tonight but it's not something I go out of my way for or really ever crave too much. I much more enjoy shrimp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Florida Hound

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I avoid ordering a steak in a restaurant like the plague. I can't even begin to describe how much I loathe the much ordered steak in a restaurant. When I go out to eat I usually order something I haven't had before or something I know is prepared well in a particular place. I find steak is special for those who don't want to know what a menu offers or are child-like and I have heard excuses like "I don't like my food all mixed up" and go for a simple, plain steak. Some hide behind the "purist" theory that makes a person, IMO, not a chowhound, but a simpleton. And most would like to have their steak "well done", despite what they told the server. Steak is by far the most overrated anywhere and everywhere.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    What do you think about steakhouses? Not the Outbacks of the world, but Peter Luger and its ilk. Shrines for simpletons and not chowhounds?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Good question. I agree with Gastronomos when it comes to orderin' a steak in most restaurants - I'd much rather do it at home. Nevertherless, if I'm in a place that does little but steak, dry ages their own beef, and has a good beer selection?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Um, yeah, I'd like the twenty-eight ounce ribeye - rare - and another IPA."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yep. Agreed. And, unfortunately many steakhouses around NYC are WINE bars as well. Beer drinkers are treated like uncouth vermin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ". . . beer drinkers are treated like uncouth vermin." Only in anachronistic steakhouses (that could be redundant). But in many big-city restaurants, beer is gaining respect. 'Specially in Cooler Than Thou Portland, Austin, and BK spots.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          By the way, where do the couth vermin hang out?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: globocity

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It's big on the east coast too, but I would clarify that micro-brews and beer-afficionados are gaining respect. Miller lite drinkers are probably still vermin in most places (but maybe the cuter types of vermin?).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't. (LOL!!!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Personally, Yes. Though, of course, they have their place. ("Peter Luger and its ilk.")
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As an example, my ex-BIL dined ONLY in these places. Whenever we went to a "fine" restaurant he felt so uncomfortable he made EVERYONE feel uncomfortable, servers, fellow dining companions, EVERYONE. When we went to the many steakhouses he chose it was a show of testosterone and a display of WOW! OOHH! AHH! when the plain meat came to the table with much pomp and circumstance and the server always telling us how we will "eat like kings" and the steak is "cooked to perfection!" whatever that means. The worst part, as I mentioned above, is that he ordered medium-well despite wanting "well done" just to show that he can "accommodate" us all. I tried to suggest medium rare many times to no avail. Yes, I have ordered my own steak in these places, medium rare, and let the others share the Porterhouse/T-Bone for 2/3/4. (many steakhouses -"Peter Luger and its ilk"- don't let the meat rest for a proper "rare" or "medium rare" in my experience.) The sides (and all foods) are on a separate dish, like when you feed a child. The sides are usually not that good/poorly made and usually very simple that anyone employed in the kitchen can do: "creamed spinach", baked potato, shrimp cocktail, etc. "It's all about the MEAT!" (veggies are mocked) Many of these "steakhouses" also put the focus on the service as a sticking point, because there is no chef in the kitchen to laud. And, yes, I will extend this steak thing to the weekend "Grill masters" that can't cook but claim to be a "master griller" on the gas grill. BORING! But, that's just My opinion, of course. (My reply is in direct response to Florida Hound and what (s)he wrote. I obviously am not alone in this, LOL :-)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        EDIT: Let's add Lobster to the list of Overrated. Same as steak.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Got it. You're not a fan of steak. No issues with that. I spend a lot of time at fine dining spots. Lots of client entertaining so I have eaten pretty much at every spot in NYC that appears on a every top 10 list multiple times. I have severe fine dining burn out. I can appreciate all those amuses that start and mignardises that end the meal, but honestly, I'm kind of sick of it. All the presentation and flourishes as a plate is placed in front of me and then someone explains the sauce that's being poured around the minuscule piece of whatever has become tiresome. I really don't need to have dinner take 3-4 hours. Give me a starter, my main and maybe dessert and I'm happy. No more tasting menus for me. Do that 2-4 times a months and it becomes wearing, and not a pleasure. That's when I appreciate the beauty of a steak, done bleu for me. No worse cooking crime in my mind than an over cooked steak.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This mini-rant has gotten me to think that I would add tasting menus as over-rated. Not a specific dish obviously. But if a dish on the tasting menu is so good, why isn't it on the regular menu? I'm sure I will get flamed for this. But after doing tasting menus dozens of times, it ain't special. At least not for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I agree. I don't want to sit for 3+ hours eating dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Agreed. I worked in Manhattan for many years. Lunches and dinners with clients etc. Usually it was a steakhouse. "Gotta treat the client to a BIG steak dinner!" Many times as well it was the "fine dining" restaurant of the moment. I too suffered "fine dining fatigue" for a while. I also suffered from the boring plain steak and boring sides as well. At lunch in a steakhouse the sliced steak and salad on the same plate is what comes to the table. Hot plate/cold salad??? Cold plate/warm steak??? Doesn't work.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              More often the boredom of a plain steak and the pomp is more than I could handle. At least some fine dining places have choices.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tasting menus are overrated. I get what the Chef is trying to do though. Many times it's about not having to eat 50 bites of the Same thing at dinner. The Same thing.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Wolfgang Puck says that his restaurants aren't for "everyday". People should cook at home and dine with friends/family at home. I agree. Solves all issues with above.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think a lot of this depends are why we are going out to eat. I don't really like tasting menus either, but I do like to take my time when I eat out. In the past, I did work that involved meeting colleagues and clients at restaurants, and then of course one doesn't want a working dinner to go on endlessly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nowadays, I mostly work at home, and the exception is work at conferences and similar events where lunch is usually provided, so for me suppers are social events involving chatting with friends and catching up with them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm not such a "meat eater" that steak turns me on, but have several friends from the southern tip of South America, and they can eat red meat twice a day, so I have no problem going along with that with them. I can't really judge steaks; fine if people love them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/895869

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That's a concatenation of gross generalizations and hostile assumptions. Most people who go to fine steakhouses are there because they are steak connoiseurs, not because they are child-like simpletons timidly retreating to the comfort of gustatory security blankets. And I daresay your depiction is even a charicature of those who order steak at Applebee's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Use of concatenation in a non-tech setting. Admirable! Triple points.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Amen !!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Many, perhaps, but, in my experience, most definitely not "most".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So how is it that you "know" this?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That's some of the most ridiculous assumptions I've ever read on this board.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      true story

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "True" in that you know people who are like this. That doesn't mean everyone else who likes steak is "child-like" (seriously?) or not interested what else the menu has to offer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Wraps. of any kind. give me a well-made sandwich with two good slices of bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Agree on wraps. I hate the redundancy of the wrap, and the ends are nothing but wrap. I wind up tearing away the extra. I'll take bread any day over wraps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm not sure that "wraps" are even food. They are gummy and weird. I don't understand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Even mediocre Bread is so infinitely superior to whatever "wraps" are usually wrapped in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The only wrap I like is a sausage wrap. I make 'em with fresh flour tortillas, grilled Texas hot links, my own personal BBQ sauce, and dill pickle chips. It's far from alta cucina, but it's dam' tasty.