HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
What's your latest food quest? Share your adventure

Food served too cold, pet peeve

zackly Jan 16, 2014 09:06 AM

I was taught in chef's school for safety reasons to serve cold food cold and hot food hot then when I started working in good restaurants I was taught to serve most cold food @ cool room temperature, much like red wine. I know it's difficult for restaurants to keep cold food @ ideal serving temperatures because kitchens are hot but I'm always disappointed when everything comes to the table ice cold. The cold mutes the flavor just like food served too hot negatively affects the taste too. Nothing worse than after nice meal you are served a chocolate dessert right from the fridge. Does this bother anyone else?

  1. h
    Harters Jan 16, 2014 10:53 AM

    Cheese being served straight from the fridge is a pet peeve. Get it out at the beginning of service, like they do in France (and all good places everywhere).

    I now try and guess whether a place knows how to serve cheese properly before deciding whether to order it.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Harters
      Paprikaboy Jan 16, 2014 11:04 AM

      With you on the cheese. Last place I had a cheese course it was on a table in the centre of the restaurant and you went up and chose your cheeses. You could tell they'd been out long enough and no nasty surprises of fridge cold cheese. Also not keen on terrines that have come straight from the fridge.

      1. re: Paprikaboy
        Harters Jan 16, 2014 11:22 AM

        The "serve yourself" cheese is always a winner for me. I can think of a couple of meals where it's saved an otherwise quite indifferent experience. It shrieks "hospitality" at me as much as it shouts that they know how to keep cheese.

        With you on the terrines as well. In fact, let's extend this to agree with zackly's comment about "cold" being "cool room temperature". Our localish chain of dining pubs are so-and-so's for serving fridge cold starters - to the extent, I'm starting to not bother having one.

        1. re: Harters
          zackly Jan 16, 2014 11:39 AM

          Yes, cheeses, pates and terrines and most anything with a high fat content are not appetizing if refrigerator cold. Pie crust is another good example. I was served an ice cold portion of poached salmon that I let sit until it warmed up a bit and was much better.Even shrimp cocktail typically & incorrectly served on ice. I used to work in that industry and I've converted many skeptics over to serving cooked shrimp cool not cold.

          1. re: zackly
            HillJ Jan 16, 2014 11:41 AM

            Bingo, forgot pie. Very big dislike for cold pies (so no cream pies for me) but tied into my enjoyment of room temp fresh fruit, fruit pies cannot be cold and be enjoyable....even when they wind up thrown out due to mold (the waste does bother me).

            1. re: HillJ
              ipsedixit Jan 24, 2014 09:45 PM

              I actually really enjoy cold fruit pies, esp with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate.

              Warm, room temp pies are good as well, but nothing wrong with chilled pie.

              Let me try that again.

              There's nothing wrong with pie. At any temp.

    2. s
      Steve Jan 16, 2014 11:32 AM

      I don't want my salads icebox cold.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Steve
        Isolda Jan 23, 2014 12:59 PM

        I will actually nuke a fruit salad for a few seconds if I want to eat it straight out of the fridge.

        1. re: Isolda
          BobbieSue Jan 24, 2014 04:22 AM

          Sounds like something I would do (and probably have done).

      2. Chemicalkinetics Jan 16, 2014 11:35 AM

        <Does this bother anyone else?>

        It slightly annoys me, but not too much. I do agree with Steve that ice cold salad (vegetable) annoy me more than most other cases.

        1. h
          HillJ Jan 16, 2014 11:35 AM

          Totally with you on the cheese. I also don't enjoy fresh fruit cold; room temp. Even fresh squeezed OJ or grapefruit juice I prefer room temp. I keep citrus out of the frig.

          3 Replies
          1. re: HillJ
            Jerseygirl111 Jan 16, 2014 04:27 PM

            I am with you HillJ, I prefer my fruit room temp, BUT my fruit juice refrigerated.

            I don't understand how anyone can eat refrigerated oranges, apples or grapes. Gah!

            1. re: Jerseygirl111
              HillJ Jan 16, 2014 05:02 PM

              I don't enjoy the cold against my teeth. And in the summer I'm more tolerant of say a cold lemonade or smoothie but for the most part yeah, room temp. But, I also forgot about butter as Ttrockw mentioned. Cold, hard butter is not enjoyable.

              1. re: Jerseygirl111
                tcamp Jan 23, 2014 01:08 PM

                I love frozen grapes on a hot summer day.

                Otherwise, I'm a room-temperature person.

            2. Ttrockwood Jan 16, 2014 03:54 PM

              Biggest pet peeve:
              Butter straight from the fridge for the bread basket. Augh!
              Anything else i just blame on DOH fines for stupid $hit and let it sit a while longer before i dig in.
              But the too cold butter that rips the bread just pisses me off. Probably because i'm hungry!

              1. s
                sedimental Jan 18, 2014 08:38 PM

                I am with you! Room temp is what I prefer for most savory foods. Food safety freaks can ruin a meal.

                Sometimes cold desserts are fine.

                1. sal_acid Jan 18, 2014 08:44 PM


                  1. MGZ Jan 19, 2014 06:02 AM

                    I concur that cheese and vegetables served too cold are always less enjoyable, if not downright tasteless. In fact, since we rarely eat sweet desserts, I have ordered an appetizer cheese plate at the start of a meal so as to have it warm a bit before we enjoy it at the end.

                    On a related note, I'll add that certain drinks are often served too cold. Beer and white wine are good examples. For the love of God, keep that frosty glass away from the tap if you're drawing my pint! Also, if I order a tequila, what in the world would make you think I'd want it chilled - at least ask first so that I can cringe and prevent the abomination!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: MGZ
                      MamasCooking Jan 23, 2014 12:43 PM

                      What kind of misfit would serve chilled tequila shots?

                      1. re: MamasCooking
                        MGZ Jan 24, 2014 05:27 AM

                        Exactly. Some things are just inherently wrong. Like, hitting on a buddy's daughter, spitting in church, and parking in a handicap space. Like, bars serving chicken wings without the tip, Chuck E. Cheese, and light beer.

                        1. re: MGZ
                          MamasCooking Jan 24, 2014 08:11 PM

                          Exactly:) Some lines are not meant to be crossed and especially when it involves good booze:)

                    2. b
                      BobbieSue Jan 22, 2014 01:42 PM

                      Yes, I prefer consuming certain foods at room temp, or at least not straight from the fridge:

                      - fruit and raw veggies
                      - butter
                      - bread (not sure why do some people refrigerate bread)
                      - yogurt (cool, but not cold)
                      - tomatoes
                      - chocolate and candy bars
                      - cake
                      - avocados
                      - water
                      - salad (lettuce)
                      - cheese

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: BobbieSue
                        fldhkybnva Jan 23, 2014 06:02 AM

                        Re: the bread - they don't eat it quickly enough, freezer is better but seems some just put it in the fridge

                      2. l
                        laliz Jan 22, 2014 02:32 PM

                        Bread and Butter

                        1. v
                          valerie Jan 22, 2014 06:59 PM

                          I agree with much of what others said. I particularly hate ice cold salad. I bring my lunch (a salad) to work most days and I take it out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before I plan to eat it so it can come to room temp.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: valerie
                            fldhkybnva Jan 23, 2014 06:01 AM

                            Interesting, I don't like nearly anything served cold including beverages but something about the cold crisp lettuce of a salad that I crave.

                          2. Gastronomos Jan 23, 2014 09:03 AM

                            ice cold hard butter for any use at the table is commonplace enough that most don't know enough to care.

                            luke warm salad is worse than ice cold salad.
                            especially since every luke warm or ice cold salad i have been served in the past ten to twenty years has come on a plate that is VERY HOT! (prior to that i recall wooden bowls in some places...)
                            i have been told that the plate "just came out of the dishwasher", "at least you know it's clean".
                            what then do i tell her when inevitably my 'hot' entree comes served on an ice cold plate???
                            is THAT plate NOT clean???
                            cold food is a big problem. most people seem to like it cold. room temperature is cold.
                            under seasoned food is my main complaint. salt is NOT the only seasoning missing from today’s bland food for the masses. there are dishes being made and served that lack any form of seasoning in many places and it has become an epidemic.

                            we all know that the masses love bland food. just look at the most popular factories that call themselves restaurants and the masses that flock to them. add one herb or spice and people complain, don't order it or worse, make them remove it from the menu, leaving only unseasoned frozen potato product from a fryolator and unseasoned burger patties on stale buns with an anemic slice of mealy tomato and wet chunk of iceberg lettuce.

                            1. MamasCooking Jan 23, 2014 12:52 PM

                              To me texture and temperature are such major components of my enjoyment of food. I am very particular about food served to me in restaurants. If it is what I consider nonedible secondary to temperature, texture etc. unless I am literally starving with no other resource for food I will not consume it. Why bother?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: MamasCooking
                                lilmomma Jan 24, 2014 04:16 AM

                                I don't like cold butter.
                                I don't like cold fruit.
                                I don't like cold salad.

                              2. EWSflash Jan 24, 2014 09:04 PM

                                Being a captive to a hospital cafeteria five days a week, I realize I'm not the best judge, but in general, I don't like hot food to be too hot becuse I don't want it to burn my my mouth. Safe, yes. Incinerated, no.

                                1. ipsedixit Jan 24, 2014 09:42 PM


                                  1. MGZ Feb 11, 2014 06:57 AM

                                    Funny nobody seems to have mentioned the abomination that is the too cold salsa.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: MGZ
                                      Gastronomos Feb 11, 2014 07:13 AM

                                      does it nuke well?

                                    Show Hidden Posts