Restaurant Food Pet Peeves


06 Nov Restaurant Food Pet Peeves


A while ago I blogged about how tiny details can ruin an otherwise enjoyable restaurant meal. I must have struck a nerve since many people commented — at length. One commenter, Lisa, got so het up she expanded the topic and emailed me her pet peeves about sub-par restaurant food. Even in the absence of leaking teapots and dirty silverware, this opinionated diner hates being served underdone french fries, raw toast and overcooked frozen vegetables (emphasis hers).

I can tolerate anemic bread, providing I get properly scrambled eggs, not a runny mess or rubbery minced omelet.

If an edible oil product makes its way onto my dessert? Well, I’m not likely to return for the commercial version of Dream Whip, am I? And don’t get me started on tinned pie fillings.

I know I’m not alone in my expectations for good, fresh, properly prepared food. So indulge me. What sort of things arriving on your plate will turn you off a restaurant?

Photo © c3lsius. Published under a Creative Commons License.

  • ClaireWalter
    Posted at 10:00h, 06 November Reply

    My pet peeves:
    Food that should be hot but comes out tepid.
    Salads served on from-the-dishwasher hot plates and hot food served on ice-cold ones (this is a particular plague at salad bars).
    Gloppy from-the-bottle salad dressing.
    Fried food that is greasy rather than crisp.
    Dishes that are overly salty.

    Claire @

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 11:14h, 06 November Reply

    The very worst is being served anemic, colorless, tasteless imported tomatoes in the middle of the local tomato harvest when red, ripe fine tasting tomatoes are available.
    Second place for worst is those same anemic tomatoes served the rest of the year. YUCK!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dana McCauley
    Posted at 11:25h, 06 November Reply

    I could write 10,000 words on this topic but I won’t. Let’s just suffice it to say that I expect to be treated like person and not table number 4 and that I find it disheartening when it is obvious that the people running a restaurant are in business but not the food business,

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 12:13h, 06 November Reply

    Curly parsley.

  • modsuperstar
    Posted at 13:37h, 06 November Reply

    Paying for food that you could have just as easily made at home. Ordering fish and chips on special and seeing the cracked open the box of Highliner instead of using fresh fish and a decent batter. Undeclared onions.

  • modsuperstar
    Posted at 13:40h, 06 November Reply

    Oh yeah, one I encountered yesterday. Claiming a dish is “famous” only to find it probably falls closer to “infamous”.

  • cheryl
    Posted at 14:03h, 06 November Reply

    To anonymous’s curly parsley I’d add pink-and-green garnish kale. Or lemon slices for no reason.

    And I know this is fussy, but I really like milk with my tea. Hate those little plastic half and halfs (half and halves?).

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 14:37h, 06 November Reply

    Can’t say I disagree with any of you.

    Claire, overly salt dishes is one of my biggest issues. I always wonder what they’re hiding.

    Anonymous #1: Plastic tomatoes should be banned.

    Dana, interesting point. I suspect that’s why so many restaurants use pre-made sauces. Ick.

    Anonymous #2 – My mother always told me parsley is a breath freshener. Not sure it’s true, but in case it is, would flat parsley be better?

    Modsuperstar — “undeclared onions”. Oh, I’m with you on that one! Can I steal that phrase? It’s priceless.

    Cheryl, I like milk in my tea, too. No one. No one likes cream in their tea. The only thing worse is that fake “creamer” which creates an edible oil slick on the top of your drink.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 18:43h, 06 November Reply

    I hate “homemade soup” that obviously isn’t. I don’t like finding lumps of thickening agent globbed to the bottom of my spoon.
    I agree with the other posts too!!!
    Good thing I’m eating at your place on Saturday. Homemade really will be.

  • Divawrites
    Posted at 16:06h, 07 November Reply

    well, since I triggered this rant, it’s only fair that I add another one.
    Why in the name of all things holy does a restaurant refill a cup of coffee…but only offer to add fresh hot water (in the leaking silver teapots…) when you order tea? I like a strong cup of tea…not lukewarm dishwater.

    And another rant…I usually order my salad without salad dressing (because most commercial salad dressing has garlic in it, which will kill me-literally) and nothing makes me crazy faster than a layer of WATER in the bottom of the plate.

    And finally, if I ask you if there is garlic in a dish…I really need to know. I am not afraid of vampires, worried about my breath later or trying to inconvenience you…I don’t want to die eating in your restaurant…so don’t roll your eyes, don’t guess…don’t say “um, I think so…” If you don’t know…FIND OUT. Trust me, it’s a lot less trouble than the police reports if I keel over before dessert.
    Calming breath, calming breath…

  • Lisa MacColl
    Posted at 23:20h, 10 March Reply

    Opinionated? Hmm, I prefer particular :-) Anyway, I’m honoured I’ve inspired a whole blog post. To the leaky teapots and undercooked french fries, I’ll add oversalted food and raw toast. I HATE raw toast…

  • bags longchamp pliage
    Posted at 01:22h, 16 April Reply

    I morning 29 years and I’m sure deeply in love with these headsets.

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