Sometimes it's the dishes that seem so simple that are the easiest to mess up — I've personally overcooked more rice than I'd care to admit. And if you're paying even more to have that dish at a restaurant, it can be doubly frustrating when it doesn't turn out right. So when redditor u/WhoDatWormy asked the r/AskReddit community about the foods a majority of people and/or restaurants often mess up, people chimed in with their foodie hot takes. Here's what they had to say.
1."There are too many breakfast places that can't cook eggs properly."
2."A lot of shitty marinara sauce out there."
"When it’s watery and thin around the pasta, it grosses me out so much. Real marinara should not be a thin soup!"
3."I can't remember the last time I had decent fried egg rolls at a restaurant. The insides are often just mushy, flavorless cabbage."
4."Chiles rellenos. Well-prepared, they're amazing, but I've been disappointed so many times, I basically never order them anymore."
"Not only are they not good, but most places I’ve ordered them don’t even seem to know what it is! One place, I shit you not, served me a green chile battered in cornmeal stuffed with American cheese. Another place used a raw, unskinned pepper with no batter at all. Roasted and peeled poblano stuffed with mild white cheese and battered in egg or GTFO."
5."Philly cheesesteaks. They might cut the meat up correctly, but sometimes they just plop some of that liquid cheese stuff; some places put on nachos."
6."Poutine. It's trendy to stick fries with cheese and a sauce and call it that, but you can't really substitute any of the ingredients and have it taste anywhere near as good as the original."
7."Huevos rancheros — there is an art to it. Raw corn tortillas do not taste good for one thing."
8."Omelets. The cheese goes on the inside, people!"
"I straight-up refuse to order an omelet at a restaurant. They're usually overcooked and almost always disappointing. Plus, I can whip up a French omelet myself in less than 10 minutes that doesn't cost $20."
9."Crab cakes. Even in Maryland, it's hit or miss. Outside of MD, places tend to use too much filler and binder."
10."Reuben sandwich — when it’s good, it’s great, but when it’s bad, it’s terrible."
"One place asked me what type of bread I wanted it on. I asked what types of rye they had. They said they didn't have rye. Nope, never mind, I will have something else."
11."Calamari — often overcooked into rubber, at least here in the Midwest."
12."Gnocchi! It’s meant to be light and airy, not a lead weight!"
"I'd had gnocchi at restaurants several times before I even knew what it was supposed to be: pillowy AF. I always avoid it now because I don't trust places to get it right, and wrong gnocchi is terrible."
13."Caesar salad. It either barely has any dressing, or it's so drenched in dressing that it pools at the bottom of the bowl."
14."Lotta nasty BBQ out there drowning in sauce to try and cover it up."
15."Onion rings. A great onion ring is an elusive thing."
16."Fries. So many mediocre fries."
"They’re either weirdly soggy or too dry and crunchy. My personal favorite fast food fries are probably Wingstop because even though the texture may vary, the seasoning makes up for it."
17."Chicken pot pie. Do they really think I don’t want top AND bottom crust?"
18."Coffee is rarely good in a restaurant."
"And coffee shop coffee quality can be easily determined by the number of syrups behind the counter. The more flavors they have, the more they have to hide."
19."Burgers — I DON'T WANT IT TALLER THAN MY MOUTH, I WANT MORE BITES. Make them wider and flatter, or even keep them normal human-sized and give me more of them! Many places are getting to the point where they are taller than they are wide, and the 'patty' is almost a sphere."
20."Pad Thai. Many places make it way too sweet."
"I was taught by Thai cooks that perfection is the balance of sweet (sugar), salty (fish sauce), sour (tamarind paste), and spice (chili). One shouldn't overpower the other."
21."Shrimp. I believe that most cooks overdo it and do too much."
"Alfredo is the one thing I almost refuse to eat out anymore. A lot of times the sauce is disgusting and sweet? I can make it a hundred times better at home. I do still eat Olive Garden every now and then; even though I know it’s not good, it just tastes like nostalgia."
23."Macaroni and cheese. Sometimes the noodles are gummy. Sometimes the sauce is bad, usually not very flavorful. Sometimes it's both. Macaroni is usually a disappointment."
24."Fish and chips. Seems like most places assume you’re going to add malt vinegar, so they don’t think they have to season the food. You always have to season the food."
Is there any food that you think people often mess up? Let us know in the comments or fill out this anonymous form.
Note: Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.