Navigating the Restaurant Menu: 50 Things to Think Twice About 

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Embarking on a culinary adventure at a restaurant is always exciting, but not every dish is a winner. Whether it’s for health reasons, freshness concerns, or simply personal taste, some items might be worth skipping. Here’s a human-friendly guide to help you make informed choices and ensure a delightful dining experience. 

50. Deep-Fried Desserts 

While they may sound indulgent, deep-fried desserts can be heavy and overly sweet. Choose lighter dessert options for a satisfying end to your meal. 

49. Pre-Made Sandwiches Late in the Day  

Pre-made sandwiches late in the day might not be as fresh. Consider ordering a freshly made option or exploring other menu items. 

48. Foods Cooked Well Beyond Their Prime  

Be cautious with dishes that are cooked well beyond their prime, as they may lack flavor and tenderness. Opt for fresh and well-prepared options. 

47. Cheap, Low-Quality Steak  

Choosing the cheapest steak on the menu might compromise on quality. Consider spending a bit more for a better cut that’s worth savoring. 

46. Fried Foods with a Lot of Breading  

Fried foods with excessive breading can be heavy and greasy. Choose options with a lighter coating to enjoy the flavors without feeling weighed down. 

45. Generic Caesar Salad  

Generic Caesar salads might lack the freshness of a well-made one. Look for places that make Caesar salad with attention to detail for a delightful experience. 

44. Super Sized Portions  

While tempting, super-sized portions can be excessive and lead to overeating. Opt for regular portions to savor the flavors without feeling overwhelmed. 

43. Hard-to-Pronounce Dishes You Can’t Describe  

Ordering dishes with names you can’t pronounce or describe might lead to disappointment. Choose items you can envision and enjoy. 

42. Vegetarian Burgers in Non-Vegetarian Restaurants  

Vegetarian burgers in non-vegetarian restaurants may not be a priority. Opt for restaurants that specialize in vegetarian or vegan options. 

41. Raw Oysters on Certain Months  

Ordering raw oysters in months without the letter “R” might pose a higher risk of foodborne illness. Stick to oysters during colder months for safety. 

40. Generic Chain Pizza  

Generic chain pizza might lack the quality and authenticity of local pizzerias. Explore local options for a more flavorful pizza experience. 

39. Milkshakes at Dinner  

Milkshakes at dinner might be too filling, leaving little room for your main course. Save this indulgence for dessert or a standalone treat. 

38. Combo Platters with Everything  

Combo platters might seem like a good deal, but they can lack focus and quality. Choose specific dishes for a more satisfying meal. 

37. Overly Breaded Appetizers  

Appetizers that are overly breaded can be heavy and mask the natural flavors. Choose lightly breaded or non-breaded options for a better start. 

36. Generic Buffet Pizza  

Buffet pizza might not be the most appetizing. Opt for freshly made pizza or explore local pizzerias for a tastier choice. 

35. Bread Baskets Before Pasta  

Filling up on bread before your pasta arrives may spoil your appetite. Save the bread for savoring the pasta sauces. 

34. Overly Cheesy Dishes  

While cheese is delightful, overly cheesy dishes can be overwhelming. Choose dishes with a balanced amount of cheese for a more enjoyable experience. 

33. Complex Special Orders at Fast Food Chains  

Fast-food chains may struggle with complex special orders. Keep your customization simple for a smoother and more accurate order. 

32. Cheap All-You-Can-Eat Deals  

Cheap all-you-can-eat deals may compromise on ingredient quality. Choose quality over quantity for a satisfying dining experience. 

31. Generic Breakfast Buffets  

Generic breakfast buffets might offer quantity over quality. Look for hotels or establishments known for their high-quality breakfast options. 

30. Overcooked Vegetables  

Be cautious with overcooked vegetables, as they can lose nutrients and flavor. Request your veggies cooked to your liking for a better dining experience. 

29. Complex, Time-Consuming Desserts  

Opting for elaborate desserts may extend your dining time. Choose simpler options if you’re in a hurry or want to enjoy a quicker meal. 

28. Guacamole Outside Avocado Season  

Ordering guacamole outside avocado season might result in subpar quality. Enjoy this delicious dip when avocados are in season for the best flavor. 

27. Overpriced Water Bottles  

Purchasing overpriced bottled water at a restaurant may not be worth it. Save money and ask for tap water if it’s safe and available. 

26. Overly Spicy Dishes  

Be cautious with overly spicy dishes, as they might overpower your taste buds. Choose a spice level that enhances, not masks, the flavors. 

25. Discount Sushi  

Discounted sushi may compromise on quality. Consider paying full price to ensure the freshness and safety of the ingredients. 

24. Frozen Margaritas  

Frozen margaritas might be tempting, but they can be loaded with sugar and artificial flavors. Opt for fresh, handcrafted margaritas for a better experience. 

23. Iceberg Lettuce Salads  

Iceberg lettuce lacks nutritional value compared to other greens. Choose salads with nutrient-rich greens like spinach or kale. 

22. Rarely Ordered Vegetarian Dishes  

Vegetarian dishes that are rarely ordered may not be as fresh. Opt for popular vegetarian options for better quality. 

21. Complex Cocktails in Crowded Bars  

Ordering complex cocktails in a crowded bar may lead to longer wait times. Choose simpler drinks for quicker service. 

20. Off-Season Produce  

Ordering dishes with off-season produce might result in less flavor and freshness. Choose items with seasonal ingredients for optimal taste. 

19. Chicken in High-End Seafood Restaurants  

High-end seafood restaurants may not excel at chicken dishes. Stick to their specialty – seafood – for the best culinary experience. 

18. Generic House Salad  

The house salad might not be the most exciting option on the menu. Explore more unique salads for a memorable dining experience. 

17. Egg Dishes with Unspecified Eggs  

If a dish doesn’t specify the type of eggs used, it’s likely to be made with less expensive alternatives. Clarify the egg choice for better quality. 

16. Truffle Oil on Everything  

While truffle oil might sound fancy, it’s often synthetic. Use it sparingly, as its overpowering flavor can mask the natural taste of dishes. 

15. Complex Coffee Orders  

Complicated coffee orders can slow down the barista and potentially lead to errors. Keep it simple for a smoother experience. 

14. Soup on Hot Days  

Ordering hot soup on scorching days might not be the most refreshing choice. Opt for lighter, cooler options to beat the heat. 

13. Too Many Customizations  

Overly customizing your dish can disrupt the kitchen’s flow and compromise the quality of your meal. Stick to reasonable modifications. 

12. Chicken Parmesan in Italian Restaurants  

Chicken Parmesan in an Italian restaurant may not be their specialty. Stick to traditional Italian dishes for an authentic experience. 

11. Unpopular Vegetarian Options  

Choosing unpopular vegetarian options might result in less fresh ingredients. Opt for vegetarian dishes that are popular and in demand. 

10. Rare Burgers  

Ordering burgers rare might pose health risks, as the inside may not reach a safe temperature. Stick to medium or medium-well for a safer choice. 

9. Buffet Seafood  

Buffet seafood may not be the best choice due to its exposure to open air. Opt for freshly prepared seafood dishes instead. 

8. Generic Chain Restaurant Fish  

Fish in generic chain restaurants might not be as fresh as at specialized seafood establishments. Opt for local seafood joints for a better experience. 

7. Overly Complicated Dishes  

While intricate dishes may sound appealing, they often require extensive preparation. Stick to simpler options to ensure freshness and timely service. 

6. Too Many Appetizers  

Ordering too many appetizers can fill you up before the main course arrives. Be mindful of portion sizes to fully enjoy your meal. 

5. Daily Special on Sundays  

Avoid ordering the Sunday special as it might contain leftover ingredients from the week. Opt for freshly prepared dishes instead. 

4. Cheapest Wine on the Menu  

Choosing the cheapest wine might not always be the wisest decision. It’s worth spending a bit more for a better quality wine that complements your meal. 

3. Sushi in a Landlocked Area  

Opting for sushi in a landlocked area might not guarantee the freshest seafood. Consider coastal locations for the best sushi experience. 

2. Fish on Mondays  

Some chefs avoid ordering fish on Mondays as it might not be as fresh, having been left over from the weekend. 

1. Well-done Steak  

Ordering a well-done steak might be disappointing; you could lose the juiciness and tenderness that a perfectly cooked medium-rare steak offers.

Navigating the restaurant menu is an art, and armed with this list, you’re ready to make choices that lead to a satisfying and enjoyable dining experience. 

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