Every restaurant has its own specialties, things that it does really well and (if it’s lucky) is known for. And while it’s fairly obvious that there are some things you shouldn’t order from specific restaurants — a lobster roll at a dive bar or a cheeseburger at a Chinese restaurant, for example — there are some things that you should never order from any restaurant, ever, for numerous reasons. Here are five.
It may be a little more expensive to opt for bottled water, but water left sitting out at room temperature for too long can be a bacterial breeding ground. And if the water you’re being served is coming directly from the tap, you never know how clean those taps (and pipes) are.
Free Bar Snacks
Think about how many people have also had their hand in that container of peanuts. And then think about how few of them probably washed their hands recently, even after using the restroom.
While some chefs go out of their way to make sure that specials highlight the freshest seasonal ingredients, purchased at the market that very morning, many see the specials board as a way to use up past-their-prime ingredients. If there’s a special that sounds like a random hodgepodge, or sauce-covered bits of meat, stay away.
Wagyu/ Kobe Burgers
Real wagyu and kobe beef are rare and expensive delicacies, extremely marbled and usually served in very small portions at exorbitant prices. To grind it up like any old piece of beef isn’t just sacrilege, it’s dumb, and nobody does it. Ten times out of 10, if a restaurant claims that its burger is made with wagyu or kobe beef, it is flat-out lying to you. Don’t order it, on principle.
While a free piece of bread or two is a nice way to get something into your stomach at the beginning of the meal, having to pay for it (even if it’s artisan bread) is pointless. Just be hungry for 15 more minutes, you’ll survive.