You just found a new restaurant, and you're so excited about it. You sit down. You reach for your fork and knife...but then, something happens.
Something that changes how you feel about the restaurant.
Here were some of the answers.
The Spout Test
I worked as a server and occasional line cook for several years.
Number 1 red flag is the spouts on the soda fountain. Those things are one of the easiest things to clean in the entire place, so if they're mildewy that kills my interest in eating there. I'm fine with a bit of mess elsewhere, especially in a high volume place since it will get messy over the course of the day. But those spouts take multiple days of no washing to get to a point where they are noticeably disgusting.
What's ON The Menu?
Anthony Bourdain said dirty menus.
If they're not cleaning the menu they're not cleaning other things.
Can I Axe You Something
I went to brunch recently and the head chef/owner walked in the front door with an axe, walked through the dining area and into the kitchen where he proceeded to axe the walk-in cooler to shreds.
Not a chef but I think that's a red flag.
The Red Flag List
Hi, actually a chef here.
1- divorce your mind from the "bathroom is dirty" idea. Bathrooms are not always the responsibility of the kitchen and don't necessarily reflect the state of the kitchen. Also, bathrooms see a lot of use so it being untidy (NOT covered in sh*t but paper on the floor, etc) isn't uncommon, especially at peak hours. A clean bathroom is a sign of good management.
Same idea applies to menus.
2- check the glassware and silverware, and plates. If they're spotty there are two reasons. They're not polished, or the system they are using isn't being maintained. This is a good sign of very few f*cks being given in both the front and back of house.
3- If you have the opportunity to see the entrance to kitchen (from the outside) that should give you a clue about whether or not the kitchen staff is trained to take care of the premises. If there is a stack of empty boxes, bags of trash, litter then they don't care. Pests and rodents eat anything. If you leave it out they learn where to be. Then they find how to get in.
4- A little harder, but the trained eye and experienced eater can learn a lot by what is in the menu. Some places use whatever processed product their main liner sells them (Sysco, US Foods, Aramark, etc) They might be clean and well run, but still shitty. I suggest looking for the local places over the chains, though this doesn't always help.
5- server attire. Generally speaking, a well dressed staff means good service. It might not say anything about the food, but appearances count.
6- Are they busy? If they're in the main part of town and not busy that should tell you alot.
Overall if your first experience doesn't leave you satisfied (not WOW amazing, but good) then don't go back.
To you guys saying that the bathroom being disgusting is a sign of gross staff...please go work at a restaurant for a week. Unless you're talking about non-busy hours, the bathroom is going to get super gross in a matter of minutes. I could not keep up with the public's disgusting bathroom habits and still do the rest of my job, and I am a picky but fast cleaner. It was much easier to keep the kitchen and tables clean than the bathroom. For some reason, people think it's okay to stop being a decent human being in public bathrooms.
A New Buffet, A New Life
Personally I'm very cautious of any buffet at all. Whenever I've had to replenish food out at the buffet, the customers just f*ck everything up with the utensils, and sometimes the utensils for dishing the food is clean, so that means they're using their own forks or spoons that they've had in their mouths.
Then you have the little sh*thead kids that the parents aren't paying attention to, that are just grabbing food with their bare hands, or spilling into other foods.
Old people, like 80 year olds that frequent the buffets are gross enough when they're constantly coughing and clearing their throats, and spitting while talking in the line up.
Judge me for being judgy, but I've seen it first hand at nearly every buffet I've worked, but I won't go near one that isn't manned by a cook or server at the stations.
If I see customers in sweatpants and a t-shirt at a buffet, I order from the menu.
List List List
- When the menu has a large variety of options but they're not closely related to each other or even the theme of the restaurant
- Empty parking lots at peak times and an empty room
- When front of the house or servers don't know their menu
- When it takes 10 minutes just to get water
- Flies (Not gnats i'm talking about house flies)
- Dirty menus, cups, and plates
Tap Dat Sass
When I sit down at a bar I watch how the bartenders pour from their taps. If they stick the tap into the beer while they're pouring I stick with a bottled beer.
I was taught very early on not to do that and having worked at a lot of places where I've seen the smegma of built up moldy, beer residue, dead fruit flies that comes out of those things when they're cleaned, usually after many many months or years has passed in some cases...I'll always pass on tap beer if I see that shit.
It's an often under cleaned, uncovered, unwiped part of the bar and most people on the other side of the bar ever think twice. It's also a sign that other things like their soda gun and ice well potentially being cleaned and sanitized properly. Not to mention their rags aren't being swapped out and sanitized...the list goes on.
I don't bitch at the bartender, I don't make a scene, I just order a bottle because that isn't being handled by that establishment other than when they open it.
Also, don't get me started on staff snacking out of the garnish tray. Ugh.
Kiev Is Always Frozen
Son of a chef.
Oven chips. besides the fact oven chips are shit if they can't be arsed to hand cut potatoes I don't put much faith into the rest of the meal.
Anything that looks like a general piece of frozen food. Think chicken kieves, always look the same, shape size etc.
If anything comes out steaming hot that shouldn't be hot. For example Jacket potato, if that comes out and it's erupting with enough steam that the glass wear gets condensation, then it's been zapped in the microwave.
Melted cheese which hasn't got brown or burn marks on it (except on a burger) it;'s been microwaved instead of a flame
Service can tell things on the restaurant. If you enter the restaurant and servers don't pay attention to you, it can mean 2 things. They are too busy, or they are not motivated to work. If they are too busy, it means owner doesn't want to hire more people, which means the owner wants to save money or does not pay attention to his place. If he wants to save money by not hiring enough, he will do so in kitchen. If they are not motivated to work, there are problems among staffs or they are not getting paid enough.
I don't have a culinary degree, but I did spend 10 years of my life in professional kitchens.
Show up early and grab a drink at the bar. If the bar smells like dirty mop water, GTFO. If the bartender has to ask you what goes in an Old Fashioned, GTFO. If the bartender is a rude prick, GTFO.
If the front of house is bad, the back will be even worse. I consider the maitre d' as simply the guy who greets me, not necessarily how I judge front of house.
You can only tell so much from polished silverware. That's not hard to do and almost every place stays on top of it. Doing things like making sure there isn't any dust on the bottles behind a bar, even the ones that hardly ever get used and need a ladder to reach, that takes real dedication and attention to detail.
Other sure signs of trouble at the bar is last night's garnish. If your lime doesn't look and feel like it was cut in the last hour, GTFO. Conversely, if they use the good Luxardo cherries instead of the day-glo red abominations, you're probably at a place that gives a shit about ingredients in the kitchen as well.
Pastry student here!
Stressed waiters/stressed chefs. More likely to make mistakes. If their uniform is dirty (and I don't mean a small stain. I mean a stain that is at least several hours old. Bonus point if there's more than one.)
You see waiters, or chefs scratching themselves, touching their face, any part of their body. I can guarantee you they are not suddenly rushing to the bathroom to clean their hands after every face pat.
A bit gross to look into, but the mop water, jfc. If you walk by a mop bucket that smells like death, it probably hasn't been changed in several hours. If the table is sticky, but "clean," it means they are reusing dirty water.
Smudges on cutlery/plates. For cleaning them, there's a machine, but for wiping them down, there's a human that does not give a fuck.
At Italian restaurants, I look at the olive oil that's given on the table. If it's a light colored oil, then it's not that great in quality and they're cutting corners. It makes me wonder what other corners they're cutting.
My New Philosophy
I only really skimmed, but nobody really answered the question.
any kind of sushi burrito.
"always fresh, never frozen!" nope. sushi grade fish has to be flash frozen because almost everything has parasites. If they are actually serving fresh caught fish they are dumb about food safety.
lion king roll, shrek roll, any kind of "bombs", really big pieces of fish on nigiri: sushi for college kids and whoever is cutting the fish doesn't know what they are doing.
hearing water continually running behind the sushi counter. that means they are improperly thawing something that doesn't get ordered much, and whatever they are thawing will have most of the flavor washed away.
"Kobe beef burgers." They are lying. Flat out, lying, to the point where it's disrespectful because they think they can get away with it. (and they usually do)
"Grilled to perfection." You are at a chain restaurant
Perfect grill marks that only go in one direction. This piece of meat has never even been in the same room as a grill.
Red flags in general -
Almost all "pan-asian" inspired cuisine.
A paragraph at the bottom of the menu describing their philosophy on food sustainability, or saying (now this is a double edged sword) there is housemade anything on the menu.
Cocktail menus that describe in too much detail using words that people other than bartenders don't really understand, "gomme" "shrub" "oleo saccharine". This just means "look at me I know how to make duck fat washed bourbon".
I Can Feel The Pressure
Waiter, not chef, but I agree with a lot I've read here.
General cleanliness - if they can't keep the small things clean, they're cutting corners everywhere with hygiene. A good restaurant keeps on top of that stuff. Maintenance - again relating to cutting corners, if items aren't maintained, condiments and the like, then you can be sure that there are lapses elsewhere. Staff - this is an interesting one, but from experience if the staff don't seem to work well, together or not, there's a red flag that the restaurant isn't being looked after properly, leading to issues with the first two.
There's probably a bunch of other stuff I've missed. Truth be told, restaurant biz is usually high pressure, so everything, like cleaning, is done as quickly as possible. Often, that translates to poor quality. I usually go out with a skeptical eye because of what I've seen/heard. Some of it can be right dodgy...
ITT: a lot of people who aren't chefs.
There's not a lot that'll put me off tbh. Basically only if there's nothing on the menu I'm willing to try (I don't eat fish), but I'm willing to give anywhere a chance. Dirty toilets aren't always the responsibility of the staff, someone could have come in and ruined them just before you go in there and the place is so busy that the servers/runners haven't had a chance to clean(and it's usually before/after service they're cleaned)
Salt and pepper mills.... Hmm.... Any place I go to I'm hoping I'm not gonna need them, the food should be seasoned correctly to the chefs tastes so that extra salt is not needed.
In general if the staff are rude I'll probably give it a pass, but apart from that I'll give anywhere a go, it's a good way to get inspiration for new stuff too and what not to do sometimes.
A good chunk of humanity have a hard time hearing certain truths. We don't want to admit what isn't working, because it's just human nature to be scared of being wrong. It's hard to admit weakness individually, much less as a whole.
But eventually, we need to face the facts, and these Redditors are ready to deliver the harsh truths about what it means to be human. SomeWillingness2960 asked:
What is the truth humanity is not ready to hear?
Let’s start with a few of the light ones, before we dive deep in what we’ve been overdue to hear.
Starting off with a very controversial one.
“The air in chip bags is important.”
“They replace the air (which contains oxygen and water vapour) with nitrogen so the chips don't get soggy or oxidise.”
“And they "over inflate" the bags on purpose to cushion the chips from crumbling during packing / transport.”
A universal work struggle.season 8 episode 23 GIFGiphy
“No matter where you work, or what you do for a living, there will always be That Person that nobody can figure out how they got hired, never mind why they are allowed to continue working there.”
- You actually show up on time
- Your work is
good/up to standardis not the worst and passable
- Your colleagues and bosses
like youdon't hate you the most out of your colleagues
Edit. Adding 4 and 5 based on below discussions which can supercede the above 3 while also ammending the above three slightly
4. It's more difficult to kick you out than to keep you
5. You have some control over those in charge (some kind of relation, having some kind of incriminating evidence, etc)”
What is “normal”, anyway?
“We will never have a good sense of the world's "normal."
News won't focus on it, because it's boring by definition. Social media won't focus on it for the same reason. Word of mouth and fiction too. Statistics may get us close, but they're hard to picture in terms if human experience, and of course, more exciting stats get repeated more.
Our view of the world outside of our own personal experience will always be shaped by the outliers, and there's not much way around it.”
Ok, now it’s time to dive deeper. Prepare yourselves.
This one hurts.
“Most people simply don't care about the things you're passionate about no matter how much you try to convince them that they should be.”
“As I've gotten older I've had to learn that my friends don't find joy in the same things I do. It's nothing personal.”
I’ll never understand this.Mermaid Man And Barnacle Boy Superhero GIF by SpongeBob SquarePantsGiphy
“Much evil not only goes unpunished but is rewarded.”
“Not only that but a lot of evil behaviour is rewarding itself for many people.”
“The loudest among you are mostly a bunch of wankers. Unfortunately you usually let them lead you.”
“A big part of that is because they tell us what we want to hear.
You ever hear a politician go "We're going to have open borders, lower corporate tax rate, higher sales tax, reduced prison sentences, laws forbidding employers from looking into if they're hiring a criminal, a ban on beef, and we're doing it all because that is what the experts say we should do and I have a giant book of sources on that"? No, because even though that's very much what experts advise, it's not at all what people want to hear.
So instead, when you hear someone going "Don't listen to that guy, what we really need is better border control, huge taxes on corporations, no taxes on the poor, criminals get treated like the scum they are, and corporations are the main ones behind climate change, and don't ask me for sources", you're still much more likely to support him. Because when you want to believe them, they're so much easier to believe.”
Those would be some very smart monkeys.
“There's a good chance that humans simply don't have the capacity to fully understand the universe.
A monkey will never be able to comprehend calculus, macroeconomic theory, or how a car works. It makes sense that we too have an intellectual ceiling that will prevent us from ever understanding how the universe works.”
Ready to face the music? Keep reading.
“Humanity is the largest threat to itself. Not some natural disaster or outside invasion. We will kill ourselves off at this rate.”
“Yes. It's sad that the most successful and intelligent species in the solar system is most likely going to cause its own downfall.”
“For most people the last thing left of them will be an eroded name on a headstone.”
“I want to be one of those taxidermied drones.”
Username checks out.
“Are you special? Maybe a little bit. Are you as special as you think you are? Certainly not.”
“We are all the same decaying organic matter.”
Well, I hope y’all aren’t too messed up from reading that. Especially that first one about the chip bags. How dare they.
But in all seriousness, just do your part to make our world a better place. That’s all we can do.
An overwhelming majority of us have plenty of things we are annoyed by every single day, and also lack the power to doing anything about them.
That unfortunate, infuriating state is just the norm. We walk through life seeing, hearing, and enduring daily pitfalls whose existences make zero sense to us.
But if we did have the power to outlaw just one of those annoyances, how hard of a choice would that be?
Apparently for some Redditors, the choice was clear. They were happy to share their selection.
Redditor jinxy_wolfy asked:
"What would you ban?"
Many people have absolutely had it with the annoying aspects of using the internet every day.
"That damn fake 'x' button to close out mobile game adds" -- WebbedRose103
"Or when it's a real x button, but they make it so small that you click the ad anyway." -- tomuglycruise
"That and the moving button that makes you click on ads as it loads more and more ads." -- Maester_erryk
Others spoke specifically about the world of advertising and constantly encountering people trying to sell something. The lengths they'll go are endless.
"You're no longer allowed to advertise a lower price than what the customer will pay. No more $29.99... plus $100 in fees."
"Calling someone you don't know to solicit. I get 12+ calls a day and block each one and still get 12 more the next day. I'll hang up on them because they're calling while I'm using GPS and they'll just immediately call and interrupt the map again."
Glue and Plastic
"selling food that looks significantly different in person than it does in advertising/food glamour shots." -- skepticones
"This is why I like eating out in Japan. There are plastic examples of dishes in the front window. If something looks good, you go in and ask for it, and it matches the one in the window every time!" -- EmEmPeriwinkle
And others set their sights on the toxic elements of human culture that seem to make everyone worse off.
All About Context
"Too many loopholes in current law. For instance Dr. Oz would lose his medical license if he told a patient in his office the same things he says on TV. But broadcasts aren't technically doctor-patient relationships, so he gets away with misleading millions of people."
"Puppy mills" -- godhasmoreaids
"Backyard breeders too imo. I see a lot of poorly bred dogs who have major issues because a family wants a payday." -- EmEmPeriwenkle
Poor All Other Animals
"MarineLand and all zoos that mistreat their animals."
Genuine nature preserves that respect and care for their animals, with lots and lots of room, hey, more power to you. But establishments that keep animals as exhibits in tiny spaces have to be stopped."
"Child beauty pageants, just fu** off with that sh**" -- Russian_Terminator
"Yes. It is disgusting to see little girls caked with makeup parading around in adult clothing.Gross." -- glenarbourgal
Of course, none of us will get the chance to ban any of these things. But we can dream, can't we?
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From our childhood through our adult years, one thing we all dream of from time to time is all the things we could do if we had unlimited resources. Buy a castle and become your own anti-hero, solve world hunger, adopt ALL the animals, live on an endless cruise around the world, heck, buy a whole political party *cough cough*.
Most of us would be content making sure our family and friends were set for life and bettering the world the best we can.
Redditor ApArAmY wanted to hear what everyone else dreamed of doing if they had no limit on funds.
“What is the first thing you would buy if you had infinite money?"
Dreaming of affordable health care? Must be from the US...
“Every single medical provider facility in the world. Make healthcare free for patients. Since I have unlimited money, I can afford whatever drug/device/material/salary/etc that would treat patients.”
“Then everyone can get on with living life knowing that they'll get good medicine and not be saddled with high costs. And taxes could go down because governments wouldn't have to pay for healthcare.” Specialist-Ad475
20 trillion, no big deal...
“I'd fund all efforts to further the fight against climate change, global warming, pollution, etc. I'd probably try not to spend that much money for a while so as to prevent inflation, but adding ~20 trillion dollars to the global economy wouldn't be that bad, right?” PixelGMS
The orange one wouldn't like this idea...
“I'd buy Mar a Lago, make it into a homeless shelter and install wind power turbines on all 18 holes." Mr-Warmth
Someone come get their dad!
“A new butt, my old one has a crack in it!" drewdwagy1966seth meyers dabbing GIF by Late Night with Seth MeyersGiphy
Human rights and green energy...
“Buy Amazon, Nestle, and as many $1billion+ corporations as I can. Once I'm CEO, I would stop every human rights violation they cause and give all the profits (since i have infinite money I won't need it) to charities and funding to green energy and stopping climate change." crispier_cream
“It sounds silly, but an ice cream sandwich. Several years ago, I was living paycheck to paycheck and had a fair amount of credit card debt. I fell behind in my mortgage and lost my home to foreclosure. Shortly after I was notified, I drove over to a 7-11, bought an ice cream sandwich, and ate it while crying in my car.”
“Unfortunately, every time I eat an ice cream sandwich, it's still a bittersweet feeling. I always think of the day my favorite childhood comfort food became forever intertwined with my sense of complete and utter failure. After coming into life-changing money, I would hope that an ice cream sandwich would taste as good again as it did when I was a kid.” Steve-in-rewrite
“Just….. a huge chunk of land.”
“Land. Just….. a huge chunk of land. Build a house for my parents, one for us, and one for my In-Laws, and another small house for the family to stay at when they come to visit. Maybe two. We got a big family. And then just spend my time building my farm." Unusual_Amphibian_20
Just make sure to funnel it through a PAC first...
“A US Senator! Or several of 'em. I've always wanted my own senator.” a_dangerous_noodleSusan Collins Thank You GIF by Election 2020Giphy
The who’s got a bigger one game...
“Judging by the world we live in, apparently I'd enter into the private space race.” Cool-breeze7
Back to the bartering system perhaps?
“I would distribute it all evenly so that it's literally worthless. I would expect this to collapse the economy but what do i know, I'm not an economist.” Jham_jam
It seems like mostly these Redditors want to help others and the planet. Although for that one person, may all your ice cream sandwiches be delightful.
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I admit that I am not a picky eater by any stretch of the imagination. I eat just about anything. I also consider myself pretty adventurous; when I travel, eating good food and trying the local cuisine is at the top of my list!
But even I would be hard-pressed to eat durian or even balut.
Would I say absolutely not? I'll have to get back to you after a trip to Southeast Asia. The jury's out for now.
People had very strong opinions on the food they want nothing to do with after Redditor KentuckyFriedEel asked the online community,
"What dish/food can f*** right off?"
"The edible KFC nail polish. Imagine you are spending the day touching public door handles and keyboards and stuff and then sucking your fingers for chicken paint."
This... this exists?
I'm so happy I've never actually run into this. I was doing just fine without this knowledge.
"Canned whole chickens. Not sure if anyone's seen those, but I want to vomit right now just thinking about it."
I can only think about how slimy it must be from all that congealed fat and it grosses me out.
"Pufferfish. I mean, you need like 2 to 3 years of training to serve it and if you accidentally eat the wrong part it will kill you. The poison has no known antidote and 1 needle can kill 30 adult humans. Other than that, it's just a fish. There are thousands of fish all over the world, just eat a different one"
Yeah... I love seafood but I'll pass. I don't want to be that person. I'm good, thanks!
"For those who aren't familiar..."
"Gefilte fish. For those who aren't familiar, it's like a ball of fish guts packaged in a jar. It's a common food eaten during Pesach."
"Shark fin soup. No taste, no nutritional value. Only to be had to show wealth/status in certain countries. Most importantly, it's really f***** up the shark populations."
Environmentalists have done some splendid work getting people to stop eating this––and imitation shark fin soup seems to be more available than the real thing.
God created the heavens and the earth, and everything in his creation.
He allowed Satan to create one thing... one at all, and Satan created the durian."
"Natto/fermented soybeans. It's sticky and disgusting. It's like Death and Hell had a sticky baby."
"I'm sick of people..."
"Celery. Useless vegetable, no nutritional value at all and just tastes disgusting. I'm sick of people ruining perfectly good egg/potato salads and soups with freaking celery. It's just unnecessary."
Celery's only crime is how inoffensive it actually is. Does it deserve this hate? Probably not.
"Liver. I mean... it's a filter. Why would anyone want to eat a filter?"
You can pry my liver out of my cold, dead hands. I'll have yours if you don't want it!
"I thought I hated..."
"Canned Spinach. I thought I hated spinach for half my life. Nope, I love it, just not that snot in a can. Why did you feed me that mother? Why?"
Okay, what I've learned today is... I could have done without the thought of canned whole chicken. My stomach wants to reject it and it's not even in my stomach. That should tell you something.
Have some opinions of your own? Feel free to tell us all about them in the comments below!
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