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Worst Restaurant Meals


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#1 gfweb

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 04:57 PM

I had one of the worst ever tonight.  A Chinese place, lauded because all the Chinese students at the University eat there and are reported to say its authentic.  The menu looked it with beef tendon and fish stomach etc etc as well as the more Americanized stuff that I'm used to ordering more often than not..

 

So I ordered fried dumplings and General Tso's chicken, which I know isn't authentic, but I like it. And its always my test dish for Chinese restaurants because it is easy to screw-up with over battering and over cooking. And even screwed up a bit it is still tasty.

 

So the Fried Dumplings arrive (after my companion's main BTW) and were full-sized dumplings maybe 25% filled with an unseasoned pellet of meat. They tasted oily. A new low in dumplings.

 

Gen Tso was so over-cooked it was woody in texture. And bland. Though labeled as spicy and though there were visible chili peppers there was no hint of any heat. And there was no sauce to speak of.

 

For me this was a new low in Chinese or any other cuisine.

 

 



#2 Plantes Vertes

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 06:47 PM

At a certain time in my life (long, long ago) I became very familiar with 30p Tesco Value frozen pizzas. I was once served this in a restaurant. It was still partly frozen.



#3 heidih

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 07:13 PM

I have had some disappointing meals over time but the one that popped into my head when I saw this was a mess at TGIFridays. Granted it is crummy chain food fueled by booze. It was not my choice. Ordered the salmon burger and was the last one at the table to be served. The light was dim. At first I thought the patty had finely diced tomato in it. Nope - it was red raw salmon scattered throughout. They took it back to "give it a little more time on the grill" and returned it with scorch marks on the outside and the still raw salmon in the center. I told them to take it away. Last salmon burger I ever ordered. 


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#4 annachan

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 07:32 PM

I ordered Zhajiang mian at a Chinese restaurant (in San Francisco) once and was given noodle with chopped up bbq pork....not the worst tasting dish ever, but probably the worst interpretation of the dish.

While bad tasting stuff is not good, the worst meals are probably the ones you get physically sick after....

Edited by annachan, 19 October 2013 - 07:32 PM.


#5 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 07:39 PM

I stopped eating in restaurants (other than a couple good New York style pizzerias) because nearly every meal I've been served over the past few years has had something seriously wrong with either it or the service.

I'd been craving a good fish fry leading up to our last time out at a restaurant ---this was a couple years ago---a place that was, at one time, pretty good.

The fish was horribly dry, I mean crazy dry.

I tartar sauce tasted like coleslaw.

The fries were over-salted and overcooked.

The Caesar salad that I had was just plain horrible with a tasteless watery dressing and soggy croutons.

The glass of water with a wedge of lemon looked good, but the server "eagle clawed" the glass so I sent that back.

The server also spent way too much time chit-chatting with certain patrons when she should have been attending to the needs of others.

Anyway......I don't waste money on restaurants anymore...it's not worth it when food at home is so much better and I know for sure what I'll be getting.

Even the Italian-American joints in this area, of which there are dozens and dozens, can't be trusted to provide good food anymore.


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#6 weinoo

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 04:31 AM

I stopped eating in restaurants (other than a couple good New York style pizzerias) because nearly every meal I've been served over the past few years has had something seriously wrong with either it or the service.

 

What?  
Where the heck do you live and what restaurants are that bad?


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#7 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 05:44 AM

Probably most memorable for me is going into a little comedor and asking what was for lunch; the hostess said "chicken" so I figured I was OK.  She neglected to mention which parts of the chicken were on the menu.  The first course, giblet soup, is very common (and usually very tasty) in small restaurants of this type, but this was the first time I had ever encountered a cold version with a pair of chicken heads floating in it.  The main plate, far from being a chunk of chicken in gravy, was something I later learned is called guatita - chicken tripes in curry.  This is also not normally a bad dish, but it came out so cold that the sauce had congealed into gelatinous lumps.  There was a small cockroach under the rice.

 

At that point, I stood up and left.


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#8 lindag

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 06:25 AM

I'm surprised you didn't throw up on the spot!

 

 There was a small cockroach under the rice.

 

At that point, I stood up and left.



#9 gfweb

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 06:31 AM

 

I stopped eating in restaurants (other than a couple good New York style pizzerias) because nearly every meal I've been served over the past few years has had something seriously wrong with either it or the service.

 

What?  
Where the heck do you live and what restaurants are that bad?

 

That was my question too.



#10 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 06:42 AM

 

I'm surprised you didn't throw up on the spot!

 

 There was a small cockroach under the rice.

 

At that point, I stood up and left.

 

 

Linda, under the right circumstances roaches and a good many other bugs are a tasty snack; I don't have the "ick" factor that most North Americans do when it comes to that kind of thing.  However, if it's not stated right up front that insects are on the menu and I find one in my meal, I'll usually just stand up.  If there are other customers, I'll make a bit of noise as well.


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#11 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 06:48 AM

 

I stopped eating in restaurants (other than a couple good New York style pizzerias) because nearly every meal I've been served over the past few years has had something seriously wrong with either it or the service.

 

What?  
Where the heck do you live and what restaurants are that bad?

 

 

Chemung County, New York.

It's a culinary wasteland.

There are no good restaurants here.


Edited by DiggingDogFarm, 20 October 2013 - 06:53 AM.

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#12 huiray

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 08:36 AM

I had one of the worst ever tonight.  A Chinese place, lauded because all the Chinese students at the University eat there and are reported to say its authentic.  The menu looked it with beef tendon and fish stomach etc etc as well as the more Americanized stuff that I'm used to ordering more often than not..

 

So I ordered fried dumplings and General Tso's chicken, which I know isn't authentic, but I like it. And its always my test dish for Chinese restaurants because it is easy to screw-up with over battering and over cooking. And even screwed up a bit it is still tasty.

 

So the Fried Dumplings arrive (after my companion's main BTW) and were full-sized dumplings maybe 25% filled with an unseasoned pellet of meat. They tasted oily. A new low in dumplings.

 

Gen Tso was so over-cooked it was woody in texture. And bland. Though labeled as spicy and though there were visible chili peppers there was no hint of any heat. And there was no sauce to speak of.

 

For me this was a new low in Chinese or any other cuisine.

 

 

 

In all honesty, I wonder why you did order the Gen Tso's chicken when you knew it was a place where these Chinese students ate at and had declared it "authentic".  I would think that the place was more concerned with stuff that would resemble what one might get in a "Chinese" meal, rather than a "Chinese-American" meal (which is what Gen. Tso's Chicken would be).  Just as you have written about on another thread regarding "Italian-Italian" vs "Italian-American" meals, perhaps you were expecting a "Chinese-American" meal in a place which did not do that well but did do "Chinese" well?  (And there are all these discussions about "Chinese-Chinese" meals not appealing to many folks (but not all, presumably) who did not grow up with that but were accustomed to, um, not-quite Chinese-Chinese meals? Just wondering.  Of course, perhaps this place did execute all their dishes badly and nostalgia (from the students) influenced their statements.  Still, I wonder...

 

BTW, "oiliness" is also dependent on the cuisine and the diner.  Some of the stuff I would expect to be "oily" in Chinese cuisine I believe would be thought of as gross by those who did not grow up with the stuff...etc etc.


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#13 gfweb

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 08:41 AM

I gave my reason for ordering it quite clearly huiray. You are free of course to disagree as you usually do.

#14 huiray

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 08:52 AM

I gave my reason for ordering it quite clearly huiray. You are free of course to disagree as you usually do.

 

Indeed you did, and I was merely pointing out that it may not be the best way to assess a restaurant, any restaurant, even with something as basic as that Chinese-American dish called General Tso's Chicken.  To each their own.

 

For that matter, even in "Chinese-Chinese" restaurants, the strengths of the chef(s) is a factor, and one may have a horrible meal in such a place if one ordered the dishes that the chef did not do well.  One often goes to certain places and orders the dish that the chef is known for, rather than a dish that is simply on the menu because it is expected to be there.


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#15 minas6907

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 10:25 AM

I went to Bj's Boston Pizza with a friend for a casual meal. It wasn't bad, but the server was a young kid that was a little odd, it seemed like he was making it too obvious that he was trying to upsale and move us out. He asked about apps pretty soon, but we were still looking at the menu, then we ordered entrees. 1/4 into our meal he asked if we wanted any appetizers, which I politely said no with a mouth full of food. Then 1/2 way into our meal he came back and asked (no joke) if we had 'saved room for dessert.' So I told him we were still eating. I wasn't too particularly annoyed, I thought it was sort of funny, but it pretty much reaffirmed my dislike of many giant corperate chain restaurants.
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#16 Lupinus

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 02:47 PM

There's a couple that come close but the one that takes the cake was a little Italian place in town that was a little hit or miss but never horrible. My wife ordered a pasta dish. Bacon, mushrooms, some sort of cream sauce, no mention of tomato. What came out was deli meat ham and spicy tomato sauce. Waitress wrote the right thing down, but the kitchen apparently decided what my wife really wanted was arrabiata. With cheap deli meat ham in place of panchetta as noted on the menu. It wasn't the wrong plate, we were one of two tables in the place and the got their pizza five minutes after we sat down. I'm thinking someone looked at the description of the arraiata which was the thing directy above and ran with it. Being as it was nasty deli meat ham and nothing my wife would be interested in we sent it back.

 

Now, it took about fifteen minutes to come out the first time and the pasta was actually cooked perfectly. So a pasta dish that took fifteen minutes to come out with perfectly cooked pasta....took about 4 to refire. And when it came back it still had the same nasty deli meat ham, some half raw mushrooms, tomato instead of cream sauce, and pasta that was now gummy and when you ate a piece of pasta or ham by itself had an underlying watered down spiciness to it that the plain tomato sauce had not even a hint of.

 

Now, I didn't stand there and see them dump her plate of pasta into a colander, rinse off the spicy tomato sauce, and then toss it in a pan with some mushrooms and plain tomato sauce. But you sure as heck could have fooled me if that's not what the lazy SOB in the kitchen did.

 

To her credit, I think the waitress was more ticked off than we were.


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#17 DTBarton

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 07:26 AM

I can think of a few outstanding failures over the years.

 

I grew up in northern Delaware and we had outstanding sub shops, so I was a fan of Italian subs.  As a teenager, my family was vacationing on Hatteras Island in North Carolina.  I ordered an italian sub at a local lunch place.  What came out was a spongy roll with lousy cold cuts and plastic cheese.  They put mayonaise on the roll, added letuce and tomato, and heated it.  All the grease came out of the cheap cold cuts and had saturated the lettuce.  Totally disgusting.  Later, after living in the south for a while I learned the peril of ordering Italian sandwiches.  If they ask you "do you want mayonaise?" or "do you want that hot?", get the burger.  The place on Hatteras didn't ask, they just made it that way.

 

Got served expensive stone crab claws in Key West that had been frozen and not thoroughly thawed before they served them.  Fifty bucks worth of mushy, icy inedible seafood.  Moral, don't ever get frozen stone crab claws.  They were in season when we were there so never occurred that they would be frozen in January.

 

Got served cassoulet at a fancy, well respected Manhattan hotel restaurant that had dry beans that were almost raw.  It was like a greasy bowl of gravel.


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#18 gfweb

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 10:58 AM

I can think of a few outstanding failures over the years.

 

I grew up in northern Delaware and we had outstanding sub shops, so I was a fan of Italian subs.  As a teenager, my family was vacationing on Hatteras Island in North Carolina.  I ordered an italian sub at a local lunch place.  What came out was a spongy roll with lousy cold cuts and plastic cheese.  They put mayonaise on the roll, added letuce and tomato, and heated it.  All the grease came out of the cheap cold cuts and had saturated the lettuce.  Totally disgusting.  Later, after living in the south for a while I learned the peril of ordering Italian sandwiches.  If they ask you "do you want mayonaise?" or "do you want that hot?", get the burger.  The place on Hatteras didn't ask, they just made it that way.

 

If you are used to proper hoagies, then the crap that passes for a hoagie in the rest of the world is disgusting.  Why Philly/NYC/Delaware people patronize Subway when they have decent stuff as close as even a Wawa is a mystery. (not that Wawa is definitive, but there sure are a lot of them, probably more than Subways)


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#19 judiu

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 04:44 PM

gfweb, you can add North Jersey to that list, IIRC!
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#20 munchymom

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 06:16 PM

Some of these bad meals bring to mind the saying "You can't get milk from a hardware store." I wouldn't expect a random North Carolina sandwich place to have great Philadelphia-style hoagies, but I wouldn't go to Philadelphia and expect a great barbecue sandwich either. It pays to look around and see what everyone else is eating.

 

That said, my worst restaurant meal in recent memory was one I didn't get to eat - we went to a well-regarded restaurant for brunch (with a reservation!), but they were almost completely filled with one large party - about 25 people or so. We ordered, and waited, and waited... and left 90 minutes later when the food was still nowhere in sight.


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#21 Porthos

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 06:27 PM

We ordered, and waited, and waited... and left 90 minutes later when the food was still nowhere in sight.

I can't imagine waiting an hour and a half for food to never show up. You definitely have some patience.


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#22 munchymom

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 07:48 PM

They did bring the Bloody Marys.


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#23 Lupinus

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 05:31 PM

 

I can think of a few outstanding failures over the years.

 

I grew up in northern Delaware and we had outstanding sub shops, so I was a fan of Italian subs.  As a teenager, my family was vacationing on Hatteras Island in North Carolina.  I ordered an italian sub at a local lunch place.  What came out was a spongy roll with lousy cold cuts and plastic cheese.  They put mayonaise on the roll, added letuce and tomato, and heated it.  All the grease came out of the cheap cold cuts and had saturated the lettuce.  Totally disgusting.  Later, after living in the south for a while I learned the peril of ordering Italian sandwiches.  If they ask you "do you want mayonaise?" or "do you want that hot?", get the burger.  The place on Hatteras didn't ask, they just made it that way.

 

If you are used to proper hoagies, then the crap that passes for a hoagie in the rest of the world is disgusting.  Why Philly/NYC/Delaware people patronize Subway when they have decent stuff as close as even a Wawa is a mystery. (not that Wawa is definitive, but there sure are a lot of them, probably more than Subways)

 

Growing up in NJ I was used to good subs. There's a deli every five minutes and they are either good or last a week.

I had the same problem with I moved to SC, most of the subs here are downright nasty. The local Subway actually has their string of "Best sub in town!" things strung on the wall. Publix supermarkets, on the other hand, use boars head meats and the bread is actually decent. Best subs going for the area IMO.
Still doesn't match up to Tastee in Edison, NJ but it's as good as I've found down here.


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#24 sculptor

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 11:52 PM

The time I ordered "Mexican" food in Portland Oregon back in the late 70s... I should have know better... they didn't have a clue as to what they were doing and to top that I got food poisining!



#25 SaraSimmons

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 04:10 AM

my worst meal ever was an overly cooked octopus leg, that was as hard as a rock, which costed me more than a full plate of shrimps


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