From low-quality dishes to unseasoned sauce or uncooked meals that can make you ill, there's not much more disappointing than a bad meal out.
But the difference between a good and bad meal can all be down to what you order, according to a food researcher.
Speaking to FEMAIL, Marcus Arcabascio, founder of Menu-Price, a website that collates prices and menus of restaurants across the world, revealed what should always be avoided when ordering in a restaurant you're unfamiliar with.
He revealed that why dishes like macaroni and cheese and chicken shouldn't be ordered, and that fresh food should always be sought out instead...
Macaroni and Cheese
A classic comfort food, but in many restaurants, mac and cheese is often pre-made and not fresh, according to Marcus.
Restaurants might also overuse processed cheeses, resulting in a less flavourful, gooey dish than you're hoping for.
Always look for the freshest ingredients, such as vegetables in season or a fresh fish catch of the day.
Additionally, customers can consider a house speciality.
Since it is a meal the restaurant is known for, the odds are, it will be a tasty option, Marcus says.
'If you want macaroni and cheese, you are better off making it home,' he says.
'Don't forget that when you order it at a restaurant, you risk toppings like breadcrumbs or vegetables that you might not enjoy with your macaroni and cheese'.
'Chicken is universally loved, but it's a dish that can easily go wrong,' Marcus added.
He believes it should be avoided because chicken can become overcooked, dry, and less tasty when not prepared properly. It requires careful handling and thorough cooking to prevent the risk of foodborne illnesses such as Salmonella or Campylobacter.
Scrambled eggs are a breakfast classic, yet not all are created equal.
'Scrambled eggs might seem like a safe bet, but they can be kept on hotplates for too long, compromising their quality,' says Marcus.
Over time, this can result in less-fluffy, drier eggs. Also, the eggs used may not always be the freshest, affecting the overall taste.
This sweet treat is delicious, but restaurant brownies are frequently not made in-house, according to Marcus.
Instead, they might be bought pre-made, making them lack freshness and are not as unique as other desserts on the menu.
Steak can be risky unless you're dining at a high-end restaurant, Marcus claims.
Steak quality varies drastically, and a lower-quality cut might not meet your expectations.
On the other hand, though, ordering a steak well done can result in a tougher, less enjoyable meal.
Sushi is a delicacy that showcases the beauty of raw ingredients, but the art of sushi-making requires precision and fresh ingredients.
'In establishments not specialised in sushi, raw fish might not be handled or stored correctly, leading to potential health risks like parasitic infections.
'Plus, the taste and texture could be affected,' added Marcus.Read more 2023-06-06T11:36:04Z dg43tfdfdgfd