Food you refuse to order in restaurants because it's too easy

There are a few dishes that I don’t like ordering in restaurants because they are so easy and cheap to make myself that I feel like they are overpriced.

Two that spring to mind are migas and steak. I can make migas in five minutes for less than a dollar and see no need to pay anyone for it. With steak, I feel that I usually do a better job than most steak houses and it is such an easy dish to make. I will order it from time to time, especially if someone else is buying, but I prefer to order things like prime rib in steak houses because that is a dish I rarely make.

Do you have any dishes that you refuse to pay for (that you like)?


Steak and baked potatoes, so a typical steakhouse dinner is pointless. A guy at work asked if I had been to Ruth’s Chris steakhouse and I asked him why I would bother paying more for something I can make as well at home for less money.

Scrambled eggs, I guess… It’s just about the only food (other than microwaved) I’m capable of making.

(Ooh, but I do love an “industrial” breakfast bar, the kind where scrambled eggs come in a big two quart warming pan! Yum! I can go through that stuff by the pound!)

Steak, any kind of pasta, and breakfast.
Not only can I do it cheaper but I can do it vastly better.

Before any says Grilled Cheese Sandwich . . .
I will say that, in my experience, if a restaurant puts a grilled cheese sandwich on their menu it is usually a really good grilled cheese sandwich!!!
(EXCEPT for that new trendy chain place “The Melt”. That place sucks. Yuck!)

Pasta and sauce. Any pasta and sauce. Except ravioli and tortellini.

Oddly, I don’t cook much steak for myself and love steak in restaurants.

But pasta is definitely one for me. I make lots of pasta sauces, generally, and eat a lot of pasta at home, and at work. So I almost never order pasta at a restaurant.

I’d say pasta except that being a vegetarian, I tend to get stuck with eating a lot of pasta.

So, I do tend to skip the less-complex kinds. If it’s stuffed, like tortellini or ravioli, that’s a bonus. More complicated sauces or preparations are good.

I usually skip fettuccine alfredo (easy to make, fattening as all fuck, doesn’t reheat properly) or pasta primavera because those are just too ‘overdone’ as default vegetarian meals. Same with a portobello mushroom sandwich/burger - not only are those the “we don’t know what to feed you” default, but too many people suck at cooking them even though it should be easy, and most of the time you end up with something that’s so dripping with water still that it spatters off the plate (and onto your clothes), and the rest of the time it’s overcooked and unpleasant.

I have had exceptions to these, but most of the time this guide serves me well.

I love to order Kung Pow Chicken for home delivery. But at a sit-down Chinese restaurant, I’ll eat anything BUT the Kung Pow. What’s the point of going out for Kung Pow if I can always order it at home?

Same goes for plain spaghetti & meatballs at Italian restaurants – too easy to fix at home, not worth the effort of leaving the house.

I can make almost anything better and cheaper than restaurants. The only thing I go out to eat nowadays is ethinic foods I can’t make well at home. Sushi, for example.

None thay I can think of. Hell, sometimes I’ll even order a ham and cheese sandwich at a restaurant, and I can do that pretty darn good myself at home, if I do say so myself.

Assuming that the easiness corresponds to the amount of labor I tend to assume that is already factored into price. Not trying to be snarky, just that I don’t think about it. Fillet Mignon or a corn dog… whatever I want at the time. a

I don’t even understand the appeal of the baked potato at home or in a restaurant. You dig it up, knock the dirt off, and toss it in an oven. It’s peasant food for the lazy and unimaginative peasant.

I don’t get everyone saying steak. I guess you guys are right though, I’ve bought discounted (meaning about to expire but still good) angus meat and for $4 had a good steak vs $15 in a restaurant.

For me pasta isn’t something I’ll buy at a restaurant for this reason.

Pasta. I can’t believe there are pasta restaurants. I want to go in and grab people and say, “You know that costs 8 cents and takes no skill to prepare!!!”

Not a thing. I will pay someone else to prepare just about anything, even if the wife or I could do it at home because we don’t fucking feel like it tonight. Or the restaurant has access to better ingredients or equipment. I’ll pay $16 for a Grimaldi’s pizza because we just don’t have the space for a coal-fired pizza oven where we live now, thank you very much. I will pay good money at a steak house because I can’t get my stove up to 500 degrees or find Nebraska Wagyu at the local supermarket.

What a pretentious question.

To be fair, there are restaurants that make amazing sauces, and not everyone’s mother taught them to make such sauces.

In a way, I disagree. Pasta is an easy dish to make. It is very hard to mess it up. It is easy to make decent pasta. It’s hard to make GREAT pasta.
It’s the same with pasta sauce. Making an inedible sauce almost takes intent. Making an average sauce is standard. Making an OMG! sauce also takes intent…and skill.
I actually prefer to order a simple dish when I go to a restaurant for the first time. If it sucks, I won’t go back. If it’s acceptable, I’ll give them a second chance with a different dish. If it’s great, I’ll think to myself, “they made X great, I’ll trust them with other things.”

Peace - DESK

None, really. I generally don’t eat out to simply get what I can’t get at home. I order what’s tasty and to enjoy the company of the people I’m out with. If I can make it or not easily doesn’t matter. If its good, it’s good.

I’ve been to a particular restaurant twice, and after the second visit, I won’t go there again. The first time, the service was slow as fuck, but you could tell they were understaffed (and apparently had a cook no-show on them) and they were trying hard. I can deal with that.

Second visit? I ordered a pretty simple pasta with tomato-based sauce. I had my husband try it because it had no flavor. And this sauce had obvious fresh tomatoes in it, but the only thing I could taste was the little bits of fresh parsley chopped on top of it when I’d bite into them. It wasn’t overly covered in parsley, either, I mean that was the only thing that had flavor, and I’m someone who believes there’s something deeply wrong if I think restaurant food needs salt. Seriously, it was aggressively bland. Fuck that. Someone wasn’t tasting a damned thing in that kitchen.