Great restaurant muck-ups

Everybody is entitled to their own tastes, but there are certain menu items which have become standard over time. If you use their names, then I expect my dish to reflect that standard. For example:

French Onion soup does not contain milk. Now, I live in a civilized European country, Hungary, yet it seems not one restaurant I’ve been to can grasp this simple concept. Call it “Cream of Onion” call it “Italian Onion Soup”, call it what you will, but French Onion it ain’t.

Ketchup is not pizza sauce 'Nuff said.

Do not call it a Chicago-style hotdog if yer gonna put ketchup on it.

Buffalo chicken wings are not made with BBQ sauce. Those would be called barebecue wings, you dingbat.

Capuccinos are NOT served with whipped cream. If I wanted sickly sweet cream on my coffee, I’d specify it. That said, a capuccino is generally accepted to be about 1/3 espresso, 1/3 hot milk, 1/3 milk foam

Putting cajun spices on a slab of meat and charring it to kingdom come does NOT make it Cajun.

Putting corn on your pizza does not make it Mexican (That’s specifically a Hungarian thing, I think.)

There’s many more, but these are the ones that come to mind at the moment. Any additions?

I’d add something, but I live in an area where the exact definition of what constitutes a clam chowder is highly debated, so who am I to criticize?

Oh, criticize away!!! (Is it the tomato-based vs cream-based controversy? I assume not, as we have accepted names [ie, “Manhattan” and “New England”] to clarify that matter.)

Don’t forget the horrid Rhode Island Clam Chowder which is made with a clear broth.

Marinara sauce is meatless. (Yes, I know its roots in Italian, that’s not the point.) Serving a tomato sauce with beef in it is not marinara.

Are you serious? I was unaware such a thing existed. I may need to be sick now.

Do not serve saltine crackers with egg drop soup.

(Hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant in Hibbing, MN; not a single Asian person in sight among the staff. The next day we ate at an obviously Asian-family-owned restaurant where the food was excellent.)

The addition of pineapple does not make it Hawaiian.
The use of bell peppers or rice does not make it any kind of Asian.
Just as crushed tomatoes isn’t spaghetti sauce, teriyaki isn’t soy sauce.

Watery bean soup over spaghetti noodles is not chili. Not even if you try to qualify it by calling it ‘Cinncinnati style’. Just call it something else entirely, do not besmirch the reputation of real chili with this foulness!

Except for the anchovies.

Note to Ralph’s: Antipasto is not made with swiss cheese.

Memo to little pizza place in northern Arizona:

There are many cheeses that are acceptable for pizza. Sharp Cheddar and Monteray Jack are not on that list.

My mind can still evoke the smell of burnt feet and the feeling of roiling, angry guts that accursed pizza resulted in.


And that was the point of my comment above, the term ‘marinara’ referred to using anchovies. It’s pretty rare that you find that done anymore, however. (OK, at least from what I’ve seen.)

Note to the pub at which I dined the other night: The grilled salmon with rosemary barbecue sauce was excellent. But the mashed potatoes with beef gravy you served with it did not exactly harmonize. Nor did the stir-fry vegetables. If you can’t grasp the concept of dishes that complement one another, rather than clash, perhaps you should stick to burgers and fries.

there is nothing “secret” or “special” about 1000 island dressing.

Stop lecturing me about how I’m going to sick off of undercooked meat. If you don’t want to serve burgers and steak this way, don’t ask me how I want it cooked.

Half a dozen corn chips covered in ketchup does not a plate of nachos make.

And ketchup is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a “spicy sauce.”

Oh, yeah…which also reminds me:

Cream of xxx soup - Just lay off the cornstarch/flour already, geez!! I could plaster my walls with some of the cream of chicken I’ve been served…

French dressing - *Mon Dieu!**. I don’t think an honest-to-goodness Frenchman would be found within eyesight of this disgusting fluorescent sweet-sour concoction.

Chicken Kiev- THIS DOES NOT HAVE CHEESE! Repeat, Chicken Kiev does not have cheese. Butter+herbs – Good, chef has done research. Cheese+herbs – chef should be “advised” by Ukrainian mob.

Minor note: A fajita is technically a cut of beef (I believe skirt steak), usually marinaded in lime juice and grilled. Technically, chicken fajitas do not exist any more than, say, chicken filet minons do. But I think I’ve lost that battle, so carry on…

Real samosas don’t have meat in them. (Another lost battle.)
Just because it’s got curry powder, doesn’t mean it’s “curry.”
Mango chutney should not have apples in it.

There’s a lot more Indian restaurant muck-ups I could mention, but those are the most widespread and annoying.