When I lived in Southern California from 1982 to 1986, I took an afternoon course about restaurants at the local community college. I learned such useful tidbits as to avoid the “Chef’s Special” — usually some forgotten meat they’d found in the back of the freezer, scraped the mold off, cooked it well, hid it under a sauce, and put it on the menu.
I remembered that course when I saw an article entitled “10 Restaurant Secrets Industry Insiders Want You to Know” by Rachel E. Greenspan ( http://time.com/5394102/how-to-order-at-restaurant-etiquette/? ). So here is a summary, and you can visit the original article for all the details.
1. Don’t believe the posted calories — Restaurants often miscalculate.
2. How do I eat healthy and eat out? — Healthy ingredients don’t necessarily make the entire dish healthy. For example, frying probably isn’t healthy no matter the final product.
3. Pasta isn’t bad in moderation, but there are healthier ways to enjoy it — Go for homemade pasta and watch portion sizes.
4. Getting the gluten-free option does not make food healthier
5. Know how to tip — It’s almost always necessary, but tipping can be modified. You usually don’t need to tip as much on beverages, like a bottle of wine, as on food.
6. Trust a server’s recommendations
7. The customer is not always right — If there is a misunderstanding or disagreement, the restaurant will probably do everything it can to please the customer. But if the customer is abusive or intoxicated…
8. Anything less than medium is undercooked
9. Food-borne illnesses most likely come from fruits and vegetables — There are many chances for cross-contamination in the kitchen.
10. Do your research — Don’t forget to check out an eatery on line, or even with the Health Department.
And if you’re still in the mood to eat out after this, bon appetit!