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According to the hospitality wizards of Reddit, spotting a good restaurant from a bad one is in the tiny details. So, run through these before you touch your soufflé.
As the diner’s assumption often goes, the shittier the decor, the better the food.
Which is why we measure the worth of a restaurant by the food poisoning we receive.
We’re not experts, no, but over on Reddit a menu of them outlined the issues they immediately spot as a matter of course. Through the flavour and initial notes presented, said experts can routinely spot a great restaurant from a terrible one, via the presence of these fluttering red flags.
1) The carpeted presence of apathy
According to one Redditor, “Carpet. Yeah, it’s quieter and doesn’t get slick, but it is one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever seen… vacuuming only goes so far in a restaurant.”
However, look deeper, and if one thing is present, the other is too, as if “when the menus are super dirty and never cleaned, that means everything is super dirty and never cleaned.”
Speaking of the menu, “If a restaurant has a one-page menu that’s usually a pretty good sign, it means their line cooks have become specialists and can usually nail all the dishes listed. Conversely, if a restaurant has a giant, multi-page menu that’s a gigantic red flag. The longer the menu the better the odds that you’re paying to eat a boiled bag frozen meal.”
More to that point, “…if you order a meal that should take a long time to cook and it comes out very quickly. It’s been pre-cooked. This applies mostly to quiet nights. If it’s quiet and it comes out immediately it’s just been sitting there. But if it’s busy then there’s enough turnover that it’s likely alright, and chefs are just being prepared.”
2) The fare shellfishness of it
“Ask where your oysters come from. If they don’t know, you don’t want them.”
Another chimed in, (it) “works for most seafood,” which and I’m no expert here, but perhaps they’d be open to some sort of rancid fish discount?
3) Those paid to serve you
However, it is the help that should draw your eye, as body language speaks volumes”
“The biggest thing to keep an eye on though IMO is the staff. If there are pissed off people, get out as fast as you can obviously,” one said. Another added, “..If everyone is kinda apathetic and not talking to each other much, get out. If people seem genuinely good with being there even if it’s busy or if there’s playful ragging going on, that’s where you want to be. The better the staff gets along, the better everything in the place runs.”
The final word should go to this Redditor, who said: “If they all seem to enjoy being there, and coordinate well, more often than not it’s because everything is running smoothly and they have a good system, which usually means they know what they’re doing and you can expect good food.”
That, or just order in.