Eating Out? Avoid Ordering These 6 Menu Items

There is always a list of items you should never order at specific restaurants. You wouldn’t make the mistake of ever ordering a cheeseburger at a Chinese joint, would you?

Most people who are familiar with eating out know these dos and don’ts. However, not many are aware of certain things you should never order, no matter where you are, or what kind of restaurant you’re eating at. Some of these items are sly ways of restaurant-owners trying to take advantage of you while some are just a sheer waste of your time and money. Not to mention certain items that could potentially make you sick for days on end and throw you off your schedule!


Here’s a list of things you should never order when eating out if you want to have the best quality meal and dining experience.

1. Tap Water

Tap water could be a bacterial breeding ground if it has been left sitting out for long.


Choosing bottled water may seem a little more expensive, but it’s far safer than that glass of regular tap water sitting by your plate. Water that has been left out at room temperature for far too long can become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria that will promptly make their home inside you. Besides, you never know how clean the taps and pipes are!

2. Complimentary Snacks

Complimentary bar snacks may have been recycled and touched by contaminated hands.


Be especially aware of restaurant freebies. Because complimentary snacks like pretzels and nuts are free of charge, restaurants and bars very rarely set out a fresh serving for each new customer. So if you see a bowl of peanuts waiting out on a table where it’s easy for anyone to grab a fistful, spend a minute and think. How many people do you think helped themselves to that bowl, and more importantly, how many of them do you think washed their hands after visiting the restroom? Dig into that bowl, and it’s as good as eating out of a stranger’s hand!

For the same reason, partaking in after-dinner mints on the hostess’ stand is also strongly advised against.


3. Bread

Bread fills you up fast but will leave your tummy faster, so you don't really get your money's worth.

A complimentary breadbasket is undoubtedly delightful to the eye – but remember what we told you about complimentary items! Plenty of restaurateurs admit to reusing the same rolls of bread from one table to another to help maximize sales and cut down on costs while keeping the customer happy.


Even if you need to pay for fresh gourmet artisan bread, it’s still pointless. Why? Because bread is full of carbs. Carbohydrates may fill you up quickly but won’t keep you satisfied for long since they are the easiest to digest. As a result, you think you’ve got your money’s worth while you’re paying the check, but two hours later, you’ll be plagued with a grumbling tummy.

Also, bread mostly contains added sugars. This, along with the fact that carbs release sugar quickly into the bloodstream thereby causing your blood glucose levels to skyrocket ought to be another reason why you may want to avoid stuffing yourself with bread.


4. Chicken

chicken dishes are full of extra sodium and calories to mask the bland flavor of poultry.

If you have friends who are full-time chefs, ask them what they think about chicken preparations. Most of them will tell you that it’s overpriced, yet is almost never anything other than boring.


Restaurateurs usually add chicken to the menu to placate picky eaters. Because it is particularly difficult to mask the bland poultry flavor, chefs dump in extra sauces and seasonings to make the dish flavorful and exciting. Two lessons can be learned from this: one, chicken dishes at restaurants are not worth your money. Two, the extra additions can make what you thought was a healthy choice, the complete opposite –  what with all that extra sodium, fat, and calories.

Not to mention all the foodborne illnesses it can transmit if it hasn’t been cooked all the way through!

5. Wagyu/ Kobe Beef Burgers

Kobe or wagyu beef burgers are a huge lie because this type of beef is never supposed to be ground.

Wagyu or Kobe beef is extremely rare. This kind of beef is usually more marbled, and authentic wagyu or Kobe beef is usually served in small portions that are exorbitantly priced. Restaurateurs would definitely want to advertise this type of beef and try and serve it without any extras. Therefore, grinding it up and serving it between two slices of a burger bun, like any other regular variety of beef would not just be sacrilege but incredibly stupid.

The next time a restaurant claims its burger is made with wagyu or Kobe beef and is, therefore, overpriced – know that they’re flat-out lying to your face.

6. Drink Garnishes

Drink garnishes are very rarely served fresh and may have been touched with contaminated hands.

Lemon and lime wedges floating around idly in your glass of water or iced tea, or cocktail certainly make your drink look whimsical and charming. However, these are rarely ever washed and are mostly cut by bartenders who ditch their gloves. Also, these wedges are not always freshly cut. If you crane your neck and try getting a glimpse of the bartender’s side of the counter, don’t be surprised to see little fruit wedges soaking in a tub with other garnishes. Clearly not sanitary!

In fact, a study found that nearly 70 percent of swabbed samples of lemon flesh and rind from slices that had been placed on the rims of beverage glasses produced microbial growth of 25 different microbial species.1

If you really need lemon, ask for the wedges or slices to be served to you separately. Then squeeze the juice into your drink and throw the rest away.