`Everyone has their favorite food, or maybe a few comfort foods you rotate through, but today we're going to flip the script and talk about some of the most overrated dishes out there. From regional classics with questionable taste to food trends that just didn't live up to their hype—join us as we vent for a minute about the great crimes perpetrated in the name of “great” food.
1. Fancy Cupcakes
One user posted, “Fancy cupcakes. Every ‘designer’ cupcake I’ve had has been incredibly dry. I just don’t get why they charge $5-$10 per serving, but the quality of the cake is below a Walmart sheet cake.”
However, one user defended, “I make cupcakes sometimes. Overbaking and day-old baked products tend to dry out. A lot of the fancy desserts take time to build, which means the cupcakes have been sitting out for a while.”
Another user answered, “All you have to do is add some extra oil to the batter, and they won't dry out.”
One user commented, “Worked in a 70+ year old cake bakery for years, and we froze ALL our cakes and cupcakes naked, then did the crumb coat and base layer of icing on any cakes that were going to be decorated and froze it again so that it would be a hard, smooth canvas for decoration. Even fancier cupcakes tended to be iced while frozen, then placed in the display fridge to thaw day-of-sale (and by fancier… I mean cupcakes with hand-drawn 3D icing designs such as sports mascots and business logos. Those were like… $2 cupcakes.
“We used the same batter for our cupcakes as for our wedding cakes, too. Those were dang good cupcakes compared to the over-iced monsters I've been given a few times from cute little boutique cupcake places.”
Another user shared, “Let [the cupcakes] cool in the tray on a cooling rack. Since they're already in cupcake papers they don't stick… so when they are fully cooled to room temp, you can put some plastic wrap on them and pop them in the freezer.
“For frosting…, I always whip the room temperature butter until it's very fluffy and at least doubles in volume (don't rush this step!) And then put vanilla extract (the better the quality, like the brown stuff, the better the flavor. Can use almond extra here and other types too; there are so many!) And a pinch of salt. When adding powdered sugar, do it in one-cup increments and TASTE it as you go. I usually do half of what the recipe calls for…!
“If adding color, use gel coloring: the liquid kind (like the ones I used for Easter eggs growing up) will change the consistency of the frosting… Happy baking.”
2. Burgers That Are More Than 3 or 4 Inches Tall
One user posted, “Nothing screams ‘get ready to eat a mediocre burger' to me more than a ‘gourmet' burger joint that serves burgers that are more than 3 or 4 inches tall.”
Another added, “This is so true. There's like an inverse extravagance rule going on. The more extravagant/decadent a burger is advertised, the less flavorful and satisfying the burger itself will be.
“The absolute best burgers are the simplest ones. Also, the secret to blowing people away is simple: season the meat.”
One commenter added, “I feel so left behind by burger standards. I need a fork and knife for a decent amount of the bigger ones because they expect me to keep up with these unrealistic burger standards.”
3. Overpriced Milkshakes
One Redditor shared, “This S'Mores milkshake from some fancy Boston burger place is my go-to example. It was about $15 five years ago, and the only reason I got it is because my company was paying. I would have preferred to get a shamrock shake.”
One added, “Not gonna lie, that doesn't even look appetizing.”
One user replied, “When an item of food looks like it cannot be eaten without creating a big mess even when trying really hard not to, that instantly kills all my appetite for it!”
“I have a massive sweet tooth, and even I’m getting sick looking at that monstrosity,” one user added.
4. “Something for Everyone” Restaurants
One user commented, “'Something for everyone' restaurants. Anywhere where the menu has a ridiculously extensive offering. If I’m flipping multiple pages and not even halfway, I just know everything is about to taste questionable.”
Another commenter added, “Several of my local Mexican restaurants have 8-page menus. All the dishes use some combination of tortillas, cheese, peppers, onions, avocados, beans, chicken, and beef; it's just the proportions and presentation that differ from one to another!”
One user replied, “This was my experience at The Cheesecake Factory.”
5. Modern UK Pub Offerings
One online user posted, “Modern UK ‘pub’ grub. It’s utter [garbage] now.”
Another added, “Years ago(25+) I worked as a pub chef in London. The pub governor used to get deals off the butcher and greengrocers from the market. We were killing it. The brewery couldn't understand how we were making so much kitchen profit. They made us stop using fresh produce and start with frozen, making it easier for portion control and paperwork. Don't care what cooking style you're talking about; I think fresh ingredients make a massive difference.”
6. Expensive for the Sake of Expensive
One user posted, “The most expensive dishes. “Yeah, man, these diamonds sautéed in truffle oil and emerald dust are good, but do you have a cheeseburger?”
Another added, “You pretty much just described the horror movie, the menu.”
One replied, “'You will eat less than you desire and more than you deserve.'”
Another user also shared, “That was a documentary.”
7. Bacon Everything
One Redditor shared, “No [particular] cuisine, but I am sick of the whole ‘bacon life' meme. It was funny for a couple of decades, but enough already. Bacon-flavored anything is disgusting.”
Another user added, “Once in college, I ordered bacon-flavored popcorn. When I popped it in the communal microwave, it smelled so awful that we had to open all the windows and evacuate until it had aired out enough for us to Febreze the rest away. It tasted like death. A couple of guys threatened to beat me up if I popped anymore. Some things just don't need to be bacon-flavored. Popcorn is one of them.”
One user replied, “I got bacon-flavored Ritz crackers once. If it's not freshly made bacon, I won't touch it; bacon flavored anything at best tastes like ham and at worst beggin strips.”
One commenter responded, “Bacon is good in its own right, but adding bacon to a dish doesn’t automatically make it better.”
One Redditor shared, “Lobster. It’s fine; it’s just not really worth its cost IMO. I also like eating it in things rather than by itself. The lobster rolls I had in Maine were much better than lobster straight up. Edit: yes, as many have said, crab is delicious and the superior choice by a mile.”
Another user replied, “I’d rather have a bushel of blue crab than I caught myself with some old bay.”
One user commented, “People just like the taste of butter, not the lobster itself. I mean, I like lobster, but it’s over-hyped.”
9. Presentation of the Food
One user stated, “Rather than pick on a specific nationality or style of cuisine, I'll talk about presentation. Any restaurant where portion sizes get smaller as the price goes up is the very height of epicurean pretentiousness. Like if they actually serve you enough food to be satisfied, it might as well be McDonald's.
“I spent a lot of years working in restaurants, and the ironic thing is what's on your plate is by far the smallest expense in serving that plate to you. There's no reason for tiny portions other than [being pretentious].”
However, one user opposed the statement and answered,” The point of small portions is to eat a diversity of dishes, as opposed to McDonald's, where you get bored halfway through your fries.”
Another user added, “I feel like when I trade money for food, that goal isn’t to be full but to have good food. And oftentimes, I am full after several courses with small plates. Americans honestly just have eyes that are bigger than their stomach.”
10. American Italian
One online user shared, “American Italian. It’s heavy and repetitive.”
Another added, “People look at me crazy when I say I don't like pasta dishes. I have just resorted to it because trying to explain pasta I like vs. a plate overstacked with gummy spaghetti covered in a bland tomato sauce has gotten tedious.”
One asked, “Do you also live in an area where 95 percent of the restaurants are exactly this?”
Another added, “We have a lot of good Italian places over here, especially in the northeast. But I will agree that when it comes to cooking at home, like 1% of people know how to cook pasta. YOU HAVE TO DRAIN IT BEFORE ITS FULLY DONE.”
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