Social Question

Jeruba's avatar

What dishes can you cook better at home than you will ever get in a restaurant?

Asked by Jeruba (48719points) March 13th, 2019

Maybe you have a special recipe or secret ingredient, or maybe it’s just something that turns out better when you can lavish all your attention on just the one thing.

What dish don’t you even bother to order when dining out because you know it will never measure up to what you can cook at home?

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31 Answers

Pinguidchance's avatar


I care not for the cautiously cultivated, splendidly sprawling spaghetti tree; its precisely plucked, delicate al dente strings or that littlest ladle of rich, red reduction atop the $30 plate of paradisiacal pasta.

JLeslie's avatar

Stuffed shells. My ricotta and mozzarella mix simply has more mozzarella.

Tuna fish salad. I never risk getting it in a restaurant. It has to be solid white albacore, it has to be Chicken of the Sea or Bumble in water, and I like mine with very little mayo, I just have too many rules about it. Although, I will get chicken salad in a few restaurants, but I have to be able to see it first.

Black bean soup.

ragingloli's avatar

95 percent of commercially available burgers.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Eggplant. Most restaurants ruin it with grease or its soggy in parm.

seawulf575's avatar

Pretty much anything. Specific dishes are Chili, Honey-soy-lime chicken, breaded pork chops, and jambalaya. I will not purchase beef jerky from any store. I make better for cheaper at home 100% of the time.

ucme's avatar

We have staff for that

hmmmmmm's avatar

Egg dishes. We got chickens last year, and have an abundance of fresh eggs. I made the mistake of ordering eggs a couple of times since (an omelette and quiche), and it was crap. I’ll stick to the eggs from my organic-fed free range chickens.

zenvelo's avatar

Cole Slaw.

I grate the cabbage, and I only use mayonnaise as the dressing. Allows for the flavor of the cabbage to come through without being cloying. Perfect accompaniment for enchiladas, grilled burgers, and picnic foods.

Demosthenes's avatar

Sopa de albondigas, Mexican meatball soup. The recipe I use is amazing. Nothing I’ve tried in restaurants comes close (though to be honest, I rarely come across this dish in restaurants). I’m pretty particular about soups and stews, but they’re not generally what I’m ordering when I eat out anyway.

filmfann's avatar

My guacamole is far better than any restaurants.
My spaghetti is also much better, but I acknowledge it wouldn’t be financially reasonable for restaurants to produce it.

Kardamom's avatar

I make really good baked macaroni and cheese. In fact I’m making it tonight. I use Trader Joe’s caramelized onion cheddar, then I add sauteed mushrooms, and one crumbled piece of fake bacon. It is divine.

rockfan's avatar

Tomato soup

dxs's avatar

Tomato Sauce, meatballs. It’s a family recipe—nothing beats comfort foods.

I also like my tuna salad more than any other tuna salad. I use scallions instead of white onions and I don’t drown everything in mayo.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Burritos. Restaurants NEVER put enough cheese in or on, even when you ask for extra cheese.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Look…I’m needing some recipes here, for egg plant and tomato soup and everything else that was mentioned.

Dutchess_III's avatar

NOBODY beats Rick’s barbque sauce. Or his fried chicken and gravy.

josie's avatar

Just about anything
But in particular short ribs, back ribs, risotto, mujadra,
Plus, like @ragingloli, burgers.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III I LOVE eggplant. My husband likes it cut up, deep fried and dipped in gravy/red sauce/marinara.
I prefer it in eggplant parm, which is usually a lighter fry, then layered with gravy (vegetarian is what I make for this but you can add sausage, burger, etc…) and cheese, mushrooms, etc…and bake for 20 minutes, like spaghetti sauce.

*Also you can flavor them any way you like before frying, like parmesan, bread crumbs & seasoning.

Minus sauce (very delicious):
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Prepare a baking dish with non-stick play. Arrange eggplant and tomato slices into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Drizzle olive oil over the vegetables; season with oregano, salt, and pepper.

joeschmo's avatar

Lasagna and pasta.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL So true about the eggplant! So often there is too much breading on an eggplant Parmesan. I still try it at restaurants, and 90% of the time it isn’t good. My husband always asks me why I keep doing it. Lol. Glutton for punishment I guess. Although, I have to say in NYC it’s almost always good, and a restaurant by me has an eggplant dish with no breading, and it’s layered like a lasagna, but no pasta, it’s delicious.

@Dutchess_III Chicken burritos are what I most often order at a Mexican restaurant, and I never feel like it needs more cheese. That’s interesting. I wonder if they put more cheese here (and other places I’ve lived) or if I just prefer less cheese than you do. I feel like a lot of places don’t put enough cheese in omelettes.

Actually, I order omelettes in restaurants a lot when eating breakfast out, but I much prefer mine at home. Not only for what goes in the omelette, but because I can control the fat used to make it. Watch an omelette line at a buffet, they usually use a TON of oil or butter. In the buffet line I can ask them to cut the fat, but when it’s made in a closed kitchen you’re at the mercy of the cook.

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Dutchess_III's avatar

That is your preference @JLeslie, not mine. I prefer more cheese on everything. Taco Bell and Taco Tico are the worst. They put about 3 pieces of cheese shred in their food. If you ask for more cheese, and even pay for it, they put 4 pieces in. You’d think it was freaking gold!

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie Interesting….I’ve never had an eggplant dish with pasta. The eggplant is so filling, I can’t imagine that.

When it’s done correctly, it’s soooo good, I don’t blame you for continuing to try. :)

On your post to Dutchess, you don’t do eggs in butter normally? We use real unsalted butter, healthy fats, and it’s fabulous. Can’t stand oily eggs.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I use butter too. Real butter. Only real butter.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III Same, I don’t know how people use anything else tbh. I’m okay being chubby if it comes to losing my real butter…haha!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Since I started eating real butter (when I first got food stamps back in the mid 90s and I could actually afford it) I can’t imagine eating anything else. Using “margarine,” is kind of like using baby oil! Yuck!

zenvelo's avatar

^^^ @Dutchess_III Do you use salted or unsalted butter.

Butter adds fluffiness to scrambled eggs that doesn’t occur with oil.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I used to use unsalted but I changed to salted about 6 months ago, due to a sodium deficiency.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m really just referring to the quantity of butter or oil, not which one is used when it comes to the eggs.

@Dutchess_III About the burrito, I was just wondering if maybe it’s less cheese in some parts of the country. In Mexico they don’t even put cheese on a soft corn taco that has meat on it. That’s an American thing. Quesadillas might have both. I’m pretty sure burritos are an American invention. I didn’t realize you were talking about Taco Bell and chains, I was thinking local places. I wasn’t trying to say you are wrong to have more cheese on it, go for it.

@KNOWITALL I wasn’t very clear. So, the eggplant dish here where I live is kind of like an eggplant lasagna. Layers of thinly cut eggplant, no breading, with layers of cheese, much like a lasagna, but no pasta. They do serve pasta on the side however, pasta with red sauce. Eggplant parm usually is mozzarella, but this dish is the cheese like a lasagna.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It doesn’t matter at all @JLeslie.

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