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filmfann's avatar

Is there a menu item you will always order in a restaurant you’ve never been to before?

Asked by filmfann (52144points) 1 week ago from iPhone

New restaurant, who dis?
First time in a restaurant, and you haven’t heard of any specific plate to order. You see they have ______, so you order it.
For my wife and I, it’s Fish & Chips. I also get Huevos Rancheros if I see it.

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28 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Plain rice.

janbb's avatar

Cheeseburger, French onion soup or a salad with fruit in it. Unless it’s an Indian restaurant, the it’s paneer masala.

bob_'s avatar

Pastrami sandwich.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Veggie burger/vegan option. If that isn’t good, I probably won’t enjoy the regular options.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Dark meat from rotisserie chicken.

Zaku's avatar

No, not unless I’m afraid of the food at the restaurant (in which case, why am I there? out of desperation, I guess?), and I don’t trust the server’s recommendations.

At a particularly suspicious breakfast place, I may order scrambled eggs and hash browned potatoes, since that’s generally a safe order.

I may tend to survey what others with visible food have, and imagine the other recipes as made by my guess about how capable the chef likely is.

But I prefer to only attend restaurants where I have hope the chef can make something good.

So I usually order what sounds best to me.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Cheese and pasta. Like spaghetti or lasagna.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Mashed potatoes.

mazingerz88's avatar

Shrimp cocktail

Demosthenes's avatar

Chips and guacamole. Whether it’s a Mexican restaurant or not, it’s a common menu item around here. I like to try everyone’s different take on guacamole.

jca2's avatar

In an Italian place, I like eggplant parm or chicken scarpariello.

In a regular restaurant it will depend on what I’m in the mood for and how their prices are. I like pork chops because I don’t eat them very often. I like comfort food like shepherd’s pie. Sometimes I like a salad and a crock of something like mac and cheese.

For breakfast, I like French toast because it’s something I never make at home.

JLeslie's avatar

Chinese: Usually MooShu or chicken curry with white rice.

Italian: Chicken Piccata.

Seafood: blackened fish with rice.

American: varies a lot what I order.

Thai: Chicken with basil and rice.

@jca2 My grandma used to order chicken scarpariello. I haven’t thought of that in years :). I LOVE eggplant parmesan, but outside of NY there is an 80% chance it will have way too much breading, so a bunch of mush basically.

gondwanalon's avatar

I always order the cheapest dish. HA!

My buddies and I go to an expensive restaurant on the Puget Sound Waterfront in Tacoma (Fish Catchers) after training sessions. The cheapest item it a chicken sandwich. With tip it’s $31. And it’s not very good. Subway is way better.

LadyMarissa's avatar

When I lived in DC, a Cheeseburger with Fries pretty much gave me a decent idea of how the rest of their menu was going to be.

Now that I’m back down South, my go to usually is Spaghetti. If I can’t eat their Spaghetti, I’m probably not going to like most of their menu. Although not always the case, 9 out of 10 times it works. I seldom have to worry because I live in a really small town & we don’t get many new restaurants. The few we do get, word gets around by 10am on the morning after they open whether or not it’s worth my time.

smudges's avatar

Breakfast – pretty much anything except grits.

JLeslie's avatar

@LadyMarissa Spaghetti in the South?! I never would have guessed that.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

I judge BBQ joints by their brisket. If they get that right, they get everything else right.

Kardamom's avatar

Huevos rancheros
Cheese enchiladas
Veggie burgers
Mushroom ravioli
Portobello mushroom sandwich
Vegetarian chili

Jeruba's avatar

In a seafood restaurant that I’ve never visited before, I always order clam chowder to start. It’s my litmus test of the restaurant.

The clam chowder has to be white, thick, potatoey, and generously clammed. Maybe even a grain of sand or two for authenticity. I expect to see a pat of butter melting in the middle and be offered a grind or two of pepper to float on top.

If it’s made in house, I’d like mine dipped from the bottom of the pot.

jca2's avatar

@JLeslie I also like chicken Francaise.

My mom used to say if you’re someplace where you are not sure about the quality of the food, order a grill cheese. They can’t usually screw up a grill cheese.

kevbo1's avatar


My old theater group would go to a New Mexican restaurant that kind of sucked but was generally the only thing open after shows or rehearsals. I would get cheese enchiladas with red chile because it was the only thing I could be sure they wouldn’t screw up.

jca2's avatar

In a Mexican restaurant, I tend to order Enchiladas Suizas, which are enchilads with the light green sauce, or I’ll do an enchilada combination plate, for variety.

I also like chicken with mole sauce.

JLeslie's avatar

Mexican: chicken burrito with red sauce, rice and lettuce. I wish more Mexican places had white rice, I’m not a big fan of yellow rice.

Cuban: Ropa vieja with white rice and tostones

@jca2 I used to always order fish francese. Delicious! I stopped because of trying to limit cholesterol, but probably pretty much everything I order is going to have plenty of cholesterol so not sure it’s worth giving it up.

elbanditoroso's avatar

NO. Just the opposite. If I am going to a new restaurant, I am going to try their specialties. I’m not going to keep to my old favorites from someplace else.

If I go to a new place, it’s because I want to experience their expertise.

seawulf575's avatar

Not really. I tend to look over the menu to see what strikes my fancy that day. I look to see what their specials are. I will sometimes order something they are proud of. If their “top” dish is nasty, the experiment is over and I will not go back. But I’m pretty adventurous when it comes to trying new foods.

kruger_d's avatar

I’ll probably get a coffee, because bad coffee is reason enough not to return.

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