If you’ve ever gone grocery shopping, it’s pretty easy to tell that certain items are overpriced (think spaghetti and meatballs). However, there are dozens of other dishes that are hiding the fact that they’re definitely not worth what you paid. Under the veil of anonymity, several chefs and restaurant owners share the biggest wastes of money on the menu.
Spicy tuna roll
The reason they make them so spicy is the same reason foods from places with sub-standard refrigeration are also spicy: the meat is suspect. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s spoiled, but one owner said “I stay away from spicy tuna rolls because they’re made with leftover parts of the tuna and disguised with the spicy sauce.”
Any chicken entree over $25
Unless actual money is being served on the plate, you’ve just grossly overpaid. Chicken,even those free-range, born-free, living-life-to-the-fullest birds, rarely cost the restaurant more than a few bucks per pound. One owner said, “the cheese in your quesadilla typically costs more.”
One chef/owner said, “You’re paying for pure breading, which usually falls off or is chewy.”
Unless you’re slurping down $1 liquor pitchers at a college bar, paying an obscene amount of money for a well-tequila mixed drink is just an investment for a hangover. One restaurant owner admitted that the markup is way higher on well drinks, while the quality is way lower. You might as well throw in an extra dollar or 2 and drink purified booze.
Lobster mac ’n’ cheese
A restaurant owner said, “You aren’t getting prized lobster tails and generally not even claws, you’re getting all the scraps from the body shells. It may taste great, but the restaurant’s laughing all the way to the bank.”
One chef said, “$36-$45 per dozen is absolutely outrageous for an ingredient that requires no culinary skill whatsoever.”
The large majority of “truffle oil” has about as much actual truffle in it as there is lime juice in a can of Sprite. Virtually every chef interviewed agreed on this, and many said that it’s usually a chemically engineered imitation or a highly diluted extract. Even when actual truffles are actually used, $58 for some black flecks is never really worth it.
You may be thinking, “well duh,” but it’s not as obviously as you think. Sure, you’re paying for something you can get for free, but if it’s the tap water you’re afraid of, you should ask your waiter about the restaurant’s tap water before you order bottled. Most places now have advanced filtering systems, so no Evian is needed.
Think about how much you’d pay for a giant plate of ketchup and toast, because that’s pretty much what you’re getting. As one chef said, “It’s a great way for restaurants to charge an arm and a leg for bread and condiments.”
Real, authentic Kobe beef is made in Japan from cows that are treated like royalty with daily spa treatments, and nightly serenades…or something like that. One chef said that some restaurants, however, are serving American-style “Kobe,” calling it Japanese Kobe, and charging $35 an ounce for it. The chef added that since there are no standards for an “American” version of the beef, there’s also no value in “Kobe” hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos or anything else. Restaurants are adding the title just to make an extra buck… or 8.
Expensive wine or champagne
The secret’s pretty much out about the second-cheapest bottle of wine being the most marked up. But, the higher up the wine menu you go, the more actual cash you’re paying in a markup. One restaurant owner said that if you’re a true wine connoisseur, you’re better off bringing your own nice bottle and paying the corkage fee. And if you’re not? “Stop being a douche and order something cheap.”
via – thechive